Hamilton Music Advisory Team

The Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) is a group of local music industry representatives. They represent many backgrounds to assist with the City’s Music Strategy. In 2018 this team’s focus will be: Cultivating music creation and talent and Growing audiences and appreciation of music.

Mark Furukawa

Owner of Dr. Disc, DJ and Music Advocate (Chair)

Portrait image of Mark Furukawa

Mark Furukawa and his music store, Dr. Disc, have become synonymous with the Hamilton music scene since he came to Hamilton to open the store downtown in 1991. Dr. Disc sells both new and second-hand music (vinyl is a specialty) and places a key emphasis on independent, local artists as well as on community involvement. The store has participated in local events like the Festival of Friends, Art Crawl, and Supercrawl, and has been named Hamilton’s favourite music store in The Spec’s Reader’s Choice Awards and View Magazine’s Best of Hamilton.

Mark has always let his passion for music guide him, and from the time he started DJing in his teens, music became the focal point around which his life revolved. In late 2017, Mark was elected Chair of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) and is determined, along with fellow team members consisting of some of the city’s most talented and resourceful music industry champions, to identify and accomplish worthy, achievable initiatives that will raise awareness about, and benefit all of Hamilton’s diverse and vibrant musical community.

Janna Malseed

Vice President, Hamilton Musicians Guild (Vice Chair)

Portrait image of Janna Malseed

Janna has been part of the music business since birth. Her father was a full time musician/band leader working 6 nights a week in Hamilton for many years. Her brother played piano and her sister was the vocalist in the band as well so it certainly was a family affair. She started working for the Hamilton Musicians Guild in 1975 eventually taking on the role of Music Performance Trust Fund Administrator in 1982. In that role, she developed new programs for live musical performances that were open to the public and provided work opportunities for members of the Hamilton Musicians Guild.

In 1991 she was elected as Secretary-Treasurer/Business Agent of the Guild and in that capacity served on several Committees in Hamilton. She was on the Mohawk Music Advisory Committee, Chairperson of the Music Advisory Committee for the City of Hamilton from 1993-1995. Janna was a founding Member and Canadian Advisory for the Organization of Professional Women in Music and was also a team member with the Organization and Recruiting Task Force for the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

Kojo Damptey

Music Artist/Music Curator (Musician Sub-Committee Chair)

Portrait image of Kojo Easy Damptey

Kojo Easy Damptey is an award winning Afro-Soul musician from Ghana, based in Hamilton. He is scheduled to release his sophomore album "Giants: Stories of Existence, Resilience & Resistance in the Fall of 2018. The album is a decolonizing creative process aimed at using music to capture the myriad experiences of people of color. When he is not recording music he is interested in activism and social justice research. 

Evan DiValentino

Associate Dean of Media & Entertainment, Mohawk College

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Evan DiValentino is the Associate Dean of Media and Entertainment at Mohawk College, with both the Preparatory Music and Applied Music programs in his portfolio. Before assuming his current role, Evan was a Program Manager in Mohawk’s Continuing Education department where he contributed to the development and design of several innovative college programs. A former college instructor, Evan also has a background in consulting, social enterprise and applied research.

Nathan Fleet

Musician, Filmmaker & Educator

Portrait image of Nathan Fleet

Nathan runs the Hamilton Film Festival, and founded Lights Camera Hamilton as a way to connect filmmakers to employment opportunities in the city. Nathan Fleet is a filmmaker, musician and educator who likes loud guitars, and doesn’t dress up or dance. Recently he produced the TV show “Songs From The Hammer” for Fibe TV Channel 1, and is currently promoting his latest album “Love Hate City.”

Patricia (Tricia) LeClair

Executive Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC)

Patricia has over 40 years of work experience in not-for-profits, human resources and organizational development. Drawing from this expertise, Tricia has built a sustainable and thriving children & youth music education program through increased membership, improved fund development, and strengthened resources that has contributed to the HCC’s international acclaim.  Actively involved in the Hamilton arts community, Tricia is a member the Arts Advisory Commission, Hamilton Music Advisory Team and is the managing coordinator of the Supercrawl Family Zone. In 2015, she was invited to sit on the JUNOS Host Committee to chair its Music Education Team and received the Choirs Ontario Leadership Award for Excellence. 

Judy Marsales

Musician and Music Advocate

Portrait image of Judy Marsales

Judy has enjoyed 38 years of active real estate involvement and will be celebrating 30 years as Broker/Owner of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd. in January. Judy is a former MPP representing Hamilton West from 2003 to 2007 in addition to being Past President of the Hamilton-Burlington Real Estate Board, The Hamilton & District Chamber of Commerce, and the Hamilton Business Executives Organization. She has been the recipient of many awards including:

  • 2011 Inductee into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction
  • Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington in 2003
  • Athena Award in 2001
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995
  • Award of Merit from the Realtors Association in 1987
  • Past President and Advisory CEO Member of the Hamilton & District Chamber of Commerce
  • As a proud Hamiltonian, Judy enjoys promoting Hamilton through her radio show "Sold on Hamilton".
  • Music is a passion and Judy sings regularly with a group known as Judy and The Noteworthies - performing every Wednesday at The Coach & Lantern as well as several other local venues.
  • Judy is also proud to be a member of the St. Joseph's Choir. Judy enjoys supporting many organizations and volunteered as an Elvis singer in support of Theatre Aquarius as well as hosting a music night over the past few years called Paint the Town Red in support of the Bob Kemp Hospice 
  • Diamond Jubilee Recipient

Lou Molinaro

Co-owner & Talent Buyer, This Ain't Hollywood

Portrait image of Lou Molinaro

Lou Molinaro is a Talent Buyer/Promoter/Live Music venue owner. He grew up in Oshawa Ontario. He moved to Hamilton in the mid 90's with the intention of being involved in Hamilton music scene. In 2009, Lou and his business partners started This Ain't Hollywood - one of Hamilton's finest live music establishment. He is an active music fan - collecting records and memorabilia. He also has a music project called Tongue Fu with members of Teenage Head, Killjoys, Durango 95, Dinner Belles & Orphans.

Marie Nash

Director of Operations, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

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Marie Nash is the Director of Operations for the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, where she oversees the communications, events and day-to-day operations of the organization. Marie is a lifelong Hamiltonian, completing both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree at McMaster University. She is an avid supporter of the creative industries in the city, sitting on the board for Culture for Kids in the Arts and is a member of the HPO Young Patrons Circle. On weekends, Marie loves exploring the city with her husband, Nathan, and their two young daughters.

Paola Palazzo

VP of Talent, Live Nation Canada

Portrait image of Paola Palazzo

Formerly with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, where I served as VP of Entertainment Industry Relations and Event Development. With over 30 years of music experience, I’ve held positions as VP of Booking for The Forum in Los Angeles, Vice President of Talent and Booking for Nederlander Concerts, Senior Talent Buyer at House of Blues Concerts and a Music Agent at Creative Artists Agency. I have received numerous accolades throughout my career, including the “Music Business Achievement Award” at the Hamilton Music Awards, a nomination for Pollstar’s “Talent Buyer of the Year,” and has been recognized in Billboard Magazine’s “Women in Music” as well as the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women of Influence”.

Brodie Schwendiman

Owner, The Casbah

Portrait image of Brodie Schwendiman

Brodie has been a promoter of live & local music since 1999 in our city. A former school teacher, he transitioned into a new career of live music promotion, and he's never turned back. Responsible for bringing Hamilton audiences their first glimpses of such bands as The Arcade Fire, The Arkells, Monster Truck, Alexisonfire, The Sadies & July Talk, he has also booked & promoted  hundreds of local acts. Presently a member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT), and co-chair of the Hamilton Live Music Venue Alliance, he was a member of the Juno Host Committee (2015) and The Festival of Friends Board (2015-2016). Brodie is a Hamilton resident from birth, and a father of three boys, Tobin, Cooper & Quinn.

Debbie Spence

Business Development Consultant for the Creative Industries, City of Hamilton

Portrait image of Debbie Spence

Debbie has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Post-graduate Certificate in Public Relations, a Certificate in Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2), and an Economic Developers (EDAC) Certificate from the University of Waterloo. In her role as Business Development Consultant, Debbie has a lead role in the implementation of actions related the Creative Industries Sector (music, film, fashion etc.) in the Corporate Economic Development Action Plan, which includes the attraction and retention of creative industry sector businesses as well as providing strategic leadership and support to the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) and the Hamilton Film Office.

Diana Weir

Executive Director, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Portrait image of Diana Weir

Diana is a graduate of the Master of Communications Management program through McMaster University-Syracuse University and has worked in a variety of senior capacities in the arts sector, including with the Canadian Opera Company and Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. After working for four years in senior leadership at the HPO, Diana was appointed Executive Director in January 2017. In her time with the HPO, Diana has been proud to support the HPO's growth and impact throughout the greater Hamilton region, and serve the community through one of Hamilton's anchor arts institutions. Dedicated to the betterment of her community through the arts, Diana most recently volunteered as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Arts Council and calls the Beasley neighbourhood home. 

Hamilton Public Library

Hamilton Public Library Logo

Hamilton Public Library (HPL) is a proud supporter of Hamilton’s vibrant music scene, which is filled with a pool of diverse talent from musicians to songwriters to festivals. Our HPL Communications team is committed to help strengthen, preserve and promote our ever-growing musical movement in our city where we work, live and play. We look forward to collaborating with Hamilton City of Music in forging a solid path to highlight what Hamilton’s music community has to offer.