The 9 Songwriter Series

The 9 Songwriter Series

Founded in 2008 by singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, "The 9 Songwriter Series" is a touring songwriter collective and live show based in Washington, DC. The show was created with the idea of nine artists getting together and combining their talents in order to play in nicer clubs and to larger amounts of people. Each installment features nine solo singer/songwriters performing together in a unique and captivating format, telling stories, and often sitting in each each other and making up music on the spot. Where else can you hear almost 30 songs from nine different artists in one evening and often for only $10? To date, over 300 different artists have participated in "The 9", at shows in DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Fairfield, Boston, Richmond, Charlottesville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Justin Trawick

Justin Trawick is a Virginia native born in Leesburg, VA and now residing in Arlington, VA close to Washington DC. His music ranges in styles from folk/bluegrass all the way to funk/hip hop. Justin's lineup varies for each show and with instrumentation that includes: upright bass, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, saxophone, trumpet, cello, piano, harmonica, drums, and hand percussion.

Justin has opened for Brett Dennen, Bob Schneider, Pat Green, Ingram Hill, Edwin McCain, Pat McGee, Cowboy Mouth, Sara Bareilles, Jimmies Chicken Shack, The Gourds, K.C. and The Sunshine Band, Robinella, and Jenny Owen Youngs, and Basia Bulat.

Carolyn Crysdale

Music has always been an integral part of my life. Somewhere near the end of high school, I realized that I could put together my guitar strumming and lyrics and melody reasonably well. It took me a fair bit of time to get over the fear of sharing these intimate songs with even close friends and then with the "public". As I went through university, I came to find that creating and sharing this music was really what I loved to do more than anything. I do not know where this singer/songwriter journey will take me. I have been blessed to meet some amazing musicians, to perform at various bars, coffeehouses, countless open mike nights, and charity events. Now, I am based in Washington DC and living out the waitress/musician dream. It is a struggle, a blessing, and so much better than anything else I could imagine doing. I am open to where this music thing will take me, and just want to share my voice with anyone with open ears.

Zia Hassan is a storytelling singer-songwriter who tries to capture earthly moments from a cosmic vantage point. He writes songs about reality, surrogate motherhood, space, time travel, and solar particles. He's also been referred to as "DC's #1 Love Song writer," and he has often been hired to write love songs for anniversaries, weddings, and birthdays. He sings with soulful passion and a soaring falsetto. His on-stage stories open small universes, beckoning new listeners to enter his strange and loveable world.

Zia released his first solo album, Grow Slow, in 2009. The album was received extremely well, especially on the internet -- every single song from the record was up-voted to the front page of, a popular music ranking service. Songs like "A Love Like That" received the most praise, spawning a fan-made video on YouTube. "Carry My Love," a song about a surrogate mother carrying a baby for her sister, a cancer survivor, touches the heart of anyone who hears it. To promote the album, Zia performed through an online broadcast so that international fans could hear his live act.

Zia's love of sound goes beyond traditional music. In addition to writing solid pop folk tunes, he produces experimental work as well, working as a "sound sculptor" in the tradition of Brian Eno, John Cage, and Steve Reich. In 2010, he released the innovative The Flop, The Turn, The River; an album of field recordings and interviews from the smokey mountains set to instrumental and spacey music. In 2012, he released the album Lines with collaborator Scott Colman, which used processed field recordings of the DC Metro. Zia is currently working on integrating neuroscience into his live show using a brainwave-sensing headband to create music using nothing but his mind.

Zia's sound has been compared to Duncan Sheik, Bon Iver, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Ellis Paul, Joni Mitchell, Ben Gibbard and others. He's played at a lot of great DC venues like IOTA, Velvet Lounge, Ebenezer's, The Atlas Theater, and The Hamilton, where he had the opportunity to share the stage with his musical hero Teitur. Zia is currently in the studio working on an extremely ambitious supermassive project called Sports, Weather, Time and Space - a two disc album (one contains folk songs, and the other contains a 60-minute ambient sonic tour of the solar system), a DVD of short films about reality, and a book of short stories and poems.

Kevin de Souza

Kevin de Souza is from Silver Spring, Maryland and plays the bass guitar. He likes romantic comedies, peanut butter cups, and you. He also just released his first record.

The EP is called "Remember Your dreams, Pay Your Child Support", and the six tunes thereon showcase Kevin's energy, musical versatility, and direct, honest songwriting. You can check out and download RYDPYCS on Kevin's website or on iTunes. Tell your friends.

Jasmine Gillison

Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin is a Chicago-born singer-songwriter and award-winning multi-instrumentalist currently based in Washington, D.C. Having over a fifteen years of live performance experience under her belt as well as an unwavering passion for storytelling through song, Levitin continues to create an intimate show -- no matter the stage -- across the country. Levitin's style ranges from folk-influenced rock songs to country storytelling with a dash of blue notes thrown in for good measure. Fans of American rock, soul, and jazz will find hints of their favorite genre's history combined with Levitin's emotional performance to make for quite the compelling live show.

Dave Farah is a 23 year old singer/songwriter from Northern Virginia. Somewhere buried beneath Jonathan Safran Foer novels and moleskin notebooks full of random thoughts, he found a space where words in patterns made sense. Eventually poetry turned into spoken word which turned into lyrics and he started writing music. Dave graduated from the University of Miami, FL with a double major in Video Production and Creative Writing and have since been focusing on writing, recording, and touring ever since.


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