unplugged. uncovered. unsung.
The Words and Music Songwriter Showcase, an intimate acoustic concert series hosted by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, is back—at a new venue, with a new format including an open-mic songwriter spotlight and a stellar lineup of regional and touring artists.
The show opens with a short (50-minute) songwriter open mic. See below for details.
Andrew VanNorstrand is a musician, singer, songwriter, and producer from Cazenovia, New York. He has toured extensively in North America with the popular dance band Great Bear and often performs with his brother Noah VanNorstrand. He has extensive knowledge of traditional American folk music and incorporates a wide range of styles in his original material. Andrew has always been drawn toward emotionally complex songs—quiet reflections on faith and identity, the aching pain and beauty of relationships, fiery political commentary, and respect for the physical places that shape who we are and how we see the world. His debut solo album will be released in early 2019.
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Phil Grajko, guitarist for the soul reggae band Root Shock, was born and raised in upstate New York. He picked up a guitar at age ten and has never looked back. Since that time he’s written hundreds of songs and played in dozens of bands. He has collaborated extensively with Andrew VanNorstrand in the band Grayak and other projects.
Series host Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers is a grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine.
Open-mic songwriter spotlight
Each Words and Music concert opens with a short open mic with four performance slots, each 12 minutes long—only original songs are allowed. The sign-up form is available here starting two weeks before the show until the slots are filled. Admission is free if you are performing, and you are welcome to sell your CDs and other merch. To allow room for other songwriters, open-mic performers must wait at least six months between appearances.
About the venue
Seneca Street Brew Pub, in the village of Manlius, New York, specializes in New York craft beers and local ingredients. The Words and Music shows are in the pub’s events room (upstairs next to the retail shop), an elegant and quiet space that’s ideal for an intimate acoustic concert.
Parking is available on Seneca Street and in a small lot behind the building. The pub offers a small menu of finger foods. If you’d like more substantial fare, you are welcome to bring take-out food into the concert room (pizza, Chinese, and more is available very close by).
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