Thursday, April 21stbmi-logo

FMF2016 Keynote Conversation
A Conversation with Aton Ben-Horin

Aton Ben-Horin
Warner Music Groupimage1Aton Ben-Horin began his career in Orlando as a musician/producer, SHOWCASING at fmf2002 with his band. then as owner of Plush Studios, and as A&R for Warner , Ben-horin has brought Jason Derulo, David Guetta and Flo-Rida to recent #1 status. We celebrate his recent promotion to Global Vice President of A&R for Warner Music Group with a Keynote Conversation and a chance for the students to meet and do a follow up Q&A. with a Demo Sessions for musicians / producers in attendance.



Friday, April 22nd

FMF2016 featured Interview
‘How we made Okeechobee Music Festival’ with Dan Larson

Dan Larson
Soundslinger, Inc

Here Dan

Dan Larson has spend the last 10 years promoting and marketing concerts and producing festivals in Florida. FROM THE ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE to his own club the standard to the Dr. Phillips Centre, dan’s path led him to bonnaroo and the eventual meeting with superjam producer paul peck, and became the first employee of Soundslinger, llc the company behind Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival… a resounding success in its innaugural sold out year!


Tom Player
Player Entertainment Law

Player Entertainment Law was established in 2000, for the express purpose of providing legal representation, business consultation, and career guidance to musicians, producers, actors, filmmakers  writers, models, athletes and other “players” in the entertainment industry in all aspects of their professional careers.  Clients range from local and regional artists to multi-platinum musicians and producers, Grammy® winners, and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Attorneys Tom Player and Quinton Sheer deliver the benefit of a combined 22+ years in legal practice and a combined 40+ prior years actively engaged in the entertainment industry.  The partners at Player Entertainment Law have a proven track record of protecting and furthering the interests of their clients.   You will not find greater loyalty, discretion, or tenacity on your behalf anywhere else.

Friday, April 22nd
Cheyenne Saloon (126 W Church St)
• Brad Wood (Seagrass Studios: Say Anything/Smashing Pumpkins)
• Ethan Curtis (Plush Studios: Jason Derulo/David Guetta)
• Mark Lewis (Audiohammer Studios: Trivium/Cannibal Corpse)
• Brett Hestla (Hestla Productions: Creed/Dark New Day)
Moderated by Tom Player (Player Law)

Brad Wood
Seagrass Studios

The annual FMF Producer’s panel welcomes a diverse group of internationally renowned producers, mixers and engineers, having worked on everything from the heaviest of metal to the tastiest of pop. Brad Wood offers a unique perspective of having worked with some of the ’90s household names to seminal indie rock acts. Wood began his music production career in 1988, when he helped build the studio Idful Music Corporation- in Chicago, IL. Working there with hundreds of bands- including Tar, Seam, the Jesus Lizard and Shrimp Boat- it was Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville” in 1993 that brought him national attention. Within a year, he produced critically-acclaimed debut albums for Sunny Day Real Estate, Veruca Salt, Red Red Meat and Ben Lee. Later in the decade, he produced Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins, Far, That Dog, Menthol and many more. In 2000, Brad relocated to Los Angeles and co-produced Pete Yorn’s debut album “musicforthemorningafter” In 2004, Brad built his newest studio in LA, where Ben Lee returned for his best selling album “Awake Is The New Sleep”. Albums for mewithoutYou, the Fire Theft, the Bangles, Say Anything, Sherwood and Touché Amore have kept him busy. Known for a natural approach to drums and guitars and a no-nonsense studio demeanor, Brad is sought after by artists looking to make a definitive career-defining album that is also “all them.”


