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The John Lennon Songwriting Contest (JLSC), the premiere international songwriting competition open to both amateur and professional songwriters in twelve categories, has launched the 2014 contest with new partnerships and collaborations that include SESAC, the nation’s most progressive performing rights organization. sesac is also a partner with the John Lennon Educational Bus, a non-profit state of the art mobile recording studio and HD production facility.

Online voting for the highly esteemed Lennon Awards, which determines the top song in each category, is now open. Music lovers can visit once a day, listen to the contenders, and cast votes for their favorite songs. One lucky voter will be chosen to receive a brand new Epiphone John Lennon Casino Guitar. The Contest’s Executive Judging Committee will then evaluate the Lennon Award winners, which will be followed by the annual ‘$20,000 Song of the Year’ announcement.

Comprised of legendary icons, the Executive Judging Committee has recently added Jim Steinman, George Clinton, Jimmy Cliff and Bootsy Collins, as well as superstars Prince Royce, Sheila E., Art Alexakis of Everclear, and Nick Hexum of 311. Joining an already-impressive judging panel that features Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Bob Weir, Natasha Bedingfield, and Sean Paul, this celebrated group will also welcome Gaby Moreno, the sesac affiliated Latin Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter who took home the JLSC’s ‘Song of the Year’ in 2006.

Gaby Moreno and her career have come full circle since she entered her original composition “Escondidos” into the JLSC and won ‘Song of the Year.’ The singer has made great strides in the past 8 years, recording and touring with actor/singer Hugh Laurie, Ani Difranco, Tracy Chapman; performing alongside opera legend, Andrea Bocelli; co-writing the theme song for the hit NBC series, “Parks and Recreation,” for which she was nominated for an EMMY Award; and receiving the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist this past year.

“I am delighted to be part of the sesac family, and even more so now, knowing that they will be working together with the Lennon Bus and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest — two organizations that continue to showcase, inspire and motivate so many up and coming singer songwriters around the world,” said Moreno. “It is also a great honor to have been recently named a JLSC executive judge and I cannot wait to embark on this new adventure with them.”

“As the John Lennon Songwriting Contest continues to grow, we’re happy to be working with some of the biggest names and influential organizations in the music industry,” said Brian Rothschild, Executive Director of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. “Through this contest, we’ve discovered unearthed talent from around the world and look forward to doing that once again this year.”

In addition to supporting the contest, sesac has also elected affiliated songwriters, Bryan-Michael Cox, Angela Hunte, and sesac Senior Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations, Trevor Gale, to serve on the Executive Judging Committee.

sesac has a firm commitment to not only our affiliates, but also to the talented songwriters that are yet to be discovered,” said Trevor Gale, Senior Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations at sesac. “This is just one of the many reasons why we are excited to partner with the renowned John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Educational Bus. It’s a natural fit.”

Since 1997, the JLSC has annually awarded 72 Finalists, 24 Grand Prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners, and 1 ‘Song of the Year’ Winner. Entries are judged on originality, melody, composition and lyrics (where applicable), and are eligible to be entered into any of the following categories: Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, World, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop, Gospel/Inspirational, Latin, Electronic, Folk, and Children’s.

The 2014 JLSC is now open for submissions throughout the year with Session I closing June 15, 2014 and Session II closing on December 15, 2014. This year marks the largest prize package yet, totaling over $300,000. Prize winners, based on their level of achievement, will receive studio equipment from Yamaha, Audio-Technica, Epiphone Guitars, Propellerhead, Neutrik, Genelec, SKB, JamHub, Mackie, and Ampeg. The “Song of the Year” winner will receive a $20,000 check, an Alpha Channel from Solid State Logic, a Mackie prize package, IRig Pro & Total Studio 3 Bundle from IK Multimedia, a sesac Prize Package (which includes a fly-away opportunity to a sesac songwriting bootcamp), and a $1,000 Digital Media Academy gift certificate. Additionally, one band will be selected to win the JLSC Vans Warped Tour Prize presented by Neutrik USA and perform on the upcoming Warped Tour for one week.

