Meet the Team:
Ryan Fitch & Farnell Newton
Who are you/Where are you from?
FN: The go-to guy for all things jazzy, funky and soulful in Portland. I’m originally from Miami, Florida but after that, I lived in Burlington, Massachusetts, Philadelipa, Pennsylvania and Denver, Colorado. From there, I got my undergrad degree from Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and am now based out of Portland, Oregon.
RF: I’m a dude who grew up in Indy playing drums, lived in NYC working as a music supervisor at different ad agencies, and am now in Portland — sipping on kombucha while working at Marmoset.
What’s your role at Marmoset?
FN: A&R Roster and Repertoire Coordinator
RF: A&R Team Lead
Can you tell us about your history with music outside of Marmoset?
FN: I’m a former Professor of Jazz Studies at Portland State University. I’ve also mentored young jazz musicians in PDX Jazz Project. In terms of performance, I’ve played for three years on various shows on the BET Network to touring with three-time grammy winning singer, actress Jill Scott and legendary Funk Bassist Bootsy Collins. Besides that, I've curated shows for the PDX Jazz Fest, Mogo Festival and have been the co-creator of Portland's Black Music Festival.
RF: Some of the highlights of my career include touring Europe playing drums with the band Son Lux. I've also worked at the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi in NYC as a music producer — working on all sorts of great ads. One of my favorite ads I produced was for JCPenney when we licensed a John Lennon song called “Real Love.” After Saatchi, I worked in the TV & Film department at BMG. Then after 15 grueling but joyous years living in NYC, my wife and I moved to Portland, which was just a few years ago.
What’s the most important thing about music to you — or your favorite thing about music?
FN: Being true, honest and genuine to the music while connecting with the audience.
RF: I love the feeling great music can give you. And when great music is paired to the right film, the experience can be transcendental.
Favorite concert experience?
FN: 1989 — seeing MC Hammer, Boyz II Men, and Oaktown 357 when I was 13 years old. Besides that, seeing D’Angelo and the Vanguard in 2015
RF: Jack Garrett performing at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC in 2013; it was his second NYC show and the show sold out. There was some kind of special magic in the air that night.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one album to listen to which one would it be?
FN: Miles Davis' Kind of Blue
RF: Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats
What’s an ad you’ve seen where you feel like music was done very well?
FN: I love sports commercials! That feeling it gives you and motivates you to get up, get out and accomplish life. Here's an example of what I mean:
RF: I love what Honda has done with some of their ads. One of my favorites is this ad from a few years ago where Honda had a choir of people make the sounds of a motor. Here's a link to the project:
Love how real it sounds! It’s entertaining to watch and amazing how it really gives you an experience like you’re riding in the car.