Ethan Curtis
Plush Studios

ROCKSTAR ENTREPRENEUR and entertainment focused, brand-building executive, Ethan Curtis is President and Co-Owner of Plush Recording Studios, where he works with artists, record labels, and various other entertainment professionals to facilitate the making of hit songs. As a primary organizer of The Network Music Conference, honored speaker and panelist at Full Sail University and Florida Music Festival, Industry Advisory Board Member at Orlando City Library Melrose Center, F.I.R.S.T. Institute and Orlando Bands, and full-time student at Rollins College, Ethan is easily one of the Orlando entertainment industry’s hardest working rising stars.
Under Ethan’s leadership, Plush Studios continues to establish a track record of attracting a growing number of industry A-listers to the city every year, reinforcing awareness throughout the industry of Orlando as a legitimate player in the world music scene. Avicii, Flo Rida, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Christina Perri, J LO, Chris Brown, Afrojack, Prince Royce, Stevie Wonder, Jess Glynne, Paramore, Florida Georgia Line, French Montana, Yandel, and Jason Derulo are just a few of the superstars who have crafted hits with Plush.

Just Another Smash Ent

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Over the past 12-plus years Dakari has worked actively in virtually every aspect of the record, music publishing, personal management, television production and production facilities industries.His career began with producing several of music most famous bands in history. ‘NSync,LFO, Innosense, Natural C-note, 95 South, Another Level which produces a #1 hit in UK, Pokemon 2 & 3 soundtrack, The Monkey’s, Gary White, N.O.R.E, and Dem Franchise Boyz, some of Dakari’s most noteworthy music sensations, have risen to the pinnacle of recordings success worldwide. These few products alone have created over $2 billion in entertainment industry revenue to date.

Brett Hestla
Hestla Productions

In the late 1990s Hestla’s band Virgos Merlot was signed to Atlantic Records. After their first release, Signs of a Vacant Soul, he became the touring bassist for Creed after the departure of Brian Marshall.[1][2] When Creed disbanded in 2004[3] he began a career as a record producer, forming the independent label Silent Majority in Orlando, Florida and working with bands such as Framing Hanley,[4] Transmit Now, Faktion, Tantric,[5] Refuse The Fall, Bad Axis, and Seven Day Sonnet. In 2005 Hestla became the lead vocalist of Dark New Day. Dark New Day released their first full length, Twelve Year Silence, in 2005.[6] Their single “Brother” reached No. 7 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock charts. Currently, he’s working on his debut solo album. He confirmed that Mark Tremonti of Creed and Alter Bridge, Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Troy McLawhorn of Evanescence and Corey Lowery of Eye Empire will perform as guest players on his record.


Mark Lewis
Audiohammer Studios

Mark Lewis is an American hard rock/heavy metal music producer. Originally from the Southern Maryland area, Mark has since relocated to the Orlando, Florida area, and has been prolific recently with his mixing, tracking, and engineering duties at Audio Hammer Studios in Sanford, Florida.
Lewis has honed his skills with some of the top artists in hard rock and metal, having spent the last several years as the full-time engineer at Audio Hammer Studios working alongside acclaimed producer/mixer Jason Suecof. Lewis has engineered productions and/or mixes for established artists such as Chimaira, Trivium, DevilDriver, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Adrift, to name but a few. He is now producing and mixing projects from Audio Hammer’s Studio B.


Friday, April 22nd
Cheyenne Saloon (126 W Church St)
BOOK MY BAND…please!
• Jim Mallonee (House of Blues)
• Colleen Flynn (Hard Rock Live International)
• Jeff Howard (APA Agency)
• Jesse Rosoff (United Talent Agency)
• Dan Larson (Soundslinger: Okeechobee Festival)
• Chris Goyzueta (ONELive Agency)
Moderated by Tom Player (Player Law)


Jeff Howard
APA Booking Agency

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As a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a major in Music Business and Bass Guitar Performance, Jeff Howard has always had a love affair with music. His time in Boston led him to intern at Rounder Records, Heavy Rotation Records, and work as A&R for a joint Heavy Rotation/Epic Records album release.
While at Berklee, Jeff was introduced to Tim Collins (former manager of Aerosmith). This led to a full time position at Monterey Peninsula Artists in Nashville (now Paradigm) in 2001. During his time at Monterey he worked with such acts as Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, Bonnie Raitt, Montgomery Gentry, The Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, and more. In 2005 Jeff left Monterey Peninsula Artists to be an Agent at Agency for the Performing Arts. Also that year Jeff won the “Rising Star” award for music industry executives at the Event Pro Forum in Las Vegas. He is now working with talents such as Dolly Parton, Boston, Travis Tritt, Gaelic Storm, Phil Vassar, The Charlie Daniels Band, Judas Priest. He has guided the early careers of Blackberry Smoke, Ruby Amanfu, Kingbilly (Charlie Worsham/Brothers Osborne’s band), Ligion, Lyndsey Highlander, The Steppin Stones, Joe Robinson and more. He currently resides in Nashville, TN and is a member of the Country Music Association, an alumni of S.O.L.I.D (Society of Leaders in Development), and is on the CMA Fest Talent Committee.