Lunic's "War" a grand prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Somebody asked me the other day why I write songs. I guess I don’t really know. I kind of think of it as light passing through a prism. I feel like the world around me affects me so much, whether I want it to or not, that it filters through me and has to come out in a new form. While a part of me wants people out there to listen to my music (and hopefully like it), it’s really not a priority for me anymore. I write for myself, like therapy. That’s why the other day, when I found out my song, “War" was a grand prize winner in a songwriting contest, it was so nice to feel validated for writing well, in the eyes of the ‘experts.’ Validation doesn’t really happen very often in the art world, unless, of course, you’re dead. And there aren’t really any monetary benefits. So that’s why I’m especially excited about this new gear that I won; it’s exactly what I need to record my new album.
Thank you JLSC!

Electric Epiphone Inspired by John Lennon Casino Guitar

Roland Integra-7 SuperNatural Sound Module - basically a 2-unit rack synth featuring thousands of amazing sounds

Roland CM-220 Monitor System + Stands - so I can hear my mixes better!

Pro Tools 10 & a bunch of plugins - for recording music

Propellerhead Reason - for recording music

Neutrik Tour Bus Connectors & Cables

A free subscription to Electronic Musician Magazine - yay!

Today's RoundUp: A T'n'T News Summary

Today is Thursday 4th September, 2014. This is the Round Up.

**Carmona: I didn’t meet JLSC on Lucky /
**President: I met no JLSC member /

The President levels a bouff at the Newsday.

If the Newsday coughs up its source, will the President be having a Lewinsky moment?

**Police body bewildered over resignation /

From the article: “THE sudden resignation of Gillian Lucky as director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has ‘created a void’ and left members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) in a state of bewilderment.”

This seems a little bit melodramatic given that Miss Lucky left behind a functioning Police Service Commission, and mass resignations don’t - at writing - appear to be coming down the pipeline.

Given that both the PCA and the Police Service Commission appear to be fairly restricted in any case, and that the government has been more interested in electoral legislation rather than empowering both agencies, how much of a void is there really?

**Acting top cop mum on Lucky’s quitting /

"Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says he will talk about Gillian Lucky’s resignation at the appropriate time."

A far better response and fairly typical one, particularly when one’s public image is in tatters, is to say, “I have no comment on the matter at this time.”

That way, it leaves you room to say something is something needs be said, and you don’t leave people hanging while you prepare something that you hope will be uniquely profound.

Having set the expectation, when, and it will be when, you do say something that cannot be considered erudite, sagacious, nor even a little bit clever, you continue to cement your public legacy as an imbecile.

To be fair, I’ve heard that the gentleman might actually be quite bright. But if that’s the case, there seems in this case to be some disconnect between the thought and speech centres of the brain.

**Magistrate issues summons for cops /
**Keyana enquiry: eleven cops summoned to court /

From the article: “Frustrated by the slow pace of the preliminary inquiry into the murder of six-year-old schoolgirl Keyana Cumberbatch, an Arima magistrate yesterday ordered 11 homicide detectives to appear in court to explain their delay in filing their witness statements.”

Trinbagonian expectations of Police filing is set by television detectives hunting and pecking on a manual typewriter into the wee hours of the morning.

I honestly don’t know what time limits are set for submission of Police documents for witness statements and the like in criminal cases. But it borders on ridiculous that eleven Police detectives have to be called to Court for a very high profile murder that took place almost a year ago.

**‘The President knows the law’ /

Back with the President, and from the article: “Leader of the House Dr Roodal Moonilal has revealed the Government has no back-up plan if President Anthony Carmona does not assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014, as he says ‘there cannot be a game plan for acting contrary to the law and the President understands the law well’.

