Coming up Jan. 27: The 27th annual AZ Songwriters Gathering

The Arizona Songwriters Association’s 27th annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering is coming up! The all-day free program celebrates songwriting and is the only event of its kind nationwide. It’s a unique and inspiring day of workshops, original music and networking held in partnership with the Glendale Public Library.

The Arizona Songwriters Association’s 27th annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering is coming up! The all-day free program celebrates songwriting and is the only event of its kind nationwide. It’s a unique and inspiring day of workshops, original music and networking held in partnership with the Glendale Public Library.

It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Glendale Public Library, 5959 W. Brown St., Glendale, AZ. 

For the full schedule, visit

Here are some of the highlights: 

Closing concert by Featured Performer: Grammy-nominated writer Shelly Peiken
4:30-5 p.m. in the Auditorium

Join us in the auditorium from 4:30-5 p.m. for a closing concert with Shelly Peiken, GRAMMY-nominated writer of her memoir “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter” and co-writer of the Meredith Brooks song “Bitch.” One of her most well-known songs is the #1 hit  “What a Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera.


Special door prizes!!!!!

Program attendees are eligible for door prize drawings of books and/or private Zoom consultations with the following presenters: Robin Frederick, Pat Pattison, Shelly Peiken and Tracey & Vance Marino. To be entered in their drawings, you must attend their session! 


Educational presentations

The following educational and inspirational presentations will be held in the library’s auditorium and large meeting room (See the full downloadable schedule here.) Full bios are listed at the end of this post.

  • Prosody, The Most Important Concept in Songwriting presented by Pat Pattison, renowned lyric and poetry professor at Berklee College of Music, the author of several songwriting books, including “Writing Better Lyrics” and “Songwriting Without Boundaries,” and has developed numerous online courses.
  • Get Your Acoustic Songs into Film & TV: Americana, Folk, Indie Folk, & Singer-Songwriter presented by top-selling author, producer, and songwriter Robin Frederick. Her books include “Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting” and “Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV.”

    Enter to have your song critiqued by Robin Frederick during her session. Send your songs for consideration in advance to by JAN. 19 with the subject line: “Robin Frederick Song File.”  The submission should be in the form of an mp3 attachment or a downloadable link with a lyric pasted into the body of the email. Please view this video if you need help sending your song: How to Email Audio Files ( Three songs will be selected. 
  • Think Less, Feel More presented by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Shelly Peiken, GRAMMY-nominated writer of her memoir “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter” and co-writer of the Meredith Brooks song “Bitch.” One of her most well-known songs is the #1 hit  “What a Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera.
  • Ride the Sync Wave: Getting Your Music Into Film, TV, and Media presented by Tracey & Vance Marino, a songwriting, composing, and producing team with over 3,000 placements. They are the authors of “Hey! That’s My Song! A Guide to Getting Music Placements in Film, TV and Media.”
  • Diving Deep into Digital Streams: Are You Getting All the Payments You Should Be? presented by Lindsey Major, Head of Customer Experience at the Music Licensing Collective (MLC), Nashville. Info you need to know! 
  • Basics of Recording with Digital Audio Workstation by producer and highly skilled studio engineer John Keenan, who teaches audio mixing technique classes at Paradise Valley Community College
  • Songwriting Tools and Resources presented by local, award-winning singer/songwriter Sandy Hathaway
  • Building a Successful Music Career and Brand as an Independent Artist presented by award-winning Indie recording artist Lisa Mitts
  • Songwriting Takeaway Tips from Jimmy Webb presented by songwriter Dan Gutenkauf, co-coordinator of the Phoenix Chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and longtime ASA member
  • Song Critique Session with songwriting teacher Randy Brown, a winner of national lyric-writing competitions who has numerous song placements in TV and film, including “Remember the Titans,” and  Les Scott, a veteran of the music industry who is a music publisher, writer, producer and consultant who has produced several albums for Universal Music Group! 

