2018 INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) JUDGES ANNOUNCED
June 13, 2018

Judges Include: Adam Lambert, Tom Waits, The Script, Marc Anthony, Ne-Yo, Hardwell, Portugal. The Man, Kane Brown, 21 Savage, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), and More

June 13 , 2017 – The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its panel of judges for the 2018 competition. Established in 2002, ISC is the world's largest songwriting competition and is open to both professional and amateur songwriters, signed and unsigned. A total of 71 winners in 23 categories share in over $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash, and much more. 

ISC offers the opportunity for songwriters to be heard by an elite panel of recording artists and music executives. The panel is comprised of high-profile recording artists and Presidents, CEOs, and A&R executives from many top record labels and publishing companies.

Over the years, ISC has helped to propel many artists to achieve greater success, including getting record and publishing deals, licensing agreements, gigs, and much more. Past winners have included: Illenium; Vance Joy; Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; and many more.

“There are a lot of songwriting competitions in the world, but only ISC has judges of such prestige and influence,” said Candace Avery, Founder and Director of ISC. “Although many of our judges participate year after year, we have a lot of new judges this year, bringing fresh ears to the process. We are grateful for the perspectives and opinions they bring to the process of selecting the winners.”

The list of 2018 judges includes: 

Recording Artists:
Adam Lambert; Marc Anthony; Porugal.The Man; The Script; Tom Waits; Ne-Yo; American Authors; Kane Brown; Hardwell; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Nicky Jam; 21 Savage; Rodney Crowell; Booker T. Jones; The Mavericks; Sara Evans; Bastille; Kristian Bush (Sugarland); Rakim (Eric B. & Rakim); Walker Hayes; Chris Lane; Keane; Omarion; Danilo Perez; Nervo; Jeremih; Peter Erskine; James McNally (Afro Celt Sound System); Nero; Sidewalk Prophets; Kenny Garrett; Russ; Krewella; Matt Nathanson; Amadou & Miriam; Kaskade; Sara Watkins; Ted Nash; John Mayall; Art Alexakis (Everclear); Joe Louis Walker; Nicholas Gunn; Vassy; Kim Walker-Smith (Jesus Culture); Ashwin Batish; Lonnie Liston Smith; Walter Trout; Tony Joe White; Micah Tyler; John Tibbs; Gordon Goodwin; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives:
Gregg Nadel (President, Elektra Records); Seymour Stein (Chairman/CEO, Sire Records); Jo Charrington (Co-President, Capitol Music Group UK); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); John Esposito (Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville); John Burk (President, Concord Label Group); Tom “Grover” Biery (Executive VP, Recorded Music BMG); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Steve Yegelwel (Sr. VP, Island Records); Mark Mitchell (Co-President, Parlophone Records); Ben Blackwell (Co-Founder, Third Man Records); Nate Albert (Executive VP of A&R, Capitol Records); Jacob Edgar (Founder, Cumbancha); Aaron Bay-Schuck (President of A&R, Interscope Records); Dan Fraser (President, Nettwerk Music Group); Mike Easterlin (President Fueled By Ramen / Roadrunner Records); Craig Balsam (Co-Owner, Razor & Tie, Washington Square, and Kidz Bop); Josh Bailey (Senior VP of A&R, Word Entertainment); Gordon Kerr (CEO, Black River Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); AJ Tobey (Head of A&R, Rough Trade Publishing); Cory Robbins (Founder / President, Robbins Entertainment); Angel Carrasco (Latin Music Consultant); Julie Kertes (Editor / Manager, Hot Diggity Media); Laura Margolin (Publishing, Glassnote Records); Leib Ostrow (Founder / CEO, Music For Little People); Katherine Dines (Co-President, The Children’s Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parent’s Choice Foundation); Benjamin Groff (Founder, The Brill Building); Sas Metcalfe (President, Global Creative, Kobalt Music); Golnar Khosrowshahi (President, Reservoir Media Management); Tamara Conniff (EVP, Roc Nation); Dara Frank (Head of Comedy Central Records / Viacom); Carl Caprioglio (Founder / CEO, Oglio Entertainment); Elena Epstein (Director, National Parenting Product Awards); and more to be announced. 

