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Confirmed Guests

Check out LASY YEAR'S incredible list of guests and seminars here in the HANDBOOK.  It will give you some idea of this year's event.


NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN is among a handful of the most innovative, original and influential artists of our time, Narada Michael Walden’s stature as an authentic musical renaissance man is a matter of record.  Producing Hits for Artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin (including the platinum “Freeway of Love.”), Steve Winwood, Ray Charles, Wynonna Judd, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Barbara Streisand, Lionel Ritchie, Lisa Fischer, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Jeff Beck and The Temptations, the EMMY and multi-GRAMMY winner (Producer, Album and Song of The Year) has been at the helm of hit music that spans decades.  His music flows freely from pop, rock and soul, to the rarified realms of jazz, fusion and world music. With Jeff Beck, Narada wrote and played drums on the seminal album “Wired” that earned them both their first Gold Album.  Walden was an integral part of introducing Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey to millions of fans worldwide, producing and writing their breakthrough hits that first brought these divas to the spotlight. Billboard Magazine honored him as one of the Top Ten Producers of all time.

LENNIE MOORE:  For over 25 years, Lennie Moore has been a proven force as an accomplished composer, orchestrator and arranger of music for videogames, commercials, film, and television. His credits include Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Halo Combat Evolved 10th Anniversary, The Walking Dead Motion Comic, Watchmen Motion Comic, Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers, Dirty Harry, Dragonshard, War of the Ring, and Outcast.
 Lennie has also developed and taught courses in Composing for Video Games at USC, UCLA Extension, and developed the first accredited degree program for Game Audio and Interactive Media at Pinnacle College.

JEFFREY NELSON:  Producers such as Garth Fundis, Kyle Lehning, Brent Mason, Lee Thomas Miller, Richard Landis, J. Aaron Brown, Mitch Merritt & Julian King are among the names of people who have cut songs that Jeffrey has had the privilege of pitching. A former sales staffer for BMG Distribution in Beverly Hills, where he was once honored with a salary bonus for “Outstanding Achievement in Creative Thinking”, Jeffrey has served the last eleven years finding or making opportunities for extraordinary songs.

One of his song placements ("That's What Love Will Get Ya") landed on an album that has since scanned over 722,000 units (Joe Nichols’ “III” album). He placed two songs (“I’m Done” and “Up to Him”) on an album that was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award.  “Up to Him” was a single for Tracy Lawrence, and won “Mainstream Song of the Year” at the 2009 ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Awards. One international placement became a single for Chad Brownlee ("Day After You") that went Top 10 in Canada in 2011. He has worked as a Song Placement Consultant for Chrysalis Music, Curb-Magnatone, EMI Christian Music Publishing,Larga Vista Music, and for various individual no.1 hit writers.
In addition to being a proud member of the IPA pluggers group, Jeffrey is also the co-founder and monthly host of the “Mocha Network”, a group of veteran song-pluggers that has met for the past ten years, who host pitch meetings with various major label artists, producers, and artist managers. He has been a contributing commentary writer for both Billboardand Music Row. He and his wife and daughter live five minutes away from Music Row with their Bernese Mountain Dog named Lauterbrunnen.

SCOTT MATHEWS has produced, recorded or performed with:  The Beach Boys, The Blind Boys of Alabama, David Bowie, Zac Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Glen Campbell, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Ry Cooder, Robert Cray, Dick Dale, Dave Edmunds, Roky Erickson, Jefferson Starship, Jerry Garcia, Billy Gibbons, Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, John Hiatt, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Mick Jagger, Booker T. Jones, Patti Labelle, Huey Lewis, Nick Lowe, Taj Mahal, The Mamas & Papas, Steve Miller, Eddie Money, Van Morrison, Aaron Neville, Roy Orbison, Van Dyke Parks, Steve Perry, The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Joey Ramone, Keith Richards, Todd Rundgren, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani, Boz Scaggs, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, Allen Toussaint, Trip Shakespeare (Semisonic), The Tubes, Joe Walsh, Robin Williams, Carl Wilson, Brian Wilson, Bobby Womack, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dwight Yoakam, and Neil Young.
Film Credits:  Scott Mathews' work in movies ranges from the multiple Oscar winning, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to the Oscar nominated, Wag the Dog.
Songwriter:  His songs have sold millions for recording artists in all fields, from Barbra Streisand to Robert Cray.  In addition, Scott Mathews has combined sales of more than 15 million units worldwide. had several top 10 records in Pop, Alternative Rock, R&B, Country and Americana and has participated in Grammy and Oscar award winning projects for twenty years.

