The International Songwriting Competition (ISC)
Announces 2017 Jazz Winners
Judges Include Billy Cobham, Lonnie Liston-Smith, Danilo Perez, John Burk (President, Concord Label Group), And More
April 20, 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. Total prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise, including a Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 in cash (USD) and over $35,000 in additional prizes.
The Grand Prize winners this year are Nicholas Miller (better known as Illenium), Annika Wells, Kate Morgan, and Michael Biancaniello for the EDM song Crawl Outta Love Ft. Annika Wells."
Taking home First Place in the Jazz category is Hiroe Sekine (Kiryushi, Gumma, Japan) for the song Nippon Barre. Second Place is awarded to Hayley Lam (New York, NY, USA) for The Unknown Bell II, and Third Place goes to Mads Mathias (Copenhagen, Denmark) for Im All Ears.
The winners reflect a wide range of styles within the jazz idiom, says Candace Avery, ISC Founder and Director. However, the common thread in the winners is the depth of songwriting talent displayed. They are extraordinarily accomplished, and we are proud to honor them and celebrate their artistry.
ISC winners hail from all over the world (61% of this years winners come from outside the USA) and range from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans. The 23 categories include all genres of contemporary music, from Jazz to EDM to Rock to Pop to R&B/Hip-Hop and more.
The complete panel of 2017 judges includes:
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.
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 Childrens Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parents 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; Musicians Institute; ONErpm; PreSonus; SongU.com; Sweetwater Sound; PAWW Premium Sound; and Tunedly.
Nippon Barre Hiroe Sekine
(Kiryushi, Gumma, Japan)
Hiroe Sekine, an accomplished jazz pianist, vocalist, composer, and arranger, studied at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and has performed at many venues, including the highly prestigious Jazz Concert Series at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her debut album, a-mé (rain), was released in 2010 and was selected one of the best 25 jazz albums of the year by the prestigious All About Jazz. Her most recent album, One World One Sun, was released by Sony Music Direct in 2017. The New York-based Aquarian Weekly magazine chose this album as the best Worldbeat CD of 2017. More recently, nationwide Japanese FM station J-WAVE adopted Hiroes arrangements for their station jingle for use on air.
The Unknown Bell II Hayley Lam
New York, NY, USA
Hayley Lam is an award-winning composer who specializes in both contemporary jazz and classical music. She began her studies in music at a very young age, earning her Associate Diploma, ATCL Recital Piano from the Trinity College of London when she was just eleven. She then proceeded to earn her Licentiate Diploma, LTCL Recital Piano and Associate Diploma, ATCL Recital Violin a couple of years later. With a profound interest in contemporary and jazz music, she was awarded a scholarship to further her studies at Berklee College of Music.
With her musicianship compared to as "Stravinsky meets Brookmeyer," she was selected as the Finalist at the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composer in 2016. She is also the Global Music Awards (GMA) bronze winner in the Composer and Jazz Big Band category. In 2017, her piano solo work won the Contemporary Piano International Composition Competition held at Athens. She was also selected as the composer showcase winner of the International Jazz Conference JEN at New Orleans. Her other accomplishments include 2018 The American Prize in Composition, 2018 KMEA Composition Competition Winner, 2018 Semi finalist of Maurice Ravel Composition Competition, and many more.
Im All Ears Mads Mathias
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mads Mathias is a singer, saxophonist, and composer who was brought up partly in Tanzania and partly in Denmark in a home with 46 musical instruments that he explored from an early age. He began concentrating on playing the piano at the age of seven and saxophone from the age of 11. He played his first gigs as a saxophonist and singer at the age of 14. He later attended the Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, from which he graduated. Since then, he has toured with different bands, among them his own band, Six City Stompers. His album, Free Falling, won him a Danish Music Award for Best New Danish Jazz Artist of the Year.
Africa Suite - Andy Atwill, Greg Heath (Andy Atwill) - Gisborne, GI, New Zealand
Algebra Of Chaos - Martino Vercesi - Milan, MI, Italy
Biorhythm - Towa Kitagawa - Yokohama, Japan
Harlem Hoedown - Jason Yeager (Jason Yeager And Jason Anick) - Framingham, MA, USA
J-HO, From The Block - Adam Waldmann (Kairos 4Tet) - London, England
Mobius - Pete Levin - Boston, MA, USA
Moon Longing Sun - EIshin Nose - Otaru, Japan
Probing Steps - Thomas Winther Andersen (Winther-Storm) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sanctuary City - Cat Toren (Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND) - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Schizma - Slawek Dudar (Slawek Dudar Quartet) Poland
Step Right Up! - David Laborier Luxembourg
The Great Journey - Jonathan Saraga - New York, NY, USA
Waterfall - Mamiko Watanabe - Fukuoka, Japan
Word Games - Bruce Gertz (Bruce Gertz Group) - Melrose, MA, USA