Few things lift the spirit like the sound of phenomenally talented young singers delivering songs directly from the heart, full of promise, hope and optimism. That is precisely what the eight principal singers in Straight to the Heart bring to concert audiences this year. Coming from a variety of national, ethnic and religious backgrounds, these young prodigies combine their diverse talents in a show that spans inspired original compositions and inventive arrangements of classic pop, soul, rock and R&B. This musical festival also features some of the most notable global and National artists in their respective musical genres including #1 on Billboard Americana country star Chuck Murphy, bridging East and West; Turkey’s illustrious Neotolia, Violin Virtuoso, Composer, Singer Layth Sidiq from Iraq, renowned Lebanese Tenor Naji Youssef, Jazz duo Paul Hefti & Devyn Rush, Grammy all-stars Bob Malone, Kenny Aronoff, Tariqh Akoni to name a few and very special guest artists still to be announced. The show was created by American entertainment magnate, composer, pianist and producer Dawn Elder.
The program features one of the newest and most talked about recording artist to come out in a decade Ty Waters. He is an 11-year-old with the voice of an angel and charisma to rival the young Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson. Water’s debut album Only Human comes out March 24, 2017, the show includes songs from the album, notably the irresistible title track, that won best pop song of the year at the HMMA’s is a celebration of individual empowerment with the sting of classic soul and the spiritual force of gospel. The show also highlights seven other members of the Ultimate Vocal Music Summit’s Protégées and upcoming stars. These include 11-year-old Lebanese American pianist and singer Christen Ntanios, Louisiana’s 16-year-old singer and guitarist Lane Hardy whom some have compared to a young Fogerty, from Southern California 18-year-old African American Singer-Songwriter Celeste Butler and 16-year-old retro rock lyricist and vocalist Izzy Jones and finally Canadian pop and R&B singer/songwriter Connor Nelson who is 15 years old. The show will open with 4 ½ year old Disney Actress and singer Abrielle Cummings. Though newcomers to the national U.S. scene, these artists have all garnered prizes, praise and renown in their communities, and are plainly destined for significant careers. This is a chance to experience their brilliance in Straight to the Heart Music Festival.
OUR MASTER MUSICIANS
Is an American entertainment magnate, celebrated music and media personality, composer, pianist, and producer. She is president and CEO of Dawn Elder Management & World Entertainment, a US-based production and media/entertainment firm. Elder is also the founder of the world-renowned International Friendship Festivals and Peace through Music series, which have helped to bridge cultural divides in the United States and abroad. Elder has produced over a thousand events, concerts and network specials and has worked with some of the most renowned artists in the entertainment industry; directed and developed numerous documentaries and special concert broadcast specials for major networks; developed and produced some of the largest cultural festivals and conferences in the country; produced numerous award- winning albums; and produced music and managed tours for some of the most highly regarded International world music artists today.
Elder has launched Ultimate Vocal Music Summit, a highly focused summit for gifted young singers to learn from the industry’s top experts, and mentors hand-selected Elite Team members between summits. Elder’s most recent work includes mentoring a talented singer, Ty Waters, resulting in the stunning album, ONLY HUMAN, with 8 beautiful tracks, 4 songs co-written by Elder, Ty Waters, Randy Waldman, and Michael Jay. Elder has a BA in Music and Composition and a BS in Biochemistry and lectures on Music Composition and Songwriting, as well as guiding cities and civic organizations on using music to bridge community divides. Elder is an active member in numerous humanitarian organizations and several prominent industry consortiums.
Has toured the world as a solo artist for two decades and has played keyboards with rock legend John Fogerty since 2011. Classically trained, with a degree in jazz and a lifetime playing rock & roll clubs, theatres, and arenas, Bob’s sound is a one-of-a kind hybrid of rock, blues, and New Orleans R&B, delivered with high-energy piano virtuosity and a voice all his own. As a solo artist, Bob plays around 100 show and festivals a year in the US, UK, Europe and Australia. Malone’s 2015 album, Mojo Deluxe, went to #1 on the Independent British Blues Broadcasters (IBBA) radio chart, was one of the top 100 most played CDs in 2015 on the Roots Music Report radio charts, was top 15 on the Relix/jambands.com charts, and appeared on the Living Blues and Americana Music Association (AMA) radio charts. Videos from Bob’s Mojo Live DVD have recently been premiered by Relix Magazine and Alternative Root Magazine.