JONATHAN LANE: is the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Atrium Music. His primary roles in this position are pitching the Atrium catalogue, comprised of over 250 breakout indie artists and composers from around the world, to TV productions, films, ad agencies, and beyond, negotiating fair licensing fees and usage terms. Jonathan attended Fresno State University on a scholarship for drums and percussion and has performed in bands his entire life. Throughout his scholastic journey, he also found a true passion for creative writing. With this newfound passion, Jon changed his major to English and graduated with a BA, English degree. While in college, he wrote professionally for the Fresno Bee, the Central Valley’s leading news outlet, while also publishing articles of literary analysis. Building a strong portfolio, he became well equipped for the professional world upon graduating, securing a creative role at Warner Bros. Studios. Jonathan spent 5 years working in Business Development at Warner Bros., in a creative writing capacity before deciding that music was beginning to take over his life. With this realization, he left the corporate world to pursue music licensing full time at Atrium Music and hasn’t looked back. Jonathan Lane is the front man of Southern California reggae fusion band UpRooted who boasts packed and sold out headlining shows at various prominent venues including the House of Blues and the Roxy Theatre, sharing the stage with bands like Linkin Park and Awolnation. UpRooted’s most recent album released at #4 on the reggae charts and #1 on the international rap charts.  

MARK MAZZETTI is an internationally known music and entertainment executive with a significant history of creating Grammy Award Winning hit records which have sold 40 million+ copies world-wide.  In late 2012, Mark was named Senior Director of Artist and Business Development at FANATTAC, a social media discovery platform that provides a unique social experience for music lovers.  In this position, Mark is leading the expansion of the FANATTAC platform to connect new, up and coming and established musical artists and bands directly to their fans.

ROBERTA DONNAY, using her years of expertise, has developed a series of engaging and informative workshops specifically designed to help Indie Artists and Musicians boost their careers. Donnay is a Recording and Touring Artist, an award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, composer, arranger, music supervisor, and coach. As a vocalist she’s performed internationally with major artists in nearly every genre. Donnay is Governor Emeritus for The San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy and for The California Jazz Foundation. Donnay co-founded “DivaBands," a recording artist cooperative based in San Francisco booking local and national talent.  She is currently signed with Motema Music (NYC) and tours with her own group “Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band” and also tours and records as a member of “Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks” since 2005 as a singer/percussionist. 

MONICA PASQUAL is the winner of 5 Independent Music Awards for both her solo album, "This Cold Desire" and with Blame Sally for "Speeding Ticket and a Valentine".  Her song, ‘Bird in Hand’charted on both Americana and Roots Radio and was among the top 10 Folk Radio songs for 2011.  Her songs have been used on numerous network television shows, she has composed soundtracks for PBS, The History Channel and National Geographic Television and has won six Emmy Awards with BZ Lewis for their work with KPIX (CBS) Television.  For the last 13 years Monica has been a member of the popular Bay Area Band, Blame Sally, touring the US and Europe extensively and releasing 8 albums. 

