Michael Ostin
Dean's Advisory Board

Veteran Industry Executive and Artist Manager

Michael Ostin is a Los Angeles based entertainment veteran with over 35 years of experience in the industry. His career began at Warner Bros. Records in October 1977 as an A&R scout, and he worked his way up to Senior Vice President of A&R, holding that title from 1988 to 1996. In that capacity, Michael was involved in signing and recording some of the most admired artists of the time: Christopher Cross, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rod Stewart, Seal, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Nile Rodgers, and Q-Tip.

Michael’s first signing at WBR was Christopher Cross, whose debut album, went on to sell 10 million copies worldwide and win 5 Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Christopher then went on to win an Academy Award for the theme song for the film Arthur.

Michael ran A&R for Madonna’s early records, hiring Nile Rodgers to produce the Like A Virgin album. He found the songs “Like A Virgin” and “Papa Don’t Preach” along with the idea to cover Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

After WBR, Michael served as President of DreamWorks Records (1996-2003), helping to build the company from its inception to the completion of its sale to Universal Music Group. He worked closely with the film, animation, and television divisions and their principles Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. During this time, not only did he help assemble the artist roster and executive team, he also worked on the soundtracks for the films American Beauty, Prince of Egypt, Shrek and Shrek 2.

In addition to his contributions in the music industry, Michael has been a champion of the arts, being an early investor/producer in the Tony Award winning hit Broadway show The Book of Mormon. Other credits include Larry David’s “Fish In The Dark” and Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” musical.’ Michael is also co-producing Nile Rodgers’ musical We Are Family along with legendary renowned producer Andrew Lloyd Weber.

He and his wife, Joyce Ostin, are members of the Independent Curators Council and serve on various other committees for LACMA, MOCA, and Hammer Museum. He and his family are also supporters and donors to The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music – the Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center being named after his parents.

Michael is always on the forefront of the next great cultural experience around Los Angeles. He was an early angel investor/advisor for innovative cannabis company MedMen, and helped bring to life Venice hot spots Gjelina, Gjusta, and MTN, along with The Firehouse boutique hotel and restaurant/bar in downtown Los Angeles.

These days, Michael manages the career of Q-Tip and legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Together they have formed a label, have multiple tv shows in development, have sold a book, and are creating an immersive live theater experience called Midnight at the Marauder. He and his newest client, D’Angelo, will be working on new projects in the next year.

He is currently co-producing a documentary about the prolific career of his father, Mo Ostin, along with esteemed writer/director/producer Lawrence Kasden.

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