Make Music Champions

Make Music Day

Featured artists from around the world who all share the same passion: Making Music.

Bear In the Forest

Age: 26
Genre: Folk, Indie
City: Madison, WI
Fun fact: Bear In The Forest began his musical journey playing violin in third grade but discovered his true passion for guitar in middle school, drawn to the soulful sounds of folk and indie music.

Bear In The Forest, an indie folk musician from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, finds inspiration in iconic bands like The Beatles and contemporary folk artists. His heartfelt melodies and introspective lyrics serve as a spiritual outlet, connecting deeply with audiences. With a focus on original compositions, Bear In The Forest creates music that truly moves listeners, embodying the essence of indie folk.

Big Stuff

Genre: Pop, soul, folk
City: New York City, NY
Fun fact: Big Stuff started as a two-piece band, and now they are eight!

Big Stuff is an eight-person pop-soul band from New York City. They started as a two-person band and then added musicians to the band over time. Big Stuff was born during the pandemic, which provided a creative outlet that encouraged the production of original music. The process of creating new music includes the participation of everyone in the band. They are one big family! One of their main goals in music is to grow the Big Stuff community and connect with a wide audience.

Article: Big Stuff aims for their music to evolve over time as they discover what is true to themselves

Carmela

Age: 28
Genre: Blues
City: Los Angeles, CA
Fun fact: she discovered Twitch during the pandemic and now it’s her full-time job.

Carmela is a singer-songwriter and performer from Los Angeles. She did musical theater as a child and then fell in love with guitar performance and songwriting. She has been making music for about 15 years! She currently streams live on Twitch three times a week and is working on a new album.

ArticleCarmela is rocking Twitch’s music world!

Courtney Preis

Age: 28
Genre: Pop
City: San Diego, CA
Fun fact: She started writing songs about her own stories as a rebellious teenager.

Courtney is a singer-songwriter from San Diego. She started writing songs at a very young age, which were all about her own stories as a rebellious teenager. Nowadays, she works with a co-writing team to produce music completely inspired by their own stories and emotions. Her goal in music is to keep being authentic with her message and music while reaching as many people as possible. She recently released a new album called Cabin in the Woods.

Article: Courtney Preis loves writing songs about her own stories and connecting with people through them

Daena

Age: 29
Genre: Indie pop 
City: Nashville, TN
Fun fact: For her, Tiktok is just an added bonus when it comes to music promotion. She genuinely loves making videos!

Daena is a singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. As a kid, she played the piano, and around 14 she started composing and playing the guitar. She discovered her passion for music and pursued a music career in college. Currently, she is working on exploring her music and creating original songs. She recently released a new single called Just the Girl.

Article: Daena Rogers transmits a genuine and honest message through her music to reach people’s hearts

Dani Usero

Age: 32
Genre: Rock and jazz
City: Barcelona, Spain
Fun fact: He started playing music at the age of 14, but it wasn’t until he was 21 that he discovered the ukulele.

Dani is a multi-instrumentalist from Barcelona, Spain. He started playing drums and guitar at a very young age and picked up the ukulele at around 21. He has dedicated most of his life to learning everything there is to know about music and has spent many years studying at the Conservatorio Municipal de Música de Barcelona. His greatest passion in life nowadays is versioning songs on the ukulele in melodic out-of-this-world ways.

Article: Dani Usero has a great passion for versioning songs melodically on the ukulele

Emily Coupe

Genre: Pop, Folk
City: Los Angeles, CA
Fun fact: Emily Coupe is not only a talented musician but also an aspiring actor who began her acting journey with improv classes in high school.

Emily Coupe, a pop and folk musician based in Los Angeles, discovered her passion for music at a young age. For her, music is a means of escapism and relatability, allowing her to connect deeply with her audience. With a focus on songwriting, Emily crafts heartfelt melodies and resonant lyrics, showcasing her vibrant passion for storytelling.

Emily McNally

Age: 26
Genre: Folk-pop
City: Brooklyn, NY
Fun fact: She dreams of going on tours and playing shows around the world.

Emily is a singer-songwriter and performer from Brooklyn. She started playing the piano and taking voice lessons when she was a kid. She fell in love with songwriting at a young age. For her, music is all about emotional connection and catharsis.

