Sponsors & Judges

Wonderful Sponsors of the 34th MASC (alpha order)

Bias Studios www.biasstudios.com
Prize offered: 8 hours of studio time & 1 hour mastering to the Grand Prize winner.
Bias Studios has been in business since 1973 in the Washington DC area. It’s hard to beat their track record: dozens of Grammy-winning and nominated projects; Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum sellers; 10 Wammie awards for Best Studio; and engineers with multiple Grammy awards on their mantels. Their greatest pride is hearing musicians say how thrilled they are with their project, having them come back time and again to create.
 
Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center www.chucklevins.com
Prize offered: 5% Off Orders on www.chucklevins.com for All Entrants (code given after song submission).
Chuck Levin’s opened in 1958, and the modest mom and pop shop quickly became a DC institution. No musician could pass through DC without a stop at “Chuck’s.” Still a family operation, Washington Music Center is an example of honest opinions, reliable advice, personal attention to detail, good will, and customer satisfaction matched with huge inventory and great prices.
 
Cue Recording www.cuerecording.com
Prize offered: 8 hours of studio time to the Young Artist Award.
Cue has been recording award winning music for 25 years in the Washington DC area. With 5 “Best Studio” Awards and 10 gold & Platinum Awards, their engineers have worked with top Internationally known artists.
 
Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) www.farmfolk.org
Prize offered: 1 conference registration to the 2018 FARM for the Grand Prize winner.
FARM is an annual four-day conference held in October in Iowa where artists, agents, booking agents, venue and festival promoters, recording industry professionals, graphic artists, folk DJs, journalists, photographers, publicists and production professionals get together to exchange ideas, learn by attending workshops, panel discussions and seminars, participate in an exhibit hall, attend formal showcases of juried performers, and go to private and guerrilla showcases hosted by performers, agents and promoters.
 
Folk Alliance Region Farwest (FAR-West) www.far-west.org/
Prize offered: 1 conference registration to the 2018 FAR-West for the Grand Prize Winner.
FAR-West is an annual four-day conference held in October in California where artists, agents, booking agents, venue and festival promoters, recording industry professionals, graphic artists, folk DJs, journalists, photographers, publicists and production professionals get together to exchange ideas, learn by attending workshops, panel discussions and seminars, participate in an exhibit hall, attend formal showcases of juried performers, and go to private and guerrilla showcases hosted by performers, agents and promoters.
 
Indie Bible www. indiebible.com
Prize offered: 1 downloadable copy of the 2017 Indie Bible for every Gold category winner.
The Indie Bible is the Flagship Directory of the company, first published in 1999. It is an international music resource that helps independent artists of ALL GENRES with their music promotion, indie marketing campaigns, finding a record deal, getting reviews, radio airplay, distribution and radio promotion. The Indie Bible is over 1,100 pages and is organized into 16 sections, with each section being sorted by genre and geographic location. The Indie Bible will help you to gain worldwide exposure on a limited budget!
 
Michelle Lockey Music www. michellelockey.com
Prize offered: 1 registration to the Music Licensing for Film & TV online course.
Music Licensing for Film & TV is an on-line self paced course that teaches you the A-Z of music licensing. This detail oriented course covers a range of topics from how to craft your songs for Film & TV to the business side of Music Licensing. The course also offers expert interviews with Music publishers, artists, and other industry experts. In addition to the course, you become part of a private members only Facebook group where members talk about the homework, their songs, and support each other through the process. In addition, you also get a one hour consultation and access to a goal setting course ($497 value). Michelle is an award winning Singer-Songwriter who licenses music to Film & TV, teaches workshops on music licensing, and is giving back by building a community of songwriter’s that help support each other through the music licensing process.
 
Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) www.nerfa.org
Prize offered: 1 conference registration each to the 2018 NERFA for the Grand Prize winner and 2nd Prize Overall winner.
NERFA is an annual four-day conference held in November in Connecticut where artists, agents, booking agents, venue and festival promoters, recording industry professionals, graphic artists, folk DJs, journalists, photographers, publicists and production professionals get together to exchange ideas, learn by attending workshops, panel discussions and seminars, participate in an exhibit hall, attend formal showcases of juried performers, and go to private and guerrilla showcases hosted by performers, agents and promoters.
 
Oasis Disc Manufacturing www.oasiscd.com
Oasis is the sponsor of the 34th MASC 2-CD Winners Compilation CD. A long time supporter of MASC, their services and Free Tools of Promotion are designed to make you heard.
 