Is an award-winning, Billboard-charting singer-songwriter from Palmdale, CA, originally hailing from Bloomington, MN. Growing up in the 60’s, Murphy never imagined he would find himself singing “Peace Be With You” in 2016, but the message is still so necessary and powerful in a nation, and a world, so deeply in need of healing. The song resonated so true to Murphy, it became the title track for his album, which was on the Billboard charts for 8 consecutive weeks as of 12/31/16, peaking at #3 on the Americana/Folk Album Chart. Chuck participated in Ultimate Vocal Music Summit, where he performed for the students and delivered a workshop about the nuances and flavors of folk/Americana/country music. Murphy has written and produced music for several independent movies and has worked with many notable entertainers.
Has been a composer, songwriter, studio musician, educator, musical director, multi-instrumentalist and clinician over his 25 years in the music industry, and has amassed an extensive and eclectic resume, working with many distinguished and award- winning artists. Tariqh studied contemporary classical composition at the University of California at San Diego before deciding to pursue performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. As an educator and clinician, Tariqh served as Chairman of the Guitar Department at the LA College of Music for 5 years where he wrote 10 books including their pedagogical series ‘String Theory. In addition, he has conducted master classes and clinics internationally at the Guildhall Academy in London, Fermatta in Mexico, USC and the Berklee College of Music.
(violinist, composer and educator) Born in Iraq and raised in Jordan, Layth picked up the violin at the age of four and started his musical training at the National Music Conservatory with Taimur Ibrahmiov, and later at the Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester/UK. Upon graduation, Layth moved to Boston to pursue his college education at the Berklee College of Music where he received a full-tuition scholarship and graduated with a bachelor degree and recently obtained his masters degree from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute where he was mentored by artist such as Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano and Marco Pignataro. During his life, Layth had the honor of performing all around the world as well as working with many acclaimed artists, including Simon Shaheen, Jack Dejohnette, Jose Merce, Shankar Mahadevan, Javier Limon, Gary Burton and A.R Rahman, to name a few.
He has also performed both as a leader and as a sideman in venues like the Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as the Abu Dhabi festival, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and the premier of his original compositions at the Montreal Jazz Festival with his sextet. Layth is now based in Boston where he currently directs the Arab music ensemble at Tufts University as well as being a sough-after violinist and composer in the US and abroad. Layth’s first solo album ‘Son of Tigris’ is set to be released in the next coming weeks which is made up of his original compositions bringing together elements from Iraqi music and Jazz.
Music is a universal Language , spanning across all of space and time. Today, Nazan Nihal and Utar Artun are taking music into a new dimension, bringing the old sounds of Turkish Folk Songs (Turku) to Life in their new project, Neoto Lia. Nazan is a remarkable singer/songwriter and Utar possesses unlimited potential as a composer, conductor , film scorer and arranger. When the two met, they were inspired by their mutualaddiction to music. Nazan's unique interpretation of the old Anatolian songs sparked a chord in the musical heart of Utar and it was at this moment that the concept for their new project, Neotolia, was born. Nazan and Utar want to share their contemporary perception of the music that rose out of Anatolia, music with the power to erase the boundaries between history and current times.
As important as their revival of Turkish Folk Songs is their creation of new compositions, mostly in the English and therefore understandable for a big audience. The songs from Neotolia are founded in the heart. Everyday common feelings are captured in Lyrics and music, Listeners can recognize feelings and emotions that they have been going through.
Neotolia also creates music for other artists, while giving support as songwriters and producers. Neotolia feels no boundaries. With their roots in Turkey they explore new directions in music. Domiciled in the States they travelall around the world including Europe, bringing music to their audience. Following their award wining debut album 'Rose Lace', Neotolia finished the recordings of their second album on June 2016. World renowned artists Dave Weckl, Arto Tuncboyac1yan, David Fuze Fiuczynski, Joey Blake, Tahir Aydogdu, Bassam Saba are featured in their second album.