RUTH GERSON One of the top vocal coaches in NYC for many years, Ruth Gerson has taught voice, songwriting and performance at Princeton University as a Forbes College Fellow. She is the founder of San Francisco Vocal Coaching and teaches private voice lessons in San Francisco and in San Carlos. Gerson writes “Singing Lessons” for the Huffington Post. She has also taught at The Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Stanford University, Starmakers Academy of Music in Dance in Los Angeles, Apple Corporate, NetApp, and Google.
A critically acclaimed songwriter herself, Gerson has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” the entertainment news show “Extra,” PBS, Showtime, HBO and Lifetime television. She has performed at the Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, High Sierra Music Fests and many more. Her career has included vocals on many popular jingles, back-up vocals/keyboards for Gloria Gaynor and she has opened for Dave Matthews, Lisa Loeb, The Indigo Girls and Steven Wright. Her latest album Deceived is produced by five time Grammy winner, Rick Chertoff and William WittmanGerson’s own voice training with Michael Langham (Juilliard) and Marty and Don Lawrence (Mick Jagger, Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera, Bono, Lady Gaga) inform her patent pending device, the Singingbelt, and her singing techniques!
“The BEST of the best vocal coaches in NYC. She gets exceptional results with singers on all levels. I have been amazed. I recommend her highly whether you are a beginner or a seasoned performer.” - Lisa Barbaris, manager (Cyndi Lauper, Simply Red, Mooney Suzuki

MARCUS BARONE: Motion Picture Executive in Charge of Music and Music Supervision in Los Angeles, California.  In 1992, he became Director of Music and Supervisor at Motion Picture Corp. of America(Columbia / Tristar) in Los Angeles, working on over 35 feature films within seven years. Besides his creative input and a full worldwide knowledge of music catalogs and artists, his duties included licensing, publishing, legal contracts and soundtracks.  He was appointed Executive in Charge of Music at Orion Pictures in 1998.
Today Marcus operates Film Music Group /First International Pictures and recently supervised Decoding Annie Parker starring Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt. There's a Buzz about an Academy award for Samantha Morton for best actress. She won Seattle Film Festival Best Actress 2013.  Marcus used a number of WCS members and Bay Area/NorCal artists/licenses for this project.
He is also a BMI composer and songwriter as well as a studio musician. . He performed and won 4 Gold and Platinum Awards for the band "Lifehouse". He also performed on the "Matt Nathanson" album. Both artists are on Universal Records.

MICHAEL WINGER:  Is currently the Executive Director of The Recording Academy in San Francisco.  As a producer he has produced recordings for many Bay Area artists such as Beth Waters, Kronos Quartet, Four Year Bender, Jim Bruno, AJ Roach, Forest Sun and others. As engineer, he has worked with Jerry Harrison, Von Bondies, Alanis Morisette, Divine Comedy, Death Angel, Tom Petty, Tim Bluhm and more. Winger started the mobile recording company, Flying Kitchen, after working for two years as recording supervisor for San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. He has since recorded and mixed live performances by Keane, Beth Orton, Gomez, Los Lonely Boys, Corinne Bailey Rae, Emmy Lou Harris, Gillian Welch and many others.

MASON COOPER:  Songrunner Entertainment, LLC, a music supervision firm led by industry veteran Mason Cooper, is at the forefront of the modern paradigm of synergizing the music, film and television industries, serving as the independent music department and music solutions specialist for film producers and directors. The company’s client network includes production companies Ten/Four Pictures, Mythic Films, Vitamin A Films, Sunset Pictures and projects such as the Showtime's “All In”(Michael Madsen, Lou Gossett Jr.), the David Strathairn feature “The Sensation Of Sight,” MTVNetwork's CMT Diary series, MGM/7Arts theatrical feature “Deal” (Burt Reynolds, Jennifer Tilly), Sony Pictures' "The Prince and the Pauper" (starring Disney Channel's Dylan & Cole Sprouse, Kay Panabaker), Showtime's "Stiletto" (Tom Berenger, Tom Sizemore, Michael Biehn), the Bobby Moresco directed "The Kings Of Appletown" (Cole & Dylan Sprouse, Victoria Justice), MGM's "All's Faire In Love"(Christina Ricci, Cedric The Entertainer ; directed by Scott Marshall), Showtime's "The Nail" (William Forsythe, Tony Danza, Dayanara Torres), the TriCoast/Warner film "At The Sinatra Club" (Michael Nouri, Jason Gedrick), Gil Cates Jr.'s new feature film "Lucky" (Ten/Four Pics/Phase 4 Films: Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Jeffrey Tambor), the noir thriller "L.A. I Hate You" (Malcolm McDowell, Deedee Pfeiffer), the action film "Freerunner" (Sean Faris, Danny Dyer), Image Entertainment's thriller "Beneath The Darkness" (Dennis Quaid, Aimee Tegarden, Tony Oller), the comedic "Finding Joy" (Barry Bostwick, Lainie Kazan, Josh Cooke), true life drama "Jamesy Boy" (James Woods, Ving Rhames.), Sunset Pictures' "The Bronx Bull" (William Forsythe, Penelope Ann Miller) and the upcoming "Sweetwater" (tent. James Caan, Danny Devito, Pierce Brosnan).

JOHN LESTER:  Bassist and vocalist John Lester has had one foot in rock and the other solidly set in jazz since he started playing bass. At age 14, John was asked by two fellow students to join them in a garage rock band. They had cleverly figured out that if John joined the school jazz ensemble as the bassist, he could use their electric bass and amp, and thus be in the rock band as well. So, not yet knowing how to play bass, John jumped in with both feet. One would take a path leading forward through rock, progressive rock, funk, and R&B, eventually writing and singing his own material, releasing three independent albums, and touring around the world with his unique solo bass/vocal show. The other would move back in time discovering the great jazz improvisers, mastering the upright bass, and becoming an in-demand jazz sideman.  John performed at the WCS Benefit  Concert on July 19th wowing the audience!

STEVE BLOCH:  After a decade of success with his LA based talent agency, Entertainment Associates, Bloch segued into publishing and founded Southern Cow Music in 1991, moved his headquarters to Nashville in '93, and hasn't looked back since. His boutique publishing company garnered cuts with Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, Rebecca Lynn Howard, and Lee Greenwood. In addition he secured cuts with Kenny Chesney, John Berry, and Lila McCann for select independent clients. In the late 90's, he was tapped by Doug Johnson at Giant records to do independent A&R for the label where he secured cuts for Clay Walker, Keith Harling and Blake Shelton.

STEFFEN FRANZ – President/Founder Independent Distribution Collective, Independent Producer, Owner Positive Sound Massive Recordings, President, Tarpan Records.  Steffen has been in the music business for almost 30 years and brings his many years of experience to his current positions. For the past 18 years, Steffen has run his own independent record label, Positive Sound Massive Recordings, releasing over 20 different albums and singles over the past decade and a half. He has also produced dozens of albums for other people and has deep knowledge in both the production and label management aspects of the music business.  In addition to running PSM for the past 18 years, Steffen founded a physical and digital distribution and marketing company called Independent Distribution Collective in 2004 that currently manages a catalog of over 600 titles in almost 400 independent stores (and a few major chains) across the US. Steffen also developed “InstantDistro” a turnkey marketing and promotion system that now includes Print, Radio, Retail and Web promotions as well as music licensing, artist management and booking as well.Steffen loves all aspects of the music business and teaches Music Business 101, 110, and 301 at Pyramind, an audio production school in San Francisco.  In 2013, Steffen was named President of Tarpan Records, an independent record label founded by multi-platinum, Grammy winner, Narada Michael Walden, based in San Rafael, CA

NICK PHILLIPS:  An in-house producer and Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group— where he has worked for some 20+ years—Nick Phillips has produced hundreds of internationally-distributed releases. Several of his projects have received GRAMMY® nominations, including Nnenna Freelon Blueprint of a Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday (2005, Producer), Karrin Allyson Footprints (2006, Producer/trumpet), and John Patitucci Line by Line (2007, Executive Producer). Included amongst the many artists with whom Phillips has also worked are such jazz notables as Kenny Barron, Bob Berg, Gary Burton, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Chick Corea, Joey DeFrancesco, Nnenna Freelon, Jon Hendricks, Marian McPartland, Carmen McRae, Tito Puente, Chris Potter, Poncho Sanchez, and others. Phillips-produced reissue and compilation projects have spotlighted such jazz legends as Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, and Sarah Vaughan, to name a few.

