2023 MEMPHIS Mentors
Strega Group is a talent development, marketing, and events group founded in 2008 by Peggy Iafrate. Prior to 2008, Peggy gained entertainment and consumer packaged goods experience in companies like ABC/The Walt Disney Company and Kaplan, and has been honored to work with such industry giants as The Jonas Group and Kimberly-Clark Corporation as clients. Years of standing at the sound board and in the board room provided her with the unique ability to marry artists with consumer brands to create a story that produces an emotional connection and loyalty to the brand. At Strega, we build programs that enable the story to continue through digital, live event, and merchandise avenues.
Strega Group helps emerging artists learn what they need develop their brands. When an artist is “performance-ready” we secure gigs and tour opportunities empowering the artist to perfect their craft and build their brand AND audience. Next, we find the right fit brand. Together artist and consumer brands grow as one creating a bond with their target audience.
Dale’s first hit, while an engineer at the infamous Mushroom Studios, was a track on the Top Gun Soundtrack with Loverboy. Since then countless projects have benefited from Penner’s production/mixing, including; Nickelback’s The State (Roadrunner) certified platinum in America and Canada scoring Two Billboard Top Ten Singles (“Leader of Men” and “Breathe”). Dale received the “Producer of the Year” award at the WCMA’s for his work on Holly McNarland’s (Universal) platinum selling “Stuff”. Other Penner production credits include: The Matthew Good Band, Econoline Crush and Montreal’s Jonas (Certified Gold nominated for “Rock Album of the Year” at 2006 Juno Awards). In 2010 Dale was once again nominated “Producer of the Year” for Western Canada.
Other artists Dale’s been fortunate enough to record are: Shawn Hook, David GoGo, Grimskunk, Sass Jordan, Long John Baldry, Joey Santiago (Pixies), Jamie Walters, KD Lang, Jimmy Barr (Portishead), Helix, Barney Bentall, Valdy.
2016 projects include Rosemary & The Sweet Sound Revival’s Global Music Awards Medal winning CD “Plum Coulee My Home” and emerging Houston artist Sami Murphy.
“I feel very fortunate to have made a living doing what I love for more then 25 years. I continue to meet and work with some of the most talented artists”
Henry Turner, Jr.
Musician, vocalist, guitar player, composer, producer, promoter and music business entrepreneur Henry Turner Jr. is an integral part of the Louisiana Music scene. For the past forty years his intricate and syncopated style of music is now referred to as – Louisiana Blues, Soul, Funk and Reggae.
Turner founded the Ultimate Louisiana Party in 2011 which has since grown into the annual Baton Rouge Mardi Gras, Soul Food and Taste of the Deep South festivals.
Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room was founded in 2014 and Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room Museum Foundation was founded in 2019. Both entities introduce and mentor new talent in the ever changing music industry and give established talent a place to introduce new material.
“Music Dreams…An American Story” a half hour documentary debuted in 2020, focusing on the evolution of his music, from funk to Top 40, reggae to blues. “We’re Going Down the Mardi Gras,” focuses on founding of his festival. Turner also produced “Henry’s Listening Room,” a weekly television series, airing in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Music Ambassador Awards include the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Lt. Governor’s Office, Slim Harpo and receiving Henry Turner Jr. Day Proclamations on October 28, 2015 and 2017.
Henry Turner, Jr.
Barry Coffing has amassed a great deal of credits and awards with over two hundred tracks placed in movies and TV, BMI songwriting awards, multiple #1 hits and an Emmy nomination. He continues to be the voice behind the scenes in movies like “Moulin Rouge”, the Brady Bunch movie, and Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure. He wrote TV themes for California Dreams, The Pyramid starring Donny Osmond and The Heights. His song “How Do You Talk To An Angel” went on to become a #1 hit and selling over 500,000 copies worldwide. Currently he is a music business entrepreneur who represents over 12,000 record labels amd publishers for film and TV licensing. His company places hundreds of songs each year
Creative partner and music advocate are best used to describe McKenzii Webster. The Memphis, TN, native serves as the Crosstown Arts Musician & Artist Services Manager. In this role, McKenzii works to provide the Memphis music creative community with resources, such as music publishing administration support, healthcare support, and sync licensing via Crosstown Sync.
McKenzii is also the founder of The Web MGMT. She uses her passion for music and connecting the dots between creativity and strategy to help creatives strengthen their online presence and grow sustainable audiences.
McKenzii currently manages songwriter/musician/producer Spree Wilson, Hip-Hop artist Daz Rinko, and singer/songwriter/producer TANGELA. She has also worked behind the scenes with artists such as MonoNeon, Making Movies, Rizo, Los Rakas, Luke Winslow-King, and more.