Roland www.roland.com
Prizes offered: One Roland GO:KEYS Music Creation Keyboard (GO-61K) to the Grand Prize winner; one Roland GO:MIXER - Audio Mixer for Smartphones each to the 2nd Place Overall, 3rd Place Overall, and Young Artist winners.
If you’re looking for a fun and inspiring way to start playing music, Roland’s GO:KEYS is the answer. With its innovative Loop Mix function, anyone can build fully produced songs right away, even with no previous music experience. There’s also a diverse range of pro sounds to explore, plus an easy-to-use recorder to capture and share your creations. And with Bluetooth® connectivity, you can jam along with music from your smartphone or tablet and work with all sorts of great music apps. Compact and battery powered, GO:KEYS lets you enjoy the magic of musical creativity everywhere you go. https://www.roland.com/us/products/gokeys_go-61k/
Compact, portable, and easy to use, GO:MIXER makes it simple to record high-quality audio in music videos and other video content created with your smartphone. Just plug in GO:MIXER to capture a pristine stereo soundtrack directly to your video as you perform. With multiple inputs available, you can connect a mic, musical instruments, and media players and mix them all together live while you shoot. Instead of relying on your phone’s noisy mono mic or recording external audio tracks that you have to sync later in a video editor, you can now record top-quality audio in one quick and easy step. GO:MIXER is the ideal solution for adding a pro sound touch to your social media videos, helping you get more views and attract more followers. https://www.roland.com/global/products/gomixer/
 
Shure www.shure.com
Prizes offered: 1 Shure MV51 large-diaphragm condenser mic for iPhone, iPad, & USB to the Grand Prize winner; 1 Shure MV88 Stereo Condenser mic for iPhone & iPad to the 2nd Overall, 3rd Overall, Young Artist Award, and 2nd Place Young Artist winners.
With a history of audio innovation that began in 1925, Shure has turned a passion for making great microphones and audio electronics into an obsession. No wonder Shure continues to set the worldwide industry standard for superior microphones and audio electronics. From capturing moments of inspiration and demoing out ideas, to recording rehearsals and grabbing performance video in life-like stereo, MOTIV iOS and USB microphones are the simple and easy way for musicians to get professional-sounding recordings wherever they may be. Sleek, iconic design inspires performance, and convenient portability and connectivity means you can record anywhere. http://www.shure.com/americas/motiv/recording-musician

SongBuilder Studios www.songbuilderstudios.com
Prize offered: Full recording, mixing & mastering package for the winner of the Director’s Choice Award.
SongBuilder Studios is offering a full custom production package including working with producers Stephen Joseph Antonelli and Nate Lanzino. They will work with the winner from the first note to production, mixing and mastering. SongBuilder studios has worked with many artists, singer-songwriters and bands, provided radio-ready singles and albums, for the past 10 years and strives for perfection with every production they create.
 
Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA) www.serfa.org
Prize offered: 1 conference registration each to the 2018 SERFA for the Grand Prize winner and 2nd Prize Overall winner.
SERFA is an annual four-day conference held in May in North Carolina where artists, agents, booking agents, venue and festival promoters, recording industry professionals, graphic artists, folk DJs, journalists, photographers, publicists and production professionals get together to exchange ideas, learn by attending workshops, panel discussions and seminars, participate in an exhibit hall, attend formal showcases of juried performers, and go to private and guerrilla showcases hosted by performers, agents and promoters.
 
TAXI www.taxi.com/
Prize offered: 1 year TAXI Membership to the Grand Prize Winner.
TAXI delivers targeted opportunities right to your front door. Record labels, Publishers, Music Libraries and Film & TV Music Supervisors tell us what kind of Songs, Instrumental Tracks and Artists they currently need - then we tell you. When you see a match for your music, send it to us, and our A&R team will pre-screen it for the company that needs it. If your music is on-target and great, we send it to them. You'll get about 100 different opportunities every month and they come in nearly every genre you can think of, and just about any style you'd commonly hear on the radio, in movies, TV shows, video games and commercials.
 
Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) www.wamadc.com
Prize offered: $250 to the winner of the 3rd Prize Overall.
WAMA is an umbrella organization of musicians, concert promoters, lawyers, recording engineers, managers, graphic artists, and related businesses working together to address areas of common concern in the Washington DC area. They present the Annual Wammies, an award show recognizing significant career achievements by area musicians in all genres from Rock to Classical, Children’s to Rap/Hip Hop, Folk to Jazz.
 
Washington Songwriters Circle www.meetup.com/WashingtonSongwritersCircle
Prize offered: $300 to the Young Artist Award Winner and $100 to the 2nd Place Young Artist Winner.
We are the premier songwriters circle based in Washington, D.C.! Originally called Washington Singers & Songwriters Circle, the group was founded by Tamara Kim at the age of 16 in 2009. Connect with fellow performing and nonperforming songwriters, composers, lyricists, producers, and arrangers. You’ll inspire and be inspired by other original and supportive artists like yourself. If you're interested in Sharing, Networking, and Growing as a performing or nonperforming songwriter, composer, lyricist, arranger, or producer, this group is for you.
 

