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Mondo.NYC Speaker

Mark Kates

Founder, Fenway Recordings

Mark Kates has been a central figure in the genre of alternative music since before it even had a name. He work has included A&R, promotion, marketing, label head and owner, and now is primarily an artist manager. Kates grew up in the Boston area where Mission of Burma's music inspired him to work for their label Ace of Hearts. From there he moved to Big Time Records in Los Angeles and artists like Love and Rockets, Alex Chilton and the Hoodoo Gurus. His work there led to Geffen/DGC Records where he spent 10+ years and created the alternative promotion department eventually segueing to A&R and playing a significant role in the development of the alternative radio format. He signed Beck, Jawbreaker, Elastica, Alabama 3 and others. He brought Sonic Youth to Geffen and A&R’d albums by them as well as Nirvana, Hole, Teenage Fanclub, Siouxsie and the Banshees, White Zombie and many others as well as co-executive producing the soundtracks for "Beavis and Butt-head Do America" and "Suburbia." Kates left Geffen in 1998 to run Grand Royal Records for the Beastie Boys and work with them and their roster including Sean Lennon and Luscious Jackson. In 2001 he returned to Boston and established Fenway Recordings, a music management and record company.

Coincidentally Mission of Burma decided to reunite that year and he again works with them as well as MGMT, The Cribs, Doves, KUNZITE, LXB and Swim Mountain as a manager. As DJ Carbo he was resident at Los Angeles electronica club Atmosphere at The Viper Room for two years as well as on the legendary pirate station KBLT, and since 2003 has hosted The Fenway Recordings Sessions in Boston. As a DJ he has appeared alongside Paul Oakenfold, David Bowie, Tricky, Richie Hawtin, DJ Rap, Grooverider, The Jungle Brothers and many, many others. The Fenway Sessions have brought nearly 450 shows to Boston including Echo and the Bunnymen, fun., Diplo, Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J, Built To Spill and hundreds more. Kates is a founder of The Shout Syndicate Fund created at the request of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to the for-profit arts community to address a funding gap for after-school arts programs. He also served on the Leadership Council of Boston Creates, the mayor’s comprehensive arts plan.

Save Live Music: A NITO call to action

While the impact of COVID-19 on the live music ecosystem is well documented, the National Independent Touring Organization, an advocacy group of independent booking agents and managers, has banded together to address the threat to our livelihood. Hear from two of the founders of NITO as well as two managers who support as members.