The principals of Blue Élan Records have vast and varied experience in the music industry.
Kirk Pasich, Blue Élan's President, has managed rock bands, arranged and promoted private concerts by some of the world's most successful rock stars, spent many hours in the studio working with the production and arrangement of recordings, and, as an attorney, represented some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, and R 'n' B. He has over 30 years of experience advising clients in the entertainment industry, including record companies, motion picture studios, television networks, production companies, recording artists, professional sports franchises and owners, publishers, actors, and athletes. Kirk is a classically trained organist and served on the Boards of Directors of The Alliance for Children's Rights, The National Academy of Jazz, and The Woody Herman Foundation. He's also been named by Variety as one of the nation's Top 50 entertainment lawyers, byLawdragon as one of the nation's Top 500 lawyers, and by SuperLawyers as one of Southern California's Top 5 lawyers.
Niels Schroeter, Blue Élan's General Manager, is a successful music executive with over 20 years in artist management and independent label operations. Niels has extensive experience in nearly every area of the music business. Before venturing on his own, he served as General Manager of Warner-distributed label, Surfdog Records, as well as its affiliated management, publishing, and lifestyle marketing divisions. In this position, Niels was an integral part of the company's evolution from unfunded start-up to generating millions of dollars in annual revenue, propelling the careers of such revered artists as Brian Setzer, Dave Stewart, Jason Newsted, Slightly Stoopid, and others. He also managed Surfdog's involvement in action sports and lifestyle marketing initiatives for companies including Pepsi, Best Buy, Warner Bros., and BMG. As General Manager, Niels oversees all of the day-to-day operations of the label, including marketing, distribution, artist relations, production, licensing, and business development.
Connor Pasich, Blue Élan's Vice President and Director of A&R, is a musician and producer with recording credits on guitar, creative credits on a hip-hop video production, and production experience in rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. Connor has a bachelor's degree in economics from Rice University, where he also taught a specialized course on the music business and its digital formats. He has also participated in the MEMES music business institute at UCLA's Anderson School of Management.
Kim Umanoff, Blue Élan's Label Liaison and Director of Business Affairs, is an attorney with an entertainment law background. She has substantial experience drafting and negotiating contracts and had an undergraduate focus in music history (Cornell and USC). Having lived in New York, London, and Los Angeles, she has a unique and comprehensive perspective on a wide variety of music genres.
Paul Milbury, a member of the Project Management team, is the primary point person for Blue Élan’s international efforts. Based in San Diego, he is fully immersed in the local music scene there. Prior to transitioning to the business side of music, Paul was a member of the band HI Roots that regularly played sold out shows on a local level and toured nationally. In addition to his duties on bass, Paul was the acting manager of the group, overseeing all aspects of their day-to-day affairs including booking, budgeting, tour management, sponsorships, overall band strategy and more. Having experience as both a player and a manager, Paul brings a unique perspective to the company as someone who understands first hand what it’s like to be a working musician trying to make it in this crazy business. Paul graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Political Science and a Minor in Spanish.
Eddie Eastabrooks, Blue Élan's Senior Director, Sales & Project Management, is an accomplished music industry professional with over 15 years of experience working with labels, publishers, managers, artists, music supervisors, physical and digital retail accounts, and distributors. Before joining us, Eddie oversaw all domestic physical and digital sales, sync licensing and royalties at Side One Dummy Records. There he worked tirelessly to promote artists including Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Chuck Ragan, Bedouin Soundclash, Audra Mae, as well as the annual Warped Tour Compilation series.