Music Industry Moves: Sonny Rollins’ Music Catalog Acquired By Reservoir Media

Reservoir Media has acquired both the publishing and recorded rights of renowned saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

“Reservoir is honored to sign this deal with the iconic Sonny Rollins and to be entrusted with his catalog that spans 70 years of brilliance and musical innovation,” said Rell Lafargue, Reservoir president and chief operating officer. “I first learned of Sonny through his music, playing ‘St. Thomas’ as a young jazz student, and it’s incredibly meaningful that Reservoir and I can now commit to preserving Sonny’s musical legacy and amplifying his contributions to the artform for audiences old and new.”

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Rollins is one of the most decorated artists of all time, having earned a Grammy award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004, a National Medal of Arts from former president Barack Obama in 2010, and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2011. His 1962 album “The Bridge” became one of his best-selling records and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.

Rollins commented, “I’m happy that Reservoir will be helping to maintain my musical legacy, which was created in concert with so many great musicians I’m proud to be associated with.”

+ Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea is launching a 15-part interview podcast series called “This Little Light” in partnership with Cadence13 and Parallel.

The show, which debuts March 30, will feature interviews with guests like Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Thundercat, Margo Price and Cynthia Erivo. Topics run the musical gamut and, per an announcement, will cover “how they fell in love with music, including the teachers that guided them, the influences that inspired them, and how the lessons they learned as young musicians have shaped their creativity, resilience, and careers.”

Cover art design by Acacia Ludwig
Cover art design by Acacia Ludwig

Said Flea: “I wanted to do ‘This Little Light’ to benefit my music school, the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. The idea behind it being music education, falling in love with music and embarking on a musical journey for your life. Everybody’s path is so different, and it’s fascinating to learn how every musician came to music and developed their study of it over time.”

“This Little Light” is executive-produced by Flea; Parallel partners Ken Kao, Nicolas Gonda and Jocelyn Florence; and Chris Corcoran, chief content officer and founding partner of Cadence13. A portion of the podcast’s proceeds will benefit L.A.’s Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

+ ADA Worldwide, the independent label and artist services arm of Warner Music Group, has appointed Cathy Bauer to head of physical sales and marketing for the company. She will report to Cat Kreidich, president of ADA Worldwide.

In this newly created role, Bauer will manage ADA’s global physical sales and marketing division with a focus on growing partners’ businesses and establishing efficient and standardized processes. Bauer will also focus on identifying growth and innovation opportunities for ADA’s artists and partners including through direct-to-consumer initiatives, working closely with WMG’s artist services division, WMX.

“With this move, we’re doubling down on our efforts to get physical product from independent artists to fans in an efficient and plentiful way. And when we say physical product, it’s not just CDs or vinyl – it’s anything tangible that strengthens the artist-to-fan connection,” said Kreidich in a statement.

Bauer most recently spent nearly five years as VP of sales and marketing at ABKCO music and records.

+ Sony Music Entertainment UK has promoted Stacey Tang and Glyn Aikins as co-presidents of RCA UK. Effective immediately, both executives will report to Jason Iley, chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK and Ireland.

The pair of executives have been with RCA UK since 2018. Tang has served as executive VP at RCA since 2021 and has experience with global marketing. She was responsible for successfully spearheading campaigns for domestic artists including Little Mix and Bring Me The Horizon, while simultaneously achieving international success with Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Beyoncé, SZA and Pink, among others.

Aikins joined Sony in 2018 as co-president of Since 93, a label partnership with RCA. Since its launch, he has signed and developed Aitch, Cat Burns, and Tems. (Since 93 will continue to operate under the RCA UK umbrella.)

+ Yvette Medina has joined YMU as the head of Latin music, effective immediately. She will work with the YMU Los Angeles-based team and joins the company after running her own artist management company, Creative Management Firm.

Alongside the global YMU team, Medina will work across all divisions while overseeing the company’s activities for Latin America and with the wider Latin music community.

