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November 1, 2021 76 min

Over the course of seventeen years Joel has helped make CD Baby the largest music-employer in Oregon and one of the leading on-line distributors of independent music. The company hosts more than 650,000 artists, is available to over 100 digital platforms around the world, and represents 1/5th of the music at Spotify.

Joel was a working musician when he began opening mail on weekends for CD Baby. He has since become a spokesman for the independent music scene and a mentor to many of its members. Joel posts regularly on a number of social media platforms, offering advice to the independent music community on business matters and issues having to do with management, touring, song writing, and music production.

A fixture at industry events, Joel speaks frequently about independent music. He appeared at a recent South by Southwest Festival in a group of entrepreneurs that offered support to artists looking to place their demos. Joel also helps organize community ventures in Portland and around the world that aim to nurture careers in independent music, such as Downtown Music’s summer schools, the DIY Musician Conference at the Berklee College of Music campus in Spain, and various question and answer sessions about finding externships in music fields. In spring 2019, Joel took members of Lewis & Clark Law School’s Intellectual Property Student Organization (IPSO) on a tour of CD Baby’s facilities. He also has arranged for the company every year to support a summer intern. In addition to the internship he arranged at CD Baby, Joel continues to make himself available to the Lewis & Clark Law School, taking part in a recent panel on “The Contracts Behind Influencer & Audience Agreements” sponsored by IPSO and the Center for Business Law & Innovation.






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