2010 Sardonyx Music Conference


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The 2010 Sardonyx Music Conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the beautiful Sheraton Station Square Hotel! It will be bigger and better than last year, starting early and ending late, with more panelists, more networking opportunities, and more showcase opportunities! Check out the Performers!

Jump to: Schedule - Panels - Panelists

KICK-OFF PARTY at Altar Bar on Friday, May 7th, from 8pm-10pm....FREE to the public, and FREE FOOD! Join us as we start off this fantastic national event with some food, drinks and live music...not to mention, you can meet some of the VIPs that night as well! Co-hosted by SLG ENTERTAINMENT

Watch Mike's interview about the Music Conference on Pittsburgh Live KDKA (5/3/10) here

Some of the great results of the 2009 Sardonyx Music Conference:
• A local band signed with a manager that works with professional musicians around the world
• A Sony/Jive records company executive came to evaluate three regional acts
• A legendary record company executive participated, not to mention the other fantastic panelists
• Three (3) acts got their photos into a national music magazine!

Registration - $70.00 - includes the May 7th Kick-Off at Altar Bar, May 8th conference at the Sheraton, and live music at 3 venues until 2 a.m.!

8:00-9:00 am
9:00-11:00 am Panel Discussions
11:00 am-1:00 pm Lunch and Networking opportunities
1:00-5:00 pm Panel Discussions
5:00 pm onwards Networking and Showcases
6:00 pm onwards Private showcase (Producer: Alex Salzman)

Showcases at the Hard Rock Cafe, Steelhouse and Saddle Ridge - show your conference badge and get in for FREE! Bands start at 7pm at Steelhouse and Saddle Ridge and 10pm at the Hard Rock Cafe (public can attend the showcases for $8.00 cover...at least 5 GREAT acts per venue!).

See the list of performers here.


"The Producers" - no, not the movie or Broadway play...but how important is finding the right producer for your music? Do you need a producer to become successful? What can the right producer do for your act? We have one producer from LA and one from NYC to educate you!

Are You Ready For A Manager? - There are many things you need to consider BEFORE getting a manager for your act. Are you prepared? You may be surprised at what these great panelists teach you about this subject!

Promotional Strategies - okay, this is a HUGE topic, but one that most acts do not handle effectively. The effective use of Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Radio, Press...how do you combine it all for a strategic promotional campaign that will make you stand out above the rest?

Record Labels - Alright, let's find out if the myth is really true...are record labels just "a thing of the past", or do you still need one? What are they doing today that was different 10 years ago? How do you find the right record label for your music?

Booking and Touring - selecting the proper venues for your shows, budgets, planning and preparation that all go into making a successful event and tour will be reviewed.

Licensing, Publishing and Contracts - the process of getting your music into movies, TV and others, selecting a PRO to get royalties from your music, how to break down and understand the necessary contracts in these deals, and getting the most money you can from your music will all be covered!

Hip Hop Entertainment Biz

More to come!


McKay GarnerMcKay Garner
McKay attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a major in music and played drums in studios, clubs and arenas all over the US. He has played guitar, bass, drums, and various keyboards on countless records. Artists whose records McKay has worked on as an engineer and/or producer include The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Styles of Beyond, Michael Buble, Flogging Molly, Valencia, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, J Dilla, Foreign Born, Cortes Alexander, Sara Melson, and countless others. As a composer, songwriter, or engineer, his music has been featured on radio worldwide, on television shows such as America's Next Top Model, Third Watch, Stylista, Grey's Anatomy, and many others as well as in feature films such as Transformers. McKay's publishing company After20After places artists' music and recordings in tv shows, films, video games and more. He is currently working mostly out of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Read more

Jeff BlueJeff Blue
Jeff Blue is a multi-platinum music producer, A&R executive, BMI award-winning songwriter, and musician. He has dedicated his entire career to artist development resulting in more than 130 Million record sales worldwide.

As Sr. VP A&R/Staff Producer for Warner Bros. Records, Interscope Records, Virgin/Capitol Music Group, Sony/BMG/Jive Records, and RCA/J Records, Blue has helped shape popular culture for the last 15 years. He is responsible for discovering and developing Linkin Park, Macy Gray, Daniel Powter, and The Last Goodnight. In addition to signing Limp Bizkit and Korn, writing hit singles for artists such as Hoobastank, Macy Gray, and TLG, he has produced numerous platinum movie soundtracks & major label albums.

