45 episodes

The point of this podcast is simple. We want to pull back the curtain and bring you backstage, beyond the spotlight, to give you a glimpse into the world of folks like you and me who are working in the trenches of the music, theater, and entertainment industries. They may not be household names, but they are key players in bringing to life the shows we all enjoy. Over the last 41 years, your host Jon Diener has worked as a musician, producer, recording engineer, videographer, editor, motion graphics artist, and photographer. He's spent most of his life around people working hard behind the scenes and wants to learn more about their journeys and share their stories with you.

Beyond the Spotlight Jon Diener

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

The point of this podcast is simple. We want to pull back the curtain and bring you backstage, beyond the spotlight, to give you a glimpse into the world of folks like you and me who are working in the trenches of the music, theater, and entertainment industries. They may not be household names, but they are key players in bringing to life the shows we all enjoy. Over the last 41 years, your host Jon Diener has worked as a musician, producer, recording engineer, videographer, editor, motion graphics artist, and photographer. He's spent most of his life around people working hard behind the scenes and wants to learn more about their journeys and share their stories with you.

    Ep. 045: Matthew Rifino - Sound Mixer, TODAY Show

    Ep. 045: Matthew Rifino - Sound Mixer, TODAY Show

    When Matthew Rifino picked up an acoustic guitar at 5, a 30 year love affair with music began. 3 years later, he convinced his grandfather to buy him a four-track cassette recorder and Matthew would sit for hours recording and overdubbing. He started recording his first band at their first rehearsal and honed his basic recording chops by trial and error. Matthew and his friends threw themselves into the NJ Hardcore and Punk scene of the mid 90's. Forming an indie label and throwing shows, Matthew wanted to be immersed in the music community. 
    Channel surfing after school, Matthew stumbled upon a show being filmed at a recording studio only one town over from his house! He showed up at their door and told them he wanted to learn how to record. Matthew lucked out and the owner Tee DiMura took him under his wing. It was an old school 16 track analog 70's studio with floor to ceiling shag carpet and the smell of cigarettes in the air. Matthew spent all four years of high school afternoons learning as much as he could about recording and mixing.
    It was Avatar Studios (The Power Station) that gave Matthew his first real taste of what it’s like working with big names in the music industry. At 19-years-old, he scored a 3 month unpaid internship that turned into 4 years on staff at this legendary facility.  Everyday, Matthew was in awe while learning from Grammy winning engineers and producers. Al Schmidt, Jack Joseph Puig, Michael Brauer, Jason Corsaro, Neil Dorfsman, and Rich Costey were some the greats he got to watch perform their craft. The years he spent at Avatar still influenced the rest of his life.
    After 4 years, he wanted to make the move to freelance. Matthew had a couple of indie records lined up and then by a chance meeting he got a gig mixing monitors for the NBC Today Show. He had never mixed anything live before but got thrown right into the fire on his first show mixing Elvis Costello. At the same time with an inherent gravitational pull towards his recording studio roots he signed on as a staff engineer at Granite Alps Studios in NJ and later as Chief Engineer at Fenix Studios in Staten Island, NY. During that time, Matthew worked with Living Colour, James Blood Ulmer, Bernard Purdie (Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Hall and Oates), Wu Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean plus lots of independent rock and pop artists. While at Fenix, he also had the opportunity to mix jingles for television, radio, as well as tracks that would end up in major motion pictures.
    At just 27, Matthew took on the role of Broadcast Music Mixer for the NBC TODAY SHOW. Mixing the 5.1 Surround Sound on air-mixes that millions watch daily along with millions of streams on the net. During his time at NBC, Matthew has worked with a cornucopia of artists such as Adele, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Robert Plant, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Taylor Swift, John Mellencamp, among many others.
    After a few years away from the record business to focus on television, he could not resist the urge to get back into the studio. Having recently completed his personal mix room "Stone House Studios”, Matthew has started mixing records again. His goal is to be able to deliver high quality mixes to all his clients.

    Guest Links:
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    • 39 min
    Ep. 044: Michael Jeffers - Touring Bassist

    Ep. 044: Michael Jeffers - Touring Bassist

    Michael Jeffers is a life long music professional, performer and player. He started out in music performing with his father’s family band, then became a founding member of the critically acclaimed band Pinmonkey and got signed to RCA Records. Michael’s been traveling town to town on tour buses since 1999, loves to golf, and he is a lover of all things real.


    Touring Bass player
    Joe Nichols
    Jan 2008 – Present

    Founding member and bass player
    Jan 1999 – Jan 2006

    Doc Jeffers Band


    Middle Tennessee State University
    Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc)
    Field Of Study: Music Business

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    • 26 min
    Ep. 043: Mark Clark - Tour Manager / Production Manager / Tour Accountant

    Ep. 043: Mark Clark - Tour Manager / Production Manager / Tour Accountant

    Mark Clark has worked in the touring industry for over 10 years. He got his start in his home state of Alabama, driving artists at music festivals, and is currently based in New Orleans. Mark has managed tours throughout North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe. In his day-to-day work, he oversees a 360-degree advanced process, from show advance, to tour accounting, to settlements, visas, production, logistics, press, and all the ins-and-outs of the vital show day process. Some of Mark’s notable previous clients include American Authors, Kayzo, TOKiMONSTA, NGHTMRE, Snails, Savoy, and Boombox. 