McKenzii is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT; and attended Harris Institute in Toronto, ON, where she studied music business. McKenzii served as a contributing writer for EARMILK for 4+ years.
Recounting Danny Jones’ fascinating half century and still creatively flowing musical journey allows us a glimpse into the improbable, as a small town country boy from Northeast Arkansas with passion for music grows up to become one of those whirlwind forces of nature that changes lives groove by groove and chord by chord. His story as one of those ultimate industry hyphenates – producer, engineer, songwriter, drummer and well-respected educator –not only includes work over the decades with a spirited roll call of some of our country’s greatest superstars, but an endless series of colorful professional and personal anecdotes that illuminate the magic along the way.
As Danny recounts highlights from a career that’s found him vibing with everyone from Allen Toussaint, The Beach Boys and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Michael McDonald, Rufus Thomas and Pitbull, it’s not uncommon to hear him throw in a whimsical tangent out of sequence from the official timeline. When he’s talking about his annual gig mixing the jazz stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, the ever-evolving musical memory impressionism could roll like this: “I forgot to mention that I worked on and off with Bo Diddley for 20 years, the first time in the 70s when Bobby Vee got me the gig, the last time in the 90’s. And did you know that I was one of the engineers on the soundtrack to the Jerry Lee Lewis film ‘Great Balls of Fire’? Also, I was in 8th grade with one of the guys from Black Oak Arkansas, which came from the same part of the state. My band Montage opened for them during their 70’s heyday and I drummed with them in the 90s when they were on a festival tour with Foghat, Mountain, Iron Butterfly and Grand Funk.”
A professional music industry photographer based in Houston, Texas since 2012.
Specializing in photographing artists live on stage capturing all their energy, personality, and passion. Has consulted on and conducted several photographic mini seminars on studio lighting, concert photography and composition techniques, and even artist performance quality. Recently his contributions to his local music community have been recognized and awarded with Black History Month Artist Diversity Recognition, and Congressional and Senatorial Certificates of Recognition.
He’s photographed many performances, concerts, and events like the Blues Music Awards, and the International Blues Challenge Week in Memphis. Many of those images can be seen on his social media & website gallery pages at www.ronfontenotphotography.com. He currently has an inventory of over 130,000 images of performing artists & musicians that represent over 60,000 individual artists and performers that no longer need to worry about where their images are.
His photography has taken him around the world & across the country; places like Memphis, Las Vegas, Maui, Honolulu, Thailand, Vancouver, Kansas City and New Orleans. His images have been used by artists in 16 countries and published in 5 magazines locally and internationally.
Known by his clients as “THE Musician’s Photographer”.
He’s had the opportunity to photograph artists like:
Roger Fisher (Founding member/composer of HEART)
Josh Dunham (bass player for Prince)
James “Boogaloo” Bolden (music director for BB King)
Shelley Carol (Duke Ellington Band)
Vinnie Colaiuta (drummer for Herbie Hancock)
Kenny Aronoff (Grammy award show band)
Sir Earl Toon (Kool and The Gang)
Timothy B Schmidt (The Eagles)
Jimmi Mayes (drummer for Jimmy Hendrix)
& many more!
“I have NEVER taken the opportunity of photographing these artists for granted. It truly is my greatest privilege to be asked to capture an artist’s performance on stage. Seeing their reactions as they look through the images; and hear “I know what song I was playing there!” The look on their faces at that point is pure magic for me!”
Past Board Member & Photographer of the Houston Blues Society
Is a current member of, and photographic contributor for:
The Houston Blues Society / The Houston Blues Museum / Gulf Coast Blues Association & Jazz Society
The Blues Foundation, Memphis / The Professional Photographers of America
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (GRAMMY’S)
Sam Bregman, Esq. is best known for building massive social media followings and communities that accelerate his clients’ influence and makes them money.
Sam and his agency have quickly become the go-to social media resource for A-list celebrities, Hall of Fame athletes, and those who’ve won Hollywood’s biggest awards — including Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globes.
Simultaneously, the agency leverages these same skillsets to help hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring creators and influencers at all stages of their careers.
Labeled a “social media star” by outlets such as the Huffington Post, his work has been featured hundreds of times in major publications such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Inc., Fast Company, Yahoo, Bloomberg Radio, Reader’s Digest, MSN, etc.
Sam’s colorful background also includes conducting medical research at Harvard, a stint on Capitol Hill, hosting his own show on 97.5 FM in NYC, and serving as Campus Rabbi at the University of Miami and Columbia University.
A graduate of the Emory University School of Law, he is the Founder of The Law Offices of Samuel M. Bregman and has been practicing Business Law for 20 years.
