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Jazz 06/08/2020

Mighty Song Writers Announces Lineup: Devon Gilfillian, Phil Augusta Jackson, Jewel, Valerie June, Mt. Joy's Matt Quinn, Marcus Roberts, Amanda Shires With Jason Isbell, Wrabel

Mighty Song Writers Announces Lineup: Devon Gilfillian, Phil Augusta Jackson, Jewel, Valerie June, Mt. Joy's Matt Quinn, Marcus Roberts, Amanda Shires With Jason Isbell, Wrabel
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Following last week's kickoff from Amanda Shires with Jason Isbell, the Mighty SONG Writers video series is announcing the lineup of musicians for the coming weeks: Recent Capitol Records signee Devon Gilfillian, Emmy-nominated TV writer and hip-hop musician Phil Augusta Jackson, multi-Grammy nominee and New York Times best-selling author Jewel, acclaimed singer-songwriter Valerie June, AAA radio chart-topping indie-folk artist Matt Quinn of Mt. Joy, award-winning jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, and GLAAD Award-nominated pop songwriter Wrabel, with more artists and the exact schedule still to be announced.

Watch the series' second video, in which Marcus Roberts plays several pieces and talks about how, when he was a child, his mother made sure that his blindness wouldn't prevent him from learning to read and write, at media partner Literary Hub (where you can find transcripts for all videos as well):

The Mighty SONG Writers series aims to raise money to support Philadelphia-based non-profit Mighty Writers, which teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year and is seeing more need than ever during the pandemic. The series will continue with a new video every Wednesday.
Find more info on the Mighty SONG Writers series here:


Devon Gilfillian
Nashville-based Singer-songwriter and bandleader Devon Gilfillian grew up in Philadelphia on a steady diet of R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues, and soul music - music to move our bodies. Following his electrifying 2016 debut EP, with upbeat singles "High" and "Troublemaker," Gilfillian signed to Capitol Records and has since performed with Anderson East, Keith Urban, Gladys Knight, Brothers Osborne, Kaleo, The Fray, Mavis Staples, and more. His current single, "The Good Life," has made the Top 10 at AAA Radio, and he's currently working on his second album.

Phil Augusta Jackson
Phil Augusta Jackson is a writer, actor, director, poet, and musician from Philadelphia now based in LA. A co-executive producer of HBO's Insecure, Jackson also has written for Key & Peele, Survivor's Remorse, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (also a director and former supervising producer), and more. He has been nominated for Emmy, WGA, and NAACP awards and has self-produced and directed shorts and music videos. He made previous appearances at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival's New Faces Characters Showcase, and he was the resident poet for The Chris Gethard Show. Jackson's next release, The Redondo Tape EP, will be out later this summer.

Jewel (born Jewel Kilcher) is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, writer, poet, actress, and painter from Alaska whom The Times of London has called "the most sparkling female singer-songwriter since Joni Mitchell." She is a multi-GRAMMY nominee who has sold millions of albums worldwide, is the recipient of the Recording Academy's Governors Award, and has played with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and more. Her debut poetry collection, 1998's A Night Without Armor, quickly became a mainstay of The New York Times bestseller list, and she soon after released Chasing Down The Dawn, a revealing book chronicling an artist's life on the road. Her latest book is her 2015 memoir Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story. Her new song "Grateful" is out now.

Valerie June
Valerie June is a Tennessee-bred singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who weaves electric blues, African rhythms, and cosmic atmospherics with delicate soul. She's been hailed as "one of America's most intriguing, fully formed new talents" (New York Times), and her 2013 album Pushin' Against A Stone and 2017 release The Order of Time (Fantasy Records) were both lauded by critics and appeared on numerous 'best of' lists. Valerie has dueted with Eric Church on the ACM Awards, and has toured with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Sturgill Simpson, Norah Jones, among many others. She also has played some of the world's most prestigious stages, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and, with a personal invite from First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House. Valerie is currently working on her new album which is slated for release in early 2021.

Matt Quinn of Mt. Joy
Mt. Joy has evolved from Matt Quinn's literal bedroom project into the band Rolling Stone deemed "your new folk-rock heroes." The five-piece group has garnered No. 1s on the AAA Radio Charts, hundreds of millions of streams, tours with The Lumineers, The Shins, Whitney, The Head and The Heart, Neko Case, and more, late night TV performances, and major festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, and more. The band's new album Rearrange Us is out now.

Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts is a Grammy nominated jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. He has recorded over 20 albums as a solo artist and bandleader, has been profiled by CBS' 60 Minutes, and holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Juilliard school. Blind since the age of five, Roberts is also a recipient of the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. He has written over 150 original compositions, including commissioned works for Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra.

Wrabel is a performer and songwriter whom American Songwriter dubbed "one of Hollywood's finest songwriters for a decade." He has written songs for P!NK, Kesha, Backstreet Boys, Kygo, Marshmello, Galantis, Afrojack, and more, and he has toured with Ben Platt and more. He is a 2018 GLAAD Media Awards nominee and was named to Out Magazine's Out100 in 2017. His forthcoming debut LP will continue his journey as a celebrated artist in his own right, following the release of his stripped, heart-on-his-sleeve piano collection this past Spring and 2019's one of those happy people EP which had Billboard saying that Wrabel is "ready for his breakthrough." His most recent song "since i was young" was praised/covered by Rolling Stone, Billboard, Pitchfork and more.

Mighty Writers was founded in 2009 with the mission to teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity. The organization offers free programs for students from elementary through high school at nine centers in diverse neighborhoods around Philadelphia and New Jersey, including several bilingual locations for Spanish-speaking students. Mighty Writers offers daily afterschool academies, long- and short-term writing classes nights and weekends, teen scholar programs, mentorships, College Prep courses and college essay writing classes. Over 400 of the city's best creative minds (writers, teachers, journalists, etc.) teach 150 writing classes a year to 3,500 kids at Mighty Writers annually. is a daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life, a website readers can trust for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books.

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