Spearheaded by Oklahoma native Zac Maloy, the Oklahoma Songwriter’s Festival is a multi-day event that serves as an invaluable opportunity for local songwriters, musicians, music fans and anyone working in or interested in the music industry.
The fourth annual Oklahoma Songwriters Festival, co-presented by Grand Casino Hotel & Resort and the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) and sponsored in part by The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), happens Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, with a ticketed Friday evening dinner, a Saturday morning Songwriting Camp and the state’s one-of-a-kind musical roundtable, The Songwriter Showcase, on Saturday evening.
The Oklahoma Songwriters Festival was created in 2016 by Ada native Zac Maloy, singer and songwriter for The Nixons (an Oklahoma-based rock band that rose to fame in the 1990s) in an effort to highlight songwriters and the art of songwriting. Each year, Maloy returns home from Nashville, Tennessee, to Oklahoma for the festival, inviting award-winning Music City songwriters to perform and write alongside local musicians.
“Each year, our songwriters are not only so candid and genuine in sharing their talents on our stage, but it’s their day-to-day work ethic and passion for the field that strengthens this genre year over year, making for a better show each time,” Maloy said. “Here we are at year four and I honestly believe this is the strongest collective lineup we have ever had.”
To kick off the festival, a dinner with entertainment will take place at Grand Casino’s Flame Brazilian Steakhouse on Friday, April 12. Tickets for the dinner are $100 per person and include transportation to and from 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City.
Songwriting Camp, 11 a.m. Saturday
Castle Row Studios, Del City
For the third year, the festival will include a Songwriting Camp, presented by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, 11 a.m. Saturday at Castle Row Studios, 2908 Epperly Drive, in Del City.
This workshop includes an interactive panel discussion and Q&A with songwriters. A one-on-one mentoring session with both Maloy and Nashville songwriter Marcus Hummon also will be awarded to two attendees.
The Songwriting Camp is free and open to the public. Please RSVP for the Songwriting Camp here.
Songwriter Showcase, 7 p.m. Saturday
Tower Theatre, Oklahoma City
The festival concludes with its annual Songwriter Showcase, happening at the iconic Tower Theatre that Saturday evening. The Showcase begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation format frequently used in Nashville, called a “writer round.”
This event starts with a local round, with the main event featuring Nashville songwriters singing the hits they’ve penned and telling the stories behind the music.
At this year’s Showcase, appearances will be made by Oklahoma musicians Tyson Meade (Chainsaw Kittens frontman) and Emmy Award-winning rapper Jabee Williams, with opening sets from local artists Kinsey Charles, Graham Colton, Tyler Hopkins and Beau Jennings.
Along with Maloy, this year’s Nashville-based songwriters include Oklahoma native Brett James, ASCAP’s 2010 Country Songwriter of the Year (credits include Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and more); Tulsa-born David Hodges, former member of Evanescence (credits include Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” and more); and Marcus Hummon, dubbed Nashville’s Renaissance Man (credits include Rascal Flatts’ “Bless The Broken Road” and more).
The Showcase is a ticketed event with a VIP option that includes preferred seating and a meet-and-greet with artists before the show.
NOTE: Saturday evening’s Songwriter Showcase is a ticketed event. Students can use the OSFSTUDENT discount code to receive 50 percent off, making general admission only $8!
“The Oklahoma Film + Music Office values the opportunity to be a returning partner with the Oklahoma Songwriters Festival,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “Our state’s musical legacy and cultivating the next generation of Oklahoma talent are very important to us. This festival opens doors for local and regional songwriters — seasoned and aspiring talent — to network and build relationships with some of Nashville’s most prolific songwriters.”
To see a schedule of events and purchase tickets for the Songwriter Showcase, visit oklahomasongwritersfestival.com.