SINGER/

SONGWRITERS 

// Our poets. // 

1. the inspiration, providing the music and lyrics that define each individual GIG.

// In alphabetical order. //

SUZANNA CHOFFEL 

Singer/Songwriter // Multi-Instrumentalist

suzannachoffel.com

 

Suzanna Choffel is many things: a rising star, an undeniable musical force and a unique voice (a “honeyed husk,” as it’s been posited) who feels equally at home singing in a dimly-lit, smoky club as she does front and center in front of (literally) millions. So, lyrical protestations aside, Choffel is no hidden gem. She’s already making her mark.

 

Granted, she’s hard to pin down. Consider her critical praise — she’s “Feist meets Erykah Badu with a hint of Tex-Mex seasoning.” She’s “equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity.” She’s “graceful” and yet, as Rolling Stone asserts, possessing “all the vibe in the world.” Easy to love, difficult to define: credit Choffel’s restless creative spirit. And also credit the Texas native’s musical upbringing. 

 

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"Equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity. Think Feist meets Erykah Badu, with a hint of Tex-Mex seasoning."  

- Chicago Sun-Times 

 

"A first-class singer, Choffel has the kind of voice that commands attention... And that smoky, soulful voice, mixed with indie-pop and jazz sensibilities, provides a beautiful vehicle for her words.”  - San Antonio Express-News

 

“Refreshingly unique.”  - Adam Levine

 

"Suzanna has learned from some of the greats about phrasing, playing around with delivery and beat, singing the emotions and the words rather than merely the melody. She slots nicely alongside Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux and Fiona Apple."  - Steve Hochman, LA Times

 

// GIGvid //

 
 
MATT CRANSTOUN

Singer/Songwriter

mattcranstoun.com

 

New Jersey native and Brooklyn based singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Cranstoun blends a range of classic and contemporary genres into his very own alternative soulful blues hybrid.
His music possesses an insightful attention to it’s lyrical story-telling and an emphasis on style and range. When it’s delivered by his voice, that has been described as both as husky as it is smooth, the energy is both fierce and sensitive.


He’s been writing, recording, and performing for over fifteen years. He’s grown into the kind of live performer that gives something more than most. He pulls so much of himself into the content first and then extends it further to his audience through his live shows.
Music runs in his blue collar background. He taught himself drums as a youth in the living room on the same drum set his father played as a kid. As he got older, his interest in other instruments grew and by the time he began work on his debut solo album (By Framed Image released in 2010) he was playing all the instruments, mixing and producing himself. The Last Drop Of Color (released late 2011) – his bigger budgeted sophomore effort – involved collaborations with NYC musicians, producer and engineer and employed a big band that featured horns and a group of gospel singers with contagious energy.


His third and most anticipated public release, Dweller In A Clearing With A Cross is slated to come out some time in Spring of 2015. On Dweller he’s left the bigger band behind and turned the focus even more inward. Producing, arranging and playing mostly everything himself again, he’s channeling that fierce and sensitive energy directly at the walls between genres. It’s an alternative, funk, blues, dance, rock landscape that lives somewhere between Tom Waits and Prince. It’s a bold step forward and shaping up to be his best yet.

 

// Warmup Act //

CALEB HAWLEY 

Singer/Songwriter // Multi-Instrumentalist

calebhawley.com

 

Harlem’s Caleb Hawley is an American soul singer, songwriter and performer. Like savvy throwback crooners Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Hawley channels early Stevie Wonder and other Motown sounds into a complete, magnetic package.

 

Raised in Minneapolis by a family of preachers and therapists, Hawley’s family fueled his on-stage charisma and perceptive, witty lyrics. “Growing up in an acapella church, we didn’t have instruments. It forced everyone to learn how to sing harmony,” Hawley says. “We mostly sang older hymns, which is probably what drew me to gospel and eventually soul music.” Hawley’s grandfather hooked him on an early Ray Charles record, leading him into the fertile soul music of the sixties and seventies.

 

Hawley spent his early 20’s touring the country with only an acoustic guitar and his dog Fargo. “There’s no place I’d rather be than on a stage in front of people wanting to hear music I’ve created,” Hawley says. In those years, Hawley racked up hundreds of gigs, along with multiple songwriting awards for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Telluride Troubadour Competition, SongCircle Contest and more.

 

Now a talented full band multiplies that energy across the country. “I used to love listening rooms,” Hawley admits, “but now I pretty much just wanna get a party started.” Music Without Labels agrees, calling the stocked setup “a fantastic show, full of danceable riffs and singalong choruses all held together by Hawley’s tremendous charisma.” The Chicagoist says, “The New York-based musician has a flair for soulful songwriting and a voice that will blow your hair back.”

 

// FULL SHOW // GIGedu // miniGIG //

 ORIGINAL 

 GIGSTER 

 
 
JENNA NICHOLLS 

Singer/Songwriter // Multi-instrumentalist // Composer

jennanicholls.com

 

Jenna is a native of a small town just outside the blue-collar steel city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, but calls NYC her home. After an upward climb in Pennsylvania and a brief stint in Boston, she settled in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2006. Since then, Jenna has toured all over the world and sung with a variety of well known and talented artists such as Oscar winner Glen Hansard, The Hothouse Flowers, Nouvelle Vague, and Mark Geary and Storyman (The Guggenheim Grotto). In 2009 she released her debut album, "Curled Up Toes in Red Mary Janes" the entirety of which was featured on ABC's Boston Med. Her sophomore release, "The Blooming Hour" was released in 2011 and featured again on ABC, along with several other independent films. She is also an accomplished arranger and painter.

