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Meet the Advisory Board

Bruce W. Davis, Executive Director, Arts Council Silicon Valley

 Davis has been a professional lyricist, award-winning songwriter and performer for over 20 years.  His  songs have been published by 20th Century Fox/Fanfare Music, included in film and television  soundtracks, as well as in commercials and public service announcements.  


Edward R. Hearn, Attorney/Author/former President of West Coast Songwriters.  

Ned’s practice concentrates on the entertainment, Internet, and computer software businesses. A partial listing of past and present clients include:

 Will Ackerman, Starbucks/Hear Music, Joe Satriani, SF Weekly, Klutz Press, Wells Fargo Creative Services and Green Day.

Additionally, Ned has co-authored   Musician's Guide to Copyright  and Musician's Business and Legal Guide . Member, Board of Directors, California Lawyers for the Arts and the Former West Coast Songwriters Board President.

Bruce Labadie, Labadie Productions

Former Program Director of Mountain Winery and Villa Montalvo Performing Arts, Founder/Producer of San Jose Jazz Festival Bruce Labadie has over 30 years of experience in Performing Arts Management and festival production. Hedirected all programs at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga for 18 years, was performing arts director at Montalvo for 12 years, has been director of many festivals in San Jose, including Brew Ha Ha, the San Jose America Festival and has been a founder and the Festival   Director of the Comcast San Jose Jazz Festival since 1980.



Andre Pessis – Songwriter, President of NARAS, SF Chapter

 Andre has written 16 hit songs with over 20 million records sold. His songs have been recorded by –  Tim McGraw, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt, Mr. Big, Southern PacificHuey Lewis and the News, Bob  Weir and RatDog, Journey, Ben E King, Laura Branigan, Tower of Power, Europe, The Stylistics, Pieces  of  a Dream, Glenn Medeiros, Ann Wilson of Heart, Gregg Rolie, The Storm and many others. His songs  have  been in major movies like Clint Eastwood’s Pink Cadillac and The Wild Life and TV shows like The  Heat of the Night, Melrose Place and Miami Vice. Andre has taught songwriting at the university level as well as for West Coast Songwriters and The SF Recording Academy (Grammies).

Mike Pinder, Founding Member of The Moody Blues

 Known as Mellotron Man Mike Pinder was one of the founding members of The Moody Blues in early  1960's. The band had many hits including Go Now, Nights in White Satin, and Tuesday Afternoon, to  name only a few. Mike is well known for his ground breaking use of the Mellotron in rock music. Mike  introduced the Mellotron to The Beatles. As a Singer Songwriter Mike wrote many of the Moody Blues  songs and won The Ivor Novello Award for Social Content for his song A Simple Game


Merl Saunders Jr., Former Executive Director of NARAS, SF Chapter

The namesake of legendary keyboardist Merl Saunders, Merl Jr. grew up at the heart of the vital Bay  Area  music scene with other well known “music families” like the Grateful Dead and Creedence  Clearwater Revival. With the assistance of local musicians, Merl Jr. founded Music In Schools Today,  which teaches and encourages at-risk youth to explore music as an outlet, utilizing the Bay Area’s talent  pool as instructors.


Steve Seskin, Singer-Songwriter

 Steve is a successful songwriter who has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-                nominated Grown Men Don't Cry, recorded by Tim McGraw, and  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 and  , both recorded by  Neal McCoy and John Michael Montgomery and If You've Got Love (Remastered Version) both recorded by John  Michael Montgomery, and Daddy's Money recorded by Ricochet.

Silversher & Silversher

Three-times nominated for the prime time Emmys, Grammy Award-winning songwriters Michael and Patty have built their career writing children’s music. They have had three TV theme songs, four Disney theme park parades, and a national advertising campaign for the Disney  Channel. Additionally, they are the main songwriters, producers, arrangers and music supervisors for  Pajanimals: Good Night, Pajanimals! ,  Michael continues to be very active in theatre having  recently been commissioned by the Kennedy Center to write the music for Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale  Michael and Patty are the co-founders of the West Coast Songwriters.


Howard Thomas, Accountant


Janis Stevenson, Foothill College Music Professor

 By the age of 10, Janis was playing Boogie Woogie on the ukulele for Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki, and  singing Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo. She was inspired to play the guitar after hearing Bola Sete in  Monterey, and later studied guitar privately with the great Rey de la Torre. She received her  Bachelor’s degree in music at San Jose State University, while studying classical guitar with Fred Thrane.  Janis is one of the founding members of West Coast Songwriters and has sat on the board since 1980.


Narada Michael Walden - Producer/Songwriter/Artist

 Yet, as impressive a production and songwriting resume as Narada Michael Walden has  assembled over the past thirty years and counting, he has earned equal acclaim as a recording  and performing artist in his own right. Beginning with his stint as part of the  pioneering  Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early Seventies, through eleven acclaimed solo  albums and  numerous appearances at the top of the Pop and R and B charts. There is a  powerful spiritual  component at the heart of everything this richly gifted artist undertakes.  Walden has served as  Music Director for the Rain Forest Concert at Carnegie Hall, the high  profile conversancy  benefit spearheaded by Sting and Trudie Styler. Walden’s prodigious energies have consistently kept him on the cutting edge of today’s, and tomorrow’s, music.  Narada Michael Walden is not only one of the most sought-after talents of our era: he is also one of the most admired, emulated and authentic. You can hear it in his music.

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West Coast Songwriters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization