Jazz Mentors

Jazz Mentors logo

It’s called the music business for a reason. The business components of a career in music are frequently under-appreciated and often misunderstood by young and emerging musicians. The Jazz Mentors series connects up-and-coming performers with some of New York City’s premier artists to discuss the business of jazz. Each forum features a discussion led by preeminent members and leaders of the jazz community about how to build and maintain a successful music career.

To address this, Jazz Mentors audiences are guided through some of the most vital aspects of launching a career, including representation, touring, protecting your recordings in digital format, the impact of streaming services, and building a secure financial future, among others.

Located at Local 802 and other locations across New York City, the informal setting allows for relaxed communication and a free-flowing exchange of ideas between the audience and the artists, encouraging full participation and interaction. The events are free and open to the public.spacer


The Council for Living Music and AFM, Local 802


JAZZ MENTORS 13: The Artist-Manager Relationship

with panelists Gail Boyd, Karen Kennedy and Michelle Taylor


Monday, December 11, 2017

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Local 802 AFM, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036


Free and open to the public




The Jazz Mentors series connects up-and-coming performers with some of New York City’s premier artists to discuss the business of jazz. Each forum features a discussion led by preeminent members and leaders of the jazz community about how to build and maintain a successful music career.

On December 11, 2017, acclaimed Artist Reps Gail Boyd, Karen Kennedy and Michelle Taylor will kick off a discussion of the artist-manager relationship, and will address such issues as: How do I know if I need a manager? How do I seek a manager? What do managers do? And most important: How do I work with a manager to ensure that the relationship grows and is mutually beneficial?


  • Gail Boyd is President of Gail W. Boyd, P.C., an entertainment law firm, and Gail Boyd Artist Management, a wholly owned company of the law firm. She is a graduate of De Paul University and De Paul University School of Law. Ms. Boyd has been involved in entertainment law since 1976. She has been involved specifically in music with a specialty in jazz since 1979.
    As a lawyer, Gail Boyd has represented jazz artists such as Betty Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Gretchen Parlato, Record Executive Steve Backer, and Randy Weston and has consulted with several labels including Motema Records. Several artists on the Gail Boyd Artist Management Roster are Grammy © Award nominees and winners, and are critically acclaimed by the jazz press. Artists currently represented by Gail Boyd Artist Management are: John Clayton, Jazzmeia Horn, The Baylor Project, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, The Clayton Brothers Quintet, Don Braden, Laurence Hobgood, Scott Tixier.
  • Karen Kennedy is the founder and President of 24/Seven Artist Development, a leading artist management firm founded in1992 to provide full-range strategic marketing and career planning.  She has successfully guided the careers of some of the top names in jazz many of whom have earned multiple GRAMMY© nominations including NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, educator, vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris, pianist Jacky Terrasson, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, GRAMMY© winner saxophonist David Sanchez, pianist James Francies and guitarist/vocalist Camila Meza.
    Prior to launching her business, Ms. Kennedy was an executive at several major record labels including A&M Records, Perspective Records and Silas/MCA Records.  She currently lectures at various colleges and has taught at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA, an M.A. in Counseling and College Administration from the University of Southern California and is a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education at UCLA.spacer
  • Michelle Taylor began her music industry career working as a promotion and marketing executive at various record labels including Blue Note Records, EMI and Verve Records, where she supported such prominent artists as Diane Reeves, Bobby McFerrin, Najee, The O’Jays, Natalie Cole; legendary jazz vocalists, Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter; jazz saxophonists Maceo Parker and Stan Getz; The Harper Brothers Quintet and vocalist Shirley Horn.
    After long stints heading up the marketing departments at RCA Records’ Novus label and its Urban Music Division—and later at Atlantic Record’s storied Atlantic Jazz label—she founded her own company, Passion Music Group (formerly, NIA Entertainment, Ltd), where she currently oversees the daily operations of this entertainment marketing company. As Founder and Managing Director, Michelle provides marketing services, event production and artist management representation for her clients. Her artist management list of clients over the years has included: violinist Regina Carter, pianist Tommy Flanagan, vocalist Carmen Lundy, drummer Lewis Nash, saxophonist Antonio Hart, guitarist Rodney Jones and vocalist Letizia Gambi. Currently Michelle is working with the young piano and organ phenomenon, Matthew Whitaker.

TO REGISTER, contact Todd Weeks: 212-245-4802 X185; tweeks@local802afm.org or sign up here.