    For this session, songs will be selected at random during the session. TWO LYRIC SHEETS ARE REQUIRED. Bring your recorded song on your phone or on a CD - or you can perform live. 


Songwriter performances

Songwriters will perform their original songs throughout the day on four stages. See the full downloadable schedule here


Andy Hurlbut Songwriting Challenge:

We are offering a Songwriting Challenge in honor of Andy Hurlbut. Join us from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Andy Hurlbut Memorial Ballad Tree.  

Write a new song or play one you have already written using any of the titles that were selected by Andy.

•Saying Goodbye

•Over The Edge

•Wait For Me

•As Long As It Takes

Everyone is welcome to participate. If you have not written a song, you may share a song in tribute to Andy. Participants will perform round-robin as time allows.

There will also be song sharing circles. 



Seating is available at each performance and workshop area, with plenty of room to bring family and friends. Restrooms are located inside the library building near the information desk and in the meeting room wing, next to the Auditorium. Food and beverages are available for purchase from the library vending machine and from food trucks, AZ Fire Fusion and Taqueria El Sol, throughout the day. Visit with Exhibitors who want to connect with you! Display tables will line the sidewalks leading up to the library entrance.  We will have a place for book and CD sales.  If you are interested in selling CDs at this event, please call librarian Ivy Jarvis at (623) 930-3573 or reply to this message. Email


Presenter bios

Featured performer

SHELLY PEIKEN, a GRAMMY nominated songwriter, has been a prolific force in the music business for more than two decades. She is best known for co-penning culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit, “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’ smash, “Bitch.”
Shelly has written for and with The Pretenders, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Britney Spears, Brandy, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Mandy Moore, Plain White Ts, Smash Mouth, Jesse J, Natasha Bedingfield, Bebe Rexha, Reba, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys. Her songs have been featured in films and television shows such as Big Little Lies, Dave, Orange Is The New Black, Orphan Black, The Blind Side, Music Of The Heart, Center Stage, What Women Want, Saving Grace, The Good Girl, Dear God, Blue Streak, Bring It On, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, EDtv, The Next Best Thing, The Princess Diaries, See Spot Run, A Walk To Remember, What A Girl Wants, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Raising Helen, Bourne Identity, Quarenteen, and teen favorite Disney’s Descendants (“Rotten To The Core.”)
Her amusing and poignant memoir Confessions of a Serial Songwriter — a humorous pop culture chronicle about her journey from young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to working professional writing hits of her own earned Shelly a second GRAMMY nomination in 2016 for Best Spoken Word Album.
Ms. Peiken was voted Best Singer Songwriter of the year by Hollywood Music and Media in 2021 and was a 2023 She Rocks Honoree — an award that shines the spotlight on women who stand out in the industry.
Shelly is currently working on two Musicals — one with Broadway Producers Carl D. White and Gregory Rae of Martian Entertainment and another — a passion project with her husband.
As a founding member of SONA (Songwriters of North America) she has been a passionate advocate for creators’ rights while never losing sight of her first love: the often elusive but always immensely gratifying art of writing a great pop song.

Presenters in the Auditorium

ROBIN FREDERICK is the author of top-selling songwriting books Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting and Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV. She is a former director of A&R/Production for Rhino Records and executive producer of more than 60 albums. Over the course of her career, she has written and produced more than 500 songs for television, records, theater, and audio products. Robin’s books are used in top music schools to teach all levels of songwriting from beginning to advanced. Visit

TRACEY MARINO and VANCE MARINO are a wife-and-husband songwriting, composing, and producing team based in San Diego, California. They have more than 3,000 songs and instrumentals in their BMI catalog. Their music is heard daily around the world in TV shows (Saturday Night Live, Oprah, Kelly Clarkson, The Late Show, The Tonight Show, The Today Show), films (The Wrong Missy, The Last Song, Goats), trailers, documentaries, video games, and national commercials (L.L.Bean, Cabela’s, Clorox).
They are active members of several music advocacy groups and are the NSAI San Diego Chapter Coordinators. The Marinos’ #1 best-selling book in Songwriting and Music Business, Hey! That's My Song! A Guide to Getting Music Placements in Film, TV, and Media, was published recently by Backbeat Books. For more information, visit

