Pete Ganbarg Launches Pure Tone Records With Atlantic as He Steps Aside as President of A&R

Pete Ganbarg is stepping aside as Atlantic Records’ president of A&R, a role he has held since 2018, to launch Pure Tone Records, a joint venture with the label. The first artist signed to Pure Tone Records is platinum Canadian singer/songwriter Forest Blakk, whom Ganbarg originally signed to Atlantic. 

Ganbarg, who has worked at Atlantic for almost 16 years, will continue to A&R several acts on the Atlantic Music Group roster, including twenty one pilots, Shinedown, Gayle, Halestorm, and others.

“The launch of Pure Tone Records as a standalone label is an exciting moment for me,” Ganbarg said in a statement.  “It’s the best of both worlds – a golden opportunity to run my own shop, while at the same time having the backing of the outstanding Atlantic team who I’ve worked with so closely over the past 15-plus years.”

“For the past 16 years, Pete has brilliantly led our A&R mission – discovering, signing, and championing a genre-crossing array of hit artists, while also boosting our theatrical presence with a string of award-winning cast albums,” Atlantic Music Group Chairman & CEO Julie Greenwald and Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman said in a statement. “At the same time, he’s mentored and built a fantastic A&R team who are expert at nurturing baby acts and superstars alike. The formation of Pure Tone is an important event for Pete and Atlantic, as he brings his decades of experience, his impeccable taste, and great ears to steering his own ship, and we’re thrilled to be his partners on this exciting next phase of his musical journey.” 

If the name Pure Tone sounds familiar, Ganbarg has been using the moniker for nearly two decades. He formed Pure Tone Music prior to joining Atlantic as an A&R consultancy, whose clients included Kelly Clarkson, Chaka Khan, Santana, Aaron Neville, Donna Summer, and others. He also operates a pair of publishing joint ventures with WMG’s Warner Chappell Music under that name. Its writers have achieved multiple gold and platinum certifications, including the 2024 Grammy-winning record of the year, Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers.”

“I’m looking forward to making Pure Tone [Records] a home for exceptional, original talent, and at the same time, I’m very happy to continue to work with my amazing Atlantic artist roster,” Ganbarg continued. “I want to thank Julie and Craig for their tremendous support over the years, and for having the faith to join me in this new adventure.”

The New York-based Ganbarg joined Atlantic in 2008 as executive vp of A&R. Through his tenure, he signed or shepherded recordings by twenty one pilots, Halestorm, Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, Melanie Martinez, Skillet, Brett Eldredge, Matchbox Twenty & Rob Thomas, among others. 

He also led Atlantic’s tremendous success with Broadway cast albums, including co-signing and A&R’ing the Diamond-certified original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton. He won Grammy Awards as a producer of the original Broadway cast recordings of Dear Evan Hansen and Jagged Little Pill, and more recently oversaw the Broadway cast recordings for this season’s Tony-nominated shows, Suffs and The Notebook. He also worked on the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman and Daisy Jones & The Six.  

Ganbarg began his A&R career in 1989 at SBK Records. In 1997, while at Arista Records,  he conceived and A&R’d Santana’s 30x platinum worldwide, nine-time Grammy-winning Supernatural.

There is no word on Ganbarg’s successor as president of A&R. 

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