ASCAP @ Sundance Film Festival 2021: January 29 - February 1
For 23 years, Sundance and ASCAP have joined together to celebrate film’s marriage of sight and sound. Why should a global pandemic break our streak? We're going all-virtual this year, with four days of music programming featuring exclusive performances and fascinating conversations you won't hear anywhere else. The centerpiece is the Sundance ASCAP Music Café – traditionally held at an intimate space at the heart of the festival in Park City, Utah, the Café features one-of-a-kind performances from visionary recording artists and songwriters from across the musical spectrum. This year we are bringing that same spontaneous spirit to your home, with exclusive performances from some of today’s most exciting talents. Take a break from your screening schedule and swing by the Café. We’re still (virtually) on Main Street. You are guaranteed to hear something great.
It all goes down January 29 - February 1, right here, beginning at 5:00 PM ET/ 3:00 PM MT/ 2:00 PM PT each day. Read on for what to expect.
FEB 1: Through the Years at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café
From rising stars to beloved legends, the Sundance ASCAP Music Café has presented a who’s who of songwriters and composers representing a glorious diversity of artists and musical styles from around the world. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve chosen some of our favorite performances from over two decades of unforgettable moments with new introductions and commentary from the artists themselves.Watch beginning 2/1 at 5:00 PM ET/ 3:00 PM MT/ 2:00 PM PT.
VERSED illuminates the heart, soul and power of music with the ASCAP members whose work stirs hearts around the world and makes us sing, dance and feel. Join us for three special Screen Time conversations featuring ASCAP’s global family of composers and their collaborators, who will share the stories behind their work in this year’s festival.
AMANDA JONES (HOME, TWENTIES) & SIDDHARTHA KHOSLA (THIS IS US)
Amanda Jones is an Emmy-nominated composer who is rapidly becoming a standout voice amongst a new generation of television and film composers. Jones’ original music can be heard on the episode “Maine” from Apple TV+’s documentary series Home, for which she received her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score). Jones has the distinction of being the first African-American female to be nominated in the Primetime Emmy score category. Read full bio > // amandacomposer.com // Instagram: @amandacomposer // Twitter: @composeramanda
Siddhartha Khosla is a two time Emmy-nominated film and television composer, singer-songwriter, and producer of the critically acclaimed band, Goldspot. Khosla received Emmy nominations in 2020 for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for his original song “Memorized” (shared with Dawes’s Taylor Goldsmith) and in 2019 for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for his work on NBC's Golden Globe and Emmy-winning drama series, This Is Us. Khosla has the distinction of being the first South Asian person to be nominated in the Primetime Emmy score and song categories. His feature film credits include the 2019 Netflix hip-hop drama feature Beats, the award-winning indie drama feature, The Sounding (2020), from director Catherine Eaton starring Frankie Faison and Teddy Sears which won 17 awards including Festival Grand Prizes from several festivals including Woodstock, Bend, Istanbul, Napa and Cinequest, and the comedy feature film, Fat Camp. Additionally, Khosla composed an original song for the musical film Basmati Blues, starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson and Golden Globe Award winner Donald Sutherland. Recently, Khosla scored the critically acclaimed Hulu limited series, Looking for Alaska, Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu, and the Disney + series Love, Victor. Instagram: @siddkhoslamusic // Twitter: @siddkhoslamusic
DEV HYNES (COMPOSER OF PASSING) & REBECCA HALL (WRITER/DIRECTOR OF PASSING)
Raised in England by Guyanese and Sierra Leonean immigrant parents, Dev Hynes started out as a teenage punk in the UK band Test Icicles before releasing two orchestral acoustic pop records as Lightspeed Champion. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first so far of five solo albums under the moniker Blood Orange. His 2016 album, Freetown Sound, was released to critical acclaim, and saw Hynes defined as one of the foremost musical voices of his time, receiving comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own searing and soothing personal document of life as a Black man in America. His 2018 album, Negro Swan, was released to equally rapturous response, exploring elements of Black depression and identity. His most recent release, the 2019 mixtape Angel's Pulse, described by Hynes as an epilogue to Negro Swan, further explores and builds upon those themes. He has collaborated with Solange Knowles, FKA twigs, A$AP Rocky, Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey, Janet Mock and many more, and was recently one of four artists invited to the Kennedy Center to perform alongside Philip Glass. In addition to his production work, Hynes scored Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola, and Queen & Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas. bloodorange.net // Instagram: @devhynes // Facebook: @devhynes
Rebecca Hall is an acclaimed British-American actress and director whose career encompasses the multiplex, the art house cinema and the world’s most respected theaters. She has worked with many of the industry’s greatest artists, establishing herself as a leading talent. Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month. The film is an adaptation of the novel exploring racial passing— a person classified as a member of one racial group who seeks to be accepted by a different racial group. It is already one of the most buzzed-about titles at the festival. // Instagram: @rebeccahall
SPARKS & EDGAR WRIGHT (DIRECTOR, THE SPARKS BROTHERS)
For thousands, Sparks are the ultimate “why aren't they huge?” band. In any sane universe, academic studies would be devoted to Ron and Russell Mael, as they are to Dylan, Bowie or The Beatles. Municipal buildings and parks would be named after them. Statues would be erected in their honour. In the mind of the convert, Sparks are that significant...The career of Ron and Russell Mael is an immaculate lesson in how to stay consistently interesting for fifty years. Perhaps the best policy, for the rankled fan, is to make peace with the injustice. After all, Sparks are still here, still creating superb work. Read full bio > // allsparks.com // Instagram: @sparks_official // Twitter: @sparksofficial
Edgar Wright first came to prominence with his directing of the TV show Spaced in the UK. This lead to a longtime collaboration with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost that culminated in Wright directing the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013), all of which were co-written by Wright and Pegg. In-between Fuzz and The World’s End, Wright directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed action rom-com Scott Pilgrim v. The World (2010). It was here where Wright’s eye for visual detail moved into the limelight; the distinct stylization of the film won praise from audiences and critics worldwide. In 2017, Wright wrote and directed heist film Baby Driver which became a box-office sensation, grossing over $225 million worldwide. Wright’s upcoming feature film, Last Night in SoHo, stars Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg in her final film role. Wright’s first documentary, The Sparks Brothers, covering the entire 50 year legacy of Ron and Russell Mael of California pop band Sparks, will premiere at Sundance. // Twitter: @edgarwright
Sundance ASCAP Music Café Performers: Saturday, January 30
Growing up in Philadelphia on a steady diet of R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues and soul music, Devon Gilfillian gravitated to records that ignited his mind while making his body move. For him, listening to the towering icons of his musician father’s era—Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, The Temptations—was just as formative and exciting as discovering the new sounds of his own generation, and the beats and rhymes made by rising rap stars like Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z inspired him in new ways. He began to recognize a connective thread in the sounds he loved best: from the golden throwbacks sampled by the hip-hop beat makers to the raw, emotional vocal deliveries of the Motown greats, for Gilfillian the key ingredient seemed to be the “soul”—not simply the genre, but the feeling and vibe.
Following his electrifying 2016 debut EP with upbeat singles like “High” and “Troublemaker” in 2018, Gilfillian signed to Capitol Records and hit the road––performing with the likes of Anderson East, Keith Urban, Gladys Knight, Kaleo, The Fray, Mavis Staples and more. In early 2019, Gilfillian traveled to Africa to find healing and inspiration before headlining a tour in Scandinavia and opening for Brothers Osborne on their spring tour. His debut album, Black Hole Rainbow, is available now. In early 2020, Gilfillian embarked on a cross-country tour with Grace Potter.
After COVID-19, Gilfillian redirected his energy to doing what he does best, making music. He re-recorded Marvin Gaye’s iconic album, What’s Going On, releasing it in fall of 2020 around the election. The project raised funds for low-income communities and communities of color, providing resources and education around the democratic process. In November 2020, Gilfillian released “Freedom,” with indie-rockers, Illiterate Light and Black Hole Rainbow was nominated for a Grammy – Best Engineered Album. In December 2020, Gilfillian performed his top 5 AAA hit, “The Good Life” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian was recently named the recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Leon Brettler Award. He’s currently writing for LP #2. devongilfillian.com // Facebook: @devongmusic // Twitter: @DevonGilfillian // Instagram: @devongilfillian
Cuban-born Pedrito Martinez is widely recognized as the leading percussionist in Afro-Cuban music and jazz. With deep roots in Cuban rumba and the sacred Yoruba music of West Africa, he has been based in NYC since 1998 and has recorded or performed with Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Chucho Valdez and James Taylor. Here he plays over three tracks from a new album – two original compositions and one by Eric Clapton – that is set for release March 19, 2021.
"Mr. Martínez, is an incomparable performer…he is as close as traditional Afro-Cuban music has to a superstar.”- The New York Times
Bonded by an uncommon blend of instruments and vocals, Charles Yang (violin), Nick Kendall (violin), and Ranaan Meyer (double bass), have found a unique voice of expression. To experience Time For Three live is to hear the various eras, styles, and traditions of Western music fold in on themselves and emerge anew.
Earning praise from NPR, NBC and The Wall Street Journal, Time for Three is renowned for their charismatic and energetic performances in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and The Royal Albert Hall. They have collaborated with artists as diverse as Ben Folds, Branford Marsalis and Joshua Bell, and have premiered original works by composers Chris Brubeck and Pulitzer Prize winners Jennifer Higdon and William Bolcom. An upcoming commission by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts will be premiered with the San Francisco Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2019, the band began releasing new music with vocals through Warner ADA, with more releases on the way.
Hailey Whitters was closing in on her first decade in Nashville, that mythologized milestone when artists are supposed to finally start reaping the fruits of their labor. Despite 10 years of hard work, the singer-songwriter still hadn't had her breakout moment and, fed up with pushing the boulder uphill, she took a step back to reassess. "I hit my 'fuck it' point," says Hailey. And that's when I wrote 'Ten Year Town.'"
At that moment, the native of Shueyville, Iowa, matured into the artist she was supposed to be: a probing, fearless songwriter who is more concerned with the busted and broken way things are than the pretty and polished way things are painted to be. Following the release of the song, Rolling Stone deemed her “Nashville’s newest unsigned star.”
Sundance ASCAP Music Café Performers: Friday, January 29
Darlingside is a four-person indie folk band from Boston, MA. The band consists of Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, Harris Paseltiner, and David Senft. Their style has been described as “exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop” by All Songs Considered. Their latest full-length album, Fish Pond Fish, produced by Peter Katis, was released in October 2020. darlingside.com // Twitter: @darlingside // Instagram: @darlingside
Mikel Jollett (of The Airborne Toxic Event)
Mikel Jollett is the front man of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event. Prior to forming the band, Jollett graduated with honors from Stanford University. He was an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an editor-at-large for Men’s Health, and an editor at Filter magazine. His fiction has been published in McSweeney’s. He is the author of Hollywood Park: A Memoir, an instant New York Times bestseller. Twitter: @Mikel_Jollett
Allison Russell is a self-taught singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of extraordinary power, talent and grace. A founding member of the acclaimed groups Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah) and Birds of Chicago (with her husband/musical partner JT Nero), the Montreal native has begun to emerge as a potent force among creative circles in both Chicago and Nashville where she currently lives with her husband and their young daughter.
On her upcoming debut solo album (Fantasy, spring 2021), Allison shares the harrowing story of her abusive childhood in a deeply moving, unforgettable song cycle of courage, empathy, hope and love. With its vivid detail, brilliant songwriting and fearless soul, Russell’s upcoming debut is both a triumphant artistic statement and life-affirming achievement – one that feels destined to become one of 2021’s most essential and celebrated albums. allisonrussellmusic.com // Twitter: @outsidechild13 // Instagram: @allisonrussellmusic // Facebook: @allisonrussellmusic