Modern Works Music Publishing was created around the simple premise that composers and music catalog owners need a diligent administrator to cultivate, license, and collect royalties for their musical works throughout the world.
Large publishers tend to favor those compositions in which they have an ownership interest, and writers signed to large companies often feel lost in the shuffle. But we are a boutique, and we strive to counteract that phenomenon.
Modern Works Music Publishing was founded in 2004 to administer the works of John Legend and his co-writers, in what was their first publishing administration deal. Since then, the roster has evolved to encompass every musical genre, especially those that tend to be underserved by larger music publishing companies, such as jazz, classical, and world music.
Highlights of our catalog include Bootsy Collins’ “Flashlight” and “I’d Rather Be with You,” Julie Gold’s “From a Distance” (made famous by Bette Midler and Nanci Griffith), Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” (co-written by Michael Beinhorn), Jonathan Edwards’ protest classic “Sunshine,” " Skee-Lo’s Top 10 rap “I Wish,” and the incredible Second Floor Music jazz portfolio, which contains standards such as “Bemsha Swing” by Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best, Bobby Timmons’ “Moanin’,” Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” and countless other gems.
Modern Works Music Publishing has also ventured with the independent music companies ArtistShare, Light in the Attic Records, and United for Opportunity to provide publishing administration and licensing services to their artists.
With offices in New York, Nashville, and Tucson— and a worldwide network of hand-picked sub-publishers— Modern Works does business with all the major licensees of music, including record companies, advertising agencies, film and television companies, interactive gaming companies, and online music purveyors. Songs in the Modern Works catalog are used thousands of times each year in these categories.
Dan Coleman was born in New York City, and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and The Juilliard School. He began his career as a composer, and his original concert music continues to be performed and recorded by leading American symphonies and chamber ensembles. Dan has composed arrangements for popular albums on the Geffen, A&M, and Atlantic record labels, including projects by Lisa Loeb and Calexico, and he has worked as an orchestrator for feature films. In 1999, Dan entered the music publishing business as the administrator for R&B songwriter John Legend’s nascent catalog. Currently Dan works closely with Modern Works’ roster of musical luminaries. He enjoys commenting on music publishing and copyright matters, and has been invited as a guest speaker by BMI, Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Arizona Rogers School of Law.
Bob Donnelly has been a full-time music lawyer for 35 years. He has represented artists or managers of artists who have sold three hundred million albums. His clients include several members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Jazz Hall of Fame. Donnelly received much of the credit from the New York State Attorney General for settling a case with the major record labels resulting in a payment to artists of $55 million dollars in back-due royalties. Bob is a frequent contributor to Billboard Magazine and other legal and music industry trade journals. He is also a full-time music geek. He has been awarded 40 platinum record plaques and was recently selected for inclusion in 2012 New York Super Lawyers and as one of the 100 most distinguished lawyers in the U.S. of Irish-American descent. Of all his accomplishments, Bob is most proud of building Modern Works into one of the music industry’s premier publishing companies.
A graduate of Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business in Nashville, TN, Jenny is Modern Works’ Copyright and Royalty Manager. Prior to joining Modern Works, Jenny handled tour marketing and street promotions for the New York City-based independent record label United For Opportunity, in addition to various positions at the artist management companies The Invasion Group and Beach Street Records & Artist Management. After a few years in the Northeast, she returned to Music City to launch Modern Works’ Nashville office in 2008.
Melissa credits her love of music to her childhood in New Orleans, and she has worked professionally in every major music center in the USA. She studied Music Business at Loyola University. An internship at Capitol Records in Los Angeles evolved into a job at Capitol Records’ Tour Marketing department in New York City. Once established in New York, she accepted an offer to work as Director of Licensing at Production Advisors, where she licensed music and talent for commercials, film and TV, including ad campaigns for Pringles, Pantene, Ritz, and Mitsubishi among others. Daily interactions with music publishers led her to a post at Cherry Lane Music Publishing, and an opportunity to revisit her southern roots in that company’s Nashville office. Melissa’s expertise includes catalog management, participating in acquisitions, and pitching Nashville-based writer catalogs for film, TV, and advertisements. At ease in the field of music publishing, Melissa is excited to bring all the skills she has acquired over the years to Modern Works.
Cameron was born in Phoenix, AZ and raised in Germany and Panama before returning to the USA. After a brief spell in the Southeast (Georgia) he came home to the Southwest, where he settled in Tucson. Cameron is the only member of the Modern Works team who isn’t directly involved in the music side of the business; instead he handles the business side of the music. He supported accountants and bookkeepers for Intuit, and brings those skills to control the day-to-day operations. He climbs mountains and runs marathons, and still has energy to spare for the Modern Works team.
Alex hails from Maryland and spent her college years in Nashville at Belmont University where she earned a degree in Music Business. Her musical upbringing - concert pianist grandparents, Frank Zappa-loving father, Bonnie Raitt-adoring mother, Temptations-obsessed little brother, and herself an unashamed lover of Mariah - helped shape an early and lasting desire to be part of the music industry. Classes at Belmont and an internship with Fox Music helped lead her towards the publishing business. Previously at Jingle Punks Music, Alex dove into the world of music in advertising and worked with brands such as Smirnoff, Meow Mix, Marriott, Reebok, and Regal Cinemas. Alex is thrilled to be part of the Modern Works family and representing such a great catalog of songs and roster of artists.
Originally from Southern California, Rebecca moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Rebecca came to Modern Works from Big Machine Label Group where she was the Royalty Manager. Previously, she worked as the Licensing and Royalty Administration Supervisor at Naxos of America, and prior to that had internships at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, and Big Loud Bucks.
Rebecca loves all genres of music, and a well-crafted song is one of her biggest joys. She is excited to be a part of the Modern Works family.