Jesse Rosoff
United Talent Agency

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Rosoff started his career as an assistant talent buyer at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA, while simultaneously & independently booking his own roster of exclusive artists. His passion to be an agent drove him to make the move to Boulder, CO’s, Madison House agency, which was followed up by a move to The Agency Group’s NYC office. The Agency Group was acquired by United Talent Agency in 2015 where Rosoff currently RA’s a diverse roster including: Mothers, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Reptar, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Mr. Little Jeans, Jesse Malin, Thomas Wynn & The Believers + many more.
Rosoff graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with his beginnings in booking tours and promoting shows in the Central Florida DIY scene when he was just 18.


Jim Mallonee
Live Nation/House of Blues

If you were to ask any reputable music agent who has booked a band in the Southeast region within the last 30 years, rest assured they know and have done business with Jim Mallonee.
Jim is currently the Vice President of Southeast Booking for Live Nation Worldwide, Inc/House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. He oversees the following nine Live Nation venues’ talent booking: House of Blues Orlando, House of Blues Myrtle Beach, House of Blues Dallas, House of Blues Houston, House of Blues New Orleans, The Tabernacle (Atlanta, GA), The Fillmore (Charlotte, NC), The Fillmore (Miami, FL), The Ritz (Raleigh), The Aztec Theatre (San Antonio) and the Revention Music Center (Houston, TX). He ensures all these venues are reaching their goals all while being the prime talent buyer for House of Blues Orlandoand St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Additionally, in the event one would think he wasn’t busy enough, Jim also has been the main talent buyer for festival shows such as WJRR’s Earthday Birthday, WHTQ’s Blues BBQ, WMMO’s Downtown Concert Series and the multiple-day Azalea festival in Wilmington, NC. However, being such a successful concert industry professional did not come without years of experience, expertise and good old fashioned business sense.


Chris Goyzueta
ONELive Music

ONElive Music Group, is Concert & Live Events Promotions and Artist Management Company, which was founded by Chris Goyzueta, who has been a Concert Promoter/Talent Buyer since 2006, and Artist Manager since 2012. He’s been a concert promoter and Talent Buyer since 2006 when he created Rock for Hunger, which was an Orlando based Music Festival and Charity that ran for 5 years. From 2008 to 2012, Chris worked as the Senior Talent Buyer for The Plaza Live in Orlando, FL. After the Plaza Live he moved on to work work for House of Blues/Live Nation New Orleans as the Jr. Talent Buyer, where he worked under the mentorship of Sonny Schneidau, 2-Time Pollstar Live Talent Buyer of the Year and 20 Year Employee of HOB/Live Nation.

Robert Deuterman
Derterman Productions



Saturday, April 23rd


• David Beame (Global Citizen Festival)
• Nick Ferrara (Ferrara Law)
• Jeff Hanson (Management)
• Will Hunt (Musician: Evanescence / Rival City Heights)
• Jamal Samuel (Rock City Management)
• Arthur D. Sims (The Mastermind Group)
Moderated by Stephanie Christie (Stephanie Christie Management)