Blue graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. After passing the Bar, Blue worked as a music journalist for Billboard, HITS and Entertainment Weekly, and eventually published his own magazine, Crossroads, which focused on discovering unsigned artists. He simultaneously managed, produced, and played drums in two signed Major label bands while also working as an attorney for the law offices of Ross Schwartz.

While teaching "Songwriting" and "Artist Development” classes at UCLA , Blue hired guitarist Brad Delson as his intern and signed his band, Xero to a publishing deal on the night of their first performance. After developing Xero for two years, and changing the band name to Hybrid Theory, Blue met Chester Bennington, a singer from Arizona. Blue arranged for Bennington to become a member of the band, which later changed its name to Linkin Park. Blue shopped the band for three years and showcased them forty-four times. Unable to get them a deal, Blue negotiated his employment contract with Warner Bros. Records to include the signing of Linkin Park. Months later, they released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which has since sold over 60 million albums worldwide.

Blue is currently signed as a songwriter to Universal Music Publishing where he co-wrote the 2009 hit single "So Close, So Far" for multi-Platinum artist Hoobastank. He additionally co-wrote, produced, and performed on the platinum 2009 BMI pop award winner and 2008 Australian #1 song of the year, "Pictures of You", and "Stay Beautiful" for The Last Goodnight.

His company Rock Shop Music Group, launched December 2009, focuses on writing and producing for major artists as well as artist development and management. Rock Shop has already yielded two major label signings to Atlantic Records and Island Def Jam.
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Matthew CrumptonMatthew Crumpton, Esq.
Matthew is a small business and music attorney, and the President of Music Loves Ohio, a non-profit charitable organization. He has experience in concert promotion and production, working as a production assistant and stage manager at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs, Kansas. In his law practice, Matthew counsels small businesses, musicians, venues, and managers. Additionally, he is currently writing a book chronicling his interviews with successful artists, asking them the question, ‘How did you go from wanting a career as an artist to having one?' Read more

Alex SalzmanAlex Salzman
Alex is an award-winning producer, musician, composer and engineer.

Alex started his music education at the age of seven when his mother, a world-class classical pianist, had enrolled him into the Moscow Conservatory School for Gifted Children. The rigorous program included intensive studies in classical piano, ear-training, theory, choir and counter-point. At the age of eleven, Alex also began studying guitar.

Upon immigrating to the United States, he continued his guitar and piano studies while he attended the Fordham University School of Business and the Westchester Conservatory of Music, as he embarked on his professional career as a performer and composer.

With rapid advances in music and computers, Alex quickly embraced the technology and was one of the first in the New York area to use sampling in live performances. As his career continued, he was signed to Geffen Records as an artist and Warner-Chappell Publishing as a songwriter.

Alex developed his production and engineering skills in early 1990’s, while spending countless hours in studios with a variety of independent artists. He also began his long-standing relationship with Alan Menken, a multiple-award winning motion picture and Broadway composer, where Alex served as Alan’s recording engineer, having recorded numerous production sessions for successful animated features like “Beauty and The Beast”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Aladdin” and etc.

In 1996 Alex was chosen to compose and produce music for an experimental children’s educational computer game “Kid Riffs”, developed by the famed IBM Watson Research Center. Highly advanced for it’s time, the game received worldwide acclaim, including The Parents’ Choice Award, The 1996 Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Awards, and was featured in Disney’s EPCOT Innovations Pavilion.

In 2004 Alex started his collaboration with the Native American Artist “Jana”. The results of their collaborations include a 2006 Grammy® Nomination for Best Native American Music Album, as well as three Native American Music Awards for Best Album, Best Producer and Album of The Year. Alex served as her co-writer, producer, engineer and musical director.

Most recently, Alex has contributed his production and engineering skills to Rock Superstar Ace Frehley’s latest release “Anomaly”, which debuted on #27 on Billboard.

Alex currently resides in suburban New York City, where he owns and operates a state of the art recording facility.

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Joe ScroccaJoe Scrocca jr.
Joe Scrocca started in artist management in January 2008. Since the start of Scrocca Entertainment Group Joe has signed several artists that are progressing to the next level in their music career. Joe's desire to get great music out to as many people as he can is his primary motivation for getting in to the music business. Joe's background is in accounting and finance. Joe earned his accounting degree from Stockton State College in Pomona, NJ and his Masters in Taxation from Villanova University in Villanova, PA. Joe recently completed his Masters in Music Business on line certification program at Berklee School of Music on line. During his studies at Berklee Joe was awarded a Berklee Celebrity Scholarship for outstanding academic performance as well as strong recommendations from several of his professors.

Joe's mission statement for his management firm is to provide emerging artists a professional that will take care of business matters of the artist so they can concentrate on writing, recording and performing. Joe stresses that he specifically will not make major decisions for his clients without their full approval. Joe also makes it a policy that he never touches client's funds. "I want my clients to be 100% comfortable that their interests are my only interest". Unfortunately there are too many unscrupulous managers and other predators that scheme to take money from bands and never provide any real service. Joe only receives payment after his clients get paid and he only gets paid on deals he negotiates/secures for his clients.

"After 25 years of working in the accounting and financial world I have found a job I truly enjoy". At 47 it was a bit of a risk for Joe to switch gears and go in to the music industry. "I feel with all of the changes in the industry this is a great time to get involved as the opportunities are much greater now then ever before in the music business".

Joe is currently managing 10 bands: Impulsive Decision, Ready In 10, Redlight Romance, The Frail, Elisium, Six Day Slide, Brian Scott, Marujah, Slow Burning Car, Verona Grove
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Shukmei WongShukmei Wong
Shukmei Wong is the co-founder of WeRoqq PR, a boutique public relations firm based in NYC that specializes in the music industry. Aside from overseeing WeRoqq, she is also the media marketing manager for Razor & Tie Entertainment, one of the biggest indie music label in the country. She has worked on marketing / publicity campaigns for a variety of artists such as Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, Radiohead and Sade, just to name a few. Shukmei constantly updates the WeRoqq the Music Biz! blog, broadcasting breaking music business news to help artists stay ahead of the curve.

Robert CaseRobert Case
Robert A. Case, President of New Pants Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP) Old Pants Publishing, Inc. (BMI) and New Pants Music, (SESAC) is a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art, Denver, Colorado in the USA with an Associate’s Degree in Business with an emphasis in Music and Video Business. He completed studies at Community College of Denver in Business Administration and Marketing. Mr. Case’s songwriter's songs have appeared in TV shows placements including Lions Gate Pictures, CW Network, Discovery Channel, A&E, Fox Sports, NBC, CBS/VHI/Universal HD show Love Monkey, Xenon Pictures, One Life to Live on ABC Daytime, the Soap Network and South Park on Comedy Central in the US and Internationally in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Case and companies are proud members of ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, ACM- Academy of Country Music, The Recording Academy. (Grammy), NATPE- National Association of Television Program Executives, The Association of Independent Music Publishers, Los Angeles Women in Music Assoc,GMA Gospel Music Assoc. CMA Country Music Association, Nashville Songwriter Association International, National Assoc. Of Music Education, Colorado Film and Video Association, the Music Teachers National Association and Associate member of the American Bar Association. Mr. Case has received the Small Business Administration award in Washington, DC in 2002. Mr. Case has produced and released several CDs through the years that have been on the Grammy Entry List in 36 separate categories including Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Country Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