In a recent interview with the ‘International Business Times,’ Sam explained that the seeds of his involvement in the media industry originated as a 24-year-old Rabbi and newly-licensed attorney who initially struggled to attract students and clients.
Realizing that being “super smart” was not good enough, he began to immerse himself in books about marketing and the topic of communication at-scale.
Along the way, he cracked the code on accessing the mainstream press and also became quite adept at social media, building a following of hundreds of thousands of followers for himself.
In March 2020, Sam became inundated with requests from friends and colleagues for social media and marketing assistance, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic pushing everyone online.
As a result, he launched Alpha Tribe Media, which has become one of the most sought-after and fastest-growing digital agencies in North America.
At his core, Sam regards himself as a “professional developer of human potential,” and he’s obsessed with adding value to people’s lives and seeing them happy, fulfilled, and enjoying the success they’ve always craved.
Charles Seaton is a music publishing consultant with three years of experience working for Crosstown Arts’ Musician & Artist Services team to provide pro-bono administrative support to musicians in the local Memphis area. Charles specializes in music publishing administration and is responsible for providing educational resources to musicians seeking to collect royalties for their released catalogs, administer paperwork for splits and administration rights, and procure sync licensing opportunities. Charles graduated summa cum laude in the MUID program at the University of Memphis and has since dedicated his time to his vision of helping cultivate the future of the Memphis music community to provide business opportunities that may not have been available if not through Crosstown Sync.
I am an award winning creative strategist and brand storyteller who has extensive experience in global event marketing, advertising, PR, digital, social media and brand development in the fashion, retail, tech and lifestyle sector. I moved to Seattle in the early ’90s to work as a biochemist. But, my passions laid within music, art and street culture. I grew up in London during the halcyon days of club and rave culture and that had a big influence on how I perceived music and art and its impact on popular culture. It was this passion coupled with a chance meeting with my former partners that led me to walk away from my career in science and pursue my artistic entrepreneurial talents.
In the early 90’s, Seattle music culture was still enveloped in the “grunge” music scene that it had given birth to. My partners and I envisioned the next cultural landscape as one founded on electronic music and subsequently started producing club nights at local venues and vacant warehouses spaces with world renowned electronic acts. Our productions were infamous because we created a totally immersive audio-visual experience by collaborating with emerging street and digital artists, sound engineers and cutting edge DJ's. I was the musical curator, DJ and tastemaker for the collective that we called Tasty Shows. My career as a club DJ in addition to my weekly syndicated radio show made me an internationally renowned DJ. My sonic storytelling skills caught the attention of brands like Armani, The Standard Hotel and Nordstrom
to name a few tapped me to produce compilation lifestyle branded CD's for them. I also started a record label called Sweet Mother Recording, through the label I signed and produced local Seattle electronic artists which helped develop the local electronic music and arts community. A new “cultural electronica” scene was beginning to emerge in Seattle. Inspired by the Grunge and Sub Pop DIY aesthetic, fueled by the growing global electronic music movement that I and my partners were introducing to Seattle and in conjunction with the rise of the tech industry and the talent it attracted. The precursors for the city that Seattle has become known for today.
It was during Neverstop's early years that we coined the word Cultural Engineers to describe the type of people that worked at our agency no matter what their special area of expertise. It was in the mid 90's that my partners and I started a cultural marketing agency called Neverstop. It was an organic extension of the creative culture that we were a part of. Soon to be clients such as Wieden and Kennedy and Nike attended our immersive shows and understood the impact of the holistic experience that we were creating and our connection to cultural creatives around the world. They tasked us to create some of the initial culturally relevant brand moments that garnered a lot of impact and visibility for them and us. It was also during Neverstop’s early years that we coined the term Cultural Engineers to describe the type of people that worked at our agency no matter what their special area of expertise.
Cultural Engineers use the cultural zeitgeist of the time to create powerful messages for their clients."
Winner as the Executive Producer for Neverstop at the Clio 2006 awards for the
Flip to Mexico Super Bowl TV spots for Frontier Airlines.
Winner of the Puget Sound and Northwest ADDY Awards for best Non Traditional Campaign.
Cricket Wireless/Samsung World's Largest Cell Phone Pop-Up Store.
Winner Promo Awards 2010 Best Mobile Marketing Campaign. World's Largest Cell Phone.
Bronze Cannes Lion winner 2008 for Credo Text to Projection Campaign.
Winner The Puget Sound Addy Awards for Non-Traditional Advertising Single Campaign for
Ranger Rover and Architectural Digest.
