The John Lennon Songwriting Contest (JLSC), the premiere international songwriting competition open to both amateur and professional songwriters in twelve categories, has launched the 2014 contest with new partnerships and collaborations that include SESAC, the nation’s most progressive performing rights organization. sesac is also a partner with the John Lennon Educational Bus, a non-profit state of the art mobile recording studio and HD production facility.
Online voting for the highly esteemed Lennon Awards, which determines the top song in each category, is now open. Music lovers can visit jlsc.com/vote once a day, listen to the contenders, and cast votes for their favorite songs. One lucky voter will be chosen to receive a brand new Epiphone John Lennon Casino Guitar. The Contest’s Executive Judging Committee will then evaluate the Lennon Award winners, which will be followed by the annual ‘$20,000 Song of the Year’ announcement.
Comprised of legendary icons, the Executive Judging Committee has recently added Jim Steinman, George Clinton, Jimmy Cliff and Bootsy Collins, as well as superstars Prince Royce, Sheila E., Art Alexakis of Everclear, and Nick Hexum of 311. Joining an already-impressive judging panel that features Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Bob Weir, Natasha Bedingfield, and Sean Paul, this celebrated group will also welcome Gaby Moreno, the sesac affiliated Latin Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter who took home the JLSC’s ‘Song of the Year’ in 2006.
Gaby Moreno and her career have come full circle since she entered her original composition “Escondidos” into the JLSC and won ‘Song of the Year.’ The singer has made great strides in the past 8 years, recording and touring with actor/singer Hugh Laurie, Ani Difranco, Tracy Chapman; performing alongside opera legend, Andrea Bocelli; co-writing the theme song for the hit NBC series, “Parks and Recreation,” for which she was nominated for an EMMY Award; and receiving the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist this past year.
“I am delighted to be part of the sesac family, and even more so now, knowing that they will be working together with the Lennon Bus and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest — two organizations that continue to showcase, inspire and motivate so many up and coming singer songwriters around the world,” said Moreno. “It is also a great honor to have been recently named a JLSC executive judge and I cannot wait to embark on this new adventure with them.”
“As the John Lennon Songwriting Contest continues to grow, we’re happy to be working with some of the biggest names and influential organizations in the music industry,” said Brian Rothschild, Executive Director of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. “Through this contest, we’ve discovered unearthed talent from around the world and look forward to doing that once again this year.”
In addition to supporting the contest, sesac has also elected affiliated songwriters, Bryan-Michael Cox, Angela Hunte, and sesac Senior Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations, Trevor Gale, to serve on the Executive Judging Committee.
“sesac has a firm commitment to not only our affiliates, but also to the talented songwriters that are yet to be discovered,” said Trevor Gale, Senior Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations at sesac. “This is just one of the many reasons why we are excited to partner with the renowned John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Educational Bus. It’s a natural fit.”
Since 1997, the JLSC has annually awarded 72 Finalists, 24 Grand Prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners, and 1 ‘Song of the Year’ Winner. Entries are judged on originality, melody, composition and lyrics (where applicable), and are eligible to be entered into any of the following categories: Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, World, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop, Gospel/Inspirational, Latin, Electronic, Folk, and Children’s.
The 2014 JLSC is now open for submissions throughout the year with Session I closing June 15, 2014 and Session II closing on December 15, 2014. This year marks the largest prize package yet, totaling over $300,000. Prize winners, based on their level of achievement, will receive studio equipment from Yamaha, Audio-Technica, Epiphone Guitars, Propellerhead, Neutrik, Genelec, SKB, JamHub, Mackie, and Ampeg. The “Song of the Year” winner will receive a $20,000 check, an Alpha Channel from Solid State Logic, a Mackie prize package, IRig Pro & Total Studio 3 Bundle from IK Multimedia, a sesac Prize Package (which includes a fly-away opportunity to a sesac songwriting bootcamp), and a $1,000 Digital Media Academy gift certificate. Additionally, one band will be selected to win the JLSC Vans Warped Tour Prize presented by Neutrik USA and perform on the upcoming Warped Tour for one week.