Nashville, TN – Jan. 31, 2020 – Experience the second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week, February 23-29, 2020 and celebrate the craft of songwriting at live performances across the state, including official qualifying rounds at 39 venues throughout Tennessee.
Tennessee is home of scores of legendary songwriters, whose work and craft are celebrated world-wide. From Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, creators of Rocky Top, to Issac Hayes and David Porter’s soul sounds of Memphis and A.P. and Mother Maybelle Carter’s foundational Appalachian ballads, songwriters working in Tennessee lead the world to this day. To preserve their legacy, a state statute designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week,” to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists.
Events during the week-long celebration, produced by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, expanded to include qualifying rounds during the month of February as songwriters compete for a chance to perform in a final round at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
Top songwriters from each of the qualifying rounds will perform at one of six Tennessee Songwriters Week Showcase events Feb. 23-29, 2020.
- Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 – Puckett’s in Franklin
- Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 – Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis
- Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 – The Bijou in Knoxville
- Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 – Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga
- Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 – Ole Red in Gatlinburg
- Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 – The Down Home in Johnson City
The Bluebird’ Cafe’s long-time open-mic night host and songwriter Barbara Cloyd will emcee the showcases and a panel of local judges will select the top songwriter from each event. Songs will be scored on a numerical scale considering both the song and performance. Judges look at originality, vocal and/or instrument talent and the ability to create an emotional connection to the audience.
Six total finalists (1 from each showcase event) will receive a prize pack, including a free one-year membership with Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) membership and individual mentoring session. Finalists also get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their original songs on the historic stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville at the finale show on Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Other Special Events
- Mockingbird Theater Songwriter’s Series – Experience a night listening to talented local singer/songwriters at the Factory in Franklin Feb. 23
Live Music with Doc & the Buffalo River Boys at The Commodore Hotel in Linden Feb. 28
- 2nd Annual Songwriters in the Round – 7-10 p.m. at Farragut Community Center featuring performances by Dave Landeo, J Luke and Jason Ellis. Learn what inspires the artists as they bring their stories to life. Tickets are on sale at visitfarragut.org Feb. 29
- Wine, Women and Song – A celebration of women songwriters with performances by Leona Williams, Irene Kelley and Jessie Key at 7 p.m. at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills. Hear the stories behind the songs recorded by Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Tricia Yearwood and more. Tickets are $10. Call 931-296-7700. Feb. 29
- Backstage Nashville Hit Songwriters Show at 3rd & Lindsley featuring Frank Myers, Matt Rogers, Ray Stephenson & Scott Southworth. Tickets are $35. Showtime is 12:30 p.m. Feb. 29.
Separate from the qualifying rounds, venues and businesses are encouraged to participate in Tennessee Songwriters Week (Feb. 23-29, 2020) by programming special events such as songwriter showcases, in-the-rounds and educational opportunities to celebrate songwriters and drive visitation. For a full list of qualifying rounds, showcase events, special events, resources for songwriters and rules, visit tennesseesongwritersweek.com. Join the conversation on social media using #TNsongwritersweek.
Photo credit: Journal Communications Inc./Jeff Adkins
About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll-delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $22.02 billion in economic impact, more than $1.81 billion in state and local tax revenue and 189,757 tourism-related jobs. Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
About the Bluebird Cafe
The Bluebird Cafe is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms. Over the last 37 years, The Bluebird has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90-seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on The Bluebird’s stage. Some of those songwriters and artists include Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Taylor Swift, Townes Van Zandt, Kathy Mattea and many more. The Bluebird was also featured on the ABC/CMT TV show Nashville and in 2019 released their documentary BLUEBIRD which premiered at SXSW Film Festival.
The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world’s largest not-for-profit songwriters trade association. Established in 1967, the membership of more than 5,000 active and professional members spans the United States and foreign countries. NSAI is dedicated to protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music.
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