Everything’s Jake with music industry vets Gary Katz, Gary Stromberg and John Hartmann. Using the phrase from the jazz era of the ’40s — which means everything’s fine — as its banner, the trio have bowed an outfit that will encompass an artist management firm, music publisher and a full-service record label.
Everything’s Jake will be home to Jake Publishing, Jake Artist Management and Jake Records, and will be backed with a multimillion-dollar war chest.
The startup funds were landed as part of a “resume placement,” a privately funded offering orchestrated by Dominic Cavagnulo for Stone Asset Management, an arm of Wall Street investment banking firm Joseph Stevens & Co.
Typically, a placement is backed by a firm’s tangible assets. But a so-called resume placement uses the background, experience and expertise of a company’s principals to determine the amount to be funded.
“We have put together an outstanding management team to start our company,” said Katz, who is perhaps best known as the founder and producer of Steely Dan. “And one that recognizes the tremendous opportunities in today’s market for a small, highly focused record company to meet the needs and demands of developing artists.”
The label’s initial focus will be in film soundtracks and the urban marketplace, the latter where the company has several deals in the hopper. It is also on the lookout for artists and producer pacts to boost its portfolio.
The label expects to bow three to five releases in its first year. Jake Records’ first pact is with Interscope Records for domestic distribution.
“The plan is to be a full-service label but staff it so we can control our own destiny,” industry publicity maven Stromberg told Daily Variety. “We want to be self-reliant, and by having key management people at all levels, rather than relying on the distributor for some of those tasks, we can accomplish that.”
Joining the Jake Records fold will be music vet John Betancourt, who is widely credited with defining the rules of the promotion game while at RCA and Polygram. He’ll be the label’s chief of promotion and marketing, while Mitchell Cohen has been tapped as label chief financial officer and Scott Barkham is VP of operations.
The artist management arm will be run by Hartmann with aid from VP of touring and logistics John Hoskins, and West Coast A&R VP Richard Katz. Hartmann has shepherded the careers of America, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Before Jake, Stromberg headed the Blackbird Group, a Connecticut-based national publicity agency he founded after leaving Hanson & Schwam.
But Stromberg, who also co-produced the films “Car Wash” and “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh,” is best known for his run at the helm of Gibson and Stromberg, one of the industry’s top praiseries, which boasted such acts as Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.
Katz has produced an array of musical talent including Diana Ross, Laura Nyro, Joe Cocker and Groove Collective. He recently oversaw the production of a three-CD retrospective of Peter Tosh.
The New York-based Everything’s Jake also bowed an L.A. outpost.