Jerry Silverstein

Silverstein/Trainor
Jerry Silverstein/Sean Trainor

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Here's the latest song from my writing sessions with Sean Trainor. I'm singing and playing harp and Sean is playing guitar and producing the tracks. (Read the story about our recent collaboration below.)

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I had the opportunity to play out tonight (5/20) at the Side Walk Cafe on Avenue A as part of the NYC NSAI writer's night series. Thanks to Sandy and Nick and all of the great folks at the Side Walk for supporting NSAI songwriters.

Prior to playing at the Side Walk, I had a great writing session with my latest co-writer, Stephanie Manns. Steph is a very talented songwriter and performer from the UK who has recently played with her band at the Rockwood Music Hall and City Winery. You can check out her music and upcoming gigs at stephaniemanns.com.

Kudos to a co-writer:

I want to congratulate Katrina Lenk who I met when she participated in the Dramatico Publishing songwriting circle that I ran both in New York and LA. She and I got to write one day at ASCAP on Sunset Boulevard. Katrina currently is starring on Broadway in the smash hit "The Band's Visit" opposite Tony Shalub. The show got rave reviews and Ben Brantley said a star is born when talking about Katrina. She's an incredible talent and previously had roles on Broadway in "Indecent" and "Once."

Katrina was just nominated for the TONY award for Best Actress in a Musical and Roma Torre on NY1 referred to her as "the toast of the town!" She has also been nominated for Drama Desk and Drama League awards and I am so happy for her. She is incredibly deserving of all the acclaim that she's received and she paid her dues on both coasts to arrive at this place in her career.

Be sure to watch Katrina perform on the TONY's on Sunday night, June 10th and cheer for her and "The Band's Visit."

NSAI news:

This has been a banner year for the Long Island NSAI chapter that I host with Sandy and Steve and the national chapter of NSAI has begun some new initiatives including the Top 40 Challenge and the Ole Chapter's Challenge which have stirred interest and boosted attendance. We are excited that New York City is going to have a Bluebird Cafe Songwriter's Series in the new Opry City Center that opened recently in Times Square.Thanks also to Victoria Shaw for another great Skype session last November.

Victoria will be playing at the new Bluebird stage at the Opry City Center on July 20th with two other friends, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman. These are three of my favorite songwriters and the chance to see them together in New York City should not be missed.

Older news:

During my visit last April to Nashville, Sean Trainor and I got to actually be in the same room after several Skype sessions and wrote and demoed our latest song "We Need The Wood." in his studio (listen above) It was a fun session and in one morning we wrote what we both think is a great song.

The rest of the trip to Nashville was very productive. I got to attend Tin Pan South as well as going to meetings at NSAI, co-writing and reconnecting with friends. This was an exciting week which this year that included connecting with Shane Adams, the co-write with Sean and another with Bill Maier, lunch with Jenny Ray and a chance to connect with our NSAI mentor Victoria Shaw. Elaine joined me this year after having a great visit last year while I was at the Gary Burr, Georgia Middleman workshop. The only down side was that I ran out of time and wasn't able to get to see a number of friends.

Last year I played for the first time with the Bushwick Book Club in an outdoor concert in DUMBO under the arch of the Manhattan Bridge. This is a group of songwriters and artists who read a book and get together to perform original songs, dance and even film inspired by the book. The songs that we performed were based upon Jonathan Larsen's Fortress Of Solitude. My first songs with the Book Club was "The Best Kept Secret In The City" and talked about the unintended consequences of gentrification on a poor Brooklyn neighborhood in the 60's and 70's.

Below you can also hear two tracks written for a television project in Israel. The producer, Ashira Morgenstern, has created a great blog and is she is now working on an upcoming book about the project. Once the book is published, the television show based upon the book is scheduled to follow.

Jerry Silverstein
Michael Grimm and Jerry Silverstein

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When I brought this idea to Michael he immediately started making changes based upon his own experience. References that didn't ring true fell by the wayside, and he filtered the sound through his musical influences. It was a great collaboration and I look forward to sharing his version after his Spring tour.

Performers: Jerry Silverstein and Emma Greenfield
Writers: Jerry Silverstein and Emma Greenfield

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Last month I was contacted by an old friend, Emma Greenfield, who is producing a TV series overseas and needed music. This led to a spurt of new songs, the first of which, "I'm Praying", I co-wrote with Emma.

Performer: Jerry Silverstein
Writer: Jerry Silverstein

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"Sacred Ground" was the first song I wrote for the new project, and though it was specifically written about the holy land of Israel, it reflects a universal reverence for the Earth that we all share. When traveling recently in New England, Elaine and I (with Don and Liala Strotman) wandered into a coffee shop in the Berkshires run by a wonderful photographer whose exquisite work is regularly featured in National Geographic. He said that his extensive travels have convinced him that we are all citizens of the world. He feels that the political and cultural differences he observed pale by comparison with all that we share in common, and we also share one planet that we have a responsibility for nurturing. If only people realized that we are all walking on sacred ground, perhaps we could live and work together in peace.