Just eleven years old, Tyson Waters is quite simply one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary music. His gift became evident early on when he began to “jazz up nursery rhymes”—his mother’s words. He gave his first live concert at age four and never stopped. Today, Ty sings with soulful nuance and irresistible charisma that invite comparisons with two of his great heroes, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Ty’s debut album Only Human (TJK Records) backs up such praise with rock solid performances. Only Human is the first single and calling card of a singer and songwriter destined to alter the popular music landscape winning Best Pop Song of the Year at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for 2016. In addition, the Only Human was in consideration for five Grammy nominations. On March 24, 2017 Ty’s full debut album which features 8 punchy, rocking, soulful and profoundly uplifting songs was recorded at just age ten.
His spectacular and nuanced voice, his joyous spirit, and his gift for composition would be reason enough for instant acclaim, so it’s no surprise that this young man attracted an A-list team of co-composers, arrangers, and session musicians for this recording. That team was headed up by veteran music producer, composer, pianist Ty's Mentor, Dawn Elder. Impressive. But when you consider the events that led to all this achievement, the story becomes a true-life fairy tale. The album destined to go all the way.
Waters born in Vancouver, British Colombia. His mother Iris, a music lover, and teacher put headphones on her belly during the pregnancy. But as a baby, Ty suffered from a serious speech impediment. He spoke few words before the age of two. Frustrated and moody, he had trouble connecting with other toddlers and acted out often. There was a long wait for the public health system’s speech therapy treatment, too long for Ty’s parents. They investigated alternatives, including music therapy, which proved beyond their means. Knowing that Ty was more inclined to sing than to speak, they constantly exposed him to music, mostly “oldies”—Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darrin. Turned loose on YouTube, Ty quickly began to follow his own muse, gravitating to classic performances by the likes of Michael, Stevie, Lionel Richie and Etta James. He amazed his family by flawlessly mimicking rhythms, melodies and words, shattering through his speech impediment and his inherently shy nature. By age six, not only had Ty completely recovered his ability to speak, and gained enduring personal confidence, but he was blooming as a singer of remarkable power and precision.
Ty remained isolated at school. Not inclined to show off his talent, he drew only derision from classmates when he dressed as Elvis and then Michael Jackson on Halloween. Little did they know... Ty played both drums and piano, entirely by ear. He had been exposed Suzuki training, but never relied on written music. He was fascinated by Stevie Wonder’s ability to play piano despite blindness, so he began to play blindfolded or in the dark, determined to follow in the footsteps of his hero.
Soon Ty was winning contests receiving invitations to sing before celebrities and stars at events such as BC Junior Talent and PNE Star Showdown, and consistently astounding every audience he came before. When he channeled Michael Bublé’s rendition of the theme from Spiderman, Bublé himself emerged from the audience to shake his hand, a moment Ty will never forget. He won Carnegie Hall's American Protégé International Vocal Competition 2015 (Jury's Favorite Award) and International Music Talent Competition (Judges Distinction Award) 2015 in New York City and was invited to perform at the Annual Gala at Carnegie Hall for 2016.
In 2015, at the Ultimate Vocal & Music Summit, a program for nurturing talented young singers-songwriters in Burbank, California, Ty who had been trying to meet producer Dawn Elder, finally met upon being granted a scholarship for the vocal/music education program, one of the youngest to be accepted. She was amazed by his talent and dedication, but when she heard some of the musical ideas he was coming up with on his own, she decided to take him on as a protégé and nurture his artist development. Ty had never written a complete song before meeting Elder. “I wanted to write a song about peace,” he recalls. “But then I realized that we should have peace with our families and friends first. I think that if everyone did that, we would be able to have peace in this world.” That insight was the spark that led to “Only Human.” The song’s call for a universal embrace of humanity—every one of us is one of a kind—proved inspirational.
