Meet the MusicWorks Panelists - In Conversation: 2014 JUNO Award Nominees for Producer and Engineer of the Year

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Clockwise from top left: Ben Kaplan, David Travers-Smith, Eric Ratz, Kevin Churko, Randy Staub, Ryan Guldemond

Meet Ben Kaplan, David Travers-Smith, Eric Ratz, Kevin Churko, Randy Staub, and Ryan Guldemond, who will be on hand Saturday, March 29 for In Conversation: 2014 JUNO Award Nominees for Producer and Engineer of the Year.

David Travers-Smith 
David is a Toronto-based producer, mixer, engineer and musician who has produced and/or engineered recordings for numerous artists including The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth Moody, Deerhoof, Jayme Stone and many more. He toured extensively with Jane Siberry, as both musician and engineer and his playing can be heard on over 70 albums. He holds music degrees from Yale University and The University of Victoria. Recordings he has produced and/or engineered have garnered 40 JUNO Award nominations, with 10 wins along with nominations and wins at the Maple Blues Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, American Folk Alliance Awards, American Indie Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and East Coast Music Awards. He was nominated as Engineer of the Year at the 2007, 2010 and 2012 and co-produced the 2012 JUNO Award winner for Roots Ensemble of the Year, Bright Morning Stars. In 2011 David and Mark Howard were awarded Producer of The Year at the CFMA’s for their work on Bright Morning Stars and David was nominated again in 2013.

Eric Ratz
Eric is a recording engineer for Canadian music studios. He has been recording, mixing and producing music for over 20 years. Ratz received his first break in the music business in his early 20s when he was awarded the chief engineer position at Phase One Studios in Toronto. Recently, Ratz has worked with many of the Canadian music industry's most successful and influential punk and rock artists/bands including Billy Talent, Big Wreck, Monster Truck, Comeback Kid, Big Sugar, Danko Jones, and Cancer Bats. Many of Ratz's projects have received Gold and Platinum record sales awards. 

Kevin Churko
Churko is a Canadian record producer/engineer and songwriter who has worked for some of the world's biggest names including Ozzy Osbourne, Shania Twain, Five Finger Death Punch, Slash, In This Moment and Rob Zombie. He has been nominated for seven JUNO Awards and has won four times with the last coming in 2013 when Kevin and son, Kane Churko picked up an Engineer of the Year JUNO for In This Moment's “Blood” and Five Finger Death Punch's “Coming Down”. Both were also jointly nominated for producer of the year. Kevin produced and co-wrote the song “I Don't Wanna Stop” by Ozzy Osbourne which was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Churko and Ozzy were nominated for a second Grammy Award again for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2010 for “Scream”.

Randy Staub
Staub is one of the most prolific rock mixers of the last decade. Staub has worked with some of the largest names in music, mixing tracks for artists such as Nickelback, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Nickelback, U2, Cher, Celine Dion, 3 Doors Down, Avril Lavigne, Iggy Pop, H.I.M, Coheed and Cambria, Hinder and many others. He has been nominated for the JUNO Award for Recording Engineer of the Year nine times, winning in 2002 for his work with Nickelback on the tracks “How You Remind Me” and “Too Bad”. Staub still lives and works out of Vancouver – he never did move to Los Angeles – and continues to work with emerging and legendary artists such as Jet Black Stare, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Almost and the reformed Alice In Chains.

Ryan Guldemond and Ben Kaplan
In addition to his full time job as frontman and principle songwriter for Canadian indie darlings Mother Mother, Ryan Guldemond continues to appear in the production and songwriting credits on the releases of some of Canada’s best up and coming alternative talents such as Hannah Georgas, Sidney York, Rococode and Rykka to name a few. Spending the better part of 2012 producing the fourth effort of the group he founded and has fronted since 2005, Guldemond’s abilities and talent as a songwriter and producer shine on Mother Mother’s The Sticks, which has already far exceeded the great successes achieved by the group’s earlier efforts. The album has already yielded a top three alternative/modern rock single – “Let’s Fall In Love”, which has raised the high bar set by Mother Mother’s preceding Guldemond penned/produced top 10 singles, “The Stand”, “Baby Don’t Dance” and “Body of Years”. Guldemond’s talents have also extended to the world of television advertising, having produced and penned the jingle heard in numerous Kraft commercials airing all over the United States throughout 2012, and previously for major national advertising campaigns with SunRype and Walmart. 

About the Workshop | Saturday, March 29 | Noon-2pm
Some of Canada’s top studio engineers and producers are converging on Winnipeg during JUNO Week 2014. Moderated by TKO Lawyers and Last Gang Records' Chris Taylor and joined by JUNO Award-winning engineer John Beetle Bailey, this unprecedented gathering of industry pros offers a rare opportunity for Manitoba’s studio community to connect with the people who have helped shape the sound of contemporary music.

They’ve worked on acclaimed, chart-topping tunes and releases from the likes of Michael Bublé, Alice in Chains, Mother Mother, Monster Truck, Five Finger Death Punch, Ruth Moody, and many more. Now hear them speak about their most memorable experiences in the studio, share tips and techniques for creating chart-topping tracks, and shed light on what they see as the future of recorded music.  


Roland Deschambault, Training Coordinator
Manitoba Music
P: 204.975.5188

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