Article: Lyrics or music? For Emily, lyrics come first

Gabi The Artist

Genre: Gospel
City: Montclair, NJ
Fun fact: Gabi The Artist discovered her love for music when she was just nine, influenced by her mom’s church singing and her dad’s vibrant performer spirit.

Gabi The Artist is a musician from Montclair, New Jersey. She began her musical journey at nine, playing heartfelt tunes on her guitar. Hoping to make music full-time, Gabi aims to unite people with her melodies, spreading joy for a better world. With a strong mindset, she conveys her message through the powerful medium of gospel music.

Glass Bandit

Genre: Funk, funk-rock
City: Kansas City, MO
Fun fact: The name Glass Bandit was born from an innocent theft of a pint glass.

Glass Bandit is a funk-rock seven-people band from Kansas City. They started five years ago being a cover band, and two years later they started writing their own music. Currently, they do mostly originals, but they also like doing covers, especially for their social media platforms. One of their main goals in music is to raise awareness of why music is so important to life.

Article: Glass Bandit dreams of connecting with people all over the world and raising awareness about the importance of music for happiness

Gwendolyn Fitz

Age: 32
Genre: Jazz
City: Brooklyn, NY
Fun fact: she created a musical about murder with ukuleles 

Gwendolyn began her musical career at the age of 11 playing the flute and then graduated from college with a degree in flute and voice. After graduating from college, she decided to follow her big dream of being a songwriter. She learned to play the ukulele, and then she started composing music. Currently, she’s working on her new project Ease of a Murder, a musical about murder with ukuleles.

Article: Gwendolyn Fitz dreams of taking the ukulele to Broadway

Ian Matthew

Age: 31
Genre: Hip hop, Pop punk, Country
City: Torrington, CT
Fun fact: He started playing in pop-rock bands when he was 11 years old

Ian Matthew is a singer-songwriter and performer from Torrington. He has been immersed in music from a young age and has built his musical career going from playing in rock bands at school, to writing his own music. Currently, he is primarily working on writing more original songs and has recently released a new country song, called Directions. His ultimate goal in music is to help people feel seen and validated in any situation.

Article: Ian Matthew, helping people through music

Isabella Velasquez

Age: 13
Genre: Pop, Latin Pop
City: Miami, FL
Fun fact: Isabella Velasquez’s love for music began at the young age of three years old, as she joyfully sang along to Disney princess songs.

Isabella Velasquez is a singer-songwriter from Miami, Florida. Her musical journey began at a young age when she discovered her love for singing while singing along with her favorite Disney characters. Isabella enjoys performing both covers and her original songs. She composed her first song during the pandemic, and since then, she has continued to create more music. Isabella’s ultimate goal is to become an internationally recognized singer.

Article: Isabella Velasquez, A Rising Star in the Making

Jonesy

Age: 26
Genre: Rap and R&B
City: Salem, OR
Fun fact: As a kid, he would sing and dance at random events where his parents, both DJs, performed.

Jonesy is a rapper from Salem, Oregon. He grew up surrounded by music as his parents were DJs and would take him everywhere with them. Nowadays, he’s a rapper and is working on some amazing new original music. His goal in music is to make a difference in people’s lives and be a full-time musician.

Article: Jonesy, raised by DJ parents and surrounded by music, is now an amazing rapper

Kapono Wong

Age: 21
Genre: Pop, Rock
City: Honolulu, HI
Fun fact: Kapono took ukulele classes at the early age of five, but didn’t get into it immediately. He discovered his love for the instrument years later, during middle school.

Kapono Wong is a talented ukulele player from Hawaii, known for his impressive ukulele skills and captivating performances. Inspired by the legendary ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, Kapono started his musical journey at the age of five. For him, music is the universal language of humans, and his goal is to inspire others to explore the world of music and connect through it while having fun.

Karen Bella

Age: 40
Genre: Folk, rock, R&B, pop, and country
City: New York City, NY
Fun fact: Karen Bella draws inspiration from a diverse range of artists, including Barbra Streisand, John Mayer, Elton John, and Taylor Swift, influencing her eclectic musical style.

Karen Bella, a singer-songwriter from New York City, discovered her passion for music at a young age. Today, as a full-time musician and composer, she captivates audiences with her dynamic performances and heartfelt songs. With a versatile voice and original compositions, Karen showcases her unique talent on stage, embodying her deep love for music.