David Beame
Global Citizen

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.01.44 PMDavid Beame serves as the Event Director at Global Citizen, a non-profit working towards ending extreme poverty by 2030.  In his role, David oversees all major events for the Global Citizen brand including event and broadcast production of the Global Citizen Festival, an annual 60,000-person festival on the Great Lawn, Central Park that coincides with the United Nations General Assembly and features the world’s most popular artists, celebrities and world leaders.  The festival is broadcast live on MSNBC and YouTube with highlight programs appearing on NBC and distributed through BBC Worldwide.  Past performers include Pearl Jam, Beyonce, JAY-Z, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, No Doubt, Ed Sheeran, Neil Young, and Foo Fighters along with celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Leonardo Dicaprio, Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, and Stephen Colbert, and dignitaries including Vice President Biden, Michelle Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Prime Minister Modi of India.
In addition to his role with Global Citizen, David is also a partner at the entertainment law firm of Beame & Mencher LLP.  He has negotiated and structured millions of dollars of entertainment related transactions for clients including international platinum recording artists and songwriters/producers, talent and creators of television programs and motion pictures, and pioneering new media and cutting-edge tech companies.
David is a graduate of New World School of the Arts and received two bachelor of arts degrees from Boston University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law.


Arthur D. Sims, II
The Mastermynd Group

Bio Photo
Working with professional sports franchises and athletes, entertainment companies, entertainers, producers and production companies, publishers, and managers, Mr. Sims has developed and negotiated lucrative opportunities for his clients. Mr. Sims has experience representing issues in Major League Baseball and the National Football league as well as negotiating player and endorsement contracts for first round draft choices and hall of fame athletes. He has negotiated domestic and international multi-million dollar licensing, distribution, production and multimedia agreements for renowned entertainers; music, film, and television entities; video game designers; museums; management and publishing companies, including, but not limited to serving as general counsel/agent for famed entertainment manager, Johnny Wright, and the Wright Entertainment Group, Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, Rip It Records (95 South, 69 Boys, Quad City DJ’s) celebrity vocal trainer Raab (Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews Band), D.J. Pro Style, D.J. M-Squared, and the world renown Bombshell Fitness Group (Miss USA, Miss Universe, Miss America, The Olympia, The Arnold Classic, and The Europa).
Mr. Sims is also an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches classes on the law and business issues in Entertainment and Hospitality, as well as serves on the advisory board of the university’s new “Entertainment Management Business Degree” to be offered in the Fall of 2016.


Stephanie Christie
Stephanie Christie Management & Publicity

Stephanie Christie began her entertainment career as a model / actress. After working on more than a hundred commercial, photo and film productions she decided to try her hand on the other side of the camera as a PA, Associate Producer and eventually a Unit Publicist. She found her love for publicity outweighed her love for being on camera and settled in for the long haul in 2005 creating her own firm. Since that time, Stephanie Christie Management & Publicity has been home to artists, celebrities, musicians, performers, attorneys, brands, record labels, retailers and more.
Stephanie has managed several up and coming bands, artists and social media influencers. In recent years, her clients have been featured on NBC’s The Voice, American Idol, ABC/ Lifetime’s Army Wives, The Originals, Game of Silence, The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead and more.
As a speaker, she has been a guest panelist at several music conferences and done numerous interviews for print and broadcast on topics ranging from DIY Artist Strategies to Personal Branding. She is a frequent guest speaker at Full Sail University and the Florida Music Festival.


Will Hunt

William Martin “Will” Hunt (born September 5, 1971) is an American drummer, who has played for many bands, including Evanescence, Skrape, Dark New Day, Black Label Society, and Device, , Rival City Heights, and as a touring member for Staind.




Nick Ferrara
Nicholas C. Ferrara & Associates
Nicholas C. Ferrara & Associates, PLLC is a boutique law firm specializing in transactional entertainment industry law. The founding partners, Nicholas C. Ferrara and Robert “Riff” Pisarek, each individually possess over two decades worth of experience representing recording artists, record labels, distribution companies, producers, mixers, industry executives, music publishers, songwriters, personal managers, production companies, marketing and promotion companies, booking agencies and other entities and individuals in the entertainment industry.Past and present clients have sold in excess of 100,000,000 units.


Jeff Hanson
Silent Majority Management

Jeff Hanson is an artist and producer manager, A&R consultant and founder and chief of the Silent Majority Group label. He is the former manager of Creed, Paramore and Sevendust, In 2006 he set up the independent Orlando, Florida-based label Silent Majority Group, which is now home to Framing Hanley, Candlebox and Tantric amongst others.



