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A talent buyer, concert promotion, and event production company based in Ithaca, NY. We specialize in developing talent from small clubs to theatres and arenas. We produce concerts in and buy talent for regional theatres, colleges, and various other venues. We also produce events for musical acts, corporations, not-for-profits, etc. in and around the Finger Lakes region of New York State and throughout New England.
The company was founded in 2008, though the principal, Dan Smalls, has a wide ranging background in business and the entertainment field. His biography can be found below. In 2015 John Sanders joined DSP as a partner and talent buyer. John had been booking Northhampton staples the Calvin Theatre, the Iron Horse, Pearl Street and Mountain Park in addition to presenting shows around the New England region for the past fifteen years.
Feel free to call us anytime at 607.280.2900
Dan Smalls has a diverse and wide-ranging background in the entertainment business. The business of entertainment took hold while Dan was a sophomore at Cornell University here in Ithaca and produced his first concert, a combination of Blues Traveler and The Spin Doctors at Bailey Hall, before each rose to stardom. After that sell-out and several others, Dan joined local impresario John Peterson at the Haunt on Green Street and quickly became the manager. It was the heyday of the famous red, gold and green painted façade that played host to the likes of such diverse acts as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Pearl Jam as well as nearly every major blues and reggae act including Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and The Wailers. Their Two Just Men and Topspot Promotions presented many shows at the State Theatre back in the early nineties and at various other regional theatres. Dan stayed on for several years after graduating in 1992 and eventually moved on to expand his musical future in a bigger pond.
This path led him through various positions in Boston that began as a booking agent for local and national acts and led to working for Great Northeast Productions. While there, the company produced over seventy live events per year with acts like Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Chris Isaak, Joan Baez, among many others. Every year culminated in producing the annual end of summer tour camping festivals for Phish (Clifford Ball, The Great Went, Lemonwheel) that took place in several locations and hosted over 80,000 fans. Dan also worked closely with musical act Squirrel Nut Zippers, assisting in their growth and eventual platinum selling success that catapulted out of the Boston market. He also started the successful Swing Night at the Roxy in Boston that hosted dozens of acts and consistently drew over 1200 patrons to a Friday night event that featured national acts on stage, dance lessons, period clothing sales and more, a concept that the company shared with similar venues around the US.
In 1999, Dan took the opportunity to work for the Gerry Foundation, started by cable TV pioneer Alan Gerry, and assist in production of a summer concert series on the original Woodstock concert site for a break from the big city and a chance to be closer to his family. The series went off well and became the impetus for the recently completed Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts which opened in 2007.
For the past seven seasons, Dan has served as exclusive talent buyer for the State Theatre in Ithaca. His booking, promotion and marketing have resuscitated this nearly 80 year old hall to its former glory and made it the venue of choice in Central NY. He has also taken on new venues like the summer concert series at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, the prestigious Event Gallery in the Woodstock Museum at the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Daryl Hall's Live From Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY, Ani Difranco's Asbury Hall and the Ninth Ward in Buffalo, and clubs like The Haunt in Ithaca and Water Street Music Hall, and Harro East Ballroom in Rochester.