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Library - The 18th Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering
Man with guitar writing music

The Glendale Main Library will become a powerhouse of song and music during the 18th Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering event from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, January 25. Click here to download a detailed schedule of workshops and performances.

The gathering is free and offers live musical performances on two stages throughout the day. Songwriters perform in front of audiences and their peers, gaining an opportunity to showcase their talents and entertain. Songwriters will also have the opportunity to receive song critiques and experience lectures and workshops from some of the best names in the songwriting business. These names include featured lecturer Clay Drayton and featured performer Doug Haywood.

The free workshops and lectures are designed for songwriters and others interested in the business and include topics such as crafting songs, getting songs into film and television, music technology and using social media to market music.

People come from across the country to attend this annual gathering that began as an event held by Phoenix at Encanto Park. It was moved in 2009 to the Glendale library to continue offering it as a free event.

“I can't think of anywhere in the country where they have (an event) like this where it's totally free,” stated Jon Iger, president of the Arizona Songwriters Association (ASA). “You don't even have to be a member of any organization to come and enjoy the benefits of all the hard work the volunteers are doing to help songwriters learn and network. Everybody has a great time performing and listening and hanging out with each other, as well as rubbing elbows with music publishers, producers and other professionals.”

“This event is a great opportunity for listeners as well as songwriters. There is something magical about the energy at this event,” stated Ivy Jarvis, librarian coordinating the event. “Every year, I walk away feeling grateful for the opportunity to be involved with these wonderful folks.”

The Friends of the Library will be holding a 50/50 raffle during the event to raise funds for future library programs along with a silent auction featuring donated items from the Comic Art Guy, Desert Springs Mortgage & Financial Services LLC, Hacker Accounting, Mary Kay – Char Sharp Consultant, Nothing Bundt Cakes and the Tulip Tree. All funds raised from the auction will benefit the library.

The ASA’s mission is to help songwriters learn more about writing songs and what to do with them once they’re written. The association helps to connect songwriters with other writers, musicians, singers, recording engineers, producers and other professionals that are essential to the industry. Through contacts made at association events, some songwriters have achieved their songs placed in major television series and movies, with several having major label acts record their songs.

In addition, attendees can enjoy the tantalizing food and beverages served by the White Eyes food truck. White Eye’s creates hot, fresh fry bread at events across the Southwest, with toppings including the Indian taco, red and green chili, beans, powder and cinnamon sugar, honey or chocolate. They also feature beignets and funnel cakes.

The Glendale Main Library and the Arizona Songwriters Association collaborate to produce this annual free event. For more information, call the library at 623-930-3573 or visit ASA.


CLAY DRAYTON has been involved in the music industry for the past forty years. An Award winning Motown songwriter & producer with Gold & Platinum records on Diana Ross, The Jacksons, Lenny Williams and others, Clay is a member of ASCAP, and is a voting member for the Grammy Awards (The Recording Academy). Clay is currently teaching the Motown Secrets to Songwriting class in Los Angeles, he speaks to music schools/organizations and conducts Professional Songwriting seminars nationwide, and is featured in Amalgamation, Thrust, TRU & Bass Player magazines. Mr. Drayton is working with Jermaine Paul, current winner of The VOICE. He is writing and producing songs for Jesse Campbell from The VOICE and the boys group "New Bounce" from Britain's Got Talent. He is also working on a Michael Bublé project and looking for talented writers to collaborate with.
Note: Clay will be available for one-on-one consult/critique sessions after the Gathering on Saturday, January 25th, while he’s in Phoenix. For info on scheduling a session, email or call 909-251-4212.
DOUG HAYWOOD has had a career as a studio musician, a songwriter, and a touring “side man.” The first “side man” job was with Bobbie Gentry whose “Ode to Billy Joe” made her a household name in the late 60s. Doug got a music publishing deal with Criterion Music Publishing in 1969. Advance royalties and payment for doing lead sheets for Criterion writers (including Lee Hazelwood) kept the rent paid for a while. But the real job; the long-lasting one, came with Jackson Browne. “I started hearing Jackson's songs in 1969 from my bandmate Beth Fitchet, and met Jackson that year. He played several of his songs for me and I was hooked. Here was someone with his own way of writing. I knew that he could be popular with a lot of people.” Songwriting success went like this: a coffee-house scene in a Mod Squad episode; a song: “Don't Lead Me On”, which was recorded by the Dillards, Mason Williams, and Jennifer Warnes. Other songs were recorded by the Dillards, Jerry Reed, John Travolta, Beth Fitchet-Wood, David Lindley and many others, including a top 10 country hit by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. Between tours with Jackson Browne, Doug toured with Mason Williams, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt and many others. And recording sessions; singing and/or playing instruments on recordings that include Bonnie Raitt, Maureen McGovern, Elton Duck, Elton John, George Harrison and many others. His song, “Christmas Lullaby,” co-written with Jack Tempchin, will be released in the fall of 2014 by Jennifer Warnes.

Arizona Songwriters Association
Page updated 1/21/14
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