In some of the most quantifiable ways, the Plain White T’s count as a veteran outfit. After all, the band formed in the late ‘90s, when cofounder Tom Higgenson was still in high school, and the T’s had several independent releases already to their credit even before Hey There Delilah became an international sensation and cultural touchstone in 2007. . . .
Few individuals can go from writing scores for and conducting a symphonic orchestra to writing songs and producing an album for a hip hop artist to playing jazz. Native Israeli Misha Segal, a highly skilled composer, arranger, conductor, producer, songwriter, and pianist, does exactly that. He loves the genuine freedom to pursue the music genre of his choice. . . .
Musician and songwriter John Popper is best known as the singer, harmonica player, and guitar player in the rock band Blues Traveler, which he founded. Harmonica manufacturer Hohner has taken note of Popper's talents and chosen him to be the featured harmonica player in the Hohner Artist Gallery. Popper has also written songs with Warren Haynes, Johnny Lang, and Chris Barron, and performed with the Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Metallica, and many others. . . .
Jono Manson is a prolific singer/songwriter and seasoned performer, with a long track record that includes major-label releases as both a recording artist and producer, and extensive touring in the USA and Europe. Manson has collaborated with a number of notable artists, including Bo Diddley, Bruce Willis, Carole King, and many others. . . .
Born and raised in Anderson, Indiana, singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin began taking classical piano lessons at an early age. Through a school competition, Jon was able to release his self-titled debut album in 2004 and, in 2006, McLaughlin signed with Island Records. He has toured with Sara Bareilles, Kelly Clarkson, and Colbie Caillat among others, and has played major festivals such as Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois) and Summer Fest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). . . .
Born in Huntington Beach, California, Matt Costa received his first guitar at age 12. While he was always interested in music, even playing in a band in high school, Costa's first love was skateboarding. Following a serious skateboarding accident, Costa decided to refocus his energy on songwriting and guitar playing, and began using a four-track to make demos. One of these demos found its way to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who offered to produce Costa's first EP. . . .
Singer/songwriter Jonathan Clay has recorded songs heard on MTV's The Hills, The Freshman, The Real World, Newport Harbor, ABC's Lincoln Heights, and The Lifetime Network. In 2008, Jonathan released The Acoustic Sessions, a side project that soon picked up an endorsement by Levi's and received over 140,000 downloads. . . .
Brian Walker has fast become a well-known singer/songwriter among the Chicago acoustic scene, and far beyond. Originally from Philadelphia, Walker left his job as a Pro-Tennis instructor to begin a soul-searching journey across the world. Visiting 42 Countries in 6 years, Walker's insatiable thirst for adventure eventually led him to Chicago. There, in July of 2000, Walker began his musical journey after meeting well-known and respected Austin, Texas musician Charlie King. . . .
Born and raised in New York City, Tony Shimkin, aka Kid Shimmy, is best known for his chart-topping collaborations with Madonna, Whitney Houston, Prince, Nine Inch Nails, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, and Paul McCartney, among others. Tony's commercial clients include Mercedes, Pepsi, McDonalds, Hanes, and several other "Fortune 500" companies. . . .
Chicago-based indie pop quartet Purple Apple is made up of three 13-year-old girls and their 25-year-old babysitter on drums . . . yes, seriously. Though young by any stretch of the imagination, the three 8th grade schoolmates at the core of the band - Olivia, Madi and Nonie - are wise beyond their years and nowhere does this show more than in their songwriting. These truly gifted young ladies might have gone unnoticed had front woman Olivia not asked longtime family friends (and music industry veterans) Michael Willison and Blake Smith (Caviar, Prairie Cartel) if she could record one of her songs at their home studio. . . .