With over 18 years of experience in the music industry, Medina has worked in senior-level positions at companies such as CAA, WME and Sony Music Latin. In 2016, she was appointed General Manager of Roc Nation Latin and in 2018 returned to artist management with her own company managing Ecko and Paloma Mami, among others.

+ Timbaland and music manager Gary Marella‘s Beatclub Inc. has unveiled a new Timbaland sound pack titled “Bounce Coming Up,” exclusively for annual members. The news came attached to a one-on-one interview between Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, where the two dissect the drumbeat of their 2006 track “My Love.”

The pack will make available hundreds of different sounds including drum kits created during the sessions for the “SexFuture/LoveSounds” album, along with “snares, hi-hats, 808’s beatboxing, kicks, Hella Percs and more,” according to a news release.

The news comes just as Beatclub has entered a new partnership with Hipgnosis Song Management that will allow Beatclub’s roster of producers and artists (Justin Timberlake, Tainy, J. Cole, Mike Dean and Mike WiLL Made-It, to name a few) the ability to sample songs from the Hipgnosis catalog.

+ Jaxsta is set to acquire Vampr, a music industry social networking app that connects musicians and artists that are looking to collaborate or monetize their work.

Josh Simons, founder and CEO of Vampr, will join the Jaxsta C-Suite as chief strategy officer to oversee the merger of Jaxsta’s product portfolio.

Commented Simons, “Combining our grassroots network with the definitive official music credits database is both a highly strategic and logical combination which we believe will provide great value to Vampr and Jaxsta’s users as well as our mutual shareholders.”

According to Vampr, their free tier already converts 4% of weekly active users into paying subscribers and is expected to accelerate when Vampr Pro is bundled with the Jaxsta Creator subscription. “Combining these products creates a much more compelling product for the independent artist and musician,” read the press release.

+ SiriusXM has announced Gail Berger will succeed Rodney Pickett as senior VP and general manager of Automotive Partnerships following Pickett’s planned retirement at the end of this month.

Reporting to chief commercial officer Joe Verbrugge, Berger will oversee SiriusXM’s Automotive Partnerships, Automotive Remarketing and Automotive Field Operations teams responsible for growing and expanding SiriusXM’s presence in new and used vehicles.

Berger joined SiriusXM in 2012 and most recently served in the role of senior VP of Automotive Remarketing. Prior to joining SiriusXM, Berger spent 15 years with General Motors where she held several leadership roles, including leading partnership development for OnStar.

+ Sound Future Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works within the live event industry to accelerate climate innovation, has announced the appointment of its new board of directors.

The Sound Future Board comprises nine members of diverse experience and backgrounds, spanning top creatives, technical experts, industry professionals, and climate financiers. The Board is chaired by Terah Lyons, former policy advisor to the U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith in President Barack Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and founding executive director of the global nonprofit Partnership on AI.

New directors also include Kelci Zile (treasurer), a sustainability partner of Madrona Venture Labs; Adam Brunner (secretary), senior planner and counsel of Wildstar Partners LLC; Brandy Schultz, co-founder of Sound Future and founder of Adventure Nannies; Ashley O’Winter, co-founder of Sound Future; Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers; Sara Full, tour manager for the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and the Lumineers; Joe Atamian, senior VP of Wasserman Music; and Alex Bruford, CEO of ATC Live.

+ UK music executive Robin Godfrey-Cass has joined Primary Wave Music to handle catalog acquisitions for the publishing giant.

Godfrey-Cass’s diverse experience in the music industry has spanned over 40 years. He previously worked at Warner/Chappell Music UK, where he made history as the youngest-ever managing director appointment for a major publisher. He’s also credited for the worldwide signings of Eric Clapton, Michael Bolton, Howard Jones, Whitesnake, Bush and Radiohead, among many others.

In 2004, Robin formed Crosstown Songs, based in the UK and the U.S. He steered Crosstown for five years prior to the company’s sale and also launched Crosstown Nashville with Dann Huff.

