2018 Blues Got A Soul Technology Conference
DR. JOHNNY JONES - Director Blues Got A Soul Initiatives
Jones comes from Arkansas Baptist College, a private, historically black, four-year liberal arts college where he has served as executive vice president and chief academic officer since June of 2006. Prior to his current appointment, he was assistant dean of graduate recruitment and retention at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Jones was a member of the faculty at Washington State University from August 2001 to 2004, and served as director of recruitment and retention programs for the WSU College of Education Future Teachers of Color Program. While a student at MVSU, Dr. Jones earned a bachelor of science degree in health, physical education, recreation and dance. He received a master of education in recreation and leisure management from Springfield College. He holds a doctorate in education in leadership and policy from Bernelli University in Alexandria, Va. Dr. Jones completed the management development program at Harvard’s Summer Leadership Institute in 2007.
DEACON BLUZ - BLUES HISTORIAN
Dr. White is a nationally known and in demand as a speaker, consultant, Blues artist and Blues music educator who teaches “Blues in the Schools” programs and consults with schools, museums, colleges-universities, senior citizen programs, recreation/cultural centers, and arts organizations. He has also produced the “deaconbluz radio show” which was broadcast over National Public Radio affiliated stations. He has been a consultant to the National Jazz Service Organization, the Pew Foundation, the Delta Blues Museum, the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Afro-American Museum of Philadelphia, the High Museum of Atlanta, The Mckenzie Foundation, Community Impact of Chattanooga/Lyndhurst Foundation, Riverbend Festival, House of Hope and the Jewish Cultural Center of Chattanooga. The “Blues Got A Soul” program is designed for the general public, K-12, college and university, recreation centers, summer camps, senior citizens activity time, adult basic education and Blues Edutainment for the “at-risk” populations. The “Blues Got A Soul” program can be designed to meet your curriculum requirements and resources.
KEISHA JACKSON - SINGER, SONGWRITER
Born the daughter of sassy, legendary soulstress Millie Jackson, Keisha began singing professionally at age 15 as a background vocalist for her mother. She later went on to record 2 albums with Sony Records. Keisha continues to uphold the legacy commanding the stage with her gutsy performances and truly personifying raw SOUL. In the background, Keisha has contributed vocals on recordings with iconic artists like Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Da Brat and others. She has also toured with the likes of Outkast, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, George Clinton, Faith Evans and Raphael Saadiq. In addition, Keisha also performs on the soul music circuit and regularly appears with the touring band Yacht Rock Revue. A Proven Track Record Nearly 30 years in the business, Keisha Jackson is not only a career vocalist, but co-host of Soul Sisters Radio (with daughters of Isaac Hayes and James Brown), a certified life coach...and a well-respected industry vocal coach. She began her vocal coaching agency, One Voice Entertainment in 2001 and continues to mentor aspiring vocalists in Atlanta and across the globe.
JONATHAN MASON - ATTORNEY
Jonathan is graduate of Howard University and Georgetown University Law Center. He began his legal career in 1992 as a litigator in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina office of a large regional law firm. In his early years, Jonathan worked on a variety of litigation matters for major corporations and insurance companies. As a young litigator, Jonathan was able to gain significant “hands-on” experience by handling motion hearings, depositions, bench trials and even jury trials. Jonathan experienced his “fifteen minutes of fame” in 1995 as a member of the team that represented a screenwriter who was subpoenaed to testify during the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson. That representation culminated in a nationally-televised court hearing opposite Johnnie Cochran and F. Lee Bailey. Jonathan's introduction to entertainment law began with his representation of Luther Vandross and Sean "Diddy" Combs in separate litigation matters in North Carolina. Thereafter, he began representing “talent” in entertainment-related transactions. Jonathan relocated to Atlanta in November 1998 and became licensed to practice in Georgia in 1999. His practice has expanded to include representation of independent record labels, music producers, songwriters, production companies, concert promoters, visual artists, and fashion models. Jonathan’s practice also includes entertainment-related litigation, including royalty and commission disputes, copyright infringement, and trademark infringement matters. Jonathan has also been involved in matters involving Rickey Smiley, the Estate of Wilson Pickett, Mothers Finest, Kirk Franklin, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Idris Elba, Mariah Carey, and T.I., among others. Although Jonathan enjoys working with well-known clients, the heart and soul of his practice is dedicated to assisting unsigned and emerging artists in positioning themselves to reach the next level, or advising start-up record labels and production companies on the legal issues associated with start-up entertainment companies.
DOMINIQUE ANDERSON - MARKETING
Dominique Anderson is a proud Nashville native and passionate specialist in diversity and inclusion who is well versed in diverse entrepreneurship, especially within the tech and STEM fields. She has also had success as a publicist, specializing in media relations, crisis management and communications, social media, and Hispanic lifestyle consulting. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Tennessee-Martin, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she built a successful multicultural public relations and marketing career. She earned a master’s degree in secondary Spanish education from Christian Brothers University and a certification in public relations from the University of Memphis. Dominique developed her trademark eclectic outlook by growing up in a multicultural family in Nashville and is a native Spanish speaker. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and pursuing her philanthropic efforts through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Nashville Hispanic Chamber, and other charitable organizations.
