Live Music NYC: Meet New York’s Independent Venue Bookers

Thursday, September 15th

02:00-02:50 PM

Kimmel Center Room 914


Moderator: Dash Speaks (Talent Buyer, Friends and Lovers)


Panelists: Ryan Ertrachter (Talent Buyer, Bowery Electric); Steven Matrick (Talent Buyer, Pianos); Dana McDonald (Talent Buyer, The Delancey); Heath Miller (Vice President/Talent Buyer, Webster Hall)


Dash Speaks

Dash Speaks is a talent-buyer, DJ, musician, and music-curator from New York City. Born Dashiell Mitchell Brody, Dash's love affair with music began when he was a kid. As a teenager, Dash cut his teeth as a rapper, and built a name for himself as a critically-acclaimed producer. In 2008, after years of throwing parties, curating showcases and even doing a bit of club promotion, Dash began DJing. Dash threw himself into DJing, playing hundreds of gigs a year, and cultivating a style which combined the old with the new, playing a mix of records that pushed their respective genres forward with the old school classics on which he was raised. Gigs turned into residencies and by 2011, Dash had weekly DJ sets at some of the coolest bars and clubs in NYC.

Playing at the same venues week in and week out, Dash began to recognize the factors that nuanced the experience of the club goer. He developed a set of tangible guidelines that directly contributed to the success of his individual DJ sets. In 2013, Dash became the music director at Blind Barber - creating a musical aesthetic to fit their brand, curating playlist, and booking DJs. By the next year, Dash was doing music direction for several bars throughout the city.

In 2014, Dash started Future Old School - an old school hip hop party that was the embodiment of his DJ style - at a new venue in Crown Heights, Friends and Lovers. The party was an instant success, so much so that Friends and Lovers asked Dash to begin working as a consultant. It was a perfect fit for Speaks, who quickly took over all talent-buying and music direction. FnL has since become a Brooklyn party institution and boasts some of the best DJ and live-music programming in New York.

Looking forward, Dash Speaks hopes to use his influence as a DJ and music-director to help withhold the tradition of creativity, diversity, and originality in New York nightlife and music culture.


Ryan Ertrachter


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Steven Matrick

Dana McDonald

Dana McDonald

Heath Miller

Heath Miller