Jack Straw Productions and Washington Composers Forum present

Composer Spotlight Series

Jack Straw Cultural Center
4261 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Jack Straw Productions and Washington Composers Forum present Composer Spotlight, a series of talks and performances by composers, musicians, and scholars of new and innovative music every second Wednesday of each month.

Jack Straw Productions and Washington Composer Forum present

Composer Spotlight:
Do They Really Just Start Singing? Creating Authentic Musical Voices

Wed, January 8, 2014, 7:30pm

Chris Jeffries is a composer who has had a prolific and celebrated career in musical theater. 2011 Jack Straw Writer Harold Taw is a novelist and newbie to an art form in which characters burst out spontaneously in song. Together, they are collaborating on an original, one-act musical for the 5th Avenue Theatre entitled The Missed Connections Club. Please join Chris (music/lyrics) and Harold (book) for a lively performance and discussion about how a contemporary musical is developed. In an interview interspersed with song/scene selections, Harold will ask Chris questions that audiences frequently whisper: What drives a character to sing instead of speak? How does a songwriter create authentic musical voices from multiple points of view? How much of one's own musical vocabulary does a songwriter sacrifice to, or impose upon, the story? Guest vocalists: Amy Jones and Marissa Ryder.

Chris Jeffries has written the book, music and lyrics for many shows, including Vera Wilde and Moon of My Delight (Seattle’s Empty Space Theatre) and Kaleidoscope Eyes (Northwest Film Forum). Music/lyrics credits include Charles Ludlam's Corn (Seattle); Laura Comstock's Bag-Punching Dog (Los Angeles, Ovation and LA Weekly Awards, Best Musical); Punch in America (Minneapolis) and Horse Opera (Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington; NEA Consortium Grant). His music for Bunnicula (Kennedy Center/Seattle Children’s Theatre) has been heard in dozens of productions in the U.S. and Canada. He is currently under commission by ACT (A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle) in conjunction with the Estate of Jack Kerouac to write and compose a musical based on Maggie Cassidy – the first authorized stage adaptation of a Kerouac novel. Chris received The Stranger's first “Genius” Award in Theatre and was twice a finalist for CalArts’ Alpert Award in the Arts. A graduate of Yale University, he lives in Seattle, Washington.

Harold Taw is the author of the novel Adventures of the Karaoke King (2011). His writing has been featured on NPR, in a New York Times bestselling anthology and in The Seattle Times; his screenplay Dog Park has garnered recognition in domestic and international film festivals and competitions. Harold is currently completing a novel about a turbulent adolescence in Southeast Asia, collaborating on a musical with Seattle rock band Poland, and co-authoring a graphic-novel adaptation of his dark children’s fable “The Repository of Broken Dreams” (available in What to Read in the Rain 2013). A Yale Law School graduate and a Fulbright Scholar, Harold’s research and writing has been supported by, among others, 826 Seattle, Artist Trust, Centrum, the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center, Humanities Washington, Jack Straw Productions, and Wing Luke Museum.

In The Missed Connections Club, a young caregiver persuades a wistful retired teacher to cast a message in a bottle into the digital ocean of Craigslist “Missed Connections” ads in hopes of reuniting with a should-have-been lover from thirty years ago. Chris and Harold are one of three teams participating in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s two-year Seattle Writers Group. On February 1, 2014, as part of its annual Curtain Up weekend, the 5th Avenue Theatre will present staged readings of the Writers Group’s one-act musicals: The Missed Connections Club (Jeffries/Taw); You Saw It on TV (Rich Gray/Stephanie Timm); and Fixing Einstein (Ian Williams/Lauren Marshall).

About Composer Spotlight

The Composer Spotlight series is presented by Jack Straw Productions and Washington Composers Forum (WCF). This series of talks and performances of new music highlights an innovative composer or performer every second Wednesday of each month at Jack Straw Productions.

If you are a composer and would like to present at a Composer Spotlight event, please contact us at arts@jackstraw.org.