ARTHUR MITCHELL - CEO URBAN NETWORK DIGITAL
Arthur Mitchell is the President of Urban Network Digital (UND) and a successful author, who has over twenty (20) years in the entertainment industry. In 2008, Mitchell launched Urban Network Digital a spin off of Urban Network, as a way to support independent labels and artists. His book Music for Fun and Profit, is also geared towards providing the tools for music professionals to advance their careers. Mitchell has an extensive background in talent development, promotions and marketing, which has aided Urban Network Digital (UND) in becoming the gateway to success for many superstar artists, such as Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Rick Ross, Mary Mary, R. Kelly, Will Smith, Boys II Men and Kelly Price. Due to his ability to open doors and catapult careers to the next level, he has been referred to as a legend. Urban Network Digital has partnered with MIQ/Music Exchange Quarterly for its annual Music Entertainment Conference which brings hundreds of industry professionals under one roof, to share ideas, network and to exchange knowledge. The Music Entertainment Conference is held in San Diego, California. In the past the event has been successfully executed in Seattle, Miami and Memphis. Superstars who have performed at the conference includes Destiny Child, L.L. Cool J, Queen, Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Kirk Franklin, Lionel Richie and Babyface, just to name a few. BET, MTV, Universal Music Group, BMI and ASCAP are just a few of the companies, who have had representatives among the panelist at the conference.
JIMMY ROACH - SONGWRITER
Roach, a heartfelt, soulful writer, cranked out "I'm By Your Side" for Brenda & the Tabulations, the Persians' "Too Much Pride," the O'Jays' "I Miss You," and others. He moved to the Motor City in 1969 to take advantage of the opportunities and landed a staff writer and arranger position at Hitsville USA, based on a song he wrote with Sawyer, "My Whole World Ended," recorded by David Ruffin; Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol are credited because writers had to share credits with the producer(s) to get tunes cut. Motown's vaults contain many unreleased songs by Roach, including an album on Jimmy Ruffin, his closet friend at Motown. He arranged most of the tracks on the Four Tops' Still Water and In Changing Times albums and the Miracles' Christmas album in 1970. When Motown moved to Los Angeles, Roach remained in Detroit and hooked up with producer/writer Don Davis. Roach wrote "Hit and Run" for a young svelte, Roz Ryan. Ryan became a Broadway actress and later landed the choir director role in the '90s sitcom Good News. The transplanted New Yorker wrote some noteworthy songs for the Dramatics including "And I Panicked," two mini-dramas -- "I Made Myself Lonely" and "Learning to Love You Was Easy" -- "I Dig Your Music," and the breezy "I Get Carried Away." William "Wee Gee" Howard originally recorded the first three songs but left the group, so Davis had Roach redo them with Larry "L.J." Reynolds on lead. His songs have also been recorded by the Supremes, Esther Philips, James & Bobby Purify, the Dells, Gloria Gaynor, Houston Pearson, the Sins of Satan, Five Special -- with many of the tracks produced and arranged by Roach as well. He took the Spinners to Atlantic Records armed with a four-song demo he produced, featuring new lead singer, Philippe Wynne. A planned album was scrapped when Thom Bell chose the Spinners from a shopping list of artists to produce for the label. Just like that, Roach was out and Bell in. One of the four songs "Oh Lord I Wish I Could Sleep" surfaced on the Spinners' double-disc anthology album. In the '80s he delved into managing and promotions and secured a deal for a Detroit group, Everlife, on 20th Century Fox Records, but the company dropped the ball; Roach salvaged the product -- a whole album -- somewhat, by releasing it locally on his Jibaro Records. As a writer, he has more than 125 songs cleared with Broadcast Music Incorporated for performance fees.
HENDERSON THIGPEN - SONGWRITER
Henderson Thigpen had his first gold record in 1974, while employed at Stax. He began his songwriting career by writing his own poems for the Children’s Day Programs at church. In 1964, he made his was to Stax Records, in Memphis, Tennessee. Soon after, he had his first hit record, “Don’t Take My Kindness for Weakness,” by the Soul Children. In 1974, his first hit to sell one million units was, “Woman to Woman,” by Shirley Brown. The song got Ms. Brown nominated for a Grammy and NAACP Image Award. In 1978, the song was re-recorded by country & western artist, Barbara Mandrell. That same year he wrote, “Holy Ghost”, for the BarKays. In 1994, the song was recorded again on Snoop Dogg’s multi-platinum album, “Murder Was the Case.” His songs have been recorded by artists such as the BarKays, Barbara Mandrell, J. Blackfoot, Shirley Brown, Willie Clayton, Christina Millian, Jerry Garcia, and Preston Shannon to name a few. He has also had songs sampled by Cee-Lo Green, Color Me Bad, and Juelez Santana. In 1997, Henderson along with his wife Evelyn established OTM Music Group. Under this umbrella they have, “Hamm Records, a Gospel label, “Red Banks Records”, a Blues label, and OTM, an R&B label. He is still writing and recording music.