By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 08, 2011 at 12:16 PM

After years of preparation, the Yellow Phone Music Conference (YPMC) finally takes flight this month in Brew City.

The three-day gathering brings artists and music professionals to the InterContinental Hotel Downtown and a number of nearby music venues Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

The fact that the conference's debut overlaps with the Milwaukee Film Festival, Sept. 22-Oct. 2, suggests some great possibilities for synergies now and in the future.

According to the website for the event, organized by local mover and shaker Scott Ziel, David Silbaugh, Doug Johnson and Mindpool productions, "YPMC will present engaging panel discussions and mentor sessions with experienced, respected leaders in the music business, bringing professionals, artists and fans together to share ideas and discover new opportunities."

Among the panelists are current and formers Milwaukeeans Jeff Castelaz, Lucas Keller, Marc Solheim and Peter Strand, along with other industry cats from Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond.

And among the bands you can see and hear are Fever Marlene, Conrad Plymouth, Juniper Tar, The Ragadors, Grace Weber, The Wildbirds and a host of bands from beyond Brew City.

"Yellow Phone's goal is to bring together career oriented artists and positive, forward-thinking leaders in today's music business, taking the best qualities of the larger industry conferences and downsizing them into a concentrated, quality experience with powerful, pertinent takeaways," the site says.

We've talked to Ziel and will have a Q&A with him at the week of the event. So stay tuned, but buy your badges and wristbands now because there's an early bird special!

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.