A NOTE ON JUDGING:
Judges may include: Professional Artists, Venue Operators, Presenters, Performing Rights Organization (PRO) Representatives, Label Representatives, DJs and Satellite Radio Representatives, Studio Engineers, Financial Backers, and Music Supporters. They are not paid.
Judges are instructed to disregard both the production quality of the recording and the arrangement, and to focus on the song itself. They are asked to score 5 Basic Song Elements:
Melody / Harmony
Lyrics
Flow (the mood, rhythm, dynamics)
Structure / Contrast (between verse, chorus, bridge, etc)
Overall Effect

Each judge selects their top picks, without knowing who the other judges are. They then meet together in a conference call, where they consider the top 10-15% of the category. Everyone must agree unanimously on the Gold, Silver, Finalist, and Honorable Mention winners.

The Grand Prize Winner, Second Place Overall, and Third Place Overall Winners will be chosen from among the Gold Winners by a larger, separate panel of music industry professionals. Only the Contest Director and the Assistant Director know the songwriter’s identity until the judging process is complete.

SOME OF THE JUDGES FROM PRIOR YEARS INCLUDE:
(in alpha order, includes Grand Panel as well as Category Panels,
Note - Wammies are awards from the Washington Area Music Association.)

Chris Anderson - www.chris-anderson.info
Chris began playing guitar in Northern Virginia clubs in the early 1980’s. She then spent over a decade playing electric guitar and mandola in church bands. She also wrote and recorded a Christian Christmas pop project, “WAiT - it’s a Musical!”, resulting in: a 2003 GRAMMY in the Streets award from NARAS and BMI; nationwide broadcast of the musical on XM Satellite Radio; and multiple national and international productions of the show. In 2016 one of Chris’ songs, “Just Change The Boundary (The Gerrymander Song),” appeared in a PBS documentary on gerrymandering. She is also a founding member and producer of The Harried Americans Roadshow.

Jamie Anderson - www.jamieanderson.com
Singer-songwriter-teacher Jamie Anderson has played her songs in hundreds of venues in the US and Canada. She’s taught songwriting at Duke University, at many festivals, via Skype, and in her home studio in Ottawa, Ontario. Her songs range from the poignant folk ballad “Mama’s Roses,” to the gleefully tongue-in-cheek “Menopause Mambo.” Rhythms Magazine listed her tenth album, Dare, as one of the top ten of 2014. Also in 2014, Jamie was awarded two honors by RightOutTV -- Best Jazz Song and Best Live Video.

Christylez Bacon - www.christylez.com
Christylez is a Grammy nominated MC (rapper), songwriter, arranger, instrumentalist, and composer. He has been awarded four Wammie Awards. He was the first Hip-Hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival; has composed and orchestrated an entire concert for a 12-piece orchestra commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institute; and has been awarded the Montgomery County Executive Award for Excellence in Arts.

Ken Barnum - www.kenbarnum.com
Producer, Engineer, Bass Player, Vocalist, Songwriter, Ken has been nominated multiple times for a Wammie for Modern Rock Instrumentalist. He won a Wammie for Modern Rock Duo/Group twice with two different bands. Ken also had a song, “Waste My Time,” place in the International Song Competition.

Randy Barrett - www.fallingmountain.com/our-artists/randy-barrett
Randy is a songwriter, performer, and President of the DC Bluegrass Union. He has been awarded several Wammie Awards for Best Male Vocalist in Bluegrass and Traditional Folk, as well as the 2002 Bluegrass Album of the Year for "Lights of Home." His songwriting has also won numerous awards, and his songs have been recorded by Chesapeake, Grace Griffith, and Auldridge, Bennett and Gaudreau.

Peter Bliss - www.newyorksongwriterscollective.com/
Peter Bliss is a multi-platinum awarded songwriter and producer based in New York City. His songs have been recorded by artists Barbra Streisand, NYSNC, Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band, Southside Johnny, and many more. His song “Thick” was award “Best Rock Song” and “2nd Overall Best Song” in the “2000 USA Songwriting Contest.” He’s shared his expertise by creating workshop and event programs for the Songwriters Hall of Fame and now for the New York Songwriters Collective. Peter works from his “Planet Studio NYC” recording studio in Manhattan providing artist/writer consulting, along with arranging, recording and producing other artists to help bring their music to life.

Don Bridges - www.donbridgesongs.com
Don has been awarded three Wammie Awards for Children’s Artist and Children’s Vocalist, and has been nominated over two dozen times. Working as a full-time musician, performer and music teacher since 2001, Don has over 300 live performances per year, has released several CDs in multiple genres. SAW member since 1994, Don served as President of the Songwriters’ Association of Washington for 3 years, and as a Board member for 9 years.

Jon Carroll - www.joncarroll.com
Writer, Singer, Composer, Arranger, Producer, Jon is a Grammy Award winning musician with the Mary Chapin Carpenter Band and the Starland Vocal Band. He’s been awarded multiple Wammies, including Musician of the Year (5 times), Songwriter of the Year (4 times), and Pop/Rock Instrumentalist (6 times).