    Co Host, Tour Management 101
    Mar 2020 – Present
    Location New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
    Tour Management 101 is an educational resource for anyone learning the ropes in the live events industry. We host a weekly webinar on Zoom, and YouTube with industry pros and provide free material and templates on our website.
    Tour Management / Production Management / Tour Accounting
    Mark Clark Touring LLC Self-employed
    Jan 2019 – Present
    Location New Orleans, LA
    Full 360 tour advance, management, and show execution. Domestic and Worldwide.

    Freelance Professional
    Tour Manager Sep 2013 – Present

    Guest Links:

    Show Links:
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    • 42 min
    Ep. 042: Angelique Mark - Production Coordinator

    Ep. 042: Angelique Mark - Production Coordinator

    Angelique Mark has amassed over two decades' experience traveling the globe, working with a variety of musical acts in rooms ranging from small clubs to stadiums. Her work focuses mainly in: logistics; immigration; accounting; and high-level time management, often under the most stressful of situations. Most recently, Angelique has been working as a mentor through Grammy U and the Well Dunn organization, helping young people learn about the world of live shows and touring.
    Production Coordinator
    The 1975
    Jan 2020 – Present
    Production Coordinator
    Mumford & Sons - Delta Tour
    Feb 2019 – Mar 2020
    Production Coordinator
    Il Divo - Timeless Tour
    Aug 2018 – Dec 2018
    Production Coordinator
    Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
    Apr 2017 – Aug 2018
    Artist Transportation Manager
    Okeechobee Music Festival
    Feb 2016 – Feb 2017
    Production Coordinator
    Il Divo - Amor y Pasion Tour
    Sep 2016 – Nov 2016
    Wardrobe Mistress
    Culture Club - Tribes Tour
    Jul 2015 – Jul 2016
    Location US/CA/MX/JP/PH/AU
    Staff Transportation Coordinator
    Mysterland Music Festival
    May 2015
    Production Coordinator
    Arcade Fire - Reflektor Tour
    Oct 2013 – Aug 2014
    Location US/UK/EU/S America/Australia/New Zealand/Japan
    Assistant Tour Manager
    My Morning Jacket - Bob Dylan Americanarama Tour
    Jul 2013 – Aug 2013
    Location North America

    Production Coordinator
    Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials Tour
    Jun 2012 – Dec 2012
    Location US/UK/Europe
    Production Coordinator
    The Black Keys - El Camino Tour
    Oct 2012 – Nov 2012
    Location New Zealand/Australia
    Wardrobe Mistress
    Erasure - Total Pop! and Tomorrow's World Tours
    Mar 2011 – Oct 2011
    Location US/UK/Europe/S. America
    Additional Artists Toured with
    2000 – 2011
    Location US/UK/Europe
    Cirque du Soleil - Kooza (Dresser 1)
    Boy George/Culture Club (Tour Assistant)
    Gavin Rossdale/Institute (Merchandise Manager)
    Paul Oakenfold (Merchandise Manager)
    Jewel (Merchandise Manager)Fuel (Merchandise Manager)
    Cheetah Girls/Miley Cyrus (Merchandise)
    Vanessa Hudgens (Merchandise Manager)
    Corbin Bleu (Merchandise Manager)

    Guest links:
    Angelique on LinkedIn
    Angelique on Instagram
    Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9JCBNUCRNRVKY&source=url)

    • 32 min
    Ep. 041: Marty Hom - Tour Manager, Production Coordinator

    Ep. 041: Marty Hom - Tour Manager, Production Coordinator


    ROLLING STONES – Tour Manager

    1997 - Present
    FLEETWOOD MAC – Tour Manager

    1999 – Present
    BARBRA STREISAND – Tour Director

    January 24, 2020
    PARTON - Co-Producer

    2010 – Present
    SHAKIRA – Tour Director

    1997 - Present
    STEVIE NICKS - Tour Manager

    Dec ’15 – Nov ‘16
    BEYONCE – Tour Director/Producer Formation Tour

    2012 – Present
    VAN HALEN TOUR 2012 & 2015 – Tour Manager

    Feb '14 – Dec ‘15
    LIONEL RICHIE - Tour Director
    1997 - 2001

    Jan 2013 – Dec 2013
    ALICIA KEYS – Tour Director - World Tour 2010 & 2013

    Aug ’02 – Jan 2010
    BETTE MIDLER – General Manager “The Showgirl Must Go On”
    Las Vegas Residency