Entering ISC can be done online or through the mail, and information can be found at https://www.songwritingcompetition.com.

ISC is sponsored by: Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; Eventric; GigSalad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musicians Institute; PreSonus; Pro Tour Nutrition; oneRPM; SongU; Sweetwater; Tunedly; and Vocal Eze.    

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ISC 2017 WINNERS ANNOUNCED
April 18, 2018

Illenium Song “Crawl Outta Love Ft. Annika Wells” Wins the Grand Prize in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC)

Judges Include: Lorde, Hardwell, Tom Waits, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Ziggy Marley, Bastille, Kaskade, The Mavericks, Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks), and More

April 18, 2018 -- The International Songwriting Competition (ISC), widely recognized as the most prestigious and respected songwriting competition in the world, is pleased to announce its 2017 winners. Created in 2002, ISC received more than 16,000 entries from almost 140 countries.

The Grand Prize winners this year are Nicholas Miller (better known as Illenium), Annika Wells, Kate Morgan, and Michael Biancaniello for the song “Crawl Outta Love Ft. Annika Wells." Illenium (along with co-writers Keeley Bumford, Henri Lanz, and William Rappaport) is also the First Place winner in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) category for his song “Fractures Ft. Nevve.” The Grand Prize consists of $25,000 in cash (USD) and over $35,000 in additional prizes. 

The winning song “Crawl Outta Love” was released on Illenium’s sophomore album Awake via his own label Kasaya Recordings in tandem with Seeking Blue Records. The song is described as a deep, earth-shattering ballad with piano melodies and future bass breakdowns. It is relatable because lyrically and melodically it conveys the pain and desperation of a relationship breaking apart and the difficulty of walking away. 

In just a few short years, Illenium has quickly propelled himself to the forefront of the EDM scene, becoming one of the dance community’s most beloved artists. Known for writing songs that display beauty, complexity, and emotional depth, Illenium’s impeccable sound design has established him as one of the best producers in the game. He is the 2017 winner of an Electronic Music Award, and 2017 also saw him exceed one billion streams. In addition to selling out venues and getting rave reviews on his headlining tours, Illenium has also performed at major festivals including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, EDC, Decadence, Electric Forest, and Paradiso among others. He is currently playing Coachella for the first time. 

“I am so honored to win the International Songwriting Competition,” says Illenium. “All the writers and I really fell in love with this song, and we’re happy that everyone loved it just as much!”

In addition to Illenium, the other songwriters include: Annika Wells, a young and talented singer and songwriter who is the featured vocalist on the winning song (her debut single “Break” has racked up over 9 million listens on Spotify); Kate Morgan a singer who has been co-writing songs in LA and last year released her own single "Soul In Your Pocket;” and Michael Biancaniello, an accomplished producer, songwriter, and guitarist who has worked on hit records for Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, 5 Seconds of Summer, and many more.

“This is the first time the Grand Prize has ever been given to an EDM song, so we are especially proud to recognize the genre by honoring such a great song by Illenium, one of EDM’s up-and-coming djs and producers,” says ISC Founder and Director, Candace Avery. “The judges were unanimous in their lavish praise of this song, so the selection of the Grand Prize winner was a no-brainer this year.” 

ISC honors 71 winners total, with prizes awarded to First, Second, and Third Place in 23 categories, plus an overall  Grand Prize winner and the Peoples’ Voice winner, selected by public vote. An additional 274 winners are recognized with an Honorable Mention. Prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise.

ISC winners hail from all over the world (61% of this year’s winners come from outside the USA) and range from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans. Categories include all genres of contemporary music, from rock to pop to jazz to r&b/hip-hop and more.

Other 2017 notable winners include: Amy Shark, Omar Sosa And Seckou Keita, Birds of Tokyo, Barns Courtney, Thea Gilmore, Dean Lewis, Bonfire Buffalo, Faouzia, Altered Five Blues Band, Vera Blue, Gawurra, Gustafer Yellowgold, Holograf, Missy Higgins, and many more.

Previous ISC winners include: Vance Joy, Bastille, Passenger, Kate Miller-Heidke, Lindsey Stirling, Gotye, The Band Perry, Kasey Chambers, Lupe Fiasco, Rachel Bloom, Gin Wigmore, Kimbra, Gregory Porter, Kehlani, For King & Country, and many more.

For a complete list of ISC 2017 winners and to hear the winning songs, go to: http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.

The complete panel of 2017 judges includes:

Recording Artists

Lorde; Tom Waits; Ziggy Marley; American Authors; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks); Booker T. Jones; The Mavericks; Sara Evans; Bastille; Keane; Hardwell; Danilo Perez; James McNally (Afro Celt Sound System); Billy Cobham; Gerald Casale (Devo); Natalie Grant; Krewella; Matt Nathanson; Amadou & Miriam; John Tibbs; Kaskade; John Mayall; Joe Louis Walker; Nicholas Gunn; Ashwin Batish; Lonnie Liston Smith; Walter Trout; Trilok Gurtu; Tommy Chong; and Tony Joe White.

Industry Executives:

Gregg Nadel (President, Elektra Records); Seymour Stein (Chairman/CEO, Sire Records); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); John Esposito (Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville); John Burk (President, Concord Label Group); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Steve Yegelwel (Sr. VP, Island Records); Nate Albert (Executive VP of A&R, Capitol Records); Jacob Edgar (Founder, Cumbancha); Aaron Bay-Schuck (President of A&R, Interscope Records); Mike Easterlin (President, Fueled By Ramen/Roadrunner Records); Josh Bailey (Senior VP of A&R, Word Entertainment); Gordon Kerr (CEO, Black River Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); AJ Tobey (Head of A&R, Rough Trade Publishing); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Angel Carrasco (Latin Music Consultant); Julie Kertes (Editor/Manager, Hot Diggity Media); Laura Margolin (Publishing, Glassnote Records); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Katherine Danes (Co-President, The Children’s Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parent’s Choice Foundation); Benjamin Groff (Founder, The Brill Building); Sas Metcalfe (President, Global Creative, Kobalt Music); Golnar Khosrowshahi (President, Reservoir Media Management); Carianne Marshall (Partner, Songs Music Publishing); Tamara Conniff (EVP, Roc Nation); Dara Frank (Head of Comedy Central Records/Viacom); Carl Caprioglio (Founder/CEO, Oglio Entertainment); and Elena Epstein (Director, National Parenting Product Awards).

ISC is sponsored by: AKG By Harman; Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; D'Addario; Dark Horse Institute; Disc Makers; Eventric; Gig Salad; JBL Professional by Harman; Lurrsen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musician’s Institute; ONErpm; PreSonus; SongU.com; Sweetwater Sound; PAWW Premium Sound; and Tunedly.

Entries are now open for the 2018 competition. For more information and to enter, go to https://www.songwritingcompetition.com.

For low-res photos of all winners, go to https://songwritingcompetition.com/winners

For high-res photos, please contact Candace Avery at press@songwritingcompetition.com

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ISC 2017 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
March 8, 2018

International Songwriting Competition 2017 Finalists Announced

Judges Include: Lorde, Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction), Tom Waits, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Bastille, Ziggy Marley, Booker T. Jones, Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks), Don Omar, Billy Cobham, Hardwell, The Mavericks, Kaskade, Natalie Grant, American Authors, John Mayall, Amadou & Miriam, and Many More

March 8, 2018 – The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced the finalists for the 2017 competition. Please click here to view the complete list.

Established in 2002, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is the world's largest and most prestigious songwriting competition and is open to all professional and amateur songwriters. Having received more than 16,000 entries from 130 countries, 344 songs have been selected as finalists in a wide variety of genres. Winners will be announced in April, 2018.

Winners will be selected by a panel of high-profile recording artists and music industry executives from Sony, Capitol, Sire, Elektra, Glassnote, Island, Razor & Tie, Concord Label Group, Warner Bros. Records, Alligator, Wind-Up, Interscope, New West, Black River Ent., Word, Syco, and many more. Click here for the list of judges.

ISC will award more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash, and more. A total of 71 winners will be selected in 23 categories of music. All entrants retain full rights to their songs.

"In addition to great prizes, ISC offers the unique opportunity to have your music heard by the most impressive group of judges from a variety of industry backgrounds in any songwriting competition. This makes ISC the songwriting competition to take note of." – New York Times

Winning ISC is a distinction that has propelled many artists to achieve greater success, including getting record and publishing deals, licensing agreements, gigs, and much more. Past winners have included: Vance Joy; Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Andrew Bird; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; King Charles; for KING & COUNTRY; and many more.

Finalists have been selected in the following categories: AAA (Adult Album Alternative); AC (Adult Contemporary); Americana; Blues; Children's Music; Christian; Comedy/Novelty; Country; EDM (Electronic Dance Music); Folk/Singer-Songwriter; Instrumental; Jazz; Latin Music; Lyrics Only; Music Video; Performance; Pop/Top 40; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Teen (for songwriters 18 and under); Unpublished (for songwriters without a major publishing deal); Unsigned Only (for songwriters without a major label record deal); and World Music. 

ISC is sponsored by: AKG By Harman, Berklee College of Music, Celebrity Access, D’Addario, Dark Horse Institute, Disc Makers, Eventric; Gig Salad, JBL Professional by Harman; Lurrsen Mastering; Merch Cat; PAWW; ONErpm; PreSonus; SongU.com; and Sweetwater Sound. Thanks to all of our sponsors for their support and commitment to artists throughout the world!

ISC is currently accepting entries for the 2018 competition. Entrants can upload or mail their songs or give a link to their songs, making it really easy because ISC will go to their song online and listen to the songs there. Click here to enter. 

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INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) ANNOUNCES 2015 JUDGES
July 19, 2015

INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) ANNOUNCES 2015 JUDGES

Lorde, Tom Waits, Kesha, Boyz II Men, Moby, Pat Metheny, Sara Evans, Bastille, Avicii, Daddy Yankee, Casting Crowns, And Many More To Judge ISC


July 20, 2015 - Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the prestigious New York Times," the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) today announced its esteemed panel of judges for the 2015 competition. The panel includes many iconic, high-profile recording artists, as well as Presidents and CEOs from Atlantic, Epic, Elektra, Sony Music Latin, Warner Bros., Tommy Boy, Wind-Up, Alligator, Concord Music Group, and more. 

Designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting, ISC offers the opportunity for songwriters to have their music heard by some of the most influential decision-makers in the industry.

ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $30,000 in merchandise and services. In addition to prizes, winners gain recognition, press, kudos, and more career opportunities. Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. More information on entering ISC can be found at http://www.songwritingcompetition.com.

Last year's ISC Grand Prize winner, Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy, was honored for his memorable hit song, "Riptide." In a statement, Joy said, "It is such an honor to win this songwriting prize. Writing songs is what gives me purpose, and I'm proud to receive this award." The winning song "Riptide" turned out to be the song that launched Joy's career worldwide and has since become a classic. He is currently on a six-month tour supporting Taylor Swift. 

Joy is one of many winners who have included artists such as Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Andrew Bird; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; King Charles; For King And Country; and more.

The complete list of 2015 judges includes: 

Recording Artists:
Kesha; Tom Waits; Bill Withers; American Authors; Lorde; Pat Metheny; Sara Evans; Bastille; Casting Crowns; Keb Mo; Avicii; Boyz II Men; Bill Withers; Keane; Hardwell; Robben Ford; Danilo Perez; Moby; Jon Secada; Daddy Yankee; Afro Celt Sound System; Anthony Hamilton; Gerald Casale (Devo); Sean Paul; Justin Townes Earle; Hawk Nelson; Jean-Luc Ponty; Shakey Graves; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Chayanne; Joy Williams; Matt Maher; Art Alexakis (Everclear); Far East Movement; Femi Kuti; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives:
Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Sylvia Rhone (President, Epic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Jeff Castelaz (President, Elektra Records); Nir Seroussi (President, Sony Music Latin); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Rosie Lopez (President, Tommy Boy Entertainment); Glen Barros (President, Concord Music Group); Bryan Stewart (VP of A&R, Curb Records); Jason McArthur (VP of A&R, Provident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Edward Chmelewski (President, Blind Pig Records); Sharon Tapper (Head of Publishing, Glassnote Records); Kevin Welk (Chief Creative, Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records); Angel Carrasco (President, Discos 605); Steve Yegelwel (Sr. VP, Island Records); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Joseph Burney (VP of A&R, RCA Inspiration/Sony Music Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); Albert Schilcher (VP of Music and Music Marketing, MTV International); Jamie Masada (Owner, Laugh Factory); Cyndi Nelson (General Mgr., Zanies Comedy Club); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Gary Briggs (A&R Executive); Claire S. Green (President, Parents' Choice Foundation); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Julie Kertes (General Manager, National Parenting Publications Awards, NAPPA); Nate Dern (News Editor, Funny Or Die News); Wende Curtis (Owner, Comedy Works); and more to be announced. 