GRAHAM HOWES: is an audience development coordinator for Discovery Digital Media (Discovery Channel, Revision3, etc.). He is also a freelance videographer and social media manager, and has executed marketing campaigns for musicians including Roberta Flack, Hiroshima, Maria Muldaur, Tina Malia and many more. Graham is incredibly active in the San Francisco Bay Area, and continues to consult numerous clients on social media best practices, content development, and audience engagement strategies. Additionally, Graham is an adjunct instructor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA where he teaches a course in Content Engineering - a professional writing class focused on digital content and web analytics.

Dr. MICHELLE CLEERE:  Dr. Michelle’s passion is unlocking the power of the mind so that people can live healthier, play better and be happier. She coaches athletes, musicians, leaders who need to perform consistently at a high level and other people who are making life transitions.
Performance Psychology Ph.D.  Dr. Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a M.A. in Sports Psychology. She serves on the faculty of JFK University. Her research focuses on how the mind can be trained to improve life, performance and endurance. Her competitive spirit as a college basketball player and amateur triathlete inspired her to explore sports psychology to improve her own performance. Her big a-ha moment came in 1997 when coaching a team of amateur triathletes, most of whom were beginners. Simple mental skill training, perspective shifts and emotional support yielded almost magical results across the team. People who hated running learned to power up hills with mantras. People who were terrified of swimming in open water overcame their fear with visualizations. Everyone completed their race—including the woman who showed up to the first practice with a snorkel mask and fins—and most kept competing.
Since then, Dr. Michelle has helped hundreds of athletes, concert musicians, songwriters, academics, business executives and people struggling through life transitions.

JAI JOSEFS is the author of  Writing Music for Hit 
Songs, the definitive text on modern music writing 
endorsed by hit writers including Diane Warren. He is 
also a nationally renowned songwriting coach who has 
taught songwriting at UCLA as well as for dozens of 
songwriting organizations and conferences nationwide. 
Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in the industry, and several have been signed 
to major label deals.  In addition, he is a successful songwriter/producer 
in his own right whose credits include more than 30 
recordings with such companies as MCA, RCA, Motown, 
and Disney and hit artists like Jose Feliciano. His songs have been used in TV shows on every major 
network (CSI, Brothers and Sisters, What About Brian, 
Monk, Cold Case etc.) as well as over a dozen major 
motion pictures with such stars as Harrison Ford, Nick 
Nolte, Jessica Lange, and Billy Bob Thornton. He has a song in the current Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg movie 2 Guns!

STEVE SESKINis a successful songwriter who has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-nominated “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” recorded by Tim McGraw, and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” winner of NSAI Song of the Year and Music Row Magazine Song of the Year in 1999 as recorded by Mark Wills. His other #1 hits are “No Doubt About It” and “For a Change,” both recorded by Neal McCoy, “No Man’s Land” and “If You’ve Got Love,” both recorded by John Michael Montgomery, and “Daddy’s Money,” recorded by Ricochet. Other chart toppers include “I Think About You,” recorded by Collin Raye, and “All I Need To Know,” recorded by Kenny Chesney. The video for Raye’s “I Think About You” single was named the Academy of Country Music’s Video of the Year in 1997, and the song and video were also given an award by the Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence. Recent recordings of his songs include “Pictures,” by John Michael Montgomery, “We Shook Hands,” by Tebey, and “I’ll Always Be There For You, by Brian McComas.

ANTOINETTE OLESEN:  Creative Director - Songwriter – Artist and Writer development Parthenon Music Group, Inc.
An award winning songwriter, Olesen has worked independently writing, and in the Creative Direction department of several Music Row publishing companies including Writer Zone and Ash Street Music.  Monty Holmes, Josh Thompson, Jon Robbin and Billy Lee are among numerous #1 hit-writers and their catalogs she has worked with. Her varied music background includes touring internationally and sharing the bill with many including Sheryl Crow, Paula Abdul, Gloria Estefan and on occasion has lent backing vocals to numerous artists including Martha Reeves, Ronnie Spector, The Doobie Brothers and Bonnie Raitt. Antoinette is a former Grammy nominated Recording studio owner and owes her love of country music to her rodeo and horse showing days, which garnered her State and National Championships.
Antoinette is currently co-writing with and developing artists and songwriters which entails everything from tailoring songs to fit the current commercial market, introduction to Nashville and music industry, creating performing opportunities in town and shopping artists and songs to labels. She also has become a favorite of writers and major industry professionals to assist in their relocation to Nashville.
A frequent host to West Coast songwriters, she has provided opportunities for WCS writers and artists to play Nashville from the Bluebird to the Listening Room. She has produced projects, provided industry introductions and evaluated and shopped songs for them. Antoinette works with Pop, Country, Americana and Alternative genres and is always on the lookout for great artists, writers and songs, especially if unique and out of the box. Olesen Musicis a division of Parthenon Music Group, Inc.and is located in the heart of Music Row at 119 17th Ave. South., Nashville, TN.

