Tri-State Rocks Judges

Kara Dioguardi

Kara DioGuardi is a former American Idol judge, Grammy nominated songwriter, producer, music executive and Herb Albert Visiting Scholar at Berklee College of Music. As one of the most successful contemporary songwriters in the world, Kara’s songs have appeared on more than 160 million albums. She has won 20 BMI awards for most performed songs and was the 2006 songwriter of the year. She’s had over 320 songs released by major labels, 150 songs on platinum selling albums, and over 50 charting singles. Her credits include successes and collaborations with artists such as P!nk, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, Enrique Iglesias, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Faith Hill, Santana, and many more.

Kara is also an established record producer, record executive, music publisher and author. As Executive Vice President at Warner Brothers Records, Kara signed artists such as Jason Derulo and Iyaz. Her publishing company, Arthouse Entertainment, boasts hits from Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Cee-Lo Green, Eminem, Rihanna, B.O.B, Travie McCoy, Flo Rida, Whitney Houston, Sean Kingston and 5 Seconds of Summer. She recently signed artist Jon Bellion (Capitol) and Clairity (Lava/Republic).

In the fall of 2011, Kara made her Broadway stage debut as merry murderess, Roxie Hart, in the Tony Award-winning hit musical CHICAGO. She also penned her memoir “Helluva High Note”.

Pete Ganbarg

Pete Ganbarg is President of A&R for Atlantic Records, a position he’s held since late 2017.  He joined Atlantic as Executive Vice President, A&R in late 2008.

At Atlantic, among the artists and projects that Pete has signed and/or A&R’d are  Grammy Award winning artists twenty one pilots, Halestorm and Jason Mraz; Platinum and multi-platinum artists Christina Perri, Melanie Martinez, Skillet, Brett Eldredge, Matchbox Twenty & Rob Thomas, Theory Of A Deadman and Icona Pop; as well as the Original Broadway Cast Recordings of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen and the Billboard #1 album The Greatest Showman soundtrack, the latter two of which he also co-produced.

Prior to joining Atlantic, Ganbarg headed Pure Tone Music, one of the industry’s leading A&R consulting firms, whose success stories included Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Chaka Khan, Santana, Train, Donna Summer, and others.

Ganbarg began his A&R career in 1989 at SBK Records. In 1997, he joined Clive Davis at Arista Records, where, as Senior Director of A&R, he conceived and A&R’d Santana’s 30x platinum worldwide, nine-time Grammy-winning Supernatural.

Pete is a graduate of Wesleyan University.

Leslie Stifelman

Leslie Stifelman is the Music Director and Conductor of Chicago: The Musical, the longest running American musical in Broadway history celebrating its 20thanniversary this year.  She has brought many stars to the stage including Usher, Jennifer Nettles, Patti Labelle, Brandy Norwood, Kara DioGuardi, Mel B., Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Joel Grey, Melanie Griffith, Brooke Shields among a host of others.

Leslie is also the Executive Producer of the Peabody® Award winning HBO® series The Music in Me, celebrating children and music; a Music Supervisor and Master Teacher for theatrical productions and online initiatives for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute; a symphonic conductor appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra among others; the music director for Here Lies Jenny written with Bebe Neuwirth, Roger Rees and Ann Reinking; a concert pianist collaborating with great artists such as Marin Alsop, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Dawn Upshaw, and the London Symphony; a recording artist for all the major labels including Angel, Nonesuch, BMG, EMI; and a music supervisor for films directed by Martin Scorcese and Rita Wilson.

As an educator Leslie has designed and contributed to some of the most powerful educational initiatives of the last decade through her work with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, including the city-wide Somewhere Project: West Side Story, and the first-ever interactive Broadway show for families called Take The Stage With Broadway Stars that starred Leslie and Tony® award winner Jessie Mueller.  Leslie is currently Artist-in-Residence in musical theater at the Peabody Institute and also the Artistic Director and Artist Faculty for the Musical Theater Performance Lab at the College of Performing Arts the New School.  Created with her esteemed colleagues director Kevin Newbury and choreographer Melissa Rae Mahon, the initiative is a collaboration between Mannes College, The New School for Drama and the The New School for Jazz.

Maxwell – HOST

You can catch Maxwell on the world famous Z100 in New York, weeknights from 6-10pm and on iHeartRadio’s heritage Top 40 radio station, WNCI 97.9 in Columbus, Ohio. He is also heard on over 170 radio stations across the globe on the syndicated Most Requested Live, with Romeo show as the premiere guest interviewer. Conducting interviews with stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and more, he has proven to be one of the most sought after in the industry. A true friend of the stars. Teaming up with Nick Cannon on the TeenNick Top 10 Countdown, Maxwell has acted as co-host for the television show and also entertains on Nick Radio, Nickelodeon’s go-to for All The Hits & All The Slime!

A hybrid radio personality and pop culture correspondent, Maxwell has the unique ability to extract personal truths from the most celebrated artists in music and entertainment today. His conversational interview style coupled with the demeanor of a veteran journalist creates a genuine exchange that both informs and entertains audiences world wide.