PAT PATTISON is a professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches lyric writing and poetry. 
In addition to his four books, Songwriting Without Boundaries (Penguin/Random House), Writing Better Lyrics, 2nd Edition (Penguin/Random House, The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure (Hal Leonard), and The Essential Guide to Rhyming (Hal Leonard), Pat has developed seven online courses for Berklee Online: five on lyric writing (including two Master's level courses), one on poetry, and one on creative writing, all available here. In addition, more than 2,500,000 students have enrolled in his Coursera MOOC "Songwriting: Writing the Lyric" since its first run in 2013. He has written over seventy-five articles for various blogs and magazines, including American Songwriter, and has chapters in both The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (University Press of Mississippi) and the Handbook on Creative Writing (Edinburgh University Press). 
Pat continues to present songwriting clinics across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Pat’s students include Grammy-winners, professional songwriters, and major recording artists, including Gillian Welch, John Mayer, Tom Hambridge, Joelle James, Karmin, American Authors, Betty Who, Liz Longley, Charlie Worsham, Greg Becker, Justin Tranter, and many more.


Presenters in the Large Meeting Room

RANDY BROWN is a country/Americana songwriter and songwriting teacher who has won national lyric writing competitions by both American Songwriter and Billboard magazines. His credits include songs in several movies, most notably Remember the Titans, and songs in numerous television shows, ranging from Malcom in the Middle to A Person of Interest and CMT’s Crossroads. Along with Jon Iger, he hosts a monthly “Songs in Progress” workshop for ASA. He has also conducted songwriting seminars at various folk festivals across Arizona. Randy is an instrumental member of the Arizona Songwriters Gathering planning committee. To contact Randy, please email or visit his website at

DAN GUTENKAUF was inspired by a 1973 Emerson, Lake & Palmer concert to take the first college-level course in Electronic Music Theory and Composition, taught by Dr. Gerald Lloyd, an apprentice to Robert Moog. While attending Drake, he studied jazz history, played bass in the Jazz Stage Band, and studied jazz guitar with renowned instructor Don Archer of the Iowa Jazz Hall of Fame. He has been a full-time professional musician since moving to Phoenix in 1978. In 1980, he started attending Arizona Songwriters Association meetings, where he met his friends and mentors Jon Iger and the late John Braheny, “The Godfather of Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase (LASS).” In the mid ‘80s, he played bass for national corporate events at numerous 5-star resorts across the country. He has played bass with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acts The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Coasters, and Leslie Gore, as well as for Glen Campbell and “Mr. Las Vegas” Wayne Newton. On his Big Band corporate gigs, he has shared the stage with The Four Tops, Dionne Warwick, The Pointer Sisters, Charley Pride, Lee Greenwood, Ray Charles, Bill Medley (The Righteous Brothers), and Mary Wilson (The Supremes). In 1985, he earned a Scholastic Achievement Award for Excellence in Classical Music Theory at Mesa Community College. He recorded and toured with Scottsdale Bible Church orchestra and choir on trips to Argentina, Romania, and Budapest. In 2005, he and his twin brother Dennis on guitar were inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with their band “Rhythm’s Children.” They also performed with fellow Hall of Fame inductee John “JR” Robinson, legendary L.A. studio drummer for David Foster and Quincy Jones. In 2019, he was nominated to become the new local Phoenix Chapter Coordinator for Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He attended the NSAI Tin Pan South Songwriting Festival in Nashville, where he received his Coordinator training. That same year, he was a finalist in NSAI’s Chapter Challenge songwriting contest, sponsored by Ole Media Management (now Anthem Entertainment).