Fred Cannon - www.creativeanddreams.com
Fred is a top songwriter and producer who had many memorable hit records in the UK during the Eighties with acts such as La Belle Epoque, Sheila B Devotion, Clout, and FR David. He has also been Managing Director of Carrere Records; an EMI Records executive working with artists including all the members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Elton John and Michael Jackson; and Senior Vice President at BMI. Fred now works as a producer with Creative And Dreams

Steve Coffee - www.stevecoffeemusic.com www.rainfollowstheplow.com www.harleystringband.com
Steve is a Northern-Virginia based independent songwriter, a member of the Harley String Band, and the maestro behind the Rain Follows the Plow project. He is also Vice President of the Songwriters Association of Washington. Steve is moved to write about intimate family moments as well as major events such as wars and migrations. Often, a lyric is simply about "keeping on keeping on" and is as likely to be acerbic as poignant in tone. Steve’s songs range widely in style, reflecting the influences of his favorite songwriters, among whom would be John Hiatt, Sam Phillips, and Al Stewart.

Carey Colvin - www.careycolvin.com www.raspberrysunmusic.com
When David Crosby first heard singer-songwriter Carey, he said, “Definitely give up your day job!" She’s performed at The Bluebird Cafe, The Birchmere opening for CPR, the Cellar Door Stage opening for Styx and Pat Benatar, at Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion, The Hit Factory (taped for Good Morning America), and The Kennedy Center. She’s been featured on National Public Radio’s Car Talk. Carey has received Wammie Awards for Debut Recording of the Year and Folk-Contemporary Female Vocalist; awards in MASC and Guitar Girls Songwriting Contest; and was named as an Artist to Watch in Washingtonian Magazine. She performs as a duo with her husband Granger Helvey.

Carey Creed - www.careycreed.com
An Azalea City Recordings Artist, Carey’s songs are influenced by her years in Celtic, Big Band, Black Gospel, and Acoustic groups. She has won Gold and Silver in former MASCs in the Folk category, Childen’s Music, and Gospel/Inspirational/Christian. Carey has also received eight Wammie Awards for her vocals and recordings, as well as awards from the Billboard Song Contest and from the Christian Music Fest. Estes Park for liturgical songwriting.

Jennifer Cutting - www.OceanOrchestra.com
Songwriter, bandleader, instrumentalist, music producer, and ethnomusicologist, Jennifer has written and produced songs for internationally known vocalists such as Maddy Prior and Annie Haslam, and for her own Celtic group OCEAN Orchestra, with whom she has won over 20 Wammies, including Songwriter of the Year, Album of the Year, and Musician of the Year. A Library of Congress's American Folklife Center ethnomusicologist, Jennifer has been helping Songwriters find inspiration in the world's largest collection of traditional music for 27 years, and acts as an advisory Music Specialist for the Library's annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. She has served on the for the D.C. chapter of the Recording Academy, and on the Boards of the Washington Area Music Association & the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.

Caron Dale - www.chordsofcourage.com, www.daleentertainment.com
Caron is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the renowned Klezmer band, Lox & Vodka. They have performed for President Clinton, Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate, the Grand Opening of the MCI Center in Washington, DC and were the Kennedy Center’s Artist in Residence. Caron is also the founder and CEO of Chords of Courage, where songwriting is used as a catalyst for social change, as well as Dale Entertainment.

Marco Delmar - www.recordarts.com
As a guitarist, Marco inked a deal with Capitol Records as part of the power-pop punk band The Elektrics. He learned producing from several producers including Peter Ker, Steve Priest (Sweet), Tony Bongiovi (Talking Heads), Ron Freeman (The GoGo’s) and Neil Dorfsman (Bruce Springsteen, Sting). He has his own studio called Recording Arts with Mike Ivey (Basehead). Many of Marco's clients are Wammie award winners. Marco has received Wammies for Producer of the Year for the past 12 years, before being awarded Emeritus standing. Recording Arts was awarded Studio Of The Year in 2004.

Kevin Dudley – www.KDudleyMusic.com
Born in Dallas, TX, now residing in Virginia, Kevin plays guitar and sings about love, death, diners and most everything in between. His music is a gumbo mix of Western swing, blues, traditional country, Cajun and bluegrass with thoughtful, clever, often humorous lyrics, delivered in a soft, dusty baritone. Kevin released his first solo CD, Texarkana Diner, in Nov. 2011. The album’s title track received a MASC Silver Award, a Nashville/Paramount Grand Prize for Songwriting Excellence Fall 2011 contest, and was chosen for the soundtrack to 50 to 1 and for an independent film about the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner. He is an instructor and coordinator for the monthly SAW Toolbox songwriting workshops, as well as instructor for guitar workshops.

