Beyond the Spotlight

Beyond the Spotlight

The point of this podcast is simple. We want to pull back the curtain and bring you backstage, beyond the spotlight, to give you a glimpse into the world of folks like you and me who are working in the trenches of the music, theater, and entertainment industries. They may not be household names, but they are key players in bringing to life the shows we all enjoy. Over the last 41 years, your host Jon Diener has worked as a musician, producer, recording engineer, videographer, editor, motion graphics artist, and photographer. He's spent most of his life around people working hard behind the scenes and wants to learn more about their journeys and share their stories with you.


January 29, 2022 6 mins

Hey, everyone! Are you still out there? I've missed you!

Just a quick episode to update you on some things and let you know I'll be back with new episodes soon, as time permits.

Feel free to reach out with guest ideas or comments at

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When Matthew Rifino picked up an acoustic guitar at 5, a 30 year love affair with music began. 3 years later, he convinced his grandfather to buy him a four-track cassette recorder and Matthew would sit for hours recording and overdubbing. He started recording his first band at their first rehearsal and honed his basic recording chops by trial and error. Matthew and his friends threw themselves into the NJ Hardcore and Punk scene o...

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Michael Jeffers is a life long music professional, performer and player. He started out in music performing with his father’s family band, then became a founding member of the critically acclaimed band Pinmonkey and got signed to RCA Records. Michael’s been traveling town to town on tour buses since 1999, loves to golf, and he is a lover of all things real.


Touring Bass player
Joe Nichols
Jan 2...

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Mark Clark has worked in the touring industry for over 10 years. He got his start in his home state of Alabama, driving artists at music festivals, and is currently based in New Orleans. Mark has managed tours throughout North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe. In his day-to-day work, he oversees a 360-degree advanced process, from show advance, to tour accounting, to settlements, visas, production, l...

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Angelique Mark has amassed over two decades' experience traveling the globe, working with a variety of musical acts in rooms ranging from small clubs to stadiums. Her work focuses mainly in: logistics; immigration; accounting; and high-level time management, often under the most stressful of situations. Most recently, Angelique has been working as a mentor through Grammy U and the Well Dunn organization, helping young people l...

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1997 - Present
FLEETWOOD MAC – Tour Manager

1999 – Present

January 24, 2020
PARTON - Co-Producer

2010 – Present
SHAKIRA – Tour Director

1997 - Present
STEVIE NICKS - Tour Manager

Dec ’15 – Nov ‘16

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Aoife Ahern has a huge amount of Project Management experience, having been a Global Producer, Tour Manager, Production Coordinator, Advance Manager|Artist Relations and a Talent Booker. She has advanced many large scale festivals (80,000+ capacity) such as Oxegen Festival to Kaaboo Festival. She has also been a promoter's rep and a production manager for a huge number of shows, as well as promoting weekly shows of 2000+ capac...

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Passionate and extroverted, Rayna’s varied background gives her a unique perspective as well as an ability to engage people from all walks of life. Before graduating with a degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont, Rayna grew up at the intersection of multiple cultures.
As a child, Rayna was raised between three worlds - She could be found at a Baptist church in Camden, New Jersey with her grandmother, at syn...

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Sai Hanif has been working in the music industry for over sixteen years. In addition to live event production, he founded and continues to run a successful musical instrument brand. Sai has taken his business acumen and applied it to the artists he works with throughout his career. He specializes in scaling artists by implementing processes to create efficient workflows with respect to the creative process. Specialties: Tour Direct...

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Innovator, digital marketer, brand positioning expert, data geek, and even musician, are just some of the ways that Cherise P has been described. These words have been applied whether from the halls of Coca-Cola where she served as Senior Marketing Manager of Shopper Marketing Innovation and Senior Customer Marketing Manager (partnership marketing) to the Washington D.C. offices of the U.S. President appointed Election Assistance C...

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Alex Prince has been involved in the live music industry for years, working primarily as a Production Coordinator, but also as Tour Manager and Production Manager. He is a California native who recently relocated to Minnesota.

His list of credits:

Production Manager
Ground Branch Management Freelance
Dates Employed Sep 2020 – Present
Production Managed the Biden Harris Live TV Studio from both remote...

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After 20+ years of traveling as a Tour Manager and FOH Sound Engineer, Paul Dalen retired from touring in the ‘90s and worked for Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco as production manager at The Fillmore, The Warfield and a number of other bay area venues.
In 2001, he moved to New York and spent the next 5 years at David Whitehead’s highly respected firm Maine Road Management. At the time of his departure, the music roster in...

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Pam Matthews is a proven industry leader with four decades of experience in the entertainment business. She began her career at age fifteen as a runner for Mid South Concerts in Memphis. Today, she serves the live entertainment industry as Executive Director of one of its most influential trade organizations. 

Matthews toured as an accountant for KISS and Ozzy Osbourne in the early 80s and was part of the Pace Concerts (n...

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Victor Reed Sr. has been on the road since the late 70s. From his early days with Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Rick James, to Stevie Wonder’s performance at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural, to recent tours with Kendrick Lamar and Mary J Blige, Victor has built an impressive resume of achievements and eventually became CEO of his own company, Global Events Production Network, LLC.

Highlights from just the last 10 years ...

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Many people have seen Marcia Ramirez performing on stage with artists such as Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis and Tanya Tucker.  Now people are discovering Marcia's own music as she's becoming an in-demand performer at many venues across the country, such as the world famous "Bluebird Cafe" in Nashville, TN.  Marcia is a multi-instrumentalist, as well as one of Nashville's busiest session singers...

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Lady A began her performance career as a back-up singer in a Motown Revue band during the 90's.  Her love of music, gospel background, Louisiana roots, and musical family always led her back to the blues and gospel music, mixed with flavors of soul and funk like a perfect jambalaya.  Known as "The Hardest Workin Woman in Blues, Soul, Funk & Gospel"  continue reading and find out why...  

Voted Best Blues...

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Gabi Parra is a tour production specialist with over 15 years in the live event business. Having begun as venue staff, production runner, and stagehand for a wide array of artists such as Elton John, Bob Dylan, Blue Man Group, Lil Wayne, and Tom Petty, she would then go on touring life. 

For the past 10 years, she has served as the lead production coordinator for Earth, Wind & Fire. Parra also has experience working in...

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Sarina Larson is the Co-Founder of Merch Roadie. In pandemic times, she is focused on Digital-Tour Management work, a new approach to the music business for artists that she's hypothesized. She is from Sacramento, CA, and currently lives in Nashville, TN, frequenting Germany and the UK.  She has lived in Thailand, The Netherlands, and the USA. She has a Bachelor's degree in International Business and is currently applying...

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Jim has spent three decades bringing celebrated talent to stages across the globe. Longtime Director of Touring for multi-platinum recording artists Linkin Park, he has shepherded productions for diverse and high-profile clients including Enrique Iglesias, Backstreet Boys, Marilyn Manson, The Bolshoi Ballet, Phil Collins, and Bon Jovi.   

Jim’s is passionate about event safety, sharing professional knowledge, and driving p...

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Ashley Lomax has 12+ years of singing and songwriting and 8+ years of VIP touring experience with such companies as Live Nation and On The List Presents. She has a deep love and passion for music, songwriting, and the arts in general. Ashley is one of the lucky ones who has figured out a way to incorporate the things that are actually a part of her skill set into her career and into her daily life.

Ashley has been involved...

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