Amplifying Music in Our LA: Whose LA and What is LA? Where are We Creating, Presenting, and Practicing?

Conference Roundtable
10:00 - 10:45 am

Amplifying Music in Our Los Angeles
May 15, 2019
UCLA Charles E. Young Library


Audio link

Moderator: Ross Gardiner, Co-Founder, LA Nightlife Alliance
Ross Gardiner is a founding member of the Los Angeles Nightlife Alliance, an advocacy and organizing coalition which represents the interests of the city’s nightlife community.   Originally hailing from the Highlands of Scotland, Ross spent several years as music journalist and editor (Billboard, Mixmag, Vice), and a festival consultant with his boutique agency Black Circle Media. His clients include EDC, Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo, Oasis Festival, Red Bull, and Metro.  Prior to founding LANA, Ross spent two years “apprenticing” with nightlife organizing thought-leaders Lutz Leichsenring (executive director, Berlin Clubcommission) and Mirik Milan (former Amsterdam Night Mayor). He served as the communications and creative director for their project the Creative Footprint, and helped launch their international consultancy VibeLab.

  • Leigh Ann Hahn, Director of Programs, Grand Performances
    Leigh Ann Hahn joined the Grand Performances team in 1992 after 15 years of for-profit business marketing in several different industries including banking, real estate, and entertainment.  she has served as panelist for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Arts Partners program, the Los Angeles cultural Affairs Department, Los Angeles Dance Kaleidoscope, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the Long Bach Public Corporation for the Arts.  Hahn is currently a member of the board of directors for Khmer Arts, a Cambodian arts and culture organization based in LA County.
  • Dexter Story, musician, composer, UCLA ethnomusicology graduate student
    Dexter Story is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, music director, producer and music industry creative based in Los Angeles. Story currently consults as Artivist in Residence / Event Producer at Community Coalition of South Los Angeles, a community organizing and advocacy non-profit, and he is a 2017-2019 cohort with the APAP USC Leadership Fellows Program. As a second-year M.A. student in UCLA’s African Studies department, Story recently released an acclaimed East Africa-influenced album entitled Bahir on Soundway Records, and he is entering the Ethnomusicology PhD program at UCLA Fall 2019. Story ultimately plans to write, lecture at the university level and compile derivative recordings that support his academic research.
  • Mark Mack, Professor of Architecture at UCLA. Principal of MackArchitect(s) and Creative Director of Archidance
    As aka Dj Orange, Mark Mack performs to bring electronic music to architectural events. ArchiDance merges music and architecture. It aims to bring the two arts together in an effort to amplify the experience of both. Events will feature one or two electronic dance music acts in specific architectural settings, which are somehow stunning, under-appreciated or significant urban spaces. The crossover and union of the two will invite musicians to utilize, understand, and appreciate architectural spaces as containers which can host their sound, and on the other hand, will invite architects to appreciate and move to music in an arena that is familiar to them. Events will merge the esoteric fluidity of music with the solid permanence and history of architecture, creating an experience that is in-between, in the Now.
  • Jeff Schwartz, Director, Soundwaves, Reference Librarian, Santa Monica Public Library
    Jeff Schwartz is co-leader of the Decisive Instant large ensemble, principal bass of MESTO (the Multi-Ethnic STar Orchestra), a member of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and Santa Monica Symphony, and is very active in Los Angeles’ improvised and experimental music communities. He has also performed with artists including Anthony Braxton, Glenn Branca, Dana Reason, Nicole Mitchell, Elliott Levin, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Adam Rudolph, and studied at St. John's College, UC Santa Cruz, Bowling Green State University, the University of Texas at Austin, andf the Creative Music Studio. The author of a popular online biography of Albert Ayler and of Free Jazz: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge 2018), his writing has also appeared in the journals American Music, Popular Music, and Postmodern Culture, and in the 4th edition of A Basic Music Library. His day job is as a reference librarian at the Santa Monica Public Library, where he curates the Soundwaves new music series.
  • Alejandro Cohen, Executive Director, dublab
    Alejandro Cohen is a musician and composer from Los Angeles, California and the Executive Director of the non-profit radio station dublab.
  • Mark “Frosty” McNeill, Founder, dublab
    Mark “Frosty” McNeill is a DJ, radio producer, lecturer, sonic curator, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He’s the founder of, a pioneering web radio station that has been exploring wide-spectrum music since 1999. McNeill hosts radio programs for dublab and Red Bull Radio. His output on a multitude of international media platforms focuses on sharing transcendent sonic experiences.
  • Kyle Wilkerson, Talent Booker, Bootleg Theater
    Kyle is a music industry veteran with 12+ years of experience in working in the Los Angeles and Austin music scene. He has worked in some of the leading national venues, booking emerging and top tier talent including Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Snail Mail, Alice Cooper and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He has a proven track record of discovering new artists and an expertise in his ability to elevate existing spaces. Kyle has made his mark in the LA music scene by curating and booking over four hundred events per year between the Bootleg Theater and Sid The Cat Presents shows throughout the Los Angeles area.