Eleanor Ellis - www.eleanorellis.com
Louisiana native Eleanor has played the blues throughout the U.S. and Europe, and released numerous records. She also traveled and played with the late gospel street singer Flora Molton and Piedmont bluesman Archie Edwards, and sometimes accompanied Delta blues great Eugene Powell. A founding member of the DC Blues Society and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, she has written about the blues for several publications, teaches guitar, and is producer of the video documentary Blues Houseparty, featuring well-known Piedmont blues musicians.

Freebo - www.freebomusic.com
Folk-Rock Blues Icon. From world renowned bassist (Bonnie Raitt 10 years, CSN, John Mayall, Maria Muldaur, Ringo Starr, Neil Young, Dr. John, Loudon Wainwright) to award winning singer/songwriter, Freebo is well regarded for his high level of musicality coupled with his thoughtful and powerful use of words. Freebo has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Midnight Special, The Tonight Show, and in concert with the legendary Spinal Tap. "Freebo is more than one of LA's best players, he's also a richly gifted and distinctive songwriter, as expressive in his writing as on a bass" (Paul Zollo, Songwriters On Songwriting)

Donna Frost - www.donnafrost.comwww.reverbnation.com/donnafrostmusic
Donna is a Tennesee-based singer/songwriter/performer and independent recording artist, who has released five CDs. Her current release is her first all original ukulele project, “Ukeabilly Mama.” Donna was recently endorsed by Kamoa Ukulele Company in Hawaii. She is an eleven time ASCAPlus award winner for her work as a performing songwriter, and a Kerrville New Folk Finalist in 2004.

Ted Garber - www.tedgarber.com
Two time winner of Wammies' Pop/Rock Recording for his albums “Live At Strathmore” (2011) and “American Rail” (2010), Ted was named DC's Top Entertainer by WUSA-Channel 9, and won the On Tap Magazine's Battle of the Bands "Taste of Arlington" Competition in 2006. Ted has also been an “Artist In Residence” (AIR) at Strathmore.

Carlos Garza - www.carlosgarza.com
Film composer, sound designer and music editor, Carlos has scored 17 feature films and 40 short films, including animated and trailers. He is also known for live accompaniment of classic and contemporary silent films with Rich O’Meara in Silent Orchestra.They received critical acclaim for their surround scores for the Nosferatu (1922) and Salomé DVDs from Image Entertainment. As a founding member of The Young Professionals, Carlos was part of the legendary New Wave scene at the 9:30 Club in the early 1980’s. He won top composer prize in the Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project in 2009 and again in 2014 with Silent Orchestra.

Ira Gitlin – www.IraGitlin.com
Ira is widely known and respected in Washington-Baltimore music circles as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. A former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, he has backed up such nationally known performers as Bill Harrell, the Johnson Mountain Boys, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, and Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele. He performs locally with a variety of bluegrass, country, and swing groups. Ira has taught at numerous music camps and festival workshops. A frequent contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited and Banjo NewsLetter, he has lectured on bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates, and also delivered a paper at the 2005 Bluegrass Music Symposium. In 1993 Ira was a one-day winner on Jeopardy.

Stephen Gnadt - www.coopershouse1790.org
Steve has 40+ years experience booking entertainment on college campuses, and was a Folk Music/Bluegrass DJ for over 16 Years (WLOZ, WWQQ, WHQR – Wilmington, NC). He has been an advisor to WMUC 88.1 University of Maryland radio station. Steve is a Member of Focus Music Board of Directors (2010-Present); Venue Booker for Concerts at the Historic Cooper’s House, Columbia, MD (2009-Present) and various festivals; and former Booking Agent for Variety Artists International in Minneapolis, MN, representing major touring artists.

Mary Gordon Hall - www.marygordonhall.com
Mary Gordon has been a performing singer/songwriter for three decades. She recorded her first album, “I Just Can’t Eat My Peas” in 1993, a collection of traditional and original children’s music. She co-created and hosted the children’s radio show, Kid n’ Kaboodle (now syndicated as Tell Us a Tale) at WTJU, University of Virginia’s public radio station. Mary hosted and booked Songwriter Stage at The Prism Coffeehouse, and co-created a songwriter series called Acoustic Muse. After five years of running the series, she released her first “grown up” album, “Wine Glasses & Wooden Spoons.”

Spook Handy - www.spookhandy.com
Spook has written hundreds of songs and performed over 2000 concerts in his 20+ year career. His songs have been covered by dozens of other artists including Pete Seeger. He has won numerous awards and accolades including “Best Folk Artist” by Upstage Magazine, Gannett New Jersey, The Courier News, The Home News and About.com.
Spook has recorded four CDs with his most recent, "Whatcha Gonna Do?" topping out at #12 on the Folk Radio Charts. His song “Vote” was #6 on Folk Radio in November, 2012. Spook has also written music for theater and film.

