Founded in 1979, WCS has grown into one of the most active music associations in the USA, offering more than 20 events per month. Whether your goal is personal expression or to make a living in the music industry, knowing how to write, or recognize a well crafted song is key to your success.
At WCS, members establish important relationships, both professionally and personally, that enhance and accelerate their development. Music ceases to be a solitary pursuit and becomes a shared endeavor through the focus, feedback, collaboration, contacts/networking and support that WCS provides.
To Foster Creativity, Build Community and Provide Opportunity for Music
Career Development through Education and Connection.
Ian Crombie, Executive Director
Ian has built a strong community of musicians, songwriters, producers and song pluggers who continue to work together in an informal, creative and unique style which includes song competitions, workshops, seminars and the yearly highlight, WCS's "Up Close and Personal" Annual Music Conference.
Crombie has served a number of years on the Board of the Recording Academy and is part of the Grammy Education Committee. he has taught songwriting from elementary to college level, helping students to collect their ideas and turn them into meaningful songs.
Ian is also an accomplished songwriter. He made his first record in 1967, in Birmingham England (when 4 track machines were king). He toured the UK with various bands and performed in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking on the position at West Coast Songwriters. His songs have been placed in TV and Film, including songs on ITV in England, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Interface, General Hospital, Powder Park, Access Hollywood and Another World. In addition, Ian produced and licensed music for the Oscar winning film As Good As it Gets. Addiionally, Ian has produced a number of acts including D'Viniti, an Oakland based rap group and songs for the Kids Rock record. He has performed in the Nudge Club and Sticky Fingers and produced his own album, Tea and Crumpet.
Meet our Board
Bruce Ede President
Bruce Ede is a singer-songwriter whose songs have been featured in Film and TV. He has also released two CDs of original material in the past few years. Bruce’s “real job” has been in another aspect of the entertainment industry: ticket sales. He has worked for various venues and agencies since the late 70’s including BASS Tickets, Concord Pavilion, Grateful Dead Ticket Sales, Another Planet and has been the Box Office Manager of the Cow Palace since 1987. Bruce has been a member of West Coast Songwriters for decades and served on the Board of Directors since 2006, most recently as it’s Treasurer. He has also been on the Board of the Bay Area Professional Ticketing Association for many years.
Jodell Seagrave, Secretary
Jodell Seagrave is President/COO and a co-founder of Rocket21, a youth social media company that facilitates connections and interaction between kids and professionals who do the things kids dream of doing. The company’s first social network offerings are now in public beta. At Rocket21, Seagrave oversees the company’s early-stage operations and is focused on the development of strategic alliances and corporate partnerships, and equity investment in the platform.
Prior to forming Rocket21, Seagrave served as Managing Director of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, leading the creation, marketing, and distribution of education-oriented consumer brands for kids, parents, and teachers. Under Seagrave’s direction, Schwab Learning garnered scores of national and international digital media and consumer marketing awards, while reorienting ways in which teachers, parents, and students view and address differences in how kids learn.
Earlier, as COO for Communities.com, Seagrave managed the enterprise release of the company’s pioneering virtual worlds software and established key development and distribution agreements with entertainment and media partners. In 1990, Seagrave co-founded KidStar Interactive, developing private equity and venture investments, strategic partnerships, and corporate sponsorship for one of the country’s first convergent media platforms for kids.
Seagrave began her career in broadcast advertising and media, representing the nation’s most prominent radio broadcast companies, and spent over a decade in broadcast management, working with leading record labels, advertising agencies and sponsors.
Seagrave has been a frequent speaker at national and international youth media and marketing conferences, and serves as an advisor to several early stage education ventures and foundations. Seagrave is a graduate of the University of Illinois and attended the MBA program at DePaul University, Chicago.
Larry Batiste, Producer, Vocalist, Publisher and Arranger
Larry Batiste is a producer, vocalist, songwriter, publisher, instrumentalist, and arranger. He is co-owner of Pure Delite Music and has written and published over 250 songs for artists such as Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, and the Spinners. He has contributed to soundtracks such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stuart Little, and Snow Dogs for Disney. His television show credits include Jag, Nash Bridges, Passions, and All My Children. Larry is also a former Chapter President, Trustee and current governor of the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy, producers of the Grammy Awards. Larry is also on the MRI faculty roster. Larry serves as Musical Director, Grammy Pre-Telecast at the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards)
Andre Pessis, Multi Platinum Songwriter
Songwriter Andre Pessis has had 6 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. He has 6 songs on the 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, and UCSF Sonoma State.
