Who We Are

The Songwriting Works Team

Judith-Kate Friedman, Founder and Director

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An award-winning vocalist, producer and composer, Judith-Kate Friedman started bringing her love of collaborative songwriting, improvisation, and folk, roots, jazz, blues, and choral traditions into service with older and younger people in 1990. Her passion is to create new musical contexts that maximize collective creative expression and communication especially with those who would otherwise have few such opportunities.

Judith-Kate has composed more than 300 songs with 3,300 elders, youth, and families, and trained hundreds of health professionals, teaching artists and advocates of vital living and aging through the arts. Dedicated to “Restoring Joy, Hope, Health and Community through Song” (SW’s Mission), she is a Jubilation Foundation fellow. She continues to write and perform her own original music in addition to teaching, consulting and touring with Songwriting Works. She lives in Port Townsend, WA.

Keeth Monta Apgar, SongTeam Facilitator

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In his two decades of songwriting, The Harmonica Pocket’s Keeth Monta Apgar has created a catalog of more than 500 compositions, while developing his untraditional style of weaving acoustic wah-wah guitar, lush jazz chords, and image-evoking lyrics into intelligent, refreshing pop. His soulful songs span the genres, navigating folk, blues, reggae, and children’s music. Keeth holds a degree in Ethnomusicology from U of Mary Washington, studied the didgeridoo in Australia, and plays mbira (African thumb piano), composes music for dance companies and writes musicals and rock operas. ASCAP has honored Keeth with songwriting awards and invitational songwriters workshops and showcases in New York, Nashville, and Hollywood. He produced Harmonica Pocket’s Parents’ Choice Award-winning CDs Apple Apple (2012), and Ladybug One (2008). Having wowed busloads of children and adults in theaters, classrooms, libraries and festivals in the US and beyond, Keeth was drawn to expontentially expand his intergenerational songwriting adventures with ages 3 to 100+. He joined Songwriting Works’ facilitation team and touring ensemble in 2009 and is a certified SW facilitator.  www.harmonicapocket.com

Matt Sircely, Second Year Apprentice
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Matt Sircely leads the diverse roots band New Forge and is best known as a founding member of the Django-inspired leading acoustic Jazz band Hot Club Sandwich. He has performed with many of his major influences including David Grisman, David Bromberg and renowned composer, producer and banjoist Danny Barnes. Adept at styles ranging from old-timey to classic country, jazz to bluegrass, folk, blues and rock, Sircely is currently cutting his first solo recording for Barnes’ Minner Bucket Records label. Born to a family of journalists in the Victoria-era village of Wycote, Pennsylvania, Sircely started young as a songwriter, inspired by local history and the surrounding landscape. As a boy he accompanied his father to the Philadelphia Folk Festival and decided that music would be his career. In addition to his own band and solo projects, Sircely has performed with legendary acoustic artists including Orville Johnson, Choroloco, David Jacobs-Strain, Faith Petric, Dan Hicks, Margo Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys and Baby Gramps. His music articles and transcriptions appear in Strings Magazine and the Fretboard Journal and he is an often-sought music instructor in and beyond the Northwest. A humanitarian and tireless advocate, Matt’s personal experience with family members living with memory loss inspired him to join Songwriting Works’ facilitation team and touring ensemble. He will complete his facilitator certification in 2015. www.mattsircely.com

Ash Devine, First Year Apprentice 

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Ash Devine is an Award-winning songwriter, producer, theater artist, and humanitarian clown based in the Blue Ridge region of Asheville, North Carolina. Ash’s musical style spans across genres of contemporary folk, traditional Appalachian, jazz, world and experimental folk rock. Her concerts speak to a wide audience, incorporating original pieces with traditional music and cleverly improvised songs.Inspired by her travels as a humanitarian musical clown with MD Patch Adams and Gesundheit! Institute, Ash Devine facilitates interactive music workshops, song circles and humanitarian clowning programs internationally at festivals, medical facilities, schools and private events.

Sam Robinson, Community Relations Coordinator

L1050462Hailing from the Far East (Tennessee), Sam is happy to call the Northwest his new home. Although his background is in cooking, writing, and wilderness education, he’s excited to learn more about transforming health and community through the power of song! When he’s not bringing the Songwriting Works gospel to the masses, you can find him playing mandolin, fermenting vegetables, or hiking the hills around Puget Sound.


SW’s board of directors, national advisory council and regional advisory council, composed of elder healthcare, arts and social service professionals, ensure program relevance and adherence to mission and vision.

Board Members

Linda Duncan Davis

LDDA life-long love of music, art and nature drives the basis of Linda Davis’ three decades of work with low-income elders. Having had a diverse career, she currently serves as Assistant Vice President of AHEPA Management Company, (an affordable senior housing management company serving 5,000 low-income elders in 22 states) where she is responsible for development, oversight and quality assurance of the Service Coordination Department for the firm.

A life-long love of music, art and nature drives the basis of Linda Davis’ three decades of work with low-income elders. Having had a diverse career, she currently serves as Assistant Vice President of AHEPA Management Company, (an affordable senior housing management company serving 5,000 low-income elders in 22 states) where she is responsible for development, oversight and quality assurance of the Service Coordination Department for the firm. As a founding member of the Aging, Wellness and the Arts Foundation , a non-profit organization promoting opportunities in creativity and meaningful living for low-income elders living in community, Ms. Davis is able to further her mission to empower older adults to continue to live fulfilling lives. She has created several innovative programs to provide opportunities in the fine arts and life-long-learning.

Daniel Deardorff, President, Songwriter, Mythologist, Author

DanielDeardorffDaniel Deardorff is a “Singer” in the old sense of the word, which involves being a musician, a storyteller, and a maker of ritual. As a composer, performer, mythologist, author and producer he brings more than four decades of experience to his audiences and his students and mentees.

Daniel has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, in South & Central America and the UK. His credits include touring as the opening act for Seals and Crofts (1970’s), appearances on national television (1980’s), and production of acclaimed albums for Tingstad & Rumbel, Michael Tomlinson, and award-winning children’s artists Tickle Tune Typhoon (1980-90’s). He is the author of The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, & Psyche (North Atlantic Books, 2008) and is a frequent collaborator with friend and mentor poet Robert Bly. Learn more at: http://www.mythsinger.org and http://tinyurl.com/deardorffbook

Suzan Goodman

 

Marcia Perlstein

 

Salish Sea Elders Advisory Council

Laurence Cole, Founder/Director PT Songlines Choir • Vickie Dodd, Sound Healer
 • Leticia Huber, Inn Keeper • Jim “JJ” Jenkins, Musician, Photographer • 
William Mawhinney, Poet • Carol Meyer, Social Worker (retired) •  
Joannie Murayama, Emeritus Director, New Old Time Chattaqua •  
Martha E. “Marty” Richards, Social Worker, Author • 
Mari Stewart, Chamber Ambassador • Henry Werch, Consultant • Jim Valley, Rainbow Planet

National Advisory Council Members

Anne Basting, Ph.D., founder Time Slips, faculty U Wisconsin/Milwaukee • Avotcja Jiltoniro, poet, radio producer KPFA, KPOO • Barry Barkan, founder Live Oak Institute • Edie Hartshorne, author, psychotherapist • Rabbi Sheldon Marder, chaplain, Jewish Home San Francisco • Susan Perlstein, consultant, founder emerita, Elders Share the Arts, National Center for Creative Aging • Janice Rubin, photographer, singer • Mark Jude Tramo, MD, PhD, Director of The Institute for Music & Brain Science, faculty, David Geffen School of Medicine and Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA • Wendy Lustbader, MSW, gerontologist, author