For the past six years, Empire Entertainment has produced the Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Envision not only a room packed with icons and innovators but a stage of top-tier entertainment: internationally acclaimed musicians, comedians, and keynote speakers. Now imagine pulling off such an undertaking—from design and decor, to the effortless coordination of the talent and guests, to the red carpet and stage.
Add in the technical challenges of innumerous camera feeds, hundreds of members of media—some more privy to the behind the scenes than others—and throw in the Secret Service along with a bomb sweep or two to account for all the dignitaries in attendance. “This is high stakes. Producing an event for the most demanding and discerning audience in the world and being able rise to that level of elegance is not easy to pull off.”
Meet the puppeteer—Emmy Award–winning producer J.B. Miller, president and CEO of Empire Entertainment, who founded the company in 1993. Miller, a veteran of the entertainment industry, had previously worked extensively in television and motion picture production and as a talent booker at MTV, NBC, and Ron Delsener Enterprises. “I started Empire Entertainment when I saw companies— from private entities and branded corporations and even governments—trying to get into the event business without the benefit of an in- house producer or someone with true access to entertainers.”
Today, Empire Entertainment produces some of the biggest and most exceptional events in the world, but they bring to the table a lot more than access to top-tier talent. “We not only know how to get to them, we know how to work with them,” explains Miller. “And then we coordinate and integrate them into the vision of the event.” From Alicia Keys to Bono, Jay-Z to Elton John, he has worked with them all.
Empire Entertainment is unparalleled in its ability to handle the precision aspects of technological challenges. “Colin pushes the envelope in this area, and we deliver to achieve those visions. Three giant artists with huge setups on a small turntable stage: no problem.” Realizing Colin’s designs, stage managing it as a live show, and effectively animating his inspirations is what Miller aspires to: “We produce on the same bespoke level that Colin designs.”
With headquarters in New York and Tokyo and a Latin America division as well, its international capabilities are without compromise. “We have worked in 75 different countries, which is unique since most event companies are pretty specific to their neighborhood.” And from producing the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition launch the very next day, its versatility speaks for itself. “A lot of our clients got to be where they are because they are true perfectionists. If you need someone to produce your vision, as impossible as it might seem, to your level of expectation, that’s exactly what we’re here to do.”