Josh Young - Supervising Editor and Entrepreneur
Joshua is a young, creative businessman and entrepreneur, who works hard and drives results. He has worked as a lead, supervising editor for popular shows, such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Bachelor and BigBrother. Joshua also co-founded, owns and runs The Den Recorders, Ashland Entertainment, A Private SlydeProductions, and Atrium Music Group. With all these endeavors, Joshua defies what can be done in a day and consistently exceeds expectations.
Joshua began his musical journey at the age of 5 and quickly demonstrated proficiency with piano, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. While attending Hamilton Academy of Music, Joshua continued to educate himself on all aspects of the music industry. Joshua attended Citrus College of Music, where he was trained to be a studio musician; here he also gained experience recording for many films, television shows, commercials and CD projects. He also had the opportunity to perform with many celebrities in the music and film industries.
As his music career began to take off, so did Joshua. Joshua toured with a 25-piece big band and a 10-piece rock band through Japan, Hawaii and the United States. This experience enabled him to gather a greater appreciation and respect for the different types of world music. Although music is his first and foremost passion in life, Joshua wanted to expand his horizons. In the year 2000, Joshua began his career in Film and Television, producing and editing films, commercials, music videos, and numerous top TV shows. He has created material for networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, A&E, TVLAND, TLC, CW, E!, OWN, and the Discovery Channel. Joshua continues to create material for the music, film and television industries with The Den Recorders, Ashland Entertainment, and Atrium Music Group.
Joshua has a history of taking projects and companies to the next level. He has demonstrated a unique ability to create production team environments and inspire growth within companies and individuals; and the results of this have been the propagation of three successful companies.
Pete Sommer: Performer / Music & TV Producer
Pete's been performing music since his youth. Played guitar and banjo in rock/folk/country/blues/pop bands and performed in concerts and clubs in Southern California. Recorded with his own groups and on sessions at LA Studios. Taught Guitar. Pete took a 3 decade hiatus to raise a family. Pete performs at local Clubs and Open Mics as a host, solo and duet. Also, provides Artist Development, collaborating with other songwriters and recording. Board Member for WCS.
Host/Manager/MC for monthly WCS Song Writer Competition in Redwood City, San Jose and Palo Alto. Producer of the Palo Alto Chapter WCS monthly Song Writer Competition TV Show taped at the Midpen Media Center in Palo Alto. Other Experience: General Manager of American Records (30 store Retail Record Store Chain) Southern California. Owner of American Records (2 Stores) in Orange County. 20+ Years in Hi-Tech Sales/Marketing in Silicon Valley.
Edward R. Hearn, Attorney/Author/Past 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.
Sonja has a 25-year history as a music educator, professional singer and arts administrator. She has a BA in music from Bethany College and an MM from Wichita State University. She has held positions in higher education with private and community colleges in Kansas, performed as a professional chorister with San Francisco Symphony Chorus and San Francisco Opera, worked as an executive or consultant with Cantabile Youth Singers, Blue Bear School of Music, Music at Kohl Mansion, and Mid-Summer Mozart Festival, and held board leadership positions with The National Recording Academy (Grammys), San Francisco Chapter and American Guild of Musical Artists.
Meet our Advisory Board
Bruce W. Davis, Bruce Davis Consulting
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.
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. He directed 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.
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
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.
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 West Coast Songwriters.
Howard Thomas, Accountant
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.
Mira Veda - Lipstick & Politics
Mira Veda, Editor-In-Chief/Founder of Lipstick & Politics (L&P), entrepreneur, blogger and recording artist has dedicated herself to increasing the visibility of women through content and community. Through Lipstick&Politics Mira frequently hosts dinners and Salons with the ambition of narrowing the gap between reader and content. She is former Head of Communications at Connected Patents; a company focused on strategic IP development. She holds a B.A. Honors in Philosophy, B.A Honors in Mass Communications from York University. As an Artist/Songwriter, Mira has been on the board of the Recording Academy (The Grammys) and co-chair of the membership committee. She is currently a voting member for The Grammys. She has also served on the on board of West Coast Songwriters. Mira is passionate about Fashion, TED, Music, Handbags, Shoes, Art, Media and has a deep respect for anyone who can use a semi-colon properly. @miraveda
Tony Lindsay - Grammy Winner/Singer/Frontman for Santana
Tony Lindsay has 11 Grammy's on his mantle after spending 20 years as Santana's front man. Tony has recorded with many major artists such as Narada Michael Walden, Tevin Campbell, The O'Jays, Al Jarreau, Curtis Mayfield, Smash Mouth, The Whispers, Shanice Wilson, Steve Winwood, Johnny Gil, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin and Lou Rawls. Tony's distinctive voice has blessed him with various musical projects including a duet with the grand songstress Patti Austin on her album, In and Out of Love.