Elder in 2016 assembled a dream team of talent for the Only Human recording sessions—session players who had worked with Stevie, Michael, Diana Ross, Foo Fighters, Celine Dion and Eminem. Ty blossomed in their company. “It felt like an honor to work with these people,” he says. “I can relate to them. It just feels really good when I’m around them.” The video for the song “Only Human” showcases not only a spectacular young singer songwriter, but a wonderful dancer and a shining spirit with charisma no one could resist. And this is just the beginning. Ty then went on to perform for 100,000 people at a popular Summer festival “Summer Solstice” which caught the eye of news producer at Fox news, asking Ty to come preview his single on TV live, followed by another appearance for a summer festival to half a million in attendance. Ty won all the hearts with his charismatic live performances, including one in front of his music idol Stevie Wonder. Numerous live performances followed, radio interviews all so over blown by Ty Waters talent, he become the most listened to on internet Radio a newbie of the year on I heart radio, holding the record win for 6 weeks straight. And in November of 2016 Won best Pop Song of the year from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA).
In 2017, Ty started off the year performing in New York City for the National Organization Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) at Florence Gould Hall, receiving stunning reviews for many of his new songs from his album.
He will launch his touring with a new program entitled Straight to the Heart Music Festival this year along with a promotional tour for his album. A few days later while in New York, Ty was asked to perform as a special guest with long time member of Billy Joel’s original band, Saxiphonist Richie Cannata at the famed Bitter End, well known to the industry as the home for such artists as Lady Gaga, and Madonna to name a few. Ty intends to use his talent to spread his messages of inspiration, love, peace and hope—to change the world for good, one song, one message at a time. And now he is set to release his full debut album Only Human featuring 8 punchy, rocking, soulful and profoundly uplifting songs at just age ten.
Is American Lebanese, a two time participant in Ultimate Vocal Music Summit, and now a member of the UVMS Elite Team selected by Dawn Elder. Singing and playing piano since age five, she sings in both English and Arabic, and incorporates both in selections when the music allows. In November of 2016, Christen was asked by the Consulate General of Lebanon to sing the Lebanese National Anthem as well as the American National Anthem in a reception hosted to celebrate Lebanese Independence Day.
Is an American musician, singer, and songwriter from Louisiana. He began singing and playing guitar at age seven and performs classic rock and country music. Lane participated in UVMS in October 2016.
Is a passionate singer/songwriter, actress, creative director, and all around entertainer. Celeste attends USC Thornton School of Music’s Popular Music Program and is a strong advocate for the arts on campus, co-originating the role of Black Student Assembly’s Creative Experience Director and co-coordinating the Performing Arts Committee’s Artist Network. Celeste participates in and interns for the UVMS.
Hailey Faith Silveira
Is a bubbly, outgoing and unique singer, actress, model, and dancer. She is a member the UVMS Elite Team selected by Dawn Elder, a vocal student of Boris Buriev and Natascha Corrigan Aldridge, and works on film acting with acting coach Aaron Metchik (Actor's Edge), in addition to studying contemporary, lyrical, hip- hop, tap, jazz and ballet at her local dance studio.
Is a talented lyricist and vocalist who has been singing since she began speaking. Although her voice has developed a unique alternative rock sound, she has a vey diverse musical taste and wide exposure to many genres. A participant in UVMS and protégé of Dawn Elder, she is currently writing songs for her first album. Izzy hopes to inspire and encourage people with her words and her vocals.
Is a 15-year- old Pop/R&B singer-songwriter.
His first concert was this summer at the Vancouver Club. He has won numerous vocal competitions and has performed at many fundraisers and private events. After attending the Ultimate Vocal Music Summit this fall, Connor signed a mentorship- artist deal with Dawn Elder Music.
Is a 4 1⁄2-year- old singer, dancer, model and actress, who recently joined UVMS and also became a vocal student of Natacha Corrigan Aldridge and Boris Buriev. Abrielle enjoys ballet, tap, hip hop and jazz and is the youngest and newest member is the PAVE mini ballet team in Laguna Nigel, CA.