Grammy Award-winningmusic producer Joe Nicolo has teamed up with a group of entrepreneurs to launch Kindred Media Group.

Backed by private equity, the new distribution venturewill handle domestic and international rights on projects and will be headed upby new media entrepreneur Jeffrey D Erb, who founded the business-to-businesstechnology company precision Media, among others.

Also on boardare Erb's longtime business partner Robert L Robinson Jr, and Dani Englander,who hails from the McCall family that owns both Marquee Cinemas and All-StarCinemas, and who will head up the theatrical distribution.

Through its tieswith Marquee and All-Star, Kindred guarantees theatrical distribution toprojects on its slate.

Other investorsinclude actor and producer Frank Vitolo, who appeared in Working Girl and Love Liza, and Brett Donowho, who produced theupcoming Vietnam drama The Music Within.

Nicolo founded RuffhouseRecords and produced albums by such performers as Cypress Hill, The Fugees, WyclefJean and Lauryn Hill. He served as executive producer on the 2003 drama Shade starring Jamie Foxx, Gabriel Byrne, and MelanieGriffith.