Bernard Ebb Songwriting Awards 2023 Selected Songwriters

Carol Anne Bosco

Washington, D.C.

FernandoDrawing influence from all kinds of music, Washington, D.C.-based cellist Carol Anne Bosco writes with a style that is eclectic and diverse. With original songs that integrate jazz, classical, and pop elements, her music includes playfully melodramatic jazz ballads, mischievous tunes about Washington Nationals baseball players, and lyrical homages to California coastal highways. The arrangement of each song is thoughtfully done to emphasize groove, harmonies and atmosphere, whether it is being performed as a string duet or full band. Carol Anne has performed for the Tiny Desk Concerts featuring alt-J, Billy Corgan, and Meg Myers, the latter of which included her own string quartet arrangements. She has performed with Jenny Lewis, and Hurray for the RiffRaff, as well with Jump Little Children on their Oblivion tour.

Josh Lay

Baltimore, MD

BE 2020 FaheyJoshua Lay, also known as "Josh Lay," is a native of Baltimore and a proud graduate of Baltimore City College High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Morgan State University where he traveled the world performing with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder and many more. A few years after he graduated from Morgan State University, Joshua had the pleasure of writing and producing on major awarded projects as well as TV and Film. Lay also is a proud member of the Recording Academy. His authentic sound captivates audiences and touches souls. In 2019, Joshua Lay released his first full length R&B album, In So Many Words. Recently he released a gospel single, "Never Too Cool" which features Pastor Jason Nelson.

Mike P. Ryan

Clifton, VA

BE 2020_ScottBorn and raised in Oklahoma, Mike P. Ryan draws on his humble roots and uses his keen eye for detail to craft heartfelt songs about the struggles and triumphs of everyday life. Mike’s smooth, clear vocal style is regularly compared to classic singer/songwriters like James Taylor and Jackson Browne while his evocative lyrics reflect the influences of lyrical wordsmiths like Robert Earl Keen, Jason Isbell and Jeffrey Foucault. Mike has won a host of prestigious national and international songwriting awards including: three Gold Medals and the Grand Prize Award in The Mid-Atlantic Song Contest; First Place in the Folk/Acoustic Category of the UK Songwriting Contest; and First Place overall in the Dallas Songwriter's Association Songwriting Contest, among others. Mike engages and entertains audiences at venues, festivals, house concerts, and songwriting showcases. A former Army paratrooper and a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Mike volunteers his time and shares his music with a number of veteran-focused charities.

Jarreau Williams

Alexandria, VA

BE 2020_MatthewR&B singer/songwriter Jarreau (juh-ROW) Williams is known around the DMV as the "man with the golden pipes.” The Alexandria, VA native and 4x Wammie Award winner is a charismatic front-man who brings high-energy, soul, funk, humor and a special form of kindness to every performance. His smooth, powerhouse vocals fused with 70s funk, 80s soul, 90s new jack swing, and 00s hip-hop/R&B influenced grooves, catchy pop hooks, beatbox, and lyrical innuendo keep listeners fantasized with stories of love, positivity, truth, and the quest for freedom. His vocal stylings have been compared to the likes of Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd. Since 2016, Williams and his band, JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience, have been entertaining crowds at some of the region’s premier music venues including 9:30 Club, Howard Theatre, Blues Alley, Jammin Java, Farm Brew LIVE, and The Wharf. Jarreau’s professional credits include backing 5-time Grammy Award winner Michael Buble, praise and worship with President Barack Obama and the First Family, as well as performing the National Anthem in Washington, D.C.’s most prominent professional sports arenas.


Silver Spring, MD

BE 2020_YoussefAward-winning artist TolumiDE takes audiences away to a tropical oasis filled with sweet, soulful vocals, warm inspiring lyrics and groovy, contemporary African rhythm. She’s a Nigerian-Canadian soul afro-pop singer-songwriter offering bilingual albums that captivate listeners across the world. TolumiDE’s accolades include Best R&B Female Artist at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards and her latest single “Throwback” peaked at #3 on the Global Top Independent airplay chart. Her sweet soulful vocals, warm lyrics and groovy contemporary African rhythms creates a sound of her own which she calls “Suya Soul” - music flavored with spicy grooves to make you move. TolumiDE bares her musical journey in her press praised albums Specialty, My Love and Mama Sunshine. She serves the Recording Academy as a voting Grammy member and a board member of non-profit Afropolitan Youth, hosts of FestAfrica – the largest African festival in the state of Maryland. She hopes to invigorate the music scene with a fresh ethnic sound that enlightens listeners about contemporary African culture and brings sentimental grooves to old and youthful audiences.


Young Songwriting Awards Finalists


Elizabeth Lane

Alexandria, VA

BE FarkasElizabeth Lane is a 17-year old singer/songwriter from Alexandria, Virginia. She recorded and released her debut EP Summer Passed, featuring Lost and Found and the standout single Mediocre at Best, in December 2021. In 2022, Elizabeth released two more singles, Ghost Town and Free, with Baffin Records. She has performed her original songs at well-known music venues in the D.C. area, such as DC9 and Jammin’ Java. Elizabeth and her songwriting were featured in the August 2022 issue of Northern Virginia Magazine as well as the October 2022 Arts & Culture section of the Alexandria Times. She was also nominated last year for two Washington Area Music Awards, or “Wammies.” Elizabeth is eager to write, record, and release new music in 2023!

Erin Leberknight

Ellicott City, MD

BE guptaErin has been singing since before she can remember and is very involved in musical theater and the performing arts. She is relatively new to songwriting, although has always had a passion for writing and poetry. She decided to transfer her literary talents to music and has been writing songs ever since. She performs with the Young Artists of America and has taken voice lessons for years, honing her skills in acting and vocal training. Erin plays piano and occasionally guitar. She is thrilled to have the chance to perform her new song and can’t wait to continue her journey with songwriting.

Josey Long

Bethesda, MD

BE_Seger Ott-RudolphJosey Long is currently a junior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD. She was accepted and participated in the singer-songwriter program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in the summers of 2021 and 2022. She also participated in the virtual singer-songwriter program at SOCAPA in the summer of 2020. Josey won the "Whitman Idol" singing competition as a freshman in March, 2021. Josey has been singing and playing the guitar since she was 6 years old. At 11 years old, Josey began writing and composing songs. Under the name Josey Indigo, she released her debut single “Dirty Laundry” on September 30, 2022, and her debut album Bird Songs on December 9, 2022, on all streaming platforms. Josey describes her music as thought provoking and soulful.