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Speakers

MU is proud to present some of music industry's leading luminaries for this one-of-a-kind gathering of musical minds. Our speakers are invited not only to share their unique perspectives, but also to discuss new ideas and innovate in collaboration with attendees.

Jessica Disu (a.k.a. FM Supreme)

MU is proud to present 2016's evening keynote speaker, Jessica Disu (a.k.a. FM Supreme).

Born and raised in Chicago, FM Supreme uses language as a tool for positive change. FM Supreme is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and has studied public policy and global affairs in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia. She is a seven-time international performing poet, artist, peace activist, MC and educator who describes herself as a "humanitarian rap artist." She is the founder of Chicago International Youth Peace Movement, a peer to peer networking and advocacy group, co-founder of The Peace Exchange: Chicago-Asia, and is part of the inaugural class of co-founding members of Black Youth Project 100. Her keynote will address peace, nonviolence, social justice, and using the arts for social change.

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    Jonathan R. Wynn (Music/City)

    Drawing from his experiences playing bass for a hip hop band to interviewing the mayors and festival producers of major national and international music festival, Jonathan Wynn's most recent book, Music/City: American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville and Newport, is a look into how cities have adopted "festivalization" as a cultural policy, and the resultant effects of city branding on both locals and visitors, event organizers and participants. 

    Jonathan Wynn is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work has also been published in City & CommunityQualitative Sociology, Sociological Forum,Cultural Sociology, and Contexts Magazine, and an article in Ethnography called "Hobo to Doormen: The Characters of Qualitative Analysis, Past and Present." Read his Op Ed in The Des Moines Register: "Why cities should stop building museums and focus on festivals." All you have to do is ask and he'll teach you how to start playing the spoons.

     

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    Mindy Abovitz (Tom Tom Magazine)

    Mindy Abovitz is a self taught drummer and drum machine programmer with a Masters in Media Studies from The New School. She started Tom Tom Magazinethe first and only magazine about female drummers, in 2009. She hopes to impact the music industry through print media, new media, showcases, panels and community interactions and see a 50% increase of female drummers in the next ten years.

    Tom Tom Magazine is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists from all over the world and hopes to inspire women and girls of all ages to drum, all while strengthening and building the community of otherwise fragmented female musicians. The magazine covers drummers of all ages, races, styles, creeds, sexualities, body sizes, skill levels and degrees of notoriety.

     

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    Brandon W. Clark

    Brandon W. Clark is an intellectual property attorney whose primary focus is on music industry transactions, copyrights, and entertainment law. 

    Brandon’s clients include artists, songwriters, producers, record labels, publishing companies, recording studios, and nearly all other functions of the music industry. He received a music scholarship to attend the University of Northern Iowa and is still an avid musician having played hundreds of shows in eight different countries. Brandon worked at both record labels and music publishing companies before joining McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC in 2015 as Chair of the firm's Copyright and Entertainment Law Practice Group.

     Brandon is a frequent panelist and an Adjunct Professor of Music Business at Drake University. Additionally, he is a member of The Recording Academy and serves on the Board of Directors for the Des Moines Social Club.

     

    Tobi Parks

    Tobi Parks is currently the Director of Copyright at Sony Music Entertainment, where she oversees copyright matters for SME's frontline labels (RCA Records, Columbia Records, and Epic Records). She is the founder of Station 1 records, a non-profit, full-service artist development organization that manages, promotes, and distributes artists and musicians from Des Moines and Greater Iowa.

    She holds a MA in Media Literacy and a BA in Mass Communications. She has taught, written, and lectured nationally on media literacy issues, specifically regarding minority representation in media and is an adjunct professor at Drake University. As a musician, she has been a member of several indie bands such as the NYC-based theatrical punk band BambïToronto-based The Cliks, The Star Death, Is That You?, and Grandpa's Ghost. As a solo performer and session player, she has worked with Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Darin Gray, Tim Garrigan, Keith Rowe, Mark Shippy, and video artist James Fotopoulos. She has scored and written for stage, screen, and film.

     

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    Thomas Kutz

    Tom Kutz is a former archaeologist and event worker turned business and entertainment attorney.  He received his Master of Arts in Archaeology from University College London in 2010 and his Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School in 2014 with certificates in Business Law and Public Service. Since 2004 he's worked for museums, music festivals, tours, promoters, talent managers, and entertainment ventures.  A lifelong music fan and guitarist, Tom is currently researching and comparing comprehensive social policy regarding access to and development of music and entertainment business in emerging markets. Tom currently works as Director of Operations and General Counsel for Station 1 Records and will soon open his own law practice.

     

    Anne E. Cundiff

    Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. - John D. Rockefeller

    Anne Elizabeth Cundiff, RD, LD, FAND, is a nutrition expert and a supermarket registered dietitian for Hy-Vee, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. In this role, Anne has focused her nutrition expertise by obtaining the CDR Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management in March 2003, completing her certificate in wellness coaching from Des Moines University in February 2009, and becoming certified as a Lifestyle Coach with the American Association of Diabetes Educators in February 2016. Anne’s purpose is to meet clients where they are on their wellness journey and provide the most relevant information on all aspects of nutrition in and out of the grocery store through nutrition counseling, community and corporate wellness, wellness presentations and a variety of media out-lets. 