About Washington Composers Forum

The Washington Composers Forum is a non-profit arts organization that nurtures the creation, performance, and dissemination of new music by composers living in Washington State. Since its founding in 1984, WCF has produced concerts, readings, and lectures in the U.S. and Canada, representing many composers in the region. Visit their website for more information.
Composer Spotlight History
Below is a complete listing, by year, of all past presenters in the series.
Victor Noriega and Gust Burns
Rinus Van Alebeek
Nolan Stolz
Peter Vukmirovic Stevens
Gregory Yasinitsky
Amy Denio
Thomas Makucevich
Beth Fleenor
Derek M Johnson
Jason Staczek and Ela Lamblin
Stephen Parris
Wayne Horvitz
Dawn Clement
Steve Peters
Jarrad Powell
Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble
Daniel Barry
N F Chase
John Teske
Bill Anschell
Neal Meyer
Malic Amalya and Jac Nelson
Steve Scribner
Brian Cobb
Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn
Young Sub Lee
Erin Lau
Tom Baker
John Seman
Nadia Tarnawsky and Brandon Vance
Jaroslaw Kapuscinski
Beth Fleenor
Garrett Fisher
Curtis Taylor
Samantha Boshnack & Reptet
Rachel Matthews
Tiffany Lin
Cynthia Dillard
Huck Hodge
Phillip Arnautoff
Urtaa Gantulga
Ryan Hare
Jesse Canterbury
Emily Doolittle
Randal Bays
Christopher Roberts
Marcus Oldham & Chenoa Egawa
Michael Nicolella
Donald Craig
Srivani Jade
Christopher DeLaurenti
Munir Beken & Gus Denhard
Susie Kozawa, Esther Sugai, & Serge Gregory
Aono Jikken Ensemble
Lesley Sommer
Gust Burns
Hope Wechkin
Dennis Rea
Anna Homler
Bill Smith (William O. Smith)
Tom Baker
Tom Varner
Bruce Hamilton
Joshua Kohl & Jeff Huston
Michael Owcharuk
Sean Osborn
Richard Johnson
Sarah Bassingthwaighte
Ryan Hare
Brad Sherman
Wally Shoup
Steve Cavit
Paul Rucker
Martin Bresnick
Tim Root
Dean Moore
Eric Lanzillotta
Brandon Pettit
Kevin Patton
Douglas Kahn
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Alan Lechusza
Patrick Stoyanovich
Gabriela Lena Frank
Wayne Horvitz
Arun Chandra
Donald J. Stewart
Kotoka Suzuki feat. Eric Rynes
Evan Flory Barnes
Joe Colley
Bonnie Miksch and Christopher Penrose
Joe Diebes
Karen Thomas
Doublends Verts: Tom Swafford, Adam Diller, Annie Lewandowski
S. Lyn Goeringer
John Mackey
Dempster, Domingues, Weikel
Arun Chandra
Joshua Parmenter
Eric Mandat
Richard Karpen
Christopher DeLaurenti
Joel-Francois Durand
Ken Benshoof
Gerhard Samuel
Wrick Wolff
Steve Layton
Robert HP Platz
Degenerate Art Ensemble
Laura Kaminsky
Keith Eisenbrey
Adam Diller
Wayne Horvitz
Linda Waterfall
Lesli Dalaba
Ela Lamblin & Leah Mann
David Mahler
Christi Denton & Celeste Hutchins
Steve Roden
Tom Baker
Nate Brown with Gary Fukushima
Ray Holman
Peter Seibert
Robin Holcomb
Curtis Taylor
Amy Rubin
Seattle Chamber Players & Elena Dubinets
Dan Blunck
Rik Wright
Brian Lawlor
Byron Au Yong
Jack Straw Turns 40
Stuart Wolferman & Britta Johnson
Philip Munger
Mark Polishook & Lisa Hutton
Undermind Arts Collective & Pleione
Lena Nietfeld & Jonathan Greene
Bret Bettey
Present Sounds Recordings
Janice Giteck and Judith Roche
Cindy McTee
Mina Miller
Benjamin Boretz
Bob Barraza and KT Niehoff
Jin Hi Kim
Munir Nurettin Beken
Sean Osbourn
Marcos Carmona
Koo Nimo
Jay Clayton
Carolyn Graye
Jovino Santos Neto
Kevin Goldsmith
Michael Shannon
Jim Knodle
Janice Giteck
Mark Polishook
Chen Yi and Robert Sirota
Yu Ping Chen
Lynette Westendorf
David Paul Mesler
Musicians Accord
Elizabeth Falconer
Suzie Kozawa
Samuel Jones
Gerhard Samuel
Christopher DeLaurenti
Christopher Shainin
Mathew Sperry
Gavin Borchert
Keith Eisenbrey
Open House


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