 

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"Oozing with heart-filled, innocent indie rock, Jenna Nicholls’ second album The Blooming Hour entrances listeners with its charming vocals backed by lovely piano and guitar. This solo artist, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brings hints of jazz, bluegrass, and folk into her sound, making it memorable. The unhurried tracks prove appealing due to their gentle, serene sound and soulful lyrics. Though all are filled with childlike innocence, each precious track brings something new to the table."

WIUX 99.1FM Music Blog

 

// FULL SHOW //

 
 
RACHEL PLATTEN

Singer/Songwriter

rachelplatten.com

 

Beautiful, but not brazen. Passionate, but never preachy. Populist, but definitely not prosaic. New York City singer-songwriter, pianist and beatboxer Rachel Platten is by no means your average headliner-in-the-making. Her Rock Ridge Music debut, Be Here, is a bewitching collection of 10 wise-beyond-their-years piano-driven pop songs that echo elements of Alanis Morissette, Carole King, Tori Amos and Regina Spektor, while retaining a singular sense of self that is rarely found in such a young performer. 

Be Here was born over the course of an epic trans-Atlantic journey that took the singer-songwriter from London to Los Angeles, on to Stockholm and then back home to New York City. At each stop, she collaborated with top-tier production teams, including Fredrik Thomander (Nsync, Lady Gaga), Jerry Abbott and Grant Black (Robbie Williams, Craig David) and the Wizardz of Oz (Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne). The results are immediately appealing, spirit lifting, heartwarming and mind opening no matter where in the world you are.

 

// miniGIG //

CHRISSI POLAND

Singer/Songwriter // Multi-Instrumentalist

chrissipoland.com

 

This sonorous singer-drummer rips through contemporary blues numbers with sheer ferocity, and her stages are only expanding; she recently opened tours for Lady Gaga and Scissor Sisters. Her “Songs From the Concrete” (Danben) continues to gather traction, and small wonder; Don Henley never had this much joie de vivre."
- Stacey Anderson, The New York Times

"...And what a voice it is. There are moments on this seven-track album when Poland's vocals grab you by the hairs on the back of your neck and simply won't let go." 
- Liam Wilkinson, Northern Sky Music Magazine, UK

"Her movements are fluid and rhythmic, her vocals are flawless and her love radiates from the tips of her fiery red hair to the heels of her fierce knee high boots. If you haven’t had the distinct pleasure of being entertained by Poland, do yourself a favor and get to her next show. You are guaranteed to leave with your mind blown, your soul healed, your heart full, and your ears ringing with the pure essence of the NYC music scene."
NYC Art Scene

"Five seconds into "Alone With My Troubles" it becomes pretty obvious that New York singer Chrissi Poland has one of those special voices, an extraordinarily soulful instrument capable of channeling deep emotion and stunning interpretive powers."
Direct Current Music

"She seems to be this vessel of sorts — she has enormous talent and unabashed, raw passion. The music literally moves through her, and she serves it well. Chrissi Poland is an experience. I would dare almost anyone to not be moved by her work." 
- Julia Albain, Buzzine Magazine

 

// FULL SHOW //

Photograph by Shervin Lainez

 
MARTIN RIVAS

Singer/Songwriter // Multi-Instrumentalist

martinrivas.net

 

Martin Rivas is bringing joy back to music. Blending disparate elements such as 60s soul with a distinctly modern alt. folk edge to create a sound that is both instantly inviting and exceptionally deep, his songs practically smile at you from the speakers.

 

Martin opened for legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb at the 2010 NYC River to River Festival, and has shared bills with the likes of Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Aimee Mann, Gov't Mule, and Hootie & the Blowfish.

 

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"Martin Rivas is a musician not to be overlooked. I have seen the way his gift can overtake a room, and I have experienced the beauty of these tracks and albums in my day-to-day to life. The Convalescence EP, if nothing else, is a true testament to the power of any artist to create in and under any circumstanceand in this case, to create something great."

- Julia Albain, buzzine

 

"Steeped in traditional soul/jazz tradition, Rivas encompasses all those influences yet creates a fresh and exciting new sound that must be heard to be truly appreciated." 

- Rebel Spirit Music

 

"Martin Rivas just needs to be heard!"  

- bbqchickenrobot.com

 

// GIGvid //miniGIG // FULL SHOW OPENER/Warmup Act //

PHIL ROY

Singer/Songwriter //

www.philroy.com

 

“Eccentric, lush + musical… An atmospheric wicked beauty… Uncommonly smooth, yet strange and curious… Enjoy the Roy”

- Tom Waits (Musician)

 

“A highly accomplished work”

- Leonard Cohen (Poet/Novelist/ Musician)

 

“Phil’s one of the greatest writers I know…"

- Mavis Staples (Singer/Soul Legend)

 

“An uncorrupted sense of artistic control”

- Phil Gallo, Variety

 

“A soulful singer-songwriter”

- Casey Dolan, Los Angeles Times

 

“From-the-heart epiphanies” Rating “A”

- Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

 

“An undercurrent of raw melancholy runs through his songs making him a kindred sprit to...Leonard Cohen, John Martyn, and Peter Gabriel." 

- Jon Pareles, New York Times

 

“Phil Roy accomplishes a delicate emotional surgery that countless troubadours have tried but few have been able to carry off.”

- Steven Holden, New York Times

 

//FULL SHOW OPENER //