The ASCAP Foundation "Songwriters: The Next Generation" Showcases ASCAP Artists at The Kennedy Center

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 02, 2017) - "Songwriters: The Next Generation," a program of The ASCAP Foundation and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, showcases the work of four young songwriters and composers in free concerts on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10.

On March 9, Alabama-based singer/songwriter Wilder Adkins takes the stage to perform his original work. The bill also features the Jean John Trio performing original jazz compositions by Žan Tetičkovič a Slovenian born New York City based drummer, educator and multi-award winning composer. On March 10, Paperwhite, a Brooklyn-based dream-pop brother and sister duo, Ben and Katie Marshall, perform their works followed by jazz vocalist and composer, Laurin Talese and her band.

Each evening's hour-long program, designed to spotlight the talent of young songwriters and composers, is hosted by celebrated singer/songwriter and arts entertainment producer Larry Groce. Groce is one of the founders of Mountain Stage, a live music program on NPR produced by West Virginia Public Radio.

The concerts and Q & A take place from 6-7 pm each evening, and is webcasted live and archived for future viewing at

"Songwriters: The Next Generation" was conceived by pianist, educator, composer and ASCAP Foundation board member Dr. Billy Taylor, who also served as Artistic Director for Jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1994 until he passed away in 2010. Throughout his life, Dr. Taylor stressed the importance of showcasing contemporary composers and songwriters who are also performers.

"Songwriters: The Next Generation," presented by The ASCAP Foundation and made possible by the Bart Howard Estate, is part of the Kennedy Center's free daily performance series. ASCAP member Bart Howard (1915 - 2004) was the writer of the great standard, "Fly Me to the Moon."

Additional performer background is below:

Thursday, March 9th

Wilder Adkins is a singer-songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama and has performed at NYC's Lincoln Center and the Sundance Film Festival. He is also a winner of the prestigious New Song Music Songwriting Competition. Adkins recently released a new album Hope & Sorrow and has toured the UK. His songwriting gleans as much from the earthy poetry of Wendell Berry and Marry Oliver as it does from the works of folk luminaries Richard Thompson and Bruce Cockburn, and he possesses startling guitar skills and a voice that mesmerizes as he sings of faith, doubt, and as the title of his new album indicates, hope and sorrow.

Žan Tetičkovič is a New York City based drummer, educator and award-winning composer originally from Ptuj, Slovenia. He graduated from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2015 with academic honors for performance and composition. He is also a recipient of the 2012, 2014 and 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award and has performed at renowned festivals and venues for notable artists and acts around the world. Tetičkovič mainly draws inspirations for his compositions from global issues, with his world music project Balchemy, philanthropic project Oasis (2014), and The Port of Life, a story that discusses immigration and acculturation. Tetičkovič is currently composing his first "climate change" classical symphony and has been commissioned by the National Theater of Slovenia to compose an opera about islamophobia, Alamut, which is set to premiere in 2020. He also plans to release his second record, with a trio featuring pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Russell Hall in 2017.

Friday, March 10th

Paperwhite, a dream-pop duo from Brooklyn, NY, consists of brother and sister Katie and Ben Marshall. Katie's sophisticated melodies are uniquely sung over synthesized textures as Ben, a drummer, producer, and co-writer, creates the musical instrumentation with synths and hypnotic pounding drums. They released their debut EP Magic in 2014, receiving the Hype Machine title of "Most Blogged Artists" twice in a row. In November 2015, they released "Get Away", the first single off their sophomore EP Escape, along with a breathtaking music video shot in Iceland. Escape has since caught the attention of top platforms in the music industry, with premiers from Billboard, Buzzfeed and Noisey. Paperwhite is also on Spotify and many other curated playlists. Their third EP is expected to be released this spring.

Laurin Talese is a jazz singer-songwriter who has been performing since the young age of ten. Her vocals fuse jazz, r&b and soul elements, creating a sound that is both classic and fresh. Talese has worked with numerous recording artists including Ed Sheeran, Christian McBride, Robert Glasper and Vivian Green. Her greatest affinity is jazz, however, Talese is versatile within many musical genres. She recently partnered with Grammy-award winning drummer and producer, Ulysses Owens Jr., and internationally acclaimed music director and producer, Adam Blackstone, to create her highly anticipated debut album Gorgeous Chaos Released in 2016, it charted at #14 on the Billboard's Jazz Chart. Laurin currently resides in Philadelphia.

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, the ASCAP Foundation is a public charity dedicated to supporting American Music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition, and community outreach programs for songwriters, composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions by ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

About the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

The Kennedy Center is the only U.S. institution that presents a free performance 365 days a year. Created in 1997 and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, the Millennium Stage features a broad spectrum of performing arts each day at 6 p.m. Brought to the public by Target Stores and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, the Millennium Stage helps fulfill the Center's mission of making the performing arts accessible to everyone. In the past 19 years, more than 3 million visitors have enjoyed more than 7,000 groups. Through intentionally identifying artistic partners regionally, nationally, and internationally, performances reflect the breadth and depth of culture in society, exploring styles including jazz, ballet, storytelling, popular music, Hip Hop, contemporary dance, opera, choral music, tap dance, theater, chamber music, symphonic music, puppetry, stand-up comedy, and cabaret. Of the many performers that have appeared on the Millennium Stage, approximately 25,000 have been Washington-area artists and more than 6,000 have been international performing artists representing more than 50 countries. The Millennium Stage has also hosted artists representing all 50 states, and has presented more than 15,000 artists in their Kennedy Center debuts. Since 1999, each night's performance has been broadcast live over the internet, and more than 4,430 of these performances have been digitally archived on the Kennedy Center's website,

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Singer/ songwriter and producer Larry Groce