In 2010, he co-founded the company Perfect Storm, which delivered hits like “Stronger” performed by Kelly Clarkson and songs by DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber, and Kygo featuring Selena Gomez. In 2017 Robin then facilitated the signing of Mitch Rowland, guitarist, songwriter, and band member of Harry Styles, to UMPG.

+ Seeker Music has signed Australian-born, LA-based songwriter/producer Kito to their growing publishing roster. With collaborations with artists like Fletcher, Empress Of, AlunaGeorge, Jorja Smith, and more, Kito has thrived in the alt-pop and dance genre space.

“Everyone wanted to sign Kito and I couldn’t be prouder that she chose Seeker to be her family,” commented founder Evan Bogart. “She’s insanely talented and she’s going to dominate music, and the music business, in the years to come.”

“I trust Evan because he understands what it’s like to write a song and bring it into the world. He’s also built himself as a songwriter ‘business,’ and worked with, and mentored, some of the greatest writers in the world,” commented Kito.

Seeker’s frontline signings include Sofía Valdés (Warner Records), Katie Pearlman (Kelly Clarkson, Grace Potter, Sabrina Carpenter), Sweetsound (Jesse Baez, Snoop Dogg, Natanael Cano). Their catalog-based roster includes the works of songwriters like John Ryan, Jon Bellion and Brian Alexander Morgan; artists like Christopher Cross and Run the Jewels, and many more.

+ Loveless has signed a worldwide deal with BMG. The Los Angeles-based rock duo is comprised of multi-instrumentalist Dylan Tirapelli-Jamail and vocalist/producer Julian Comeau.

“Having like-minded, equally passionate people with us for this journey has always been a dream and we have absolutely found our people,” said Loveless. “We are so thrilled to be working alongside the incredible team at BMG and we cannot wait for what the future holds!”

Loveless will embark on a headlining tour this spring with dates in North America and Europe, as well as festival appearances at Boston Calling and Adjacent Festival.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Tim Rice will be the 2023 recipient of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 52nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 15, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. Tim Rice was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers said, “Tim Rice is an artisan. He has crafted some of the greatest lyrics and stories in musical history with “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and his incredible work with Andrew Lloyd Webber being amongst my favorites. In the ’70s, we used to say, ‘What’s The Buzz’ because of him. More than 50 years later, the buzz is still Tim Rice!”

Tim Rice said, “I am truly honored to be chosen to receive the Johnny Mercer Award.  My induction into the SHOF was itself a highlight of my writing career and I never expected to receive any further recognition from the most distinguished gathering of songwriters in the world. So, I am bowled over (a cricketing metaphor) with gratitude. I have attended quite a few SHOF events in the past twenty-five years and they have always been among the most enjoyable of entertainment world extravaganzas – unpretentious, unpredictable, and spectacular. So, June 15, 2023, is a golden booking in my electronic diary.”

A member of the exclusive group of 18 entertainers who have achieved EGOT status, Tim Rice has won an Emmy Award, five Grammy Awards, three Tony Awards, and three Academy Awards throughout his career. He has collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on “The Likes Of Us,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita.” He has also worked Elton John (“The Lion King,” “Aida”), Alan Menken (“Aladdin,” “King David,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (“Chess”), and Stuart Brayson (“From Here to Eternity”). He has also written with Freddie Mercury, Burt Bacharach, and Rick Wakeman, among others.

Inductees at this year’s event include Sade, Glen Ballard, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne, Teddy Riley and Liz Rose.

Tim Rice
Tim Rice

+ Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Susan Tedeschi has announced today that she has signed with CAA’s senior music agent Brian Greenbaum, who also represents Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Blake Mills and more.

Earlier this year it was announced that Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, joined Full Stop Management for their solo endeavors. Andy Mendelsohn, who is also Kings of Leon manager, has partnered with longtime Tedeschi Trucks Band manager Blake Budney of Milestone Music Management to direct the band.

+ The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) have announced a new partnership to launch, sustain and support “OnRamp,” a guaranteed-income program for 20 young, Black members of the music community, including artists and industry professionals, in Nashville.

