Next Level Conference & Grants 2017


 Logo by Richard T. Powell


Back by popular demand, the Next Level Music Industry Conference is slated for May 6 & 7, 2017, and will be followed by a second round of Next Level Grants for Musicians. 



  • Have one of your tracks recorded at a local recording studio by engineer/producer pro Glenn Lorbecki
  • Workshop your songs in a personalized setting with renowned songwriter Sam Hollander



  • Experience keynote speaker, Tony Magee, Founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co., as well as panels and workshops on regional booking, legal management issues, controlling your online image and more
  • Hear the “before and after” from Saturday’s sessions, including some live performances

Deadlines and Dates
Pre-Conference, Saturday, May 6, 2017
Full-Day Conference, Sunday, May 7, 2017
Registration & Fees
Next Level Music Grants
Contact Us

In 2016, we collaborated with the North Bay Hootenanny (NBH) to align this Conference with its Showcase. This year’s NBH showcases are postponed: for information on future performance opportunities with NBH, please contact them directly HERE.



THURSDAY APRIL 27, 2017:  Deadline to submit demos for Creative Recording and Songwriting Pre-Conferences

THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017:  Deadline for May 7 Conference Early-bird Registration ($10 off)

THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2017: Deadline for Pre-Conference Registration

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017:  Next Level Creative Recording and Songwriting Pre-Conference Sessions, Prairie Sun Recording Studios

SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017:  Next Level Music Industry Conference, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts



Click on the presenters’ names for their extended bios. 

May 7 Conference Keynote
Tony Magee – Founder of Lagunitas Brewing Company, musician

May 6 Pre-Conference Presenters
Sam Hollander – Songwriter/Producer for One Direction, Train, Katy Perry, The Fray, Carole King
Glenn Lorbecki – Producer/Engineer for White Stripes, Dave Matthews, Green Day, Dizzy Gillespie

May 7 Full-Day Conference Presenters
Thomas Cussins – Co-Founder of Ineffable Music Group, talent buyer for venues such as The Mystic and The Catalyst (Santa Cruz)
Sheila Groves-Tracey – Owner/Operator of Notable Talent, manager, talent buyer for North Bay venues and festivals
David Helfant – Entertainment lawyer, and President/CEO of Arpeggio Entertainment
Sam Hollander – Songwriter/Producer for Train, Katy Perry, The Fray, Carole King
Jim Jacobs – Director of Community Giving, Lagunitas Brewing Company
Glenn Lorbecki – Producer/Engineer for White Stripes, Dave Matthews, Green Day, Dizzy Gillespie
Patrick Malone – Talent buyer for Hopmonk Tavern
Rob Senn – Executive Director, Gibson Foundation
Eric Steuer – Creative Director of Creative Commons, a copyright licensing service



Join one of two intensive Pre-Conference sessions on Saturday, May 6 on either Creative Recording or Songwriting. Submit your demos to win the opportunity to re-record selected tracks in-studio or to have your song workshopped with renowned professionals. (You must be available during the designated session times on May 6 to participate in either session.) Ready to submit your demo(s) to either/both sessions? Click HERE for full session details, eligibility and rules, and submission button!


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Thursday, April 27, 2017, 11:59 PST
DATE/TIME: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:00am-3:15pm
LOCATION: Prairie Sun Recording Studios, Cotati (address provided upon registration)
FEE: FREE to Submit Demos / $20 to attend session*

Submit up to three demo tracks for the opportunity to win a recording session in a professional studio with professional producer/engineer Glenn Lorbecki! Lorbecki, who has worked with diverse artists from the White Stripes to Green Day to Dizzy Gillespie, will work with the chosen band/musician in advance for pre-production creative discussions. In addition to the musician/band selected, the session will be open to additional attendees to witness the creative recording process in action. Attendees will observe a professional recording session focused on the multitude of creative choices a musician can (and should) make in the recording process, and learning how to work with an engineer to get the desired results. 


SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Thursday, April 27, 2017, 11:59 PST
SESSION DATE/TIME: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:00am-1:15pm
LOCATION: Prairie Sun Recording Studios, Cotati (address provided upon registration)
FEE: FREE to Submit Demos / $20 to attend session*

Submit up to three demo tracks for the opportunity to win a space! Songwriters Studio will offer up to 15 slots for songwriters to have their songs personally “workshopped” by master songwriter Sam Hollander.  Each participating songwriter will have the chance to play a work-in-progress or completed song and work with Hollander on what changes might improve the end result. The process will help all attendees hone their craft with the participation of their peers and the guidance of a pro.


Ready to submit your demo(s) to either/both sessions? Click HERE for full session details, eligibility and rules, and submission button!

*Musicians who submit demos will be offered session spaces first. Once those slots are filled, slots will be opened for a limited number of observers (space permitting). 



DATE/TIME: Sunday, May 7, 2017, 9:30am-5:30pm
LOCATION: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Carston Cabaret, 50 West Mark Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA  95403
FEE: $20 early bird registration by April 27 / $30 regular registration

Our 2nd Annual Next Level Music Industry Conference will feature speakers, panelists, workshops and other resources presented by industry experts from the region and west coast. Our keynote speaker is local legend Tony Magee, musician and founder of Lagunitas. Workshop and panel topics include managing your online presence, booking, legal issues for musicians, highlights from the Pre-Conferences, and a special presentation from the 2016 winners of the Next Level grants.

The full-day schedule includes:

Click HERE for the full-day schedule or on any of the titles to learn more, and scroll down to register now!



Registration fees include lunch for the Pre-Conference; and continental breakfast, lunch and snacks for the Full-Day Conference. You must be 18 or over to participate in the May 6 Pre-Conference. Musicians under the age of 18 may attend the May 7 Conference, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 


Demo Submission (Submit by April 27):  FREE

Creative Recording (open to selected participants April 28 / open to general audiences April 30):  $20

Songwriters Studio (open to selected participants April 28 / open to general audiences April 30):  $20


Early Bird Rate (Register by April 27):  $20

Regular Rate (Register April 28-May 6):  $30


May 6 Pre-Conference:  No walk-ins permitted, must register by Thursday, May 4 to attend.

May 7 Full-Day Conference:  $30 (space permitting)


ONLINE REGISTRATION HAS ENDED. Please register at the door!




Now in its second year, the Next Level Music Grants will recognize five bands or musicians based in Sonoma County. The grants, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, are designed to celebrate the musical talent and exploration occurring across the County, and to provide advice and expertise to help local musicians move their careers forward. Bands or musicians will receive a $2,500 grant in support of their proposed project, along with 10 hours of one-on-one consulting time with professional experts in areas that align with the applicant’s grant activity request.

Learn more at the Sunday, May 7 Conference during the session What Could $2500 Do For Your Career? or visit the grant program webpage HERE.

Deadlines for 2017 applications will be announced this spring. 










For more information or for questions regarding this event, please call 707-565-6121 or email

If you would like to join the Sonoma County Music Industry Email List, please click HERE.