KATHY SALEM, MANAGING DIRECTOR
With a love for jazz and a passion for service, Kathy Salem founded Night is Alive to combine her two biggest devotions into one. Following successful careers as an advertising executive for The Plain Dealer and noted lobbyist in Washington, DC, Salem founded Pecan Group in 2008. Night is Alive, an arm of the Pecan Group produces classical and jazz concerts worldwide and manages some of the most intriguing and inventive musicians of our time. Since officially starting her booking agency over five years ago, Salem has never diverted from her original mission of building the biggest jazz agency in the United States.
Salem knew that the best way to build a reputation for booking was to build relationships; something she quickly accomplished. “It is not what you know but who you know and what they think about you!” From the start, Salem built her relationships around this sense of respect to not only the industry itself but the people employed within it.
When discussing the venue owners that she works with, Salem had this to say, “You call them, you get to know them, you learn about them, and most importantly, you respect them!” This relationship building is what Salem says makes Night is Alive that much different from every other jazz booking agency in the United States. “I respect the people I work with and they respect me! I represent some of the most distinguished jazz artists in the industry and these clubs need people to play. It’s a win for everyone involved!”
While she loves the people she works with, her true favorites are the musicians she represents. Salem believes strongly that her performers are the most internationally known, respected and honored jazz musicians performing today. A music lover and musician herself, Kathy Salem is determined to spread the same passion and energy that her musicians put into every one of their performances too as many venues that she can book them into.
In addition to her music agency, Kathy Salem also proudly offers academic scholarships to up-and-coming musicians still attending college. Created in the effort to help foster music and jazz creation into the next generation, Salem believes that revitalizing the jazz industry requires not just popularity among the current generation but the next one as well.
ELIZABETH CARNEY, CREATIVE
Elizabeth Carney earned a B.M. in clarinet performance and a B.A. in English from The University of Akron and went on to receive her M.M. in clarinet performance from Kent State University. While studying at Kent State, she held a clarinet assistantship, bands assistantship, outreach assistantship, and played principal clarinet in the college’s Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, among other ensembles. Currently, Elizabeth is Principal Editor for Night is Alive and works full-time for The Cleveland Orchestra as Operations Coordinator.
A member of the Night is Alive team since 2019, Elizabeth assists in creating promotional material and blog posts and maintains the organization’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. She also wrote the monthly series “News from Elsewhere” which featured anecdotes from Managing Director Kathy Salem’s many experiences on the road.
Elizabeth’s jazz background began at Kent State University, where she played lead saxophone in the Jazz Orchestra and studied privately with jazz saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio. Since then, Elizabeth has been passionate about jazz and the local scene in Northeast Ohio. She can be heard playing clarinet on Bobby’s 2020 album “Live from the Bop Stop”.
As a musician, Elizabeth has years of experience performing in chamber groups and as a soloist. She is currently principal clarinet of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra and has also served as principal clarinetist and saxophonist for the Canton Comic Opera Co., played concerts with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic and Sounds of Sousa band, and is a member of the Cleveland Winds, a professional-quality wind ensemble based out of Cleveland State University. Elizabeth has also instructed master classes and directed sectionals in the Akron, Crestwood, Cuyahoga Falls, Shaker Heights, and Woodridge School Districts, working with high school, middle school, and elementary students. In addition to working full time, Elizabeth maintains a private studio and works with clarinet students of all ages. She likes to spend her free time with her husband, two long-haired dachshunds, and three cats.
BENJAMIN LEHMAN, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Benjamin Lehman is a pioneering San Francisco Bay Area graphic designer who has made significant contributions to the world of digital design. With a career spanning over 27 years, Lehman has established himself as a visionary in the industry. He is best known for founding one of the world’s first all-digital design agencies, Hopping Design, which has transformed the way companies approach design.
Lehman’s journey began in the early days of digital design when the field was still emerging. He recognized the potential of technology and its ability to revolutionize the creative process. With an unwavering passion for pushing boundaries, he became a trailblazer, employing cutting-edge tools and techniques to create visually stunning and impactful designs.
One of Lehman’s most significant accomplishments was his role in building the world’s first streaming video application using Adobe Flash. This pioneering achievement revolutionized the way videos were delivered and consumed online, paving the way for the streaming platforms we know today. Lehman’s visionary approach and technical expertise were instrumental in making this breakthrough a reality.
Throughout his illustrious career, Lehman has collaborated with numerous high-profile, Fortune 500 companies, leaving an indelible mark on their visual identities. His ability to understand the unique needs and brand objectives of each client has earned him a reputation as a trusted and sought-after designer. He has consistently delivered exceptional results, elevating brands to new heights and setting industry standards.
Lehman’s work exemplifies a harmonious blend of creativity and innovation. His designs possess a distinctive aesthetic that seamlessly incorporates both artistic flair and technological finesse. With an acute attention to detail and a deep understanding of user experience, he creates visually captivating designs that captivate audiences and drive engagement.
Beyond his professional achievements, Lehman is also a mentor and inspiration to aspiring designers. He actively contributes to the design community through online interactions, workshops, and tutorials, sharing his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of creative minds.
Today, Benjamin Lehman’s influence continues to shape the digital design landscape. His relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with his pioneering spirit, has positioned him as a visionary leader in the industry. With an unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing technological advancements, Lehman remains at the forefront of innovation, leaving an enduring impact on the world of graphic design.