Jazz Mentors is made possible in part by
New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.




September 28th, 2017 – Jazz Mentors 11 – Do I Really Need a Manager?

This panel discussion addressed some of the most daunting questions facing younger performers: How does one deal with the issue of personal management? When does one need a booking agent? What does a manager actually do? Panelists Steve Wilson, Camille Thurman and Laura Hartmann spoke about their relationship to their careers and to personal management, the role that a booking agent plays, and when a DIY approach can be the best way to go. Informative and fun, Jazz Mentors 11 was an excellent examination of this issue for students and established professionals alike.

June 29, 2017 – Jazz Mentors 10 – Marketing Your Creativity

Jazz Mentors 10, “Marketing Your Creativity” was led by three of the jazz world’s most important thought leaders, Christian McBride, Camile Thurman and Andrew Kimo Guess. Together, they discussed the relationship between originality in artistic expression, marketing, and the establishment of a brand in the music industry. The panel and discussion will focus on how to take original ideas and establish an identifiable niche in the marketplace,  learning to use contemporary branding tools and media platforms and strategies for developing and maintaining a consistent audience.

April 25, 2017 – Jazz Mentors 9 – Creating a Buzz: Practical Tools for Today’s Marketplace

Jazz Mentors 9, “Creating a Buzz: Practical Tools for Today’s Marketplace,” was the ninth installment of the highly successful series of discussions hosted by AFM, Local 802/The Council for Living Music on the business of jazz music. This series is specifically geared to younger performers to help them develop more awareness in areas of marketing and publicity, representation and management, repertoire, touring, recording, etc.

April 25th brought together a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the contemporary scene and the business concepts, both conventional and unconventional, that underpin any successful artists’ career. The panelists for Jazz Mentors 9 were: 2016 Annual Downbeat Critics Poll award winning saxophonist, Grace Kelly; preeminent bassist, educator and sound designer Gene Perla; artist manager/educator Laura Hartman and WBGO on air personality Sheila Anderson. The panel was moderated by Jazz Rep Todd Weeks.

February 13, 2017 – Jazz Mentors 8 – “Social Justice, Diversity and Entrepreneurship in Jazz”

On February 13, 2017, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians and The Council for Living Music hosted the eighth installment of JAZZ MENTORS, a series of interactive panel discussions designed to connect up-and-coming musicians with some of New York City’s premier jazz artists to discuss the business components of developing a career in music. Headlined by jazz luminaries Lakecia Benjamin, Ulysses Owens Jr, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Michael Leonhart, Jazz Mentors 8: “Social Justice, Diversity and Entrepreneurship in Jazz,” explored issues of exploitation, race, diversity and artistic engagement in today’s political climate. This panel functioned as guide for young and emerging musicians and was an open discussion about our civil liberties and the impact of race-gender diversity in music business practices. The panel also explored the vitally important and often misunderstood intricacies of the business and career management aspects of professional life in the music industry.

December 12, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 7 – “Passing the Torch: Multi Generational Approaches to a Career in Jazz”

Jazz Mentors VII focused on passing the craft of jazz, improvisation and collaboration between generations and across cultures. Headlined by jazz luminaries Joe Lovano, Regina Carter and Judi Silvano, the panel guided musicians through an open discussion about the importance developing an awareness of the many cultures and generations that make jazz an evolving and innovating art form, as well as explored the vitally important and often misunderstood intricacies of the business and career management aspects of professional life in the music industry.

November 28, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 6 – : “What Does it mean to be a Woman in Jazz?”

Jazz Mentors VI brought the esteemed Grace Kelly, Carol Sudhalter, Kim A. Clarke and Nicki Parrott together on a panel guest moderated by New School’s NYU’s Diane Moser. These panelists guided  a room filled with young and emerging musicians through unique challenges facing female performers pursuing careers in jazz, as well as the vitally important and often misunderstood intricacies of the business and career management aspects of professional life in the music industry.

October 3, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 5 – “Finding Your Niche in the Jazz World”

Jazz Mentors V brought Grammy winning percussionist Bobby Sanabria, esteemed trumpeter-composer Randy Sandke and legendary drummer Omar Hakim to the Jazz Mentors stage. These three luminaries, all from various disciplines, guided young and emerging musicians through an open panel discussion about the importance of finding a place of one’s own in the jazz world.

