songwriters series

In our ninety-minute to two-hour workshops, participants will learn the process of how each of the artists create their own material. offering advice and tools that they use, the featured artist will guide the participants to create new work. participants will receive direct feedback on their art. a question and answer format will allow for further questions and deeper understanding of the songwriting process.
December/january Artist:
West Coast Singer/Songwriter
Todd Morgan

Todd Morgan has been fronting his band, "Todd Morgan & the Emblems", and performing solo shows for more than 10 years in the Sacramento area and throughout California and Nevada.  He has toured the southern portion of the U.S. as a solo artist and traveled into Canada and the northern United States as well.

 

Todd’s wizardry on the piano, his amazing guitar playing, his mastery of the drums, not to mention his ability to write and arrange music, together with his fabulous vocals make him more than a triple threat. In addition to all this, his on-stage charisma and dancing ability have delighted audiences of all ages.  He continues to tantalize and impress audiences as he comes up with new ways to satisfy their entertainment desires with his own brand of Pop, Rock, Soul, early Rock 'n' Roll, Blues, Funk, Country, and even Jazz and Swing.

toddmorganmusic.com

december/january
Artist:
composer/musical director
graham sobelman

Graham Sobelman is a music director, pianist, and composer residing in Northern California.  His music direction credits include Forbidden Broadway, I Love You, You’re Perfect, ...Now Change (Broadway Sacramento); Passion, Tell Me On A Sunday, Little Fish, Celebration, It’s Only Life, tick, tick…BOOM!, They’re Playing Our Song, [title of show] (New Helvetia Theatre); Tell Me On A Sunday (Ensemble Theatre Company), Ruthless, A Christmas Carol (Sacramento Theatre Company); Mr. Burns, Pippin, Flora The Red Menace, & The Who’s Tommy (UC Davis); john & jen (Hillbarn Theatre); A New Brain (Cosumnes River College); Hair, The Who's Tommy (Folsom Lake College).  

 

Graham also conducted Gregg Coffin’s rightnextto me at B Street Theatre and has worked with children’s programs at Music Circus since 2000. He enjoys accompanying master classes and has had the honor of playing for Jonathan Groff, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Laura Bell Bundy, Rachel Bay Jones, Betsy Wolfe, Natalie Weiss, Jessica Phillips, Rory O'Malley, Jared Gertner, Stafford Arima, & many others. He started local cabaret series Graham-A-Rama in 2009 & has released (with Maggie Hollinbeck) Another Shade of Blue (covering the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 masterpiece, Blue) and Jane Kenyon Sessions: Volumes One, Two, & Three  (consisting of poems by Jane Kenyon that Graham musicalized for Maggie). Volume Four is scheduled for release later this year. Graham also composed songs with lyricist Emily Melander and released an EP of those five songs called Reach (featuring vocalists Omari Tau, Dani Hansen, & Maggie Hollinbeck). Other recordings include This Is Ain't Betty (featuring original music he co-wrote with Meleva Steiert) and A Sunday Polaroid (featuring Nanci Zoppi and cellist Tim Stanley performing songs from the musical Tell Me on a Sunday).

 

Additionally, as a composer, Graham has written Love Is Eternal (a song-cycle with British lyricist David Kent), a trio of choral pieces with lyricist Omari Tau & various other art songs.  He has also written underscoring for A Tale of Two Cities and Orlando for SacImpulse Theatre and the score for short film, Lily. He was commissioned in 2012 to write a piece for the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus - "Voices Carry."

 

Graham completed his BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MA in Spanish. He is avid soccer player. He and his husband are raising a Bernese Mountain Dog named Henry.

grahamsobelman.com

february's Artist:
nashville singer/songwriter
Kevin Marcy

Register for the February 17th workshop with Kevin Marcy, February's highlighted artist.

Registration price is $20

($25 on the day of the workshop)

Scholarships are available. Register to apply.

Kevin Marcy, a California native, was born into a musical family. His great grandfather bought a violin instead of bringing home the money from running logs down the river. That fiddle was passed on to his grandfather who used the fiddle to help put himself through medical school. His other grandfather played in the Navy “Big Band,” as well as with other well-known artists of the time. His mother is a classical pianist, and his father played “Boogie Woogie” piano. His aunt, a Mammoth resident, was first chair cello at her college. Much of Kevin’s influences were passed to him by family members who were audiophiles – something that shows in his music with flavors of blues, country, and that of a singer songwriter.

 

Kevin started school in Southern California and went to high school in Hay Springs, Nebraska -- the same school his father attended. Kevin moved back to Northern California to attend college and started playing music with his brothers -- eventually leading to the formation of the Marcy Brothers band. The diversity in his life, as well as the influences from his family, gave Kevin a large well of experience to draw from in his songwriting.

 

After forming the Marcy Brothers band, Kevin and his brothers secured two major label record deals with Warner Brothers Records and Atlantic Records, yielding a top 40 song with Cotton Pickin’ Time and three #1 videos -- each remaining at #1 for 10 weeks. During their time with Atlantic records, the Marcy Brothers recorded the Achy Breaky Heart song before Billy Ray Cyrus did -- creating quite a controversy. Kevin describes what really happened: “I felt the Atlantic album needed something fun on it, and went to a publishing company in Nashville, requesting something with an old time rock and roll feel. They played us Achy Breaky Heart, by Don Von Tress, and I thought, ‘you know, it’s a trite but fun song -- let’s try it live.’ And the response was overwhelming! We recorded it and Rick Blackburn, head of Atlantic at the time said he hated it, changed the name, and said it would never see the light of day. The rest is history.” He went on to say, “That is just the music business, and things happen for a reason. Maybe it was so there would be a Miley Cyrus!” (Laughs)

 

Thereafter, Kevin focused on his songwriting. He went on to write for three major publishing companies in Nashville, resulting in a body of work comprising of hundreds of songs, several of which have been cut by various artists. One of his more recent songs (364 Days To Go) was cut by Brad Paisley for Paisley’s Christmas album. Kevin’s influences run from Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash to Buddy Holly, and James Taylor, with some additional influence from Texas Blues. His original songs are described by Kevin when he says, “I think I tend to write in a somewhat ‘bi-polar’ way. I love to write and sing the sad, ‘rip your heart out’ songs in the vein of Kris Kristofferson, but I also have what my mom describes as a ‘wicked sense of humor,’ and love to make people laugh with my songs.” During his Nashville songwriting years, he also toured with Brad Paisley as a sound technician.

 

After years of touring, Kevin wanted to be home with his children. He became a firefighter/EMT in middle Tennessee and, after getting hurt on a call, he started a nonprofit called 119 Frontline to give free treatment to fire, police and returning military for PTSD. He also opened an addiction clinic for pregnant women and another clinic for opioid addiction, which had the highest recovery rate in the nation.

 

His children now grown, Kevin has returned to California. Shortly after arriving, he was called upon again to write and sing. Kevin said, “I wrote so many songs based on the experiences of my life up to that point, I thought I had reached a place where I had said all I needed to say. But now, I realize I have more to say -- more to express from a different place in my life. I’d like to think that all I have seen, good and bad, gives me a new perspective, and will allow me to share and connect with people on a personal level.”

march's Artist:
songwriter/musician 
John voelz

Register for the March 22nd workshop with John Voelz, March's highlighted artist.

Registration price is $20

($25 on the day of the workshop)

Scholarships are available. Register to apply.

John Voelz is a songwriter, musician, artist/painter, and published author. He grew up in the Gold Country of California and spent over a decade in the Midwest.

 

His styles range from singer-songwriter to pop Americana with a blues flair. He often writes while camping in his Airstream or drinking coffee or whiskey around a fire pit. His iPhone is packed with melodies and riffs that may or may not become the next piece of his soul that he bares to whomever will listen. John’s style is somewhere between Tom Petty and The Muppets.

 

You’ll find John telling normal, everyday, human song stories in bars, pubs, and coffee shops multiple times a month—songs about things like brokenness, hurt, love, addiction, hatred, healing, fatherhood, sex, money, and joy. In these venues, his songs take on a more satirical, sarcastic, humorous, vibe as well as a deep, emotional, reflective vibe.

 

He’s been greatly influenced by the songwriters of the 70’s but finds a kinship with the avant-garde, broken, outlier singer-songwriters in every generation. John will tell you, “I’m especially attracted to songs that feel honest.”

 

John has 8 full-length albums to his credit. 

april's Artist:
resident artist 
Zachariah malachai

Zachariah Malachi (a name his daddy gave him) takes a lot of pride in singing and writing honky-tonk music. With thick Tennessee roots, his interest in country music perked at a young age and it didn't take him long to realize that pursuing a life around it was immanent. He currently sings with The Western Pleasures as well as with his backing band in Zachariah Malachi & The Hillbilly Executives.

https://www.zachariahmalachi.com/

JUNE's Artist:
resident artist 
ANTHONY CASERTA

Anthony Caserta is an all American patriotic boy from a small rural oil worker built town called Trainer Pennsylvania. Born in 1995 Anthony first attained great aspiration for the man in black at the early age of 7. Hypnotized by the music and Cash’s powerful messages, Caserta started Boy in Black in 2007 and has since been captivating audiences all over with charisma so genuine and humble that it proves him beyond his years. Caserta puts on an extremely accurate and authentic Johnny Cash show covering Cash's early career at sun records to his Prison concert era of the late 1960s, and his American Recording sessions with Rick Rubin of the 90s. Anthony also writes and performs his own original music That is inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Mike Ness, Bruce Springsteen and many more influential artists of the 20th century.

As with education, arts, and entertainment organizations across the country, we have decided to suspend the remainder of our season in an effort to do our part in slowing the rate of infection of COVID-19. We value all of the tremendous feedback we have received about our newly developing programs and the events that are just on the horizon. We will continue to monitor the situation and respond with any updates. We look forward to working with Lorrie Carter Bennett, Ronnie Williams, Zachariah Malachi, Vicki Langdon and many more artists who join in our mission to use the performing arts as a vehicle for education. Our hearts are with our fellow artists as they look for gainful employment; our young folks as they are faced with a dramatic shift in the comfort of their daily lives; and humanity in its entirety. Though we may be physically separated, let music, and the common desire to save lives, keep us all united.

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© 2019  Jeanne Jacobson