Porto Franco Records: No Boundaries

Porto Franco Records an investment in S.F. music: Aidin Vaziri | When Peter Varshavsky and his father, Sergei, decided to start a new music label in San Francisco last year they had no idea what they were doing. Having come from stuffy academic backgrounds, the Russian transplants just knew they wanted to do something to promote all the great local music they were hearing in clubs. So they picked up a couple of outdated books about the music industry and studied them carefully. “We built our business model on breaking almost every rule those books were giving us,” says Peter. In November, the Mission District Porto Franco Records put out its first six releases, immediately going against the grain by introducing an eclectic collection of music that runs the gamut from Gaucho’s moody Gypsy jazz to Mark Matos and Os Beaches’ twangy psychedelic rock. “The way we were reading about music marketing, we were told to find a niche and stick with it,” Peter says. “But the way we like music is one day you go to an old-time jazz band, the next day you go to an indie rock concert. We were seeing a lot of the same people in the audience.” Read more.

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