ISC is sponsored by Lowden Guitars, D'Addario, Thayers, Disc Makers, Gig Salad, Celebrity Access, and The Music Business Registry.

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ISC 2014 JUDGES ANNOUNCED
June 23, 2014

13 RECORD LABEL PRESIDENTS AND CEOs JOIN WITH ICONIC RECORDING ARTISTS TO JUDGE THE 2014 INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC)

American Authors, John Hiatt, Tom Waits, Sarah McLachlan, Pat Metheny, Sara Evans, Jon Secada, Bastille, Avicii, Wayne Shorter, Casting Crowns And Many More Join ISC’s Judging Panel

June 23, 2014 – The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) today announced its judging panel for the 2014 competition which is now accepting entries. This year, ISC has expanded on the participation of music industry executives, offering the opportunity for artists to have their music heard by the highest level of decision-makers in the music business. Judges include Presidents and CEOs from Republic, Atlantic, Warner Bros., Elektra, Columbia, Virgin, Sony Music Latin, Mercury, Wind-Up, Tommy Boy, Alligator, S-Curve, and Concord Music Group.

Coupled with additional high-profile industry executives and an notable group of recording artists  ­–­ many of whom are currently dominating the charts – ISC offers the opportunity for artists to have their music heard by the most impressive and elite panel of judges yet.

“This year we decided to invite more record company executives in order to open up more opportunities to songwriters and artists,” states Candace Avery, Founder and Director. “It is so difficult for up-and-coming artists to reach these elusive music executives, so this is an incredible chance for artists to have their music heard by the people who actually make career-changing decisions. We are very excited and honored that so many high-level industry professionals want to participate – this is truly unprecedented in any competition.”

ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $30,000 in prizes. Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. Past winners have included Grammy winners, chart-topping artists, amateur songwriters, and everyone in between, including Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Andrew Bird; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; King Charles; and many more.

2014 ISC judges include:

Recording Artists

Tom Waits; American Authors; Sarah McLachlan; Pat Metheny; Sara Evans; Bastille; Casting Crowns; Avicii; Wayne Shorter; John Hiatt; Keane; DJ Snake; Robben Ford; Danilo Perez; Kenny Wayne Shepherd; Martina McBride; Newsboys; Jon Secada; The Chainsmokers; Jason Isbell; Afro Celt Sound System; London Grammar; Michael W. Smith; Craig Morgan; Gerald Casale (Devo); Jean-Luc Ponty; James Cotton; Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes); Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Matt Thiessen (Relient K); Chayanne; J. Holiday; and more to be announced...

Industry Executives

Monte Lipman (Founder and Chairman/CEO, Republic Records); Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Jeff Castelaz (President, Elektra Records); Alison Donald (Co-President, Columbia Records UK); Ted Cockle (President, Virgin Records UK); Mike Smith (President, Mercury Records UK); Nir Seroussi (President, Sony Music Latin); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Rosie Lopez (President, Tommy Boy Entertainment); Glen Barros (President, Concord Music Group); Rex Rideout (VP of A&R, Motown Records); Jay Landers (Executive VP of A&R, Verve Music Group); Bryan Stewart (VP of A&R, Curb Records); Jason McArthur (VP of A&R, Provident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Angel Carrasco (Sr. VP A&R, Latin America, Sony); Keith Naftaly (Executive VP of A&R, RCA Records); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Joseph Burney (VP of A&R, RCA Inspiration/Sony Music Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records); Kim Buie (A&R, Thirty Tigers); Albert Schilcher (VP of Music and Music Marketing, MTV International); Gary Briggs (Senior VP of A&R/Producer, New West Records); Lori Teig (VP of Talent, VEVO); Jermaine Hall (Editor-In-Chief, Vibe Magazine); Jamie Masada (Owner, Laugh Factory); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Julie Kertes (General Manager, National Parenting Publications Awards, NAPPA); Claire S. Green (President, Parents’ Choice Foundation); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Wende Curtis (Owner, Comedy Works); and more to be announced…

Please visit http://www.songwritingcompetition.com for an entry form or more details.

