The 16th annual Sundance ASCAP Music Café wrapped up eight days of live performances at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, January 24th with an eclectic group of songwriters and bands that spanned the musical spectrum.
On the Café’s last day, 16 year-old singer-songwriter Greyson Chance kicked things off by mixing R&B, funk and jazz influences into his own soulful pop. Clara-Nova’s Sydney Wayser and her band built layers of gorgeous melodies into triumphant New Wave anthems. Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Sean Watkins (co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning band Nickel Creek) unveiled songs from his upcoming solo album. South Africa’s The Parlotones, who have performed for such audiences as the World Cup Kick-Off Concert in Johannesburg in 2010 and for Coldplay’s stadium shows in 2011, stripped things down and delivered a powerful set of their socially-conscious music.
As they prepared to release their new album, Fifth, on January 28th, The Autumn Defense, led by Wilco’s Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, performed their exquisite folk-rock to a packed house. Check out ASCAP's recent Audio Portrait of The Autumn Defense.
The previous day saw another diverse group of performances, including sets from New Orlean’s shimmering keyboard-driven Cardinal Sons, husband and wife folk duo (and American music royalty) Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Nashville’s acclaimed duo Escondido featuring Jessica Maros and Tyler James and another songwriter round of Nashville’s best songwriters, featuring Brandy Clark, Brett james and Chris Stapleton.
When the winning films in competition at this years’ Sundance Film Festival were announced on Saturday night, January 25th, music was also a big winner. Two music-themed films took top honors. Whiplash, an electrifying drama about a young jazz drummer, nabbed both the Grand Jury Award (for Drama) and the Audience Prize. And the Audience Award for US Documentary, Presented by Acura, went to Alive Inside, a moving exploration of music’s power to help elderly patients of dementia.
The music of ASCAP composers graced a lion’s share of the films at this year’s festival. For a complete look at ASCAP composers with work in this year’s festival, click here.
Lee Ann Womack, Brett James, Brandy Clark and Chris Stapleton Bring Taste of Nashville to Sundance ASCAP Music Café
As the Sundance Film Festival headed into its second weekend, a special CMA Songwriters Spotlight featuring some of Nashville’s best writers thrilled the audience at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café. Lee Ann Womack, Brett James, Brandy Clark and Chris Stapleton presented a songwriters in the round set that highlighted the extraordinary music that comes out of Tennessee.
Another highlight was singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche’s performance of new music from his upcoming album as well as music he composed for the Sundance film The Sleepwalker. Another performer, Rae Spoon, shared music from the documentary film for which Rae is the subject, My Prairie Home.
Nashville was well-represented at the Café with other great sets from Music City-based Escondido and Matthew Perryman Jones. Rounding out the Café shows mid-week were the roots music raves of The Devil Makes Three, the exquisite pop of Jeremy Messersmith and Clara-Nova and a powerful performance by Scotland’s KT Tunstall.
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, January 21st, ASCAP hosted the ASCAP Composer-Filmmaker Cocktail Party, an exclusive after-show event at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café in Park City, Utah. The event was a celebration of ASCAP composers and filmmakers of 2014 Sundance Film Festival films. All festival filmmakers, ASCAP composers, music supervisors and Music Café performers were welcome to attend. Delicious Mexican cuisine was presented by Del Taco. Click here for coverage.
The 2014 Sundance ASCAP Music Café Kicks Off with an Exciting Array of Songwriters and Bands
From the electronic dance music of Robert DeLong, to the soulful pop of Aussie sensation Guy Sebastian, to the guitar heroics of Richie Sambora, the 16th annual Sundance ASCAP Music Café thrilled packed houses of on each day of its opening weekend.
As the Sundance Film Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary, ASCAP is celebrating its annual collaboration with Sundance in presenting an eclectic and dynamic 8-day program of live music, representing diverse styles and performers highlighting the important role that music creators play in the art of film.
Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora capped the day on Monday, January 20th, with a dynamic set featuring new songs from his upcoming solo album, Bon Jovi hits and a few classic covers.
Other songwriters and bands who performed over the course of the Café's opening weekend included The Falls, Lily Kershaw, Monarch, The Mowgli's, Savoire Adore, Carina Round, The Wind + The Wave, Venus and the Moon, Jeremy Messersmith, Years & Years (featuring actor Olly Alexander from the Sundance film God Help the Girl) and Kris Gruen.
Several music-themed films are dominating screens at this year's festival. Narrative films such as Whiplash, God Help the Girl, Rudderless, Song One and Frank are creating a buzz, as are the music documentaries Lambert and Stamp and Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory.