01/27/10

Four Young Composers Perform Free Concert at Kennedy Center

Jazz artists Linda Oh and Danny Rivera part of Songwriters: The Next Generation series sponsed by ASCAP

A new initiative by the Kennedy Center and The ASCAP Foundation will showcase the work of young emerging songwriters and composers in a free concert that will be webcast live and archived for future viewing. On Thursday, Jan. 28 the Danny Rivera Electric 5 and English singer/songwriter Nick Howard will take the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, followed by The Linda Oh Trio and Devon Sproule, a singer/songwriter from Charlottesville, Va., the next day.

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Linda Oh
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Danny Rivera

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“Songwriters: The Next Generation” is part of The Kennedy Center’s free, daily performance series. The concerts, followed by a question and answer period with the performers, will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. and can be viewed live at The Kennedy Center.

Each evening’s hour-long program is designed to highlight the talent of young songwriters and composers and will be hosted by Jesse Winchester, an ASCAP member
singer/songwriter who wrote songs such as “Yankee Lady, “ “Biloxi,” “Payday” and “The Brand New Tennessee
Waltz." Winchester will conduct a conversation with the performers focusing on the craft of songwriting and their personal creative process.

“Songwriters” was conceived by jazz pianist, educator, composer and ASCAP Foundation Board member Billy Taylor. Taylor, who also serves as the Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, wanted to recognize the talent of contemporary composers who are also performers.

“We want to show the audience that young people can be accomplished music creators, as well as musicians and singers,” he said in a recent press release.

Born in Malaysia and raised in Western Australia, composer, double bassist and electric bassist Linda Oh now lives and works in New York City, after completing her Masters Degree at Manhattan School of Music in 2008. Oh has performed with jazz artists Slide Hampton, Tony Gould and George Cables, among many others, and now teaches in the pre-college division at Manhattan School of Music. She recently released her debut trio album Entry with Obed Calvaire and Ambrose Akinmusire.

Danny Rivera is also set to receive a Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music, and currently performs throughout New York City under the tutelage of Joe Temperley. The baritone saxophonist and composer was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2009 for his work on Kenya Revisited: 50th Anniversary Concert.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. For more information visit ASCAP. The Kennedy Center’s 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 and other donors.

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