Eric L. Cager
Eric L. Cager is the Founder and Director of the 26 years old Cutting Edge CE Conferences and Events (formerly Cutting Edge Music Business Conference). Based in New Orleans, Cutting Edge produces a multi-level series of professional seminars, festivals, artists showcases and special events that focus on the history of music in America. Highlighted events include the Cutting Edge Entertainment Law Seminar, CE Music Business Sessions, and the NewWorks Artists Showcase.
An adjunct instructor and consultant, teaching in the Music Industry Program, he co-produced the Delgado Music Festival and the Delgado Songwriting Contest raising awareness and scholarship funds for the college’s music department. A significant consultant on the re-development of the 1950 era Historic Carver Theater re-opened in 2015. He works to redevelop/recognize Chitlin’ Circuit venues for both their historical significance but also as entrepreneur opportunities in minority communities.
Eric L. Cager
Robert S. Besser, Esq. has spent forty years in Civil Trial and Appellate Practice in State and Federal Courts; extensive transactional work in Intellectual Property, Music Publishing, Entertainment and Oil and Gas law. The primary focus within the last 18 years has been Entertainment, Copyright, Trademark and Business Litigation, including general Civil Litigation, Copyright Infringement and audit claims.
Representative Clients have included: Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings, Robin Williams, George Clinton, Chubby Checker, Art Linkletter, Music & Media International, Inc., Hal Leonard Music, Gusto Records Inc., Verse Music, LLC, Concord Records Group, Union Oil Company of California and Mobil Oil Corporation.
Lilly Chu worked at the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation in Houston teaching financial literacy to young adults and educating the public on consumer scams for 20 years. She holds a master’s degree in social work and has worked in the non-profit sector since 1995. Prior to becoming a social worker, Lilly was a freelance fashion and commercial photographer for 15 years.
In 2002, she co-founded “FireSeeds,” a non-profit organization dedicated to giving underdeveloped communities a “hand up” to independence. She launched an asset building program in Kampala, Uganda providing financial literacy education, training, and direct support to impoverished womenand orphans, frequently traveling to East Africa to work directly with local leaders and project participants. She continues to work in the non-profit arena enhancing lives through cooperative partnerships.
Vinny is the founder of Indie Connect, an artist management and consulting company. After coaching over 1,000 artists, he launched Cartne, an e-learning platform that teaches artists and songwriters how to navigate the music industry effectively and safely. In his 55+ years in the business, Vinny has also been a full-time performing artist, a booking agent, the Entertainment Director of the NV State Fair, a producer, a studio owner, a band leader and a songwriter (to name a few).
Vinny is a co-author of the #1 best seller, ‘LEVERAGE: Achieve a Lot with the Little You’ve Got’ and ‘CEO Secrets‘. He has published hundreds of business and music industry articles, books and eBooks.
Outside of the music business, Vinny is an executive coach and strategic business consultant. He advises entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to set their businesses up to grow without limits.
Tyler Boone grew up in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC. As a musician, he came up through the small club rock scene and made his way to headlining major music venues, gaining traction at radio & opening up for artists Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Silversun Pickups, The Marcus King Band, Dr. John, Rayland Baxter and many more.
As a digital marketer, he’s run campaigns for Capitol Records, Universal, Sony, BMG, Warner Music, New West Records, Vector Management, Round Hill Recs, Plowboy Records, Pure Pop Music LLC, Primary Wave, PEN Music Group, Burning Ground Entertainment, and artists such as Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction/Porno for Pyros (Sony BMG), Drivin N Cryin (Warner / Island), Aaron Lee Tasjan (New West Records), Raven Symone, Snoop Dog, John Denicola, and many others.
Tyler is the co-founder of his own Gold award-winning “Homegrown” Boone’s Bourbon, “Homegrown” Boone’s Beer, the “Homegrown’“ Holy City Fest” & the Charleston Songwriter’s Festival (over 40 #1 top writers).
Carlee McCullough, Esq. of McCULLOUGH LAW has had the great fortune to serve in some of the most sought-after positions in the industry. She served for over a decade as the Contract Compliance Officer for the City of Memphis. Additionally, she served as the legal advisor for the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission as well as the Memphis and Shelby County Film & Television Commission. With years of experience in business and entertainment, Carlee is sensitive to the needs of her clients. As a former Certified Public Accountant, her knowledge and understanding of complex issues coupled with the ability to provide solutions has contributed to the respect bestowed upon the firm by the community at large. She also writes a weekly column entitled ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY in the Tri-State Defender Newspaper. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct professor at LeMoyne Owen College teaching Business Law, Entertainment Law, and Music Publishing. Licensed to practice in Tennessee and California, attorney McCullough is dedicated to achieving the goals of her clients.