    Aug ’05 – May ‘07

    Dec ’00 – Dec ‘01
    BACKSTREET BOYS – Tour Manager

    Oct ’00 – Nov ’00
    LENNY KRAVITZ – Tour Manager

    Aug ’99 – Dec ‘99
    RICKY MARTIN - Tour Manager

    July '99 - Sept '99

    May '99 - Sept '99
    BONNIE RAITT - Tour Manager/Accountant

    Sept '98 – Aug ‘99
    LIONEL RICHIE - Tour Manager/Accountant

    April ‘95 - 2015
    BOSTON - Tour Manager

    October 1996
    CHRIS ISAAK - Tour Manager/Accountant

    August 1996
    CELINE DION - Production Manager

    April ‘96 - May ‘96
    SHANIA TWAIN - Tour Manager

    Apr ‘95 - May ‘95
    JIMMY BUFFETT - Tour Accountant

    Jan '93 - Sept '94
    JANET JACKSON - Tour Manager

    June ‘89 - Sept '92
    PAULA ABDUL - Tour Manager

    BILL WITHERS- Tour Manager / Accountant







    Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9JCBNUCRNRVKY&source=url)

    • 30 min
    Ep. 040: Aoife Ahern - Tour Manager, Production Coordinator

    Ep. 040: Aoife Ahern - Tour Manager, Production Coordinator

    Aoife Ahern has a huge amount of Project Management experience, having been a Global Producer, Tour Manager, Production Coordinator, Advance Manager|Artist Relations and a Talent Booker. She has advanced many large scale festivals (80,000+ capacity) such as Oxegen Festival to Kaaboo Festival. She has also been a promoter's rep and a production manager for a huge number of shows, as well as promoting weekly shows of 2000+ capacity. Aoife has toured with artists such as Prince, Beyonce, Jay-Z, One Direction, Arcade Fire, Chris Brown, Gavin Friday, The Waterboys, Billy Ocean, Sting, Madonna plus many more. During this time, she has performed roles such as Tour Manager, Production Co-ordinator, and VIP Facilities Manager. Aoife manages and co-ordinates large volumes of information - from budgets, crew, travel, logistics, riders, content, schedules, visas, dressing rooms, ground transport, merchandise & VIP management. She has also worked with a vast array of international talent, promoters, founders, entrepreneurs, agents, TMs, suppliers, venues & crew over the years.

    Tour Management
    Tame Impala
    Jul 2019 – Present
    Facilities Manager | One Direction | Chris Brown | Beyonce | Jay-Z | Sting | Madonna
    Live Nation | VIP Nation
    2015 – Present
    Duties Include:Facilities Manager for all VIPs daily.Coordinating all Early Entry Tickets daily.Coordinating all Hot Tickets Entries daily.Liaising and managing security and queuing systems.Managing all signage for Early Entries & Hot Tickets.Managing of all ticket booths, ticketing, wristbands and staff.Daily brief with security, venue and Live NationManaging of all VIP Merchandise.Daily reports for Live/VIP Nation.Setting & Running of office.Troubleshooting, managing all issues that arose.

    Tour Manager
    Gavin Friday
    Jul 2011 – Present
    Managing budgets based on fee for each show.Booking and managing logistics, such as travel, accommodation, ground transport. Coordinating with press department and accompanying artist to all press calls. Drawing up of all riders based on requirement of traveling party and foreseeing their implementation at each show. Managing of all crew and touring party.Arranging work permits for non EU band members in relevant country. Coordinating all aspects of production.Dealing with cash and payment. Liaising between management, agent, promoter and band to make sure that everyone has information required to make each show a successful event.Liaising with Event Control to ensure that all health and safety matters are adhered to for safety of band and audience.

    Production Coordinator
    May 2014 – Present
    Location European / Canadian & American Tour
    Booking of hotels, flights & ground transport for all Crew.Arranging Visa for all Crew.Managing and organising of artist catering.Designing daily menu for artist.Managing of Dressing Rooms & Riders on a daily basis.Signage for Backstage Area.Assisting TM/PM with production requirements.Running & assisting in production office.Dealing with crew, suppliers, management, venues and artists needs on a daily basis.
    Senior VIP Nation Event Manager | International Tours
    VIP Nation Europe | Live Nation
    Oct 2018 – Sep 2019
    London, United Kingdom
    Michelle Obama, Mumford & Sons, Blackpink, BTS, Phil Collins, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel.

    Guest links:
    Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9JCBNUCRNRVKY&source=url)

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Eddie J Campos ,


This podcast is fantastic! Getting such a unique perspective of what creates a concert. The team effort needed to put in a show. And those who don’t get a spotlight but truly deserve it are hero’s to the entertainment industry. Thank you Jon Diener for creating this podcast and do it so well! 5 stars start to finish!

WellsMomma ,

Beyond my expectations! MUST LISTEN!

I should start out by saying this is not my typical podcast genre, I tend to lean towards political podcasts. That being said, I love this podcast. It really makes me appreciate the work that people put into their craft and the true enjoyment they get from it. I love the personal stories and the host asks really insightful and interesting questions to all of his guests! Be sure to check out!

EverydayEd ,

Good show. Can’t wait to hear what’s coming up

Highly recommended! This is a interesting look (listen) at what goes on to make the shows you like tick. If you've ever seen a show that looked and sounded great you can bet there were a lot of people working together "Beyond the Spotlight" to make it all happen.

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