A2IM Names New CEO

Richard James Burgess

Richard James Burgess

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), has named Richard James Burgess as its new CEO. Burgess most recently headed up all business aspects of the non-profit Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Membership in A2IM now comprises 382 label and 171 associate members.

“I am honored to have been chosen by the board to lead A2IM into the future,” says Burgess, who was elected chairman of the organization’s board in June 2015. “A2IM is the vital voice for independent labels−the small- and medium-sized businesses that have grown to command more than a third of domestic market share for recorded music. We will continue to grow; we will spotlight the impact our members have on jobs and revenue; and we are determined to build greater accord within the music industry.

“We will persist in our quest for equitable conditions for artists, musicians, songwriters, publishers, and labels big and small. Our label members deliver the greatest diversity of choice in recorded history, and we will work to unlock the value inherent in this pinnacle of popularity. We intend to explore the synergies and grow the industry pie. I also need to thank my predecessors: Don Rose for setting the bar in the early years, my good friend Rich Bengloff who grew the organization significantly for the past eight years and Molly Neuman, who I will greatly miss, for keeping A2IM moving at full speed through this interim period.”

For the past 15 years, Burgess has overseen all business activities for the Washington, D.C.-based label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. For the past decade, he has served as an adjunct professor at Omega Studios’ School of Applied Recordings Arts and Sciences in Rockville, Maryland. He has authored two widely-used text books on music production, began his career as a musician, artist, songwriter, and producer, and is recognized as an innovator in the electronic music field in the ’70s and ’80s.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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