    Anne graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and attended Iowa State University for her dietetic internship. Prior to working with Hy-Vee, Anne was employed as a clinical dietitian, practicing her nutrition expertise at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and shared her extensive nutrition knowledge with future registered dietitians, nurses and dental stu-dents as an adjunct professor with Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

    With more than 15 years of living her purpose and passion as a registered dietitian, she enjoys helping other registered dietitians find their purpose and passion. She is a member of the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics serving as President, Marketing Chair, Media Spokesperson and the recipient of the 2013 Medallion Award and of the 2016 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award. Anne is grateful for her passions of writing, speaking, wellness and, of course, food. Her creative and inspirational outlet is her blog, Nutritional Noshes. 

    She is an award-winning blogger for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Maga-zine Stone Soup Blog, an expert with Best Food Facts, a Nutrition Communicator with the Midwest Dairy Council and an RD Coach for the Meet the Challenge Program with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. She is a daughter, a sister, a godmother, a horrible golfer, a BFF, and a skin-care-obsessed, music-loving and hardworking woman. Connect with Anne on Twitter at @AnneElizabethRD and on Instagram @AnneElizabethRD, read her book, I’m a Registered Dietitian Now What?, and listen to her Nutritional Noshes: Conversations with Anne Elizabeth podcast. Both her book and her podcast will be released in the fall of 2016.

     

    David & Priscilla Priebe

    Green Room Music Source is based in Minneapolis and owned and operated by Craig Grossman and David Priebe. Founded in 2006 by Grossman and Aubry Walch in the wake of their booking agency Vamp Music Source, the two quickly established a reputation for booking successful national tours with up and coming artists including Trampled by Turtles, Ezra Furmen, The Ike Reilly Assassination and Charlie Parr. In 2009, David joined the business as an agent, later becoming a partner as the firm branched out into artist management and Priscilla works as their Creative Director. Green Room Music Source has become a staple in the Minneapolis music scene as well as every major music market across the country making annual showcasing appearances at SXSW and CMJ Music Marathon as well as many other festivals and events. Our reputation still speaks for itself, and we pride ourselves on our strong relationships both with our artists and our venue partners.

     

    Amedeo Rossi

    Amedeo is a Des Moines native and the son of Italian immigrants. He graduated from Grand View University with a degree in Business Administration where he played soccer. After over 10 years working in Human Resources for larger corporations, Amedeo opened The LiFT with a college mate, which led to the opening of Vaudeville Mews, both of which he is the managing partner. Amedeo helped form the DMMC serving on its first three Board of Directors as Treasurer and joined as the Project Manager in 2007 with the primary task of implementing 80/35. Amedeo is also co-owner of SA Presents, which produces the Nitefall on the River Series at Simon Estes Amphitheatre. Amedeo grew up following bands like the Police, U2, and R.E.M. Currently his music interests vary, but you can often hear local favorites coming out of his ear buds.

     

    Dartanyan Brown

    The intersection of Art, technology and education has informed the vision of Dartanyan, perhaps the most eclectic musician to come out of Iowa in the last 50 years. Since 1967, he has been involved Iowa’s Rock ‘n Roll, Jazz, Country, Blues, New Music, Electronica, Folk and lately the youth music scenes. 

    A 5-time inductee into the Iowa Blues, Jazz and Rock ‘n Roll Halls of Fame, Dartanyan first came to national fame as a member of CHASE, a proto Jazz/rock band nominated for a grammy in 1971 for the hit single Get It On. His association with Des Moines music scene is wide and deep. His bands of the late 1970’s toured and shared stages with Loggins and Messina, Grover Washington Jr. The Sons of Champlin, Bluesmen Luther Allison and Willie Dixon. He recorded his first album [Influences] as a leader in Des Moines in 1978. The collection of original music was widely praised as a testament to the strength of the Iowa scene at that time. In 1978, The band was voted Best Midwest Blues-Jazz-Soul group in a 4-state poll of readers of the Prarie Sun, a music scene weekly distributed in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota. 

    In the 80‘s Dartanyan and Marcia Miget were artists-in-residence for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Artist-In-Schools program. Working the states of Iowa, Montana, Wisconsin, California, North Carolina and Arizona, Dartanyan helped educators nationwide create the connection between the arts, technology and high academic achievement. By 1983, he was using computers in the classroom introducing digital media to schools. As an audio artist and educator he spent 5 years working with the Apple Partners-in-Education program. Subsequently, he has devoted much of his career to opening opportunity for students and educators alike to actively experience the joy and challenge of incorporating jazz improvisation and high quality arts experiences into the curriculum. In the 90‘s Dartanyan’s Iowa roots served him well. Des Moines-based software company CE Software introduced him to silicon valley at the dawn of the Internet era. He was lured to Marin County, Ca. by former Des Moines musician and recording artist Teja Bell, joining the digital revolution in music and cinema being shaped by Apple, George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, The Grateful Dead, Santana and Pixar. 

    Dartanyan found a home for his wide-ranging talents in the Bay Area, collaborating with musicians including Paul Horn, Interviewing tech luminaries including Steve Jobs as a staff writer for MacWEEK As an educator, he was the Director of Technology at The Branson School from 1996 until 2002 and Marin Academy where he served 12 years as a member of the performing arts faculty (2003-2016)

    He is currently a sound designer for his son Jaimeo’s project for the Motema recording label. Jaimeo Brown Transcendence, currently up for Grammy nomination is available via iTunes. Now, back in Iowa, Dartanyan is an artist-in-residence at North High school, Harding Middle School and Meredith Middle School. He will be releasing a live album this Fall featuring his band’s music of the 1970’s as well as a collection of new electronica. His music is only available at dartanyan.com.

     

    + Moderators

    Kurt Bearinger (Community & Regional Planning, Iowa State), Timothy Meinch (Des Moines Register),

    Andy Cusack (On Pitch), and Brandon Darner (Producer, Imagine Dragons).