• Chris Martignago (Atlantic Records)
• Gregg Steele (XM/Sirius)
• Brad Wood (Seagrass Studios)
• Ethan Curtis (Plush Studios)
• Mark Abramowitz (Sony/ATV Publishing)
• Jamal Samuel (Rock City Management)
Moderated by Tom Player (Player Law)


Gregg Steele
XM/Sirius (former)


Gregg just completed a 12+ year run at SiriusXM where he was most recently VP/General Manager of West Coast Programming Operations, and prior to that assignment was SiriusXM’s VP/Music Programming responsible for all Rock Music content, Classical, Blues and more including Specialty and Event Programming. Before joining SiriusXM, Gregg spent 7+ years with then-Clear Channel (now iHeart) stations in Miami-Ft Lauderdale as Regional Director of Programming and Brand Manager, handling the supervision of programming content for dozens of radio stations for the company thru the Southeast region. Additionally, Gregg has programmed radio in Los Angeles at reknowned heavy metal station KNAC, produced the long running nationally syndicated radio show “Rockline”, and worked as part of the management team for legendary artist James Brown.


Chris Martignago
Atlantic Records
Chris Martignago is a Director of A&R Research at Atlantic Records based in Nashville, TN. Chris started out as a musician/songwriter, touring in bands for several years before attending Full Sail University for a Bachelor’s in Music Business. While in school, Chris had worked for companies including: Florida Music Festival, SXSW, NBC, Cirque Du Soleil and more all between managing/developing talent with homework due at midnight.
Full Sail is also where he met Senior VP of A&R at Atlantic Records, Steve Robertson (Paramore, Shinedown, Meg Myers). This meeting turned his sights on the world of A&R where Steve and Chris still work closely on projects that include Paramore’s Self-Titled album featuring the Top 40 hit and Grammy award winning song, “Ain’t It Fun” and the highly anticipated 5th album from Shinedown, ’Threat To Survival’.
Chris now heads A&R Research for Atlantic Records out of Nashville discovering new acts through data to then sign, manage, & develop long careers for the legendary major label.


Mark Abramowitz
Sony/ATV Publishing

Mark Bio
Mark Abramowitz is a Manager of A&R/Creative for Sony/ATV Music publishing based in Nashville, TN. Mark recently worked out of Sony/ATV’s New York office, but was relocated to the company’s Nashville in March of 2015 to specialize in non-country music. In his new role he has been tasked with signing, developing and working with Sony/ATV Nashville’s non-country songwriters as well as supporting Sony/ATV’s signings from other destinations who come to the Tennessee city for songwriting and recording sessions.
Abramowitz joined Sony/ATV in New York in 2011 as an intern having graduated from Rutgers University and been part of Sony’s College Marketing Department. He rose from the role of receptionist to becoming A&R Assistant in December 2011 and then A&R Coordinator in January 2014. Songwriters and artists he has signed include Wild Cub (Mom &Pop), No Wyld (Columbia) and Kevin Kadish who co-wrote eight of the songs on Meghan Trainor’s Billboard 200 chart-topping debut album Title, including the worldwide No. 1 hit “All About That Bass” and its follow-up “Lips Are Movin’”. Abramowitz also works closely with Nashville-based singer-songwriter Marc Scibilia. Since his re-location, he has already began working and developing Nashville based talents Apollo LTD, Jeffrey James, Daphne Willis, and Daniel James.


Jamal Samuel
RockCity Management

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Born in Houston & raised on the beautiful island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands is where Jamal Samuel graduated from the St. Croix Educational Complex. Jamal was then highly recommended to attend Full Sail University to take on Film & Entertainment Business courses where he began to learn the ins + outs of the music business. Jamal’s desire to get in the music industry started early on. In addition to his interest as a Athlete & Promoter, throughout high school, Jamal kept pushing himself & finding his way until he met Rock City who gave him a chance to work directly with them.
Although Jamal earned his stripes through being just a Creative Director for Rock City filming several videos, his passion for being in the music business grew to discovering new music, new producers, new songwriters, learning the A&R process from mentor Ray Daniels who is now VP of A&R for Interscope Records & now doing Artist Management. After accompanying Rock City & Ray Daniels as a team, Jamal eventually started working with his very first artist of his own known as Cam Wallace.


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