Back in 1995, when I was the drummer in a rock band called Soup, my bass player was raving about Atlanta — cheap apartments with pools and great weather! So we moved the band down south. I stayed in Atlanta, got married, and moved on to a career managing artists and touring the world with friends who eventually became my partners. Today I’m a live-music producer and entrepreneur putting artists on the Billboard charts with my company Indiehitmaker. But I’m also a dad with a strong commitment to give back to the Jewish community, as I’ve done for the past four years as a board member and, ultimately, President of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF).
My Jewish life restarted when my oldest daughter Lola was in JCC daycare. I started a project called Shabbat Rocks, performing rock versions of classic Shabbat songs around the country. That led to getting involved in the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. Next thing you know I was on the AJMF board chairing the Marketing Committee, served as VP and just completed a two-year term as president. It was an amazing opportunity to work with passionate and creative people, evolve a non-profit brand and build my leadership skills.
I was invited to join Federation’s Jewish Leadership Institute (JLI), representing AJMF. It was the educational opportunity of a lifetime — like getting an MBA in leadership. These experiences positioned me to move ahead with my current initiative to help establish Atlanta as Georgia’s flagship production city for live and recorded music. I’m working now with industry leaders and legislators to bring more economic growth and jobs to our state through a music bill modeled after the successes we’ve seen with film.
I will always rely on music to enhance my connection to Judaism; these are the moments that define my Jewish life. I have AJMF to thank for building a deeper connection between the two.
Federation is proud to partner with Atlanta Jewish Music Festival to strengthen our community through the power of music.
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