Bay Area Movers and Shakers: Brian Zisk

The Bay Area music scene has changed the way music is consumed. Besides the music and the artists, there were and are a series of people behind the scenes who made these huge changes in the way the business of music has been conducted. Bill Graham created the concert business; Tom Donahue invented the “FM format” in radio; Bill Gavin revolutionized “Top 40 Radio” with The Gavin Report; Ralph Gleason, John Wasserman, and Joel Selvin were pioneers in large city daily newspaper coverage of rock music; Jerry Seltzer created modern show ticketing with BASS Tickets; Russ Solomon was responsible for the modern record store with Tower Records. These movers and shakers from the recent past have all made dramatic changes to the way music does business. I’m going to introduce some of the new breed of movers and shakers in the new music technologies.

Brian Zisk arrived on the Bay Area scene just as music went from analog to digital, and the World Wide Web was in its infancy. Brian founded The Green Witch Internet Radio, and then sold it. He published the popular event listing, SanFranZiskGO. And now with his musician/lawyer wife, Shoshana, he produces The SF MusicTech Summit.

Recognizing the upcoming merger of music, digital technology, and the Internet, Brian created a forum for discussions and education about the constantly changing digital music revolution, The SF MusicTech Summit. Since 2008, Brian and Shoshona have staged a day full of interesting panels and technology presentations at the Kabuki Hotel about the evolving arena of music technology. Most of the important people and companies in music technology have appeared on panels that discuss relevant topics and entertain questions from the attendees. I have learned a lot, attending these informative gatherings. The Summit is a perfect place to network and meet people who are interested and involved in today’s music. From business to art, the panels are chockfull of people who have something to say. At the last Summit, I heard from Bay Area business leaders like Pandora and Mog, and musicians like Joe Satriani and Bob Weir.

No moss grows on our Brian. He has also founded The SF Music Fund, which finances music start-ups. Show up to the Summit’s famous “Elevator Pitches,” and Brian might just finance your idea. He is also involved in Buzzmakers, Inc.; and Collecta, a real-time search engine for social media. If that wasn’t enough, he and his wife have founded The Future of Money & Technology Summit. It sure looks like Brian Zisk is the anatomy of a serial entrepreneur.

The 10th SF MusicTech Summit is Feb. 13, 2012, at the Kabuki Hotel; followed by The Future of Money & Technology on April 23, 2012.