Sting and J. Ralph Help Kick Off 2016 Sundance ASCAP Music Cafe
January 25, 2016
The 18th annual Sundance ASCAP Music Café kicked off on Friday, January 22nd with an incredible range of music from some of today’s most exciting and established songwriters and groups. The first day of the Café featured the Afro-folk songs of Naomi Wachira, sophisticated pop of Air Traffic Controller, foot-stomping rock with a Southwestern flair from The Lonely Wild and the country folk and blues of Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear.
The second day of the Music Café featured the rollicking Green River Ordinance from Ft. Worth, Texas, acclaimed singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, NYC hardcore legend Walter Schreifels, the dynamic soul pop of Lissie and a second performance from Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. The day culminated with a very special guest performance by Sting and acclaimed documentary film composer J. Ralph, who co-wrote a song, “The Empty Chair,” for the HBO documentary, Jim: The James Foley Story, which screened earlier in the day. Sting performed “Message in a Bottle,” “I Hung My Head,” “Every Breath You Take,” “The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance” and was joined onstage by J. Ralph for a poignant performance of “The Empty Chair.” J. Ralph is nominated a Best Original Song Oscar this year for “Manta Ray,” written with Antony Hegarty for last year’s Sundance doc Racing Extinction.
Day three brought one of today’s hottest songwriter duos, R. City, to the Café stage to perform some of their chart-topping hits, including “Locked Away.” Another highlight was a special performance by Yoshiki of X Japan, the subject of a much buzzed-about Sundance music documentary, We Are X. Actor Balthazar Getty and actor/singer Josh Groban were on hand to experience Yoshiki’s performance, which featured a string section.