According to the announcement, the OnRamp program, focused on improving inclusivity and equity within Music City, aims to empower the next generation of leaders in the early stages of their careers by granting access to professional development opportunities, community mentorship, and other opportunities to increase personal growth, industry exposure, exclusive Academy membership panels and tentpole live events, and visibility with Academy Board members and industry leaders. Additionally, through the program, each participant will receive a $1,000 monthly stipend for one year.

OnRamp applications will be available starting in late Spring with the program starting in June, in celebration of Black Music Month and to commemorate the Black Music Action Coalition’s third anniversary. Interested candidates can visit today to sign up for email notifications when applications are rolled out. This inaugural program will initially be funded by the Black Music Action Coalition, the Academy of Country Music, and industry partners, and powered by social impact agency BreatheWithMe.

+ MPRS Global — a royalty collection and administration service founded by the team behind Mtheory — has named Rob Brown chief operating officer.

Pronounced “empress,” MPRS brings together a team of industry experts and proprietary technology, creating the music industry’s first master royalty-specific administration platform. The organization works with a multitude of producers, mixers and catalog owners to ensure that their catalogs are complete and all master royalties are being properly calculated and paid. Last year, the company administered more than $12 million worth of royalties for clients around the world.

Brown joins the rapidly expanding company with nearly 12 years of experience at Kobalt Music Group under his belt, most recently as Vice President of Business Affairs & Commercial Strategy.

“Defining a much-needed category of rights management for producers and mixers requires vision, leadership and integrity, qualities Rob embodies perfectly,” says MPRS CEO Jon McMillan. “He’s a veteran executive with an intimate understanding of the creative community that powers our industry, and we are thrilled to welcome him as our chief operating officer.”

+ Amazon Music and Berlin-based AI sound wellness app Endel will produce a sleep playlist, making Endel the first generative AI company to collaborate with the service on a playlist. Drawing on extensive research into the neuroscience of sleep, the playlist lasts roughly 8 hours or until the listener awakens, and is available on Amazon Music.

The sleep playlist created with Amazon Music, titled “Sleep Science,” opens with an Amazon Original track featuring electronic duo Kx5 (Kaskade and deadmau5). The source material, including synths and chill vocals, was processed by Endel Pacific to create a high-quality, relaxing soundscape activating the parasympathetic nervous system and getting the listener ready for sleep. Endel Pacific is Endel’s patented AI-engine, which creates scientifically backed sleep tracks that follow natural sleep phases, first preparing the brain for sleep, then aiding as the listener falls and stays asleep. All while providing quality sound pleasurable to listeners and backed by scientific research into sleep, circadian rhythms, and psychoacoustics.

“At Endel, we’ve been invested in the neuroscience of functional sound since day one,” says Oleg Stavitsky, co-founder and CEO of Endel. “To successfully deliver functional music, neuroscience has to guide AI technology. The human mind must be at the forefront of this experience.”

“We’re excited to work with Endel to provide an optimal experience for Amazon Music listeners looking to wind down and settle into sleep,” said Stephen Brower, global co-lead of artist relations for Amazon Music. “We look forward to our customers discovering their science backed approach as well as their curatorial instincts for unique artist collaborations, including Kx5’s new Amazon Original release.”

+ Atlanta-based hip-hop and R&B record label Love Renaissance (LVRN) has appointed nine-time Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Bryan-Michael Cox as senior VP of A&R and executive producer.

Cox will focus on breaking new talent as well as further developing the label’s current roster which includes Summer Walker, 6LACK and Alex Vaughn, among others. He will also executive produce all in-house projects. He has previously produced for artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Justin Bieber.

“A&R has become a lost art in this new generation of music because of the gap in relationship between A&R, the artist and the label. Bryan-Michael Cox is a respected and accomplished producer and executive, and he’s the perfect addition to our team to help continue in bridging that gap,” says Justice Baiden, LVRN co-founder.

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