Jeff Dorenfeld has over 25 years of experience in higher education and over 30 in the music industry. During his tenure at Berklee, Dorenfeld has been the recipient of the President's Award for Leadership and the Dean's Award for teaching excellence. As faculty advisor for Berklee's student-run record label, Heavy Rotation Records, he negotiated a recording contract with Epic/Sony Records—the first-ever college label and major label collaboration. The contract established the $100,000 Epic Scholarship for music business/management majors at Berklee. Dorenfeld is the founder/director of the Berklee Popular Music Institute.
Prior to teaching music business, Dorenfeld was the personal manager of the multiplatinum band Boston. Under his management, the band had a no. 1 Billboard charting album and a $25 million grossing tour. Dorenfeld directed all long-term strategic planning and successfully negotiated multimillion dollar contracts with major corporations in the music and entertainment industry. Prior to managing Boston, Dorenfeld was tour coordinator, tour accountant, and lighting designer for platinum artist Sammy Hagar and performed tour accounting for multiplatinum artist Ozzy Osbourne. Concurrent with his entertainment management responsibilities, he was asked to turn around Scholz Research and Development's manufacturing facility in 1982, producing the electronic audio signal processor the Rockman. He eventually became vice president of this multimillion dollar corporation with full P&L responsibility, reporting directly to the CEO/president.
Dorenfeld has been a guest speaker at MCA/Universal Music Conventions and moderated panels on the subject of touring at the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association and NEMO Music Festival in Boston. He has been interviewed for television, radio, and several publications, including the New York Times, London Times, Boston Globe, Billboard, VH1, and National Public Radio, among others.
"The music business is about relationships at every level, which means that if you're the manager of an artist, you are the first person that someone from the record label or an agency is going to meet. So their judgment is of you—even before your artists. You can have an effect on whether they're going to be interested in your artist."
"Personality is very important. That doesn't mean that everyone has to have that same personality or the 'manager personality.' I think most personalities can succeed as long as you understand who you are and how you're going to put your project and your planning together. Don't try to be someone you're not, though, because that's almost impossible."
"We feel we prepare our students for the real world. I've had students who've gone straight from my course to tours or to management companies, so I know they're prepared to do that. But they still have to take what they learn in the course and apply it—they still have to get on-the-job training out there."