Bernard Ebb Songwriting Awards 2020 Judges
Producer John Escobar is also an engineer, multi-instrumentalist and educator. Born to a Colombian father and a Mexican American mother, he grew up in a multicultural environment across multiple continents, spending his childhood in several countries in South America and his adolescent years in East Africa. Having the privilege of experiencing life from this angle, he gained a deep appreciation for the music and sounds of the world early on. Escobar is well known for his versatility, which he attributes to his culturally diverse upbringing. His work has spanned many genres over the years, allowing him to work with such great artists as the multi-Grammy nominees Highly Suspect, the jazz guitar virtuoso Larry Coryell, Grammy-winning folk artist Sarah Jarosz, indie pop band Fences (featuring the Grammy-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis), and classical violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, among many others. Over the last few years, he has had a chance to spend some time in academia, having taught at some of the most prestigious institutions in North America, such as Boston University, University of Southern California, Northeastern University, and Harvard University. He enjoys sharing his real-world knowledge with the up-and-coming talent in the music industry.
Tiffany Goss is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Montgomery, Alabama. Known for her playful approach to writing and natural melodic sense, Tiffany never fails to draw out the best in her co-writers. After graduating from Troy University with a degree in public relations and journalism, Tiffany made the move to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry. She landed her first job in 1997 as the receptionist at Warner Brothers Records. It was at the front desk of Warner that Tiffany found one of her biggest Champions, then CEO Jim Ed Norman. With Jim Ed’s encouragement and support, Tiffany signed her first publishing deal at EMI Music Publishing. Over the span of her career she has had stops at Buddy Killen Publishing as a staff writer and Curb Music Publishing as both Creative Director and a staff writer. Tiffany’s songs have been recorded by artists like Brooks and Dunn, Brett Young, Clay Walker, Delta Rae and Chris Janson. Her talents have brought her into the world of television with placements on shows like The Bachelor, Hart of Dixie, Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart and Fox News.
Thomas Mizer is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared on stages, in magazines, across billboards and within screens of various sizes and shapes around the country. As a lyricist and librettist, he was awarded the 2016 Fred Ebb Award, one of the highest honors for excellence in theater songwriting, and was the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theatre Wing — both for his musical collaborations with Curtis Moore. Their credits together include commissions from Lincoln Center and the Williamstown Theater Festival as well as residencies with the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, the Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and the American Music Theatre Project at their alma mater, Northwestern University. Mizer and Moore’s romantic mystery Triangle premiered at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley to rave reviews, receiving six Theatre Bay Area Awards including “Outstanding World Premiere Musical,” and was named a Richard Rodgers Award Finalist by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is currently working on four new pieces, including new musicals for Universal Theatrical Group and Grove/Whitman Commissions (producers of Fun Home & The Band’s Visit). In addition to his theater work, Thomas is an award-winning copywriter for national media brands including Comedy Central and Food Network.
First Round Jury
- Samuel Burt, Instructor of Computer Music, Goucher College
- Daryl Davis, American R&B and Blues Musician, Actor, Activist
- Matt Dievendorf, Musician, Instructor at Levine Music
- Mary Eason Fletcher, Instructor of Voice, William & Mary
- Francesca Hurst, Piano and Voice Coach, Catholic University
- Jon Kalbfleisch, Music Director, Signature Theatre
- Jason Loewith, Artistic Director, Olney Theatre
- Mark Meadows, Jazz Composer, Duke Ellington School of the Arts Instructor, Shenandoah University Instructor
- Rochelle Rice, 2018 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards Grand Prize Winner
- Daniel John Roberts, President, Ivystone Records