Back to Back Issues Page
Great Connections - March 2006
March 28, 2006

Hi everybody, Jack Hayford here with Wow, we have a lot of news to report.

First of all, we have made a new website specifically for the EXPO. Please go to it and bookmark it:

Next, we have moved our Great Connections Newsletter to a new server. This is to improve functionality and accommodate the growth we are experiencing. This is our first Great Connections with the new look and feel, and return address (

The website will remain live for awhile yet but new content will only be posted to the new EXPO site.

The Backstage Members Only section will remain at and you will find a link to the Members Login on the homepage of the new site.

Next, CONGRATULATIONS to the winners in our recent "Write with a Hit-Maker" Songwriting Contest: Alissa Moreno and Felice Keller!

You can read about these two very talented people below. Thanks to everyone who entered. It was a tough competition for the judges— so many great songs and songwriters!

Other News to Peruse— The Durango Writers night in Nashville (see below) is turning into a very hot event. (Thanks all!)

The NEXT EXPO, is not all that far way...coming up June 1-3 in Santa Ynez Wine Country (Santa Barbara). You can print out the Registration Form here. Remember that space is limited so don't delay in getting registered.

The Expo gets better and better every year. This is truly an event that you can't afford to miss!

Michelle Branch to Appear at June 1-3 EXPO!

Just three years after Michelle Branch first picked up a guitar at the age of 14, she was signed to Maverick Records with an album in stores. Branch's debut, The Spirit Room, was produced by John Shanks (Melissa Etheridge, Chris Isaak) and issued in August of 2001, spawning the leadoff hit single/video "Everywhere."

Michelle's rise to commercial success and critical acclaim was heightened further by the subsequent release of the GRAMMY winning hit "The Game of Love" (a duet With Carlos Santana) on Santana's "Shaman" CD.

Don't miss this great opportunity to see Michelle Branch in a most intimate setting, along with other major hit- songwriters such as Tony Scalzo (Fastball), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Stacy Jones (American Hi-Fi), Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson, Gary Baker, Frank Myers...and as always...MANY MORE!

Congratulations Alissa Moreno and Felice Keller!

This year's winner in the Pop/Rock Category of our "Write with a Hit-Maker" Contest, Alissa Moreno, will write a song at the Expo with hit songwriters Ben Marguiles and Stacy Jones (American Hi-Fi).

The winner in the Country Category, Felice Keller, will write a song with hit songwriters Gary Baker and Frank Myers.

We'll keep you posted on the co-written songs!

New! Durango Writers Night in Nashville!

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote our Members,'s co-founder Jack Hayford co-hosts a monthly Writers Night in Nashville. Whether you're a Nashville resident or are coming in for a visit, if you are an EXPO alumni, or a Member (or both), you are invited to showcase your original (only) music.

The THIRD MONDAY of each month, the lovely and talented (and multiple EXPO veteran) Amanda Williams, co-hosts the special Durango Songwriters Night at Nashville's Blue Bar and Rack Room. The Blue Bar (it's a pink building!) is located just off Music Row at 1911 Broadway, Nashville. Telephone: 615.327.8001.

If you would like to showcase at the Blue Bar, please email

What's New in the Members-Only BackStage—

We've added three terrific new Programs (over four hours of new content) to the BackStage since our last mailing:

BackStage Panel Discussions

Independent Promotion Panel Discussion
(Recorded Live at Durango Songwriters Expo - Santa Barbara 2005)
Mike Lembo - Artist Management
Al Moss - Indie Radio Promotion
Jeff Biederman - Music Attorney
Dan Kimpel - Music Journalist

Film and TV Panel Discussion
(Recorded Live at Durango Songwriters Expo - Santa Barbara 2005)
Mark Ferrari - Mastersource Film Library
Chris Tyng - Film and TV Music Composer
Alissa Moreno - Songwriter, Film and TV Composer
Rich Goldman - Riptide Music

BackStage Songwriting Workshops

Songwriting Workshop— Walt Aldridge and Gary Baker
(Recorded Live at Durango Songwriters Expo - Santa Barbara - 2005)

Check 'em out!

What is

Not everyone can join us in Durango each year to be educated and inspired by our panelists and hit songwriters. But every songwriter can now have access to the next-best thing- and benefit from many of the same resources provided each year at the Durango Songwriter's Expo. offers Members a chance to hear writers, publishers, producers, managers and executives who decide what songs and artists make it to the big leagues.

Annually, we record the EXPO Panel Discussions and make them available in our subscription-based Backstage. If you can't make it to the EXPO in person, you can still get the same information from our ever-growing library of recorded discussions, as well as songwriter interviews and other special features.

Check us out!

Don't Miss Tin Pan South March 28th-April 1st!

Visiting Nashville for Tin Pan South week? Click here to get the Show Schedule.
Back to Back Issues Page