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Hollywood Records VP Jon Lind to Join Mercer Songwriters Project

Applications due March 15 for songwriters or teams in all genres for no-fee program

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January 31, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jon Lind, an award-winning songwriter who has collaborated with Madonna, Demi Lovato, Vanessa Williams, Selena Gomez and other singing greats, is the newest master teacher to lead the 2013 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project at Northwestern University. 

The project is accepting applications from aspiring young songwriters and songwriting teams working in any popular music style until March 15. This no-fee program will be presented by The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University from June 23 to 29.

Lind, who is senior vice-president of artists and repertoire at Hollywood Records, joins Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Craig Carnelia and three-time Grammy winning singer and songwriter Lari White to lead the weeklong program for emerging songwriters.

The intensive weeklong Evanston campus program of master classes and workshops will culminate in a showcase of new works by participant songwriters and a star-studded celebration concert. 

Emerging songwriters and singer/songwriters in pop, music theatre, jazz, folk, Latin, country music and other popular music styles are encouraged to apply. Applications may be completed online. For more information, visit http://www.mercersongwriters.org

Alumni from the project include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, writers of the musical “A Christmas Story” which recently debuted on Broadway; Latin Grammy Award-winning songwriter Obie Bermudez and Jennifer Pena; Fred Ebb Award-winners Adam Gwon and Sam Wilmott; and Carrie Manolakos who appeared with “Phish” at Madison Square Garden was named one of Elle Magazine’s “30 Under 30: Essential Names to Know.”

Thanks to generous support from The Johnny Mercer Foundation, the writers and writing teams selected to participate in the workshop do so at no cost. In addition, on-campus housing is provided, and a stipend covers a portion of travel expenses. 

Jon Lind

Throughout his career as an artists and repertoire (A&R) executive, Lind stuck to his core musical credo: Match the right song to the right artist, and you can’t go wrong.

During his 12-year tenure at Hollywood Records, Lind oversaw A&R on hit records by some of the label’s most popular performers, including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. As a songwriter, he wrote for Madonna, Earth Wind & Fire, Cher, Ramsey Lewis, BBMak, Vanessa Williams, Cheap Trick, Aaron Neville and countless others.

Lind’s first break as a songwriter came with "Sun Goddess," performed as a duet featuring jazz great Ramsey Lewis and Earth Wind & Fire. It led to a string of soul-infused songs recorded by Deniece Williams, the Emotions and Earth, Wind & Fire, most notably "Boogie Wonderland," a Top 10 smash hit he co-wrote with Allee Willis.

Lind co-wrote two signature #1 pop hits -- Madonna’s "Crazy for You" and Vanessa Williams’ Song of the Year Grammy nominee "Save the Best for Last." He co-wrote “Uneasy Street” with The Who’s Pete Townshend, a song that was included on the 1996 compilation album, “The Best of Pete Townshend.”

In 1998, Bob Cavallo, Lind’s mentor and former manager who was head of the Disney Music group, signed Lind on as a staff songwriter and A&R consultant. In 2000, Lind joined Hollywood Records A&R staff and, in 2006, became its head of A&R. For more on Lind, visit  mercersongwriters.org.

Johnny Mercer

The legendary Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) composed more than 1,500 tunes, including “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Accentuate the Positive” and “Moon River.” Throughout a long career he was dedicated to the development of young songwriters and singers.

The Johnny Mercer Foundation

The Johnny Mercer Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving and celebrating the work of Mercer and other great American songwriters and introducing their music to a new generation. The foundation also supports charitable organizations through royalties from Mercer’s songs. 

American Music Theatre Project

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work with Northwestern’s faculty and students. Its goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by developing and producing new musicals; increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theatre, dance and opera programs; and creating new connections between the professional and academic communities. To learn more about AMTP, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life