June 27, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 4

Jazz Mentors IV featured esteemed bassist and composer Ben Allison, guitarist and activist Marc Ribot, acclaimed vocalist Amy London, band leader Sherrie Maricle and internationally recognized drummer Alvester Garnett. This dynamic panel provided guidance to an audience of musicians through an open discussion covering such topics as running a big band, recording and marketing an album, and issues around the exploitation of digital media.

May 23, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 3

Jazz Mentors III was led by legendary bassist Ron Carter, industry visionary and GRAMMY winning composer Maria Schneider, and pianists Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap. This unmatched group of musicians led a packed house of over 70 musicians to discuss how to build a career and advocate for intellectual property rights, among other topics.

April 28th, 2016 – Jazz Mentors 2

The second forum of Jazz Mentors, a series focusing on “Organizing Your Career: Getting Started in the Business of Jazz,” was led by bassist and composer Rufus Reid, pianist Rachel Z., drummer Matt Wilson and saxophonist Su Terry. This group of musicians spoke about their working lives and shared ideas about how to start and sustain a career.

March 10th, 2016 – Jazz Mentors

The first Jazz Mentors program featured panelists Paquito D’Rivera, Jazzmeia Horn and Bob Cranshaw, and was moderated by Principal Jazz Representative Todd Weeks. The audience was a mix of students and professionals all eager to learn more about the nuts and bolts of how to deal with the many challenges in today’s music business.




From the Archives: Jazz was always Bob Cranshaw’s first love. But his advice to young musicians? “Do it all.” Be open and find new opportunities to do new things. “You can swing on anything.” Bob was a panelist on the inaugural Jazz Mentors session on March 10, 2016.


From the Archives: Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn speaks about how setting financial and business standards for your gigs not only protects your interests, but those of your colleagues throughout the music world. Jazzmeia was a Jazz Mentors panelist on March 10, 2016.


From the Archives: Saxophonist and Clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera explains that in order to ensure that performances pay fairly, you must be willing to just say “no.” Paquito joined Jazz Mentors on March 10, 2016.



Ben Allison (Bassist, composer and intellectual property advocate) has quickly established himself has one of the most identifiable arrangers, composers and performers of today. As the leader of The Ben Allison Band, The Easy Way Trio, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the world. Additionally, Mr. Allison is well known as a recording industry visionary and advocate, currently serving as vice President and member of the Board of the NY Chapter of the National Academy of recording Arts and Sciences.

Ron Carter (Bass) is a legend of the jazz world, having played some of the greatest musicians of the jazz cannon – from Cannonball Adderley to Miles Davis, B.B. King, Lena Horne and countless others – Mr. Carter has established himself as one of the most influential bassist in jazz. Mr. Carter’s has two GRAMMY awards and over 2,000 albums to his credit, as well as being named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat Magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In addition to his estimable career as a performer, Mr. Carter is a prolific advocate of music education, has lectured, conducted and performed at clinics and master classes, instructed jazz ensembles and taught the business of music a numerous universities, including the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies, as well as at the City College of New York.

Bill Charlap (Piano) has performed with many of the leading artists of today’s jazz era, a list that includes Phil Woods, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Charlap, a two time GRAMMY nominated musician, is the Artistic Director of the Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y, and has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. He performs with his trio at venues and festivals all over the world.

Bob Cranshaw (Bass) has been a leading figure in the jazz world for decades, having performed with many of America’s greatest jazz musicians, including Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Sarah Vaughan, Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald, McCoy Tyner, Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer, among many others. He has been an active spokesperson for jazz musicians for decades, both with the Jazz Foundation of America and with AFM, Local 802 and has served on boards for both organizations.

Paquito D’Rivera (Clarinet, Saxophone, Composition), a winner of fourteen GRAMMY Awards, has had an extraordinary jazz, Latin and classical music career. In addition to an extensive and diverse discography of over 30 solo albums, Mr. D’Rivera has founded numerous ensembles around the world, including the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, Irakere, United Nation Orchestra, the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, and the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet.

Alvester Garnett (Drummer) place among the great musicians of today is secure, having performed and recorded with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Wycliffe Gordon, Stefon Harris and many more. Mr. Garnett has performed across the United States and the world, having performed at many international festivals including the Newport Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Vienne Jazz Festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival and many others. He is currently performing across the United States with his wife, jazz violinist Regina Carter.

