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Erika Elliott

Erika Elliott has over 20+ years of experience in a variety of roles within the music industry. She currently holds the position of Artistic Director of City Parks Foundation’s hallmark performing arts festival, SummerStage.

In 2004, Ms. Elliott joined City Parks Foundation’s summer performing arts series SummerStage as Talent Buyer. In this role, she curated all of the festival’s music programming for SummerStage in Central Park, the citywide music series, CityParks Concerts and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. In 2010, during SummerStage's 25th its brand to include CityParks Concerts and Ms. Elliott was named SummerStage’s Artistic Director. Ms. Elliott is currently responsible for the festival’s overall artistic vision, from programming talent to developing larger thematic programs and complex commissions for the festival.

Ms. Elliott’s knack for divining acts on the verge of major mainstream popularity is at the heart of SummerStage’s reputation for consistently staging must-see, annual blockbuster shows. Her keen vision and broad awareness of a host of musical styles and genres have kept SummerStage at the forefront of the festival circuit and ahead of the curve in the intensely competitive New York live-music market. Recent landmark performances by artists better known for playing in much larger venues include free performances by luminaries such as M.I.A, Feist, Esperanza Spaulding, Alabama Shakes, Miguel, The xx, Gary Clark Jr., and Vampire Weekend.

Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Ms. Elliott moved to New York City to pursue a career in the music industry after working in college and commercial radio. She joined Loud Records staff in 1997, working for three years in both the marketing and promotion departments with platinum albums such as the Wu-Tang Clans’ The W, and Big Punisher’s debut, Capital Punishment. Other projects included marketing and promotion of Funkmaster Flex’s seminal Mixtape albums, Xzibit’s debut, and Mobb Deep’s sophomore album. Ms. Elliott went on to become Assistant to the VP of William Morris Agency, Cara Lewis, where she coordinated a roster of touring artists including Eminem, Lauryn Hill, The Roots, Outkast, and Jamiroquai.summ 

She subsequently moved to the Artist Development department of RCA Music Group where she was engaged in breaking then new artist Christina Aguilera and worked the Foo Fighters RCA debut. In 2001, Ms. Elliott was offered the Talent Buyer/Director of Urban Music position at S.O.B’s, New York’s premiere World and Urban Music club. She created and developed the SOULCITY series, which launched the careers of then unsigned artists John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, and Kanye West.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, June 12

4:30pm PDT