Les Hatley - www.secondchairles.com
Longtime DC area guitar player, composer and performer. Inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame in September 2015. Wammie Award winner for Folk Contemporary Instrumentalist. His music has been played on over 500 radio stations worldwide. His second solo CD, “Surge,” stayed on the National Americana Top 500 charts for most of 2013.

Esther Ann Haynes - www.estherhaynesmusic.com
Esther graduated with a Diploma in Professional Music and Voice from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has sung and played rhythm guitar professionally in Boston, Tel Aviv, and Washington DC in styles ranging from folk and bluegrass to early jazz and blues, standards, and bossa nova. In Boston, she was part of a bluegrass/swing group, Boston City Limits, with Hiro Arita, Howie Tarnower, and Matt Glaser, and played in a duo with ragtime guitarist Larry Unger. Since 2002, Esther has received eleven Wammies in Jazz and Swing Vocals, recorded two CDs and is working on a third.

John Hill - http://947wpvc.org/
John has over 11 years experience on both Public & Commercial radio playing Folk & Acoustic music in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. He started on 91.1 WTJU FM (at UVa) as a folk announcer in the early '90s, then left WTJU to help start 91.9 WNRN FM (in 1996), and created a show called "Acoustic Sunrise,”, which is still on the air today, after 19+ years. Within the past year, he has begun booking concerts, and has started an Internet Acoustic music program called "A Spoonful Of Music.” Beginning May 15, 2016, he’s hosting The John Hill Show on 94.7-WPVC, a new Progressive Talk Station.

Linda Howard Hiserman
An award-winning member of ASCAP, Linda has won multiple National and International awards from various song contests. She recently wrote and produced an award-winning children’s CD title “We Are The Shining Stars,” which won a “Seal of Excellence” Award from Creative Child Magazine. Linda’s educational show “Did You Know” has been sold to Virginia schools for over 12 years. She served 15 years on the Board of Directors for SAW, both as Volunteer Coordinator and Vice-President.

Bruce Hutcheon - www.bitmomusic.com/
Bruce has been a musician since he was 15 years old. Singer, songwriter, producer, guitar/bass player, Bruce once toured with Tiny Tim. Not only a musician, he has been providing highly acclaimed mod kits for guitar amps and pedals for over a decade. His first guitar amp was extracted from a tube phonograph that he hot-rodded, and he was a beta tester for the original Mini-Moog synthesizer.

Michael Jaworek - www.birchmere.com
Michael has been Concert Promoter at The Birchmere since 1988. He was co-Founder of the Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies). And Michael has been three times a nominee for Pollstar Magazine’s nightclub Talent Buyer of the Year.

Jim Johnson - www.harleystringband.com
As a singer-songwriter in Northern Virginia area, Jim performs both solo and with The Harley String Band. He has received five Finalist and five Honorable Mention awards in the MASC, The Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, and The Great American Song Contest. Jim also served five years on the SAW Board of Directors.

Gary Joynes - www.lessonface.com www.thezoen.com
Gary is a songwriter, composer, producer, keyboardist, saxophonist and educator based in New York. He was the Gold winner and double Finalist in the 25th Mid-Atlantic Song Contest in the R&B category, and he has received several Billboard songwriting awards. Gary holds a B.M. and M.M. from New England Conservatory, and as a student, he earned a Grammy nomination for recordings with composer George Russell.

Lori Kelley - www.lorikelley.com
Lori is a previous MASC Grand Prize winner. Now living in Nashville, she made the move to "Have fun and learn how to write great songs." While living in Key West, Lori had a regular gig at the famous Capt. Tony's Saloon. In the DC area, she was the lead singer of Lori Kelley and Twice Shy, then went on to play a steady stream of shows for 12 years with Cletus Kennelly. Their award winning duo was called Cletus and Lori. Together, they won over 11 Wammie Awards (Washington Area Music Association Awards) including Songwriter of the year and Best Contemporary Folk Duo/Group. Lori has a BME from Northern Arizona University, and is also a venue booker.

Cletus Kennelly - www.cletuskennelly.com
Singer/Songwriter/Engineer/Producer Cletus Kennelly is an 11-time Wammie winner., including Songwriter of the Year and Best New Artist. His songs have been used in films, recorded by other artists, received radio play, and have been awarded in various song contests 36 times, including a Gold and two Silvers in the MASC. The range of categories in which he has received awards (Folk, Pop Modern/Alternative, Adult Contemporary, and Rock) displays the stylistic breadth of his music. Hundreds of live shows have included performances at D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

Damien Kerrick
Damien Kerrick, formerly a talent representative in New York City, is currently the chief organizer of the Washington Songwriters Circle, which is based in DC. He is also an ardent member of SAW.