LARRY BATISTE:  Producer, vocalist, songwriter, publisher, instrumentalist, arranger, and educator. He is the musical director for the Grammy Awards Pre-Telecast, and the TEC Awards. Larry has written and published over 250 songs for artist such as Keysha Cole, Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, Shanice, Lisa Fischer, the Yellowjackets, the Dramatics, Lenny Williams, and Young Jeezy. His songs have appeared in over 25 television shows and films. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, Steve Miller, Chaka Khan, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Koko Taylor, Tony Bennett, and Neil Young. He is a current Trustee of The Recording Academy and has received numerous accolades and city proclamations for his volunteer work as a youth mentor, community leader, and music rights advocate.

ANDRE PESSIS - has had 16 hit songs and been on 7 number one albums including the Bonnie Raitt “Luck Of The Draw” multi platinum CD that won 3 Grammys. Andre has had over 150 cuts on major releases including the HBO Movie “Grey Gardens” that won 6 Emmies and 2 Golden Globes. He has 13 Platinum records and one Diamond album (ten platinum), and 4 ASCAP awards for one of the most played songs of the year.
He has been recorded by: Huey Lewis and The News, MR Big, Tim McGraw, Waylon Jennings, Journey, The Dead, Ratdog, Southern Pacific, Glenn Medeiros, Ann Wilson of Heart, Tak Matsumoto, The Stylistics, Gregg Rolie, Paul Carrack and Laura Branigan.
Andre has 6 songs on the new Mickey Hart record “Superorganism”, some of which he wrote with Robert Hunter.
He has had songs on major Motion pictures including the theme song from “Pink Cadillac” (Clint Eastwood), a song on “I Love you Phillip Morris (Jim Carrey) as well as numerous TV shows including: Sesame Street”, the theme song for the CBS Prime time reality show “There Goes The Neighborhood” as well as the Theme song for “Pride Fighting”
The song “The World Is On The Way”, recorded by MR Big was voted song of the year in Japan in 2012.
He was President of the San Francisco chapter of “The Recording Academy” and a Governor for more than eleven years.
He has taught the business and craft of songwriting at WCS, Sonoma State and UCSF.

CHRIS AUSTRIA: is the Director of Music Licensing for Independent Distribution Collective (IDC), a music distribution and licensing company in San Francisco. Austria is responsible for developing the music catalogue, composing tracks, and placing music in TV, Film, and video games. Austria has licensed music to Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures TV, Electronic Arts, and TV episodes on NBC Universal’s Oxygen network, E! Entertainment, and the USA network. Aside from music, he has been a tigerand lion trainer for many years and has conducted numerous filmings with the big cats on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and he has been featured on NightLine and The Early Show on CBS. Recently, Austria has been working in Ethiopia, and will be producing more music with artists in Africa. Visit his blog at

JEN ADAN:  WCS Member who had the #1 Hit – “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” with Blake Shelton. My journey began in San Mateo, CA, when I was about 10 years old. I wrote my first song in history class and back then, I never knew that someone could make a career out of songwriting; I thought it was just a hobby. I never told anyone I wrote songs. I finally told my parents on their 25th wedding anniversary, when I was about 15 years old. I wrote a song for them and played it at their party. I told them that I had about 100 more songs that I had written.  I entered contests and continuously won. I found out about the West Coast Songwriters Association (WCS), and I joined. WCS has given me tons of contacts and taught me so much about songwriting and the music business.