“‘The President of this country is a prominent attorney-at-law, a former judge in our domestic jurisdiction and in the international jurisdiction. He understands the law better than many and he understands his role as His Excellency better than many and we are very comfortable with that,’ Moonilal said yesterday.”

"Asked if he was saying Carmona would be going against the law by withholding his assent to the Bill as he is entitled to under the Constitution, Moonilal said: ‘His Excellency understands the law and the Constitution.’"

I see. I wonder what else the President knows. And doesn’t.

**Imbert takes on Dhanayshar /

…and Dhanayshar Mahabir’s maths continues to get licks.

**English lessons for Cuban doctors, nurses /

I find myself confused. Are Cuban doctors and nurses good for the country, or are they not good for the country? It wasn’t very long ago that I could swear I heard the then Opposition roundly castigating the presence of Cuban doctors in the medical system, saying that the fact that many did not speak English, they were inimical to the health and welfare of the citizens.

The solution to this is a voluntary English class?

**Pre-retirement leave for Creed /

From the article: “Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Ashwin Creed, can now put the spectre of the controversial Life Sport programme behind as he has gone home on pre-retirement leave.”

I don’t know whether this is the reporter’s writing or Head of the Public Service Reynold Cooper’s take on the matter. But if Professor Ken Julien, Ulric Mc Nicol, Brian Copeland, Rene Monteil, Eugene Tiah, Sonia Noel, Wendy Fitzwilliam and John Soo Ping Chow can’t put e-Teck behind them, how does Creed get off the hook?

Are we saying that any permanent secretary who was involved in bobol simply needs retire in order to avoid crimination?

**Aranguez Primary faces closure over faulty wiring /

From the article: “Pupils attending the Aranguez Government Primary School are advised that faulty electrical wiring can result in the indefinite closure of the school from next week… T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) had written to school officials on August 4, indicating its decision to cut the school’s electricity supply if the system was not overhauled by tomorrow.”

Somebody might want to start a tally. Is this one of the 243 schools that the Minister of Education boasted was going to be open, or one of the 14 that TTUTA said would be staying closed?

**Bad weather postpones THA security meeting /

From the article: “A meeting between National Security Minister, Gary Griffith and Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Orville London, was yesterday postponed for a second time. The meeting was scheduled to be held at 9 am at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel, Tobago, but Griffith and his team were unable to attend due to bad weather.”

Did it snow? Were we under hurricane threat and nobody told the public about it?

Further and I daresay a very diplomatic response: “Speaking at yesterday’s post-Executive Council briefing, London said the postponement was nobody’s fault as the inclement weather grounded the Minister’s helicopter.”

How bad does the weather have to be that a helicopter can’t leave Trinidad and get to Tobago?

**Professor: Internet alters human species /

From the article: “The use of the Internet and information and communication technology (ICT) has altered humans as a species by interconnecting six billion of them, declared Newcastle University (UK) educational researcher, Prof Sugata Mitra, addressing yesterday’s forum on ‘The Future of Learning Through Technology’.”

According to International Telecommunications Union estimates for 2013, of the 7.1 billion people on earth, only 39% or 2.8 billion people have access to the Internet. Admittedly though, penetration grew by an estimated 670% in the period 2000 to end of 2013.

The proportion of users in the developing world is even lower at 31% of population. In Africa, Internet penetration is 21.3% of population, and in Asia, the world’s most populous region with almost 4 billion persons, it is 31.7%.

In Trinidad and Tobago alone, almost 40% of the population does not have access, though persons have questioned this number given the fact that we have over 100% cellular penetration and a preponderance of relatively inexpensive smartphones available.

So while it’s a nice sound bite, Prof. Mitra’s connectedness theory might be a little off target here. Yes, the Internet and ICT has changed some of human society, but not for everyone. Some of the world is still struggling to catch up with the rest.

Have a great day, everyone, and feel somewhat privileged. If you’re reading this, you’re part of the world’s 39%. //