About

For more than sixty years, MKI Artists has represented many of the world’s leading classical musicians. Helmed by John Zion – who took ownership of the firm in 2015 – our experienced team directs the careers of a select group of artists.

As MKI Artists looks to the future, it is with an eye toward further defining what it means to be a full-service boutique agency, poised to provide the highest-level artist management services for performers and presenters around the world.

Our Team

John Zion

Managing Director

Email John Zion

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John serves as the Managing Director of MKI Artists after taking ownership of the firm in 2015. He oversees strategic planning, operations, and directs the careers of a prestigious roster of international artists. He serves on the board of Chamber Music America and has presented on arts related issues at the Manhattan School of Music, University at Buffalo, APAP|NYC, and Chamber Music America’s National Conference.

In 2012, he was named one of the “Rising Stars in the Performing Arts” by Musical America. Before coming to MKI Artists, he performed regularly as a violinist with orchestras throughout New England and toured Vietnam with his string quartet.

Katie Backus

Booking Representative
Eastern U.S.

Email Katie Backus

T (802) 658-2592

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Katie joined MKI Artists in 2013. She studied violin and viola at the University of Rhode Island, graduating with a degree in music education, and taught strings in public schools and privately for fifteen years before moving to Vermont.

In her free time Katie coaches a running group, gardens, skis, and loves to travel. An avid hiker she is attempting to climb all of the 4,000’+ mountains in New England.

Kate Barnes

Booking Representative
Western U.S. & Canada

Email Kate Barnes

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Kate joined MKI Artists in 2006, after returning home to Vermont from San Francisco. A graduate of Deerfield Academy and Brown University, where she studied history and creative writing, Kate spends her free time with her three young children, her husband, their large, exuberant dog, their three-legged cat, and their huge puppy.

Kate serves on her local school board, is learning to skateboard, and loves reading, cooking, running, and things that make her laugh. Trained as a pianist, she is enjoying the opportunity to pass on her love of all kinds of music to her kids.

Julie Gaitens

Booking Representative
Orchestras

Email Julie Gaitens

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Julie (B&W)

Julie joined MKI Artists in 2016. She brings 25 years’ experience as an artist manager and booking representative at Herbert Barrett Management, IMG and Frank Salomon Associates. Originally from New Mexico Julie now works from, and lives in, North Carolina with her husband, high-school aged son and slightly neurotic cat.

In her free time Julie enjoys baking, listening to podcasts and spending time with family.

Jessica Shook

Concert Logistics & Travel

Email Jessica Shook

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Jessica first came to MKI Artists as a booking agent immediately after graduating from Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music. After nearly a decade in that position, she welcomed her son Quinn to the world and shortly thereafter changed her focus to travel and logistics, taking a position with a Group Tour Operator planning international tours for choral groups.

She is thrilled to be back at MKI Artists, combining her knowledge and love of classical music with a deep background in logistics planning. Outside the office Jessica enjoys traveling, gardening, seeing live music, brewing her own beer, and striving to put together the perfect cheese plate.

Brooke Quiggins

Administrative Coordinator

Email Brooke Quiggins

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Brooke joined MKI Artists in 2017 after moving to Vermont from New York City. She studied violin performance at Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her BM and MM degrees. While in New York, Brooke balanced an exciting life as an active freelance musician while serving as the Assistant Director of Student Affairs at the Manhattan School of Music.

Now that she is in Vermont, she is thrilled to be joining the MKI Artists team while continuing to perform with various VT and NY ensembles. Brooke enjoys running, hiking, and drinking Vermont beer. When she is relaxing at home, she’s hanging out with her musician husband, Kyle, and their two cats – Jax (very fat and mean) and Zoe (very tiny and sweet).