JIM BRUNO:  San Francisco Bay Area based published songwriter and songwriting teacher at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. Songs he’s written have been recorded and released by Shawn Colvin, Mary Lou Lord, Cliff Eberhardt and Laurie MacAlister. Songs he’s co-written have been recorded and released by Chuck Prophet and Thad Cockrell. As a performing songwriter he’s performed at the Greenwich Village Folk Festival, the Udine Folk Festival in Udine, Italy and has toured numerous times in Europe. He also played bass, guitar and sang in the Shawn Colvin Band and often performed with Shawn as a duet. He recently released his own album of all original songs called ‘Alright Alright’. He’s negotiated and signed numerous song publishing agreements. Among others these publishers include Bug Music and the Welk Music Group in Los Angeles, and Largo Music in New York. In addition to his having his own publishing company, Jimmy Bruno Music, as a songwriter he currently has a music publishing agreement with Universal Music Group. He is an affiliated Publisher and Songwriter with BMI and the Harry Fox Agency.

LISA ASCHMANN:  Songwriter, Teacher, Author. 1000 Songwriting Ideas, creative exercises for songwriters; teaches melody writing without an instrument. Aschmann is a prolific professional songwriter, a singer, and an educator. She has recorded six CDs of her own and has had hundreds of songs recorded by major artists in almost every genre, including bluegrass, jazz, country, folk, inspirational, pop, and R&B. Songs recorded by Diamond Rio, Collin Raye, Art Garfunkel, Aaron Neville and more.

SILVERSHER & SILVERSHER:  Co-wrote Disney's Gummi Bears and Tale Spin and park parades, such as Donald Duck's 50th Birthday in 1984), and the Jim Henson, Company.  They currently have two series on the air-Dinosaur Trainon PBS, for which they create the background score; and Pajanimalson both NBC and Sprout, where they act as music supervisors as well as writing the songs and the score. In addition, Michael's show, Knuffle Bunny:A Cautionary Musical, just completed two successful American tours after a sold-out opening at the Kennedy Center in 2009

MICHAEL ACZON:  Entertainment lawyer, manager, author and educator.   Entertainment lawyer, manager, author and educator Aczon is celebrating two decades as a panelist at the WCS conference, Michael has represented a variety of clients in virtually every musical genre and level of success over the years as a lawyer while personally managing the careers of a select group of artists. Michael’s book “The Musician’s Legal Companion” published by Cengage Technology is quickly becoming a “must-have” for musicians throughout in the industry. He has also been a columnist for Guitar Player Magazine and Electronic Musician Magazine. Michael is a member of the Music and Recording  Industry faculties at San Francisco State University and Diablo Valley College. Michael has served on the  National Entertainment Law Initiative Committee for the Recording Academy and is a member of the San Francisco Chapter’s Urban Outreach Committee

TODD BRABEC is co-author of MUSIC, MONEY, AND SUCCESS: The Insider’s Guide To Making Money In The Music Industry (Schirmer Trade Books/Music Sales) and is an adjunct associate professor at the USC Thornton School of Music where he teaches a course on music publishing, licensing of music and film, television and videogame song contracts. Formerly executive vice president for the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) where he was in charge of all of the Society’s membership operations throughout the world, Brabec is the current budget chair, as well as former division chair for the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. A graduate of New York University School of Law, he lectures extensively on all aspects of the business, legal and financial sides of music in the US and abroad.

JEFF BRABEC - An entertainment law attorney and former recording artist, Brabec is vice president of business affairs for the Chrysalis Music Group. He has negotiated over 1,000 movie, television, video and commercial agreements and hundreds of publishing agreements for chart writers and writer/recording artists. Brabec is the co-author with his brother Todd of the book MUSIC, MONEY, AND SUCCESS: The Insider’s Guide To Making Money In The Music Industry (Schirmer Trade Books/Music Sales) and has been awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. Brabec is an adjunct professor at USC Thornton School of Music/Business Division and contributing editor to the Entertainment Law & Finance Magazine. He has written numerous articles about the music industry, which have appeared in major publications




















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