Jazzmeia Horn (Vocals), winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition and the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, has quickly established herself as a rising star of the jazz world. Ms. Horn has performed at many of the city’s premier venues, including Lenox Lounge, The Apollo Theater, The Blue Note, Minton’s, The Jazz Standard, Smalls Jazz Club, Zinc, Jazz Gallery and Birdland, as well as many national and international venues with her group, “The Artistry of Jazz Horn.”

Amy London (Vocalist) is well known in New York City jazz and Broadway circles for her impeccable musicianship and effortless sound. Her career has included multiple internationally acclaimed recordings and international tours in throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. Ms. London is currently a faculty member at the New School’s Jazz BFA program, and in early 2014 launched the Vocal Jazz Academy at Jazz House for Kids, in Montclair, NJ. This year, her educational responsibilities will continue to expand, when she will join the jazz faculty at City College, CUNY. Her most recent CD, “The Royal Bopsters,” has garnered uniformly positive reviews.

Sherrie Maricle (Drummer and Bandleader) has established herself as an extremely versatile and dynamic performer, educator and conductor, performing across the United States and abroad at many of the world’s most acclaimed music venues and jazz festivals. Ms. Maricle has received many awards and grants for her contributions to music performance and education, including the Kennedy Center Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts, a State Department grant for FIVE PLAY to tour Vietnam, and the 2006 New York City Music Educator’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Music Education.

Rufus Reid (Bass, Composition) is widely considered one of the premiere bassists, band leaders and composers on the international jazz scene. Mr. Reid, a multiple GRAMMY award nominee, has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious jazz musicians, including Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Eddie Harris, Art Farmer among many others, and is the leader of multiple groups, including the “Hues of a Different Blue” sextet, the “Out Front” trio and “Quiet Pride ~ The Elizabeth Catlett Project” and the Kennedy Center Quintet. In addition to his formidable performance career, Mr. Reid has established himself as a pre-eminent educator, emphasizing the encouragement of young and emerging jazz artists around the country.

Marc Ribot (Guitarist and activist) has established himself as a major part of the music community through his diverse interests, projects, performances with a wide array of musicians, and via his activism on behalf of the recording industry and intellectual property rights. Mr. Ribot has released over 20 albums over the course of his 35 year career, and worked with some of the most famous musicians of our time, including Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others.

Renee Rosnes (Piano) is one of the premier pianists, bandleaders and composers of her generation. Since moving to New York in 1986, her career has included work with some of the most important musicians of the era, including Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter, and fellow Jazz Mentor Ron Carter. Beyond her work as a performer, Ms. Rosnes has become a celebrated jazz journalist, serving as the radio host of The Jazz Profiles, an interview series produced by Canada’s CBC, and as a contributor to JazzTimes magazine.

Maria Schneider (Composition) is regarded as one of the most influential composers of our time. Her music has been commissioned by a wide range of musicians and groups, from Jazz at Lincoln Center to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and David Bowie. In addition to the eighteen GRAMMY nominations, five GRAMMY awards and numerous Jazz Journalists Association awards, Ms. Schneider has distinguished herself for utilizing unique and innovative funding and business techniques to realize her projects, including becoming the first composer to win a GRAMMY for a record sold solely on the internet. Ms. Schneider has also established herself as a strong advocate of the music industry, testifying before the United States Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property about digital rights and appearing in national media outlets regarding intellectual property and artist rights.

Su Terry (Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute) has been hailed as a “forward voice in modern music” during a career that has included work with many esteemed jazz masters, including Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Melba Liston, Carmen McRae, Charli Persip, Jon Faddis and Peggy Stern. Ms. Terry has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Florida Pops and New York Pops Orchestras, as well as performing at the Montreux, Grande Parade du Jazz, Pori, North Sea, Montreal and Ottawa jazz festivals. In addition to her vast performance and recording career, Ms. Terry is the author of “Practice Like the Pros,” two non-fiction books and an illustrated novel.

Matt Wilson (Drums), a GRAMMY nominee, is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist in New York City. In addition to performing as a member of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Lee Konitz, Jane Ira Bloom, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, and Dena DeRose among many others. Mr. Wilson also leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project.

Rachel Z. (Piano) is a GRAMMY winner and leading performer, band leader and educator in New York City. Ms. Z.’s career has included working with some of the great jazz musicians of our time, including Bob Moses, Miroslav Vitous, George Garzone, Najee and Wayne Shorter. She teaches music theory and piano at the New School in New York City.