ISC is sponsored by Lowden Guitars, Berklee College Of Music, Airplay Direct, D’Addario, DiscMakers, Thayers, SongU.com, The Music Business Registry, Indie Venue Bible, Celebrity Access, Tunecore, Independent Mastering, George Stein, Esq., Songtrust, and Taxi.

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Shunzo Ohno Bio - ISC 2013 Grand Prize Winner
May 5, 2014

Born in Gifu, Japan, Shunzo began his musical training at age 13 in his local public school. By age 19, Shunzo was the leading jazz trumpeter in Japan. Working as an accomplished composer and arranger in Japan, Shunzo's career hit high gear when he met the renowned bandleader Art Blakey. He toured with Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers throughout the United States and settled in New York City in 1974 at Blakey's suggestion.

The compelling Latin energy in Shunzo's playing can be linked to his tenure with the celebrated Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra. He recorded the Grammy Award-winning album with Machito and His Salsa Big Band (1983), which featured his dazzling solos. 

Shunzo then joined one of his most influential inspirations, master arranger and composer Gil Evans, becoming a key contributor on tours, club dates, and recordings, including the 1988 Grammy Award-winning "Live at Sweet Basil". Shunzo made a total of four recordings with Evans, who remained a lifelong mentor to him. 

Ohno returned to Japan with Super Sounds, a group that included jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Larry Coryell, broadening his experience. 

In 1988, he was involved in a serious automobile accident in which his teeth and lips were permanently damaged. He remained undeterred by the long recovery process, and strengthened his resolve to find a new approach to his music. He renewed his vision in performances with Wayne Shorter. Later, Shunzo joined Buster Williams (1989). 

Adversity struck Shunzo again in 1996, when he was diagnosed with life threatening 4th stage throat cancer. For three years, he underwent radical surgery & cancer treatments to control the disease and embarked on the difficult road to recovery. His refusal to allow personal struggles and seemingly insurmountable circumstances led Shunzo to create new developments in his art and unique voice.

In the last three years, he has conducted seminars in Singapore and Japan and has been involved with significant joint projects with The Howard University Jazz Ensemble at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC for 2 years), uniting cultures which has been particularly meaningful to Shunzo.

Shunzo wrote and performed for the award winning documentary film for Children’s Rights Organization, "TreShawn". 

He rallied his Grammy-award winning colleagues, John Patitucci, Clarence Penn and more for the benefit concert, "Japan's Recovery with Hope and Courage". This concert received special recognition from the Ambassador of Japan. Shunzo continued efforts to generate hope by returning to Japan's hardest hit communities. Shunzo returned 18 times since visiting the refugee centers, schools and local communities in Northern Japan.

All In One was released in Asia 2012 and released in the United States in 2013, featuring original compositions with high energy and intimate solos. In February, 2014, Shunzo returned to the recording studio with new compositions and live string arrangements. The release will be in April, 2014 in Japan. 

The song “Musashi” was Inspired by a character in Japanese history who lived in the 1500-1600s. He was a writer, painter, and skilled swordsman who was never defeated. He was thought to be a deep thinker with an extreme sense of individuality and strength, and he traveled through the woods and mountains of Japan. Ohno says, "I wrote the song at a time in my life when a sense of courage, like a tidal wave, was what seemed necessary. I was searching for that particular sense of courage, tobe undefeated in the midst of what seemed impossible. I wanted to express that sense of being fearless in the midst of what may seem chaotic and unsupportive. I found in Musashi a pure vision of unique courage. It is my hope others might feel that sense of tenacious determination & courage, in an adventurous way."

 

A Few Questions about the International Songwriting Competition
October 6, 2011

An interview with ISC's Founder, Candace Avery, appeared on Bandzoogle. To read it, go to: http://bandzoogle.com/blog/blogposts/a-few-questions-about-the-international-songwriting-competition-22158.cfm

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