March 02, 2011

The ASCAP Foundation and The Kennedy Center to Present "Songwriters: The Next Generation" on 3/24 and 3/25 in Washington, DC

Program to Feature Young Songwriters and Composers Discussing and Performing Their Music

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, the GRAMMY winning children's music duo, will host both nights

Zaccai Curtis

Zaccai Curtis


Sonia Szajnberg

Sonia Szajnberg


Dan Mackenzie

Dan Mackenzie


Katie Costello

Katie Costello


Cathy Fink

Cathy Fink


Marcy Marxer

Marcy Marxer

New York, March, 2, 2011: "Songwriters: The Next Generation," a program of The ASCAP Foundation and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will showcase the work of four emerging songwriters and composers in a free concert on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25, 2011 at 6 p.m.

"Songwriters: The Next Generation," was conceived by the late jazz pianist, educator, composer and ASCAP Foundation Board member Dr. Billy Taylor. Throughout his life, Dr. Taylor stressed the importance of showcasing the talent of contemporary composers who are also performers. The first night of the performances, which focuses on jazz composers, will be dedicated to his memory.

Each evening's hour-long program, designed to spotlight the talent of young songwriters and composers, will be hosted by ASCAP members and two-time GRAMMY Award winners, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, a formidable powerhouse of sound, with a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old time country and swing music. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They are also trailblazers in children's and family music.

"Songwriters: The Next Generation," presented by The ASCAP Foundation and made possible by the Bart Howard Estate, is part of The Kennedy Center's free, daily performance series. The concerts and Q&A will take place from 6-7 pm each evening and will be webcast live, as well as archived for future viewing at http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/.

Thursday, March 24

Zaccai Curtis, a pianist and graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, currently performs his music with the Curtis Brothers Quartet, led by Zaccai and his brother, Luques. They plan to release their third album, Completion of Proof this summer. In 2007, Zaccai was awarded the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism's Artist Fellowship for original composition. He was a recipient of an ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award for 2003-2006. In addition to Luques on bass, Zaccai will be accompanied by Reinaldo De Jesus on congas and John Davis on drums.

Sonia Szajnberg is a vocalist and composer who lives in Brooklyn where she leads her own ensembles in venues throughout the area. Sonia's independently released album, Simple Talk, features a collection of her favorite songs and original compositions. Sonia is a recipient of a 2011 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award and was a participant in the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center. Sonia will be joined onstage by Leon Boykins on double bass, Nir Felder on guitar and Colin Stranahan on drums.

Friday, March 25

Dan Mackenzie is an Emmy-nominated singer/songwriter. He has written several songs with British soul/pop star Joss Stone including Stone's 2007 Christmas single "All I Want for Christmas" and "Girlfriend on Demand" and in 2004 Dan was the recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Sammy Cahn Award. His debut "kindie rock" album, Dan Dan Doodlebug, received the 2009 Just Plain Folks Award for Best Children's Album and this past year he was the recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Joe Raposo Children's Music Award for his song "Rude Rudy." Dan will be playing with Paul Buono on piano, Dan Grennes on bass, and Justine Salata will share vocals with Dan.

Katie Costello is a singer/songwriter whose songs have been featured on the CW shows, 90210, One Tree Hill, and ABC's Private Practice. Her song "Isn't It Lovely" was the first place winner of Sennheiser's "My Song Contest," which also landed her a performance at the 2010 and 2011 NAMM conferences. Her most recent album, released in February 2011, Lamplight, was produced by Los Angeles-based music guru Tony Berg. Katie will be joined onstage by David Eggar on cello.

Millennium Stage

The Millennium Stage was created and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs to make the performing arts accessible to everyone in fulfillment of the Kennedy Center's mission to its community and the nation. The Millennium Stage, underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, is brought to the public by Target Stores, with additional funding provided by The U.S. Department of Education, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Capital One Bank, The Meredith Foundation, Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A.J. Stolwijk, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Millennium Stage Endowment Fund, and the Kennedy Center Washington Committee on the Arts.

Millennium Stage Endowment Fund:

James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, James V. Kimsey, Gilbert and Jaylee Mead, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, and Anonymous and other gifts to secure the future of the Millennium Stage.

The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a public charity dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs for songwriters, composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org