Michael Dorf (entrepreneur)

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Michael Dorf is a New York entrepreneur, impresario and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Knitting Factory, a music performance venue in New York City. After selling out his interest in that in 2003, he founded City Winery - a combined winery and performance venue - also in downtown New York City.

Dorf is married with three children.

Knit media years[edit]

In 1986, at the age of 23, Dorf started the Knitting Factory in the East Village. The Knitting Factory later became a widely known club for jazz and rock music. A spin-off entertainment company, KnitMedia, eventually established 8 record labels and 700 titles, 200 of which Dorf was the executive producer. In 2002, Dorf resigned as CEO of the Knitting Factory and he sold his interests in 2007.

In 1996 Dorf founded the Digital Club Network with partner Andrew Rasiej. The business grew and was eventually acquired by eMusic Group.

Event Production[edit]

Since 1993 Dorf has been the producer a number of New York's largest festivals including: The New York Jazz Festival, the Intel and Apple New York Music meets Technology Festivals. He has produced a successful ongoing series of charitable tributes at Carnegie Hall, to date featuring the work of various songwriters interpreted by select, diverse artists. Dorf has produced over 100 events in Europe. Partnerships include the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Vienna Jazz Festival.


In 2004, Michael started three different initiatives, one being the Tribute series at Carnegie Hall, which has raised over $1,000,000 to date. The Tribute concerts have featured the music of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Sedaka, Elton John, REM, The Who, Neil Young, Rolling Stones and Paul Simon. That same year as the first concert at Carnegie, Michael founded two Jewish focused organizations, Tribeca Hebrew, an after-school Hebrew program in Lower Manhattan and Downtown Arts Development, which produces the New York Jewish Music & Heritage Festival. The later organization currently has developed and produces the annual Schmooze conference and IJPA, International Jewish Presenters Association.


New York Magazine named him one of "The Ten Most Influential New Yorkers". Dorf has also been featured for his success of City Winery in the The New York Times (March, 16, 2014) Arts Section, Inc. Magazine How I Did It, May Issue, and Forbes (June 2014). Michael was nominated as finalist in the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014, New York.


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