Mr. Case has appeared Internationally and Nationally on several music panels and workshops as a speaker including Lebanon Valley College Music Industry Conference, Lebanon, PA, Albright College, Reading, PA, William Patterson University, New Jersey, Cape May Songwriter Conference, Cape May, New Jersey, Cutting Edge Music Conference, New Orleans, www.lawim.org Film/TV Independent Music Panel, Los Angeles, The Australian Songwriters Conference, Ettalong Beach NSW, www.songsalive.org Music Publishing Chapter Workshops, Sydney, Australia, Las Vegas, Austin, Texas, Huntsville, AL, Los Angeles, www.TheSongnet.org Music Publishing Workshops Los Angeles, Pitch-A-Song Industry Panel, Los Angeles, The Taxi Road Rally Los Angeles, The Dallas Songwriters Association A&R Workshop, Atlantis Music Conference, Vegas Music Conference, Dewey Beach Music Conference, The Millennium Music Conference The Global Entertainment Summit Los Angeles and New York, CMJ Music Marathon, New York, The Independent Music Conference Philadelphia, Publishing Panel, Dallas IMC Publishing Panel, West Virginia IMC Publishing Panel, Los Angeles IMC Publishing Panel, The Indy Sessions Radio Panel Los Angeles, The Indianapolis Music Conference Publishing Panel, The Crossroads Music Conference - Independent Label Panel and Booking and Touring Career Development Panel Memphis, Hyperactive Music Conference and the Durango Songwriters Expo Film/TV/Music Panel just to name a few.
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John WilliamsJohn Williams
John Williams is with The Clarks/Clarkhouse Entertainment. He wears many hats: marketing director, tour and office manager, head honcho, and Captain of Team Clark.

Aaron JentzenAaron Jentzen
Aaron Jentzen is a musician and writer based in Pittsburgh. He works as the music editor of Pittsburgh City Paper, and has written about music for a number of additional publications, including Nashville Scene, NOW Toronto, New York Press, Paste and The Dallas Observer. He has served as a panelist at music conferences and is a frequent guest on local-music radio shows in the region. A former member of art-rock band Chalk Outline Party, he currently performs and records as a singer-songwriter. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council recently awarded him an Artist Opportunity Grant to perform this summer in Berlin, Germany. Read More

Liz RuegerLiz Rueger
Liz Rueger is the owner/President of Independent Artist Representatives, a full service artist management, representation, and consulting firm. Liz has over 20 years of experience in the music business and currently represents a full roster of composers, bands, and solo acts.

Her agency clients include Oscar-winning and Broadway composers, several emerging bands and established Grammy® award winning solo artists. Liz has professional relationships with numerous song publishers, corporations, music supervisors, film/TV production houses, producers, promoters, and recording labels.

In addition to being an agent/manager, Liz is also a well known events coordinator with clients ranging from Disney, ESPN, Globe Theater, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, to internationally acclaimed dance, music, and performing acts.

An avid supporter of the independent artist, Liz also consults on a variety of projects, ranging from assisting bands in the proper formation of their “team”, business administration for musicians, helping new bands create the best demo for submissions, to overseeing and negotiating contracts for world-famous clients, to finding financing for feature films.

For a full list of clients past and present (management, consulting, special events), visit www.independentartistreps.com
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Kevin AmosKevin Amos
Kevin Amos is the Pittsburgh Area Coordinator for Soul-Patrol.com. He is also the producer and host of "One to One" on 88.3 WRCT-FM. His professional career spans nearly 30 years in the field of broadcasting.He has logged well over 30,000 hours on non-commercial radio as a voluntee and a independent radio producer since 1978! Kevin has produced programs for talk radio at WCXJ-AM, a top rated morning show at FM1047 the Beat (Clear Channel), and a live interactive sports show with the Champions Association. He is also the former program director/station manager of WYEP-FM(1978-1984). Kevin has recently left his position as Communications Director for the Thomas Merton Center to seek other pursuits. He was also formerly employed as Program Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh at CITIPARKS in the Office of Special Events and Community Affairs. There he was part of a team that planned and coordinated events like the Great Race and Reservoir of Jazz. Read more

Steven McGannSteven McGann
Steve McGann has been involved in music for over twenty years. He started off as a bass player for many Columbus, Ohio bands during the hey days of the 1990s, including the pop rock unit Greenhorn (Anyway). Greenhorn was fielding offers from majors and big indies when the lads called it quits. Steve picked up another gig with Big Back Forty and soon found himself signing with Polydor Records. Displeased with the direction, McGann left the band and went back to school. He finished law school in 2002 and continued to play and record music. In the last couple of years McGann began managing bands in the Columbus area, and started a small record label, Peloton. Since then Steve has several releases, an artist at SXSW 2010, and continues to book and promote bands.

More info at:

Steve McGann
Westagte Mgmt
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