SANDY HATHAWAY’s original songs reach back in time and deliver stories that touch the heart. She is a daydreaming artist from West Michigan lakeshore. She taught herself to play guitar at eight. Her live performances are filled with emotion and expression. Sandy’s original songs contain vivid descriptions and metaphors that transport the listener to a country garden or a dirt road. She plays nearly all genres of music and has about six hours of songs in her cover song library.
Sandy studied classical guitar with David Molinari at Meyer Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is currently a student of classical and opera voice with Bonfanti’s Voice Studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.   “One of the busiest female cover artists in Arizona”, according to News Anchor Mike Chamberlin, TV3.
​Hathaway’s original music has won several awards in Arizona.  Her music can be described as a soulful blend of Dar Williams, Joni Mitchell, and Patty Griffin. She sings in several popular genres, Rock, Pop, Country, Blues, R&B, and Opera. She continuously studies to improve her music craft. Sandy is a multi-instrumentalist and stays busy playing popular venues like Tucson, The Living Room in Phoenix, and many private events. She has worked with several popular booking agencies, Arizona’s Finest Entertainers, Paragon Booking, and GotYouCovered. She is the Chairperson of the board for Independent Artist Music (IAM), a non-profit association, to support musicians.

LINDSEY MAJOR is Head of Customer Experience, The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)

LISA MITTS is a multi- award-winning Indie recording artist/songwriter/performer. She and her band perform all over Arizona and the southwest in many venues, outdoor festivals and concerts including performing at the 2023 Ostrich Festival and the 2023 AZ Balloon Festival, Sedona Red Rock Series and many more.
From 2009-2011 Lisa worked with the well-known R&B artist and American Idol mentor, Allen Stone (opener for Chris Stapleton), who produced her first 3 albums, including co-writing the 3rd one which included a track “Where Has Love Gone?”, also a music video with now 430K YouTube views and the catalyst for her advocacy against human trafficking. She has recorded at the famous Castle Studios in Nashville, Canadian artist Jon Bryant, and for the last several years has worked with renowned producer and artist, Brandon Bee.
Lisa is the recipient of many independent music awards including Gold Album of The Year for both the 2023 & 2020 International Singer Songwriter Awards; the World Songwriting Award for her video Fly Away; as well as the David Film Festival (Film Freeway) for the title cut of her new album, Vapors In The Wind. Her music can be heard on all digital platforms including Spotify and ITunes.

JOHN KEENAN is a famed music producer who has produced, remixed, and mastered releases for top artists such as Beyoncé, Pet Shop Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliot, Philip George, Kelly Rowland, Billie Ray Martin, Kenny Loggins, Mary Wilson, and countless others. With 11 top 25 Billboard charting hits of today and several #1 singles on the Billboard Dance Chart, John is highly attuned to current musical trends. ​
In addition, John Keenan is a supremely skilled studio engineer and mastering engineer with 25+ years of experience and knowledge at his disposal. As he continues to work with acts such as Mary Wilson (of The Supremes, Universal), develop upcoming artists, and produce killer remixes that climb the charts and rock the house, Keenan is truly a tastemaker.
As a veteran college professor at Paradise Valley Community College, Keenan teaches and certifies students in Pro Tools software, teaches advanced audio mixing techniques classes, and Live Sound classes with individual lessons as a bonus for those wanting to go further.

LES SCOTT is a veteran of the music industry whose publishing company Source Q Boutique (SQB) specializes in music placement in film and television and currently represents over 400 writers/artists. SQB is exclusively marketed through its alliances with Crucial Music Group, Expressive Artists LLC., Generation Music, Inc. and Fuze Artz LLC. As a producer, he is commissioned to produce master recordings for major companies and has produced over 500 artists/bands in all genres; his writings and productions appear daily throughout the film and television industries. As a consultant, he consults on music business matters such as music clearance, writer collaborations, performance releases, publishing agreements, cue sheets, PRO and copyright registrations. Les is an instrumental member of the Arizona Songwriters Gathering planning committee.
For private consultation, please call 602-705-3554 or email Website: