Artist management at 'The Rocks'

Partnership of Sparta residents


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Photos



  • The Rocks Management team: Cindy da Silva and Chris Tuthill Photo courtesy of The Rocks




  • Hollis Brown Photo courtesy of the Sparta Arts Council



By Laurie Gordon

— “The Rocks” is a new artist management firm, a home, and a piece of Sparta history.

The Rocks Management is the partnership of Sparta residents Cindy da Silva and Chris Tuthill and it was named in honor of their home which was originally built as a hunting lodge in the 1890’s across from Sparta Glen, and hjas been known locally ever since as “The Rocks.”

The music industry couple launched their new venture in June, and they manage the careers of British Invasion icons The Zombies, emerging rockers Hollis Brown, hit songwriter Bruce Sudano, and alt-country troubadour Don DiLego, as well as visual artists Terry Quirk and Vivienne Boucherat.

Prior to joining forces three years ago, da Silva and Tuthill had a combined 40-plus years experience in the music business, and had the privilege of working with true legends including Bo Diddley, Wilson Pickett, and producer Tom Dowd.

"Our clients perform around the world," Tuthill said. "Although the music industry has changed tremendously in the age of social media, downloads and streaming, there is one thing that remains constant for a band’s career - the importance of touring. There is no greater connection between an artist and fan than the shared experience of a live performance."

Tuthill said touring is often the main source of an artist’s income.

"But it’s also an investment in building and keeping an audience," he said. "You have to find the right balance...deciding when to tour, what cities are most important, and what venues are the right fit for both the band and their audience...all while planning for the costs of keeping a band on the road, and the inevitable emergencies that pop up — broken-down tour vans, blizzards, delayed flights, and so on.”

He added that bands must go where the fans are, no matter where the artists may live.

"The Zombies live in England, but actually tour more in America than they do in their own country, and regularly travel to Japan and The Philippines," Tuthill said. "Hollis Brown will be making their first appearance in South Africa next year, and their fifth European tour.”

Tuthill said he was a strong supporter of the New Jersey music scene.

"The variety of venues has grown tremendously across our State in the past decade, from house concerts to performing arts theaters, meaning you no longer have to drive into NYC or Philly to catch the best shows," he said. "I’m also very proud to be involved with the Sparta Arts Council, who present our wonderful free Friday night Summer Concert Series, which Hollis Brown played last weekend (Aug. 11).”

Of “landing” in Sparta, da Silva said, “I first found Sparta seeking a great school system for my kids, and purchased 'The Rocks' in 2008. I've always thought that the property was a perfect space for creativity, and needed to be somehow shared with others. Chris and I began working together in 2012, and quickly found that we were each other's missing business halves (and eventually each other's halves in life as well). At the time, we had an hour commute to work each way, which felt like lost time for whoever was driving. Bringing the business home to Sparta made sense time-wise, as well as creating a more enjoyable work environment for us and our team. It was a natural decision to name the business after our place of inspiration.”

She added, “Our artists have written here, serenaded us, and filmed on the premises. We plan to do much more of this as we slowly restore the property to its full glory. We also plan on starting a summer house (yard) concert series called 'Live From The Rocks' in which local Spartans can join us by our stream to listen to some great music, and then live stream the performances on Facebook as well.”

In between a hectic schedule of meetings in NYC, late night concerts, and traveling the world with their clients, The Rocks serves as Tuthil and da Silva's “peaceful sanctuary, base of operations, and an ongoing labor of love to preserve and maintain the unique home and grounds,” she said.

For further information about The Rocks, contact chris@therocksmgmt.com

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