Bobby Haber and Joanne Abbot Green on Brands as Partners and Mondo's Staying Power
Robert K. "Bobby" Haber and Joanne Abbot Green are founding principals of Mondo.NYC, New York's annual music, arts and technology conference and showcase festival. Bobby serves as managing director, while Joanne is executive producer.
Founded in 2016, Mondo is the next generation new music business conference and showcase music festival, uniting thousands of artists, music business professionals, tech innovators and music fans to identify and celebrate what's next in emerging music and technology.
Mondo 2021, taking place in New York City and online from Oct. 12-15, features programming partnerships with the RIAA, Guild of Music Supervisors, RAP at Harvard Law School, SoundExchange, Women in Music, AIMP, NIVA and Music Managers Forum—U.S.
Prior to Mondo, Bobby conceived and launched CMJ as a student at Brandeis University and remained at the helm of the company as CEO until its sale in 2012. Joanne was responsible for conception, organization, marketing, pre-production, onsite production and post-production of CMJ Music Marathon, New York City's largest independent music conference and festival.
We caught up with Bobby and Joanne for our Liner Notes series to learn more about their musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work they're proud of and admired.
Bobby and Joanne, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
- We're both from Long Island, New York, and are currently dividing our time between New York and Southern California.
Your earliest musical memory.
- Bobby: Diana Ross & the Supremes bringing the house down in Miami Beach in the late '60s.
- Joanne: My grandfather playing Rachmaninoff on the piano in the living room of my parents' house.
Your first concert.
- Bobby: Sly and the Family Stone at Madison Square Garden.
- Joanne: When I was very young, a friend's father—who ran an ad agency—had tickets to the Rolling Stones at MSG and she invited me along. We had dinner at The Steer Palace at the Garden and then went to the show. By the time we got to the show and the band hit the stage, I was so tired that I fell asleep.
Your favorite bands/musicians.
- Bobby: This is always a tough one, but what immediately comes to mind is Springsteen. It's fantastic how he seems to want to relentlessly give of himself and never runs out of power and commitment and emotion. Also, the Beach Boys from Pet Sounds on.
- Joanne: It can change daily—I'm a huge fan of the Civil Wars, Lord Huron, the Strokes, Rhiannon Giddens, but my staples will always remain Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz.
How you get your music these days.
- Bobby: Primarily personal recommendations from colleagues and friends. Secondarily, Spotify.
- Joanne: Spotify and its playlists.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
- Bobby: Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego. It was the most beautiful venue I've ever seen.
- Joanne: I loved Fez in the Village. I remember seeing Johnny Cash and June Carter there. It was so tiny—you could see every expression and feel every breath.
Your favorite music video.
- Bobby: Black & White Night, Roy Orbison's concert video.
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
- Bobby and Joanne: Tiny Desk.
A recent project you're proud of.
- Bobby and Joanne: Mondo.NYC. We love what we do and that we're able to continue doing it in these "new times." Bringing people the music they love, the connections they crave and the knowledge they need is endlessly inspiring and motivating for us.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
- Bobby and Joanne: Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll at the Met in New York City.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
- Bobby and Joanne: Think of brands as you would any other partners: Be thoughtful, listen carefully, be creative and collaborative. Define pain points and potential areas of conflict preemptively, if possible. Be considerate and flexible whenever you can, keeping in mind that you were chosen among many other artists to be a partner—which is a very good thing.
How brands should approach working with musicians.
- Bobby and Joanne: Everything as above—reciprocally.
What music can do that nothing else can.
- Bobby: It's the only thing in the world that can transport you to another place and time—even another dimension—and when you turn it off, you're unceremoniously returned to the here and now. Oh, well.
- Joanne: Music brings you face-to-face with your innermost self, whether you like that self or not.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.
- Bobby: Chef.
- Joanne: Writer and a ceramicist.
Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.