Article: Karen Bella, Exploring Musical Expression

Michelle Lambert

Age: 38
Genre: Pop, Country
City: San Francisco, CA
Fun fact: Michelle Lambert has toured extensively across the United States, captivating audiences with her energetic live performances.

Michelle Lambert is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from San Francisco, California. Her musical journey began at a young age, exploring various types of music. Michelle’s performances mix pop and country music with her personal touch, delighting audiences wherever she performs. For Michelle, music serves as a powerful medium for connection and expression, aiming to inspire and uplift her audience with every performance.

ArticleMichelle Lambert, California’s Musical Powerhouse

Nick Marziani

Age: 24
Genre: Jazz
City: New York City, NY
Fun fact: Nick Marziani’s introduction to the saxophone was a result of his desire to avoid piano lessons, which he had no interest in as a child.

Nick Marziani, a versatile jazz musician from Manhattan, NYC, discovered his passion for music at a young age. Specializing in saxophone, Nick’s dedication to jazz, his principal genre, as well as R&B, funk, and other styles, has shaped his musical identity. With performances that showcase his proficiency in each genre, Nick captivates audiences with soulful renditions and vibrant interpretations.

Article: Nick Marziani, Embracing Jazz and Musical Exploration

Paul Fey

Genre: Classical
City: Leipzig, Germany
Fun fact: Paul Fey traded the office desk for the organ bench, becoming a full-time musician, composer, and YouTube star.

Paul Fey is an organist from Leipzig, Germany. He started playing music as a kid and eventually found his love for organ playing. He’s a full-time musician, composer, and YouTuber. He is one of the organists at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where he works with the choirs. Last year, he released his first CD, “Around the Organ World,” which features 11 tracks recorded on ten amazing pipe organs from all over the world.

Article: Paul Fey, the Organ Maestro, Composer, and YouTube Sensation

Salvo

Age: 40
Genre: Spanish, Latin and World Guitar
City: Brooklyn, NY
Fun fact: His music represents a fusion of music from all over the Spanish-speaking world.

Salvo is a Spanish guitarist and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. He plays a fusion of Flamenco, Latin, Classical, and World Fusion. He has released two albums. The first one was created by his former band ‘Salvo and Hugo’, and it’s called ‘About time’. The second one is a one-man project composed, performed, recorded, and mixed in quarantine. Currently, he is working on creating more original music and his goal is to connect with wider audiences and inspire people.

Article: Salvo’s music is a wonderful fusion of diverse genres from the Spanish-speaking world 

Sandra Kluge

Age: 28
Genre: Jazz, Alternative Jazz
City: New York City, NY
Fun fact: Sandra Kluge learned to record and produce tap music mainly through experimentation, without a default guide.

Sandra Kluge is a talented tap percussionist and composer from Brooklyn, New York, and has been participating in Make Music Day events since 2019. With a background in a family of musicians and an extensive journey mastering tap music—both creating music with tap and learning to produce it—Sandra shines through her talent and the message behind her songs.

Sara Ontaneda

Age: 33
Genre: Alternative pop, Folk, R&B
City: Queens, NY
Fun fact: As a teenager, she uploaded home-recorded demos to MySpace, and that’s part of how she discovered her passion for music

Sara Ontaneda is an Ecuadorian-American singer-songwriter from NYC. She started making music as a kid playing the piano and pursued a musical career in college. She has released a handful of albums and original songs, and her two recent singles “Hey Maria” and “Inútil” are part of a bilingual album she developed as a part of her new musical era. Last January, she released the single “Tu Recuerdo”, also an original composition. Sara’s ultimate goal in music is to connect with people and leave them with a message.

Article: Sara Ontaneda transitioned from instrumental music to songwriting, and now is thriving with new original songs!

TRU

Age: 25
Genre: Afrobeat, reggae, and dancehall
City: Groton, CT
Fun fact: She was raised surrounded by music as most of her family are musicians, including her parents.

Tru The Saxophonist is a multi-instrumentalist from Groton, Connecticut. She discovered her love for the saxophone at a young age and has stuck to it since then. She graduated from Berklee college last year and is currently working on producing original music. Music for her is truly a literal language to express oneself and connect with people. Her biggest goal in life is giving back to the Jamaican community, black women’s community, and black non-binary community.

Article: TRU believes there is a way to gain a deeper connection with another human being solely through music