Jason Ellis joined independent dance music label Armada Music as global senior A&R director. Ellis will also serve as an acquisition consultant for BEAT Music Fund, the company’s recently launched dance music investment arm. Based in London, Ellis will be responsible for sourcing and developing up-and-coming talent while consulting on future BEAT acquisitions. He joins the company from a more than 20-year stint at U.K. dance label Positiva Records, where he most recently served as MD — a role he combined with senior A&R duties at Virgin, Virgin EMI and EMI Records.

Music manager and branding/marketing entrepreneur Matthew Knowles and Emmy-nominated executive producer Tamra Simmons (Surviving R. Kelly) partnered to form a new media company called Music World TV, Film & Media, where Knowles will serve as CEO and Simmons will serve as president. The two have also brought aboard two additional executives: Jasmine Murray as head of development and Krystl Rascoe as business liaison. The company is currently developing several scripted and unscripted projects. Knowles is represented by Lin Almanza at Music World Entertainment and Simmons is represented by Bobby Kenner and Ashley Harrison at CAA.

Beth Rasnick was promoted to the role of chief of staff to the CEO at Gibson Brands, reporting to Cesar Gueikian. Rasnick will represent the office of the CEO internally and externally, collaborating with the Gibson leadership and extended leadership teams to determine business strategies. She will lead the CEO office with sponsored projects as well as strategic business initiatives. She has worked at Gibson for nearly a decade.

Veteran manager Justin Little is joining San Francisco-based Brilliant Corners Artist Management as the senior member of the firm’s newly opened Los Angeles office. Little brings with him dance/electronic act The Midnight and Nashville-based alternative rock band Bully (co-managed with Michele Fleischli at Like Management). He previously worked at Constant Artists Management.

Entrepreneur, filmmaker and author Scott Blum launched FOUND, a U.S.-based independent record label focused on the contemporary music scene of Iceland. The label’s first signings include jazz vocal duo Silva & Steni, composer Magnús Jóhann and punk band GRÓA.

Grace Watson was hired at Black River Entertainment as senior director of streaming & revenue. In the role, Watson will oversee all aspects of streaming and sales for the company while developing comprehensive streaming strategies and fostering partner relationships for Black River’s roster. She joins the company from Universal Music Group/Capitol CMG. Based in Nashville, she’ll report to Black River Records executive vp Rick Froio. Watson can be reached at gwatson@blackriverent.com.

Nick Jurich was promoted to junior account executive at Shore Fire Media; he was previously a publicity assistant. Based in Nashville, Jurich will take on expanded responsibilities as he contributes to publicity campaigns for various artists and projects.

Chris Eggertsen
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