Seth Kibel - www.sethkibel.com
Seth is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier woodwind specialists on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, as well as a Bandleader. Working with some of the best bands in klezmer, jazz, swing, blues, and more, he is the featured performer with The Alexandria Kleztet, Bay Jazz Project, The Natty Beaux, and more. Winner of 28 Wammies, including World Music Instrumentalist (2003-2011, special Emeritus Award) and Jazz Instrumentalist (2005, 2007-8, 2011-2014).

David Kitchen - www.davidkitchen.net
Singer songwriter, musician, and producer, David has won several Wammie Awards: Best New Artist, Roots Rock Instrumentalist, Roots Rock Vocalist, Musician of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Debut Album, Songwriter of the Year and Pop Vocalist. David was a finalist in the 2006 Mountain Stage/NewSong Contest. His music has been heard on TV spots for the U.S. Labor Dept. and the Association of Speech and Hearing. His song, “Mystery to Me” appears in the Paramount motion picture “Wild Iris.”

Daniel Lee - www.danielleemusic.com
Daniel Lee has been a traveling pro musician-singer-songwriter for more than a decade. He received a Wammie for Songwriter of the Year in 2005, was a Eddie’s Attic Shootout Winner, former MASC Gold winner, and the very first Strathmore Artist-in-Residence.

Ruthie Logsdon - www.ruthieandthewranglers.com
Ruthie and her Americana/Country sounding band, Ruthie & the Wranglers, have racked up more than 25 Wammies including Country Vocalist, Songwriter of the Year, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year, culminating in Emeritus Awards for Country Vocalist & Group. She has appeared on every TV network in the DC area as well as coverage in other states and internationally; been featured in Billboard, No Depression, Blue Suede News, Pollstar, Gavin, Dirty Linen, and Associated Press; and has been ranked in the Top 10 on the Americana Radio Charts. She is also a graphic designer with a Music Consultant business. www.attractgreatgigs.com

Alex Mitchell - www.hypetree.com
Formerly an active performing electric violinist, Alex Jae Mitchell is now an electronic musician and CEO/Founder of hypetree, a site for up-and-coming independent musicians and labels to showcase their work.

Cherie “Sweet Cherie” Mitchell-Ayers - www.myspace.com/sweetcheriejazz
Cherie is musical Director for Be’la Dona, and played keyboards with Chuck Brown for 12 years. She toured the world with Pieces of a Dream, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Sugar Bear & EU, and performed with Melanie Fiona, Erykah Badu, Chaka Kahn, Elton John, and others. Cherie has written songs that landed on Jazz recording artist “Pieces of A Dream” CDs. A lecturer and educator of GoGo music for the Smithsonian Institution, she has also been a radio personality for GoGoRadio.com. She was awarded 5 Wammie Awards: GoGo Instrumentalist (3), Urban Contemporary Band, GoGo Band.

Cheryl Prashker – www.CherylPrashker.com
Cheryl studied classical percussion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she was born and raised. She has toured Canada, U.S. Europe and Russia with The Yiddish Theatre of Montreal. She spent many years in New York City where she honed her skills of playing anything from Rock & Roll, Klezmer, to Celtic and Middle Eastern music. She now uses her special style of percussion to enhance the music of such artists as Jonathan Edwards, Pat Wictor, Tracy Grammar, Full Frontal Folk, and her group RUNA. Cheryl is also a songwriter, and President of NERFA (Northeast Regional Folk Alliance).

Diana Quinn - www.muddypaws.com
Diana fronts several Wammie award-winning bands, plays many instruments, and has written many award-winning songs. She is a founding member of the legendary local punk band Tru Fax & the Insaniacs, which was the longest-lived DC band until this past spring, when drummer Michael Mariotte died of cancer. A Tru Fax double-album, 30 years in the making, will be released in Feb. 2017. Diana is a founding member of Honky Tonk Confidential and The Fabulettes. Her bands have performed from CBGB to the Waldorf Astoria, Sylvan Theater and Kennedy Center to The Grand Ole Opry, and been featured on network television. She is on the boards of both WAMA and SAW.

Patty Reese - https://www.facebook.com/PattyReeseMusic/
Patty Reese is a fan favorite and critics' choice in the Mid-Atlantic region, and over the years she's collected enough Wammies to fill the a major DC pothole. Awards include Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Roots Rock Band, and Roots Rock Vocalist ,as well as national songwriting awards. Patty just released her 4 CD, “Let In The Sun.” Her previous release, Strong Medicine, held the #1 position on the AirPlay Direct Global Radio Indicator Charts for 4 weeks and has been played on over 700 stations worldwide. Patty has supported many artists including Beth Hart, Delbert McClinton, Tab Benoit, Jimmie Vaughan and Dr John.

