Jesse Ruben

The message that Brooklyn singer/songwriter Jesse Ruben has been spreading through his music is simple and direct. I can. You can. We Can. When Jesse originally wrote his song "We Can", he had just run the NYC Marathon and hoped to inspire people to start running. As it turns out, his message was meant to be much more universal. A few months after he released the track, a Vancouver elementary school reached out, saying they had been playing it to inspire their students. They asked Jesse to fly in and perform the song for their school, and so began "The We Can Project", which now spreads across North America. Jesse began touring the country, visiting schools and helping students come up with personal goals and ways to give back to their community. Amazing things began to happen. Playgrounds were built. Gardens planted. Cancer walks organized.

Just as things were taking off, life threw a curveball. Jesse had just headlined and sold out his entire East Coast tour and was writing new music when he became incredibly ill. It took 9 months and more than a dozen doctors before he got his diagnosis: Lyme Disease. Jesse was so sick, he didn't think he would ever play music or lead a normal life again. Suddenly, the message he had been spreading to students over the past year rang truer than ever before. I can do this. It took two full years to rebuild his health. It's an experience Jesse won't easily forget.

In fact, it's changed his perspective on life and writing. Jesse had always wanted to inspire people through his music, but now has a mission and an even bigger message: No matter what you are going through, you're not alone, and it will get better. Now, he is healthy and more motivated than ever to build his career and pursue his dreams. One big dream came to fruition this year, as "The We Can Project" received national news coverage with a live performance by Jesse on The Today Show. And the dreaming doesn't stop there.

Next year, Jesse will release his EP A Reply to Violence. The title is inspired by a Leonard Bernstein quote he stumbled upon on the side of a school while walking through the East Village:

This will be our reply to violence, that we make music more intensely,

more beautifully, and more devotedly than ever before.

Martin Rivas

New York City-based independent singer/songwriter Martin Rivas had a bit of a revelation while on tour in England in the Summer of 2011.

On a day off, after a visit to an exhibition on religious artifacts in the British Museum, Martin couldn't shake the notion that we are all reliquaries to each other: "We all carry a bit of each other within us, and every interaction gives us a bit more. When we're gone, the memories that live on in those we leave behind serve as the perfect relics," says Rivas. "I needed to celebrate just how simultaneously temporary and permanent we are in sound and sentiment."

To that point, two or three songs were ready for inclusion on a new album. After returning back to New York from the UK tour, over a dozen songs came forth within a month. The reliquary notion served as the perfect creative spigot, and the results are Rivas' sixth studio album, Reliquary.

Produced by Alex Wong (Vienna Teng, Ari Hest, Ximena Sariñana, Elizabeth and the Catapult), and recorded in Martin's native city of Brooklyn, Reliquary features some mighty talented friends, including Chrissi Poland (Scissor Sisters), Bess Rogers (Ingrid Michaelson), Sierra Noble, Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson), Elliot Jacobson (Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owen Youngs), Rob Schwimmer (Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder), and Dave Eggar (Train/Evanescence).

From the triumphant call to action of "C'mon While We re Young," to the rich, string-laden, vintage-pop sentimentality of "Your Heart Will Be Broken Again" (winner of the 2013 Independent Music Award for best adult-contemporary song), to the neo-retro whimsicality of "Meet Your Father," Reliquary takes the listener on a serendipitous journey that reminds us that we all end and begin in each other.

Martin has now released a total of 6 solo albums, and has shared the stage with a wildly varied palette of artists the likes of Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Aimee Mann, Dar Williams, Rosanne Cash, Nicole Atkins, Gov’t Mule, Loudon Wainwright III, Garland Jeffreys, Marshall Crenshaw and many many more on stages in the United States, the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe.

Emma Rowley

For as long as I can remember, I've loved to sing. Music has always been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I chose ballet and tap classes over team sports and sang everywhere I went, all the time. I immediately fell in love with the idea of performing for an audience after my parents took me to a few different musicals that passed through town. My dream was to then someday perform in New York City on a Broadway stage. Little did I know, that dream would become a reality sooner than I had ever anticipated.
At the age of thirteen I made my Broadway debut in the 2008 revival of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it! My dream actually came true. Then, in 2009, I was awe struck all over again when I performed in the 2009 Broadway Revival of Bye Bye Birdie. During my time in New York City I had the honor to perform with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life as I was before I stepped out onto that legendary stage!
Since my eighth grade year I've been playing the guitar. I have always been big into writing stories and poems so I thought I would give songwriting a shot after hearing that Taylor Swift also wrote her own songs. She inspired me to share my fears, dreams and personal experiences with others through song and I haven't stopped since.
My music has begun to move in some truly exciting directions for me. In November of 2011, I made my first trip down to Nashville, TN to record a song that I co-wrote (co-writers: Nicole Sullivan, Bill Steins) for Fighting Faces; a truly incredible cancer foundation based in Columbus, Ohio closely associated with the awesome Jack Hanna. Thank you to Lori Wycoff for putting together this amazing organization. A portion of the proceeds made from our efforts to sell this song will go to families dealing with cancer so please purchase this single on iTunes! (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-am-single/id484776250)
I traveled back to Nashville in the spring of 2012 and recorded my EP album that is currently available on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-summer-ep/id536560780) and other music distribution sites such as CDBaby.com (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emmarowley14) and can also be heard on my YouTube channel!
Most recently, I won a national contest online through digitalrodeo.com and eventful.com for their Next Country Star and was able to again record in Nashville, this time with the incredibly talented Bryan White!

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