Grow your knowledge on sourcing and negotiating talent for your event or venue. This talk is aimed at musicians and bands looking to get booked on regional shows or events and those who book talent for their venue.

Confluence panel discussions have no cost to attend, but have limited space. Please reserve your seat here.


Garret K. Woodward was born and raised in the small Canadian border town of Rouses Point, New York. Since 2012, Garret has been the arts/entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, and was named the music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine in 2017, both based in Waynesville, North Carolina.

In 2015, he won first place in the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” Woodward was nominated in 2016 for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the NCPA also recognized him with back-to-back first place awards in 2016 and 2017 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”

Garret gained his degrees in Journalism and History in 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. His journalistic beginnings out of college crisscrossed the Atlantic with a stint in Ireland, and America covering backyard get-togethers and renowned festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa.

Recently, Woodward has become a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, covering such events as Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam and MerleFest.


Benton Wharton is the General Manager at Pisgah Brewing, best known for his work as the Events/PR Director and Talent Buyer for the Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage since its inception in 2010. Wharton’s background includes a Bachelor in the Arts degree and Minor in Music Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston in Arts Management, after which he operated as co-owner of Mountain Roots Management, a full service Events Management and Consulting Company, with his former business partner, Bob Robertson. MRM served as the subcontractor utilized to buy talent and organize events for Pisgah Brewing, which later led Pisgah to offering Wharton a full-time position running the events in-house.

Tony Arreaza is originally from Venezuela and has been a pioneer in Charlotte’s Latin music movement since 1993. Founder of Carlotan Talents, his efforts in cultivating a vibrant Latin music scene in the region have been featured on NPR, MTV Latino, Paste Magazine, MUN2, and more. For 10 years, Tony was the Cultural Events Director for Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition and in 2017 was invited to participate in FIMPRO, Guadalajara’s prestigious music conference.

Leah Ross is the Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. Over the past 18 years, Ross has played an integral role in the development and growth of Bristol establishing its identity as the birthplace of country music. As the Executive Director, Ross leads the Birthplace of Country Music team that oversees the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and WBCM Radio Bristol.

Ross is very involved in the local community serving on the Board of the Directors for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Secretary for Virginians for the Arts, and Executive Board Virginia’s Crooked Road. She has served on panel review committees for both the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Over the years Ross has also been honored with a number of awards, including, the Service Award for the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, a recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women for the Arts award, a graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Class, received an Arts Achievement Award from Arts Alliance of the Mountain Empire, and a Paul Harris Fellow recipient.

Tim Scott, Jr. is a musician, manager and industry professional from Buffalo, NY. After graduating from Northwest School of the Arts here in Charlotte, he went on to study Jazz and Music Business at North Carolina Central University before touring with Grammy-nominated group, The Foreign Exchange. During this time, he also shared the stage with Robert Glasper, Fantasia and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. He then began work as a production assistant for East Coast Entertainment where he helped produce events for the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets and several legendary artists such as The Temptations, Michael Bolton and Steely Dan. Tim currently serves as artist-in-residence at Charlotte Center City Partners and co-owner of TiMar Entertainment, providing music direction for, and connecting the best of Charlotte’s local and regional talent to, some of the city’s most notable events and institutions. Tim also pursues youth mentorship and speaking opportunities focused on music education, personal and professional development as well as advancement in professional music both on and off stage.