Dumi RIGHT
Dumi was a member of the pioneering and groundbreaking hip-hop crew Zimbabwe Legit, one of first rap groups from Africa to make a splash worldwide. In the years since that debut during what is referred to as hip hop's golden age, he has remained immersed in the culture and business of hip-hop, releasing underground tunes and performing all across the country and the world stage. Accolades have included an award in the Berklee College of Music/Numark Musical Innovator contest, and a Wammie Award for Zimbabwe Legit.

Dusty Rose - www.cuerecording.com
A musician/vocalist singer-songwriter for over 40 years, Dusty is also a recording engineer, works in video sound design, and is the studio Manager at Cue Recording. He was awarded a Special Appreciation Wammie in 1994, and has been nominated for Producer of the Year. Dusty has had several songs as finalist in the Mid-Atlantic and the America Song Festivals, and is a published songwriter, who has written music for National Geographic and Corporations.

Eric Scott - www.ericscottmusic.com
A professional musician since 1994, Eric has released four albums, received 11 Wammie Awards, and been given awards in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Contest. His song "My Heart Belongs To You" is featured in the film "The Frozen Ground" starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, and 50 Cent. His song titled "Runnin'" appeared in the indie film "Tracks,” and won the Best Original Song in Film award, as well as the Jury Award for Best Short Film, at the Long Island International Film Expo in New York. Eric's tune "I'm Into You" recently appeared in the ABC TV show "Cougartown" and the Showtime series "Homeland.” Other songs have been in movies and TV shows: "My Heart Belongs To You" in the movie "Table for Three,” "More Than A Little" in the TV series "Co-Ed Confidential,” "Life of the Party" in the Season 1 DVD of "WKRP in Cincinnati" and his song "Starting Today" appears in the Season 4 DVD of the TV show "Felicity.""

Talia Segal - www.taliasegalsongs.com
Talia is a Washington, DC based singer/songwriter. Her original songs have received nods from several songwriter contests, and have been licensed by MTV, VH1, and Oxygen Network. Talia is currently a full-time student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she's majoring in Songwriting.

Eric Selby - www.ericselby.com
Eric brings more that 20 years of experienced producing, drumming and percussion talents to session work and live performances, delivering a unique, groove-based approach. He has been nominated for multiple Wammie Awards, nominated for a “Drum Thumper Award” by Blues 411 for the annual “Jimi” Awards, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, has been #1 on Blues 411’s charts multiple times, and has been featured in Modern Drummer magazine for his approach and perspective in their “Drummer Blogs.”

Greg Trafidlo - www.gregtrafidlo.com
Greg has performed from Beijing, China to Cork, Ireland – the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to Chicago’s Wrigley Field. His songs have been performed by Pete Seeger, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, and been recorded by numerous performers including Charlie Sizemore. Greg currently performs with Tom Paxton, and his own trio, Trifolkal. He has performed with Bill Monroe, Peter Yarrow, Janis Ian, and with Kathy Mattea on Nashville’s WSM-Radio. His songs appear on NPR’s Car Talk, Weekend Edition, and on Dr. Demento compilations. Greg won First Prize in the USA Songwriting Competition, Grand Prize winner in the Louisville Songwriting competition, and Gold in MASC. Greg received two Wammie nominations for Folk Male Vocalist and Folk Album. He has extensive credits as a publisher and record producer of over 45 releases, and appears on over 65 albums.

Greg Vickers –
A singer/songwriter, Greg writes a mix of irreverent humorous folk songs and driving light rock numbers about life's ups and downs. He plays guitar, banjo, harmonica, and released his debut CD, “Not Quite There,” in 2004. Greg was a semi-finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Showcase at the Strathmore Regional Round in 2005, and has been a SAW Board member.

Todd C Walker – www.toddcwalker.com
Todd has been performing acoustic music since the mid-1970’s, as a singer-songwriter, acoustic music show organizer and part-time booking agent. Todd was a 2003 Honorable Mention Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his song 'No Other Man,” and an award recipient in the 2006 SAW Songwriting Contest. He is a founding member of F.A.M.E. (Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise); a SAW Board member; an owner operator of Wispy Mop Music; and a Dealer/Installer for K&K acoustic pickups.

Steve Warner – www.stevewarnermusic.com
Singer-songwriter, performer, venue booker, Steve has numerous credits and awards, including Grand Prize/Country in the UAR Productions Songwriting Contest, 2nd Place/Folk in Songs with Meaning ‘Time for Change’ Contest, and MASC Finalist. One of his songs was recorded by members of the Drifting Cowboys—Hank Williams’ original band. His work has been published in Nashville. Steve & The Rolling Coyotes perform throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Steve has taught songwriting and conducted workshops at The NewSong Festival, SummerSongs, and Craftworks.

Kirby Yarbrough - www.kirbysound.com
Kirby is a drummer and percussionist with several local bands. He is a live sound engineer with his own company, KirbySound LLC, a Virginia registered provider of sound reinforcement and event production services.