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Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project Participants Announced

The 16 emerging songwriters will spend the week with Tony and Grammy Award-nominated master teachers.

Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project Participants Announced

The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University will continue their partnership with the 16th annual Songwriters Project.

Participants from around the world, including the U.S., U.K. and Tanzania, will take part in an intensive week-long program of virtual master classes and workshops from their homes.

The program will be presented in an all-digital format from June 20-26, with a virtual concert showcasing the songwriters' work slated to premiere in July.

This year, over 200 applicants, hailing from 13 countries, including the U.S., Poland, Abu Dhabi, Italy, England, Sweden, Portugal, Canada, Japan, China, Turkey, Brazil and the Netherlands, applied for the 13 spots in the prestigious program, which has been a catalyst to the careers of many artists. Among the program alumni are Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("La La Land," "Dear Evan Hansen"). Recently, 2020 participant Joriah Kwamé received the 2020 Cole Porter Award from ASCAP, and 2010 participant Benjamin Scheuer received the 2021 Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre.

The 2021 Songwriters Project participants, ranging in age from 20 to 30, are Arie Abija (Richmond, Va.); Charlotte Morris (Nashville, Tenn.); é boylan (New York, N.Y.); Enid Mollel (Arusha, Tanzania); J. Quinton Johnson (Athens, Texas); Jasmine Forsberg (New York, N.Y.); Jordan Reynolds (Los Angeles); Nakeem (Reynolds, Ga.); Michael Shofi (Jersey City, N.J.); Sofie Zamchick (New York, N.Y.); and songwriting duos Barrett Riggins (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Graham Techler (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Jude Obermüller (Brighton, England) and David Gomez (Lenexa, Kansas); and Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz (Glendale, Calif.) and Emma Lockwood (Orlando, Fla.).

"We had an unprecedented number of applications from all over the world this year and with the advances in accessibility to home studio recording, applicants' demos have become stronger and stronger," said Jonathan Brielle, executive vice president of JMF. "We are so pleased that it has given us a particularly great group of diverse writers and can't wait to hear their new songs after working with our master teachers!"

The 16 emerging songwriters will spend the week with Tony and Grammy Award-nominated master teachers. The program is offered free-of-charge to selected songwriters through the generosity of the Johnny Mercer Foundation.


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