Crys Matthews was named the grand-prize winner in the 2017 NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition after performing, along with other finalists, during a live music showcase at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ David Rubenstein Atrium in New York City on Thursday, November 30.

Now in its 16th year, the competition showcases emerging performing songwriters. NewSong Music is an independent music organization that aims to build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across various genres of music and skill levels, while identifying truly exceptional artists and introducing their music to a broader international audience.

Crys Matthews is the grand-prize winner in the 2017 NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition

Crys Matthews is the grand-prize winner in the 2017 NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition

Matthews, a prolific songwriter — whose music blends Americana, blues, bluegrass, folk, funk, and jazz – has drawn comparisons to such other artists as Tracy Chapman, Ruthie Foster and Toshi Reagon. She recently released a new full-length CD, The Imagineers, as well as an EP, Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers. She was named the winner of the People’s Music Network’s Social Justice Songs Showcase for the EP’s title track during last month’s Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference in Stamford, CT. Matthews, who lives in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, will perform a coveted Official Showcase during the 30th annual Folk Alliance International Conference taking place in Kansas City, MO, Feb. 14-18.

Here’s a video link to see and hear Crys Matthews performing the title track from her August 2017 release, The Imagineers, live in concert:

And here’s a link to her own video for “Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers”:

As the NewSong Music competition’s grand-prize winner, she will receive a six-song EP, recorded and mixed at Asheville, North Carolina’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio and released on the NewSong Recordings label; a featured performance at the ASCAP Music Café during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; and future performance opportunities across the U.S., curated by NewSong Music.

“When my name was called, I was absolutely ecstatic,” said Matthews. “To be chosen as the grand-prize winner [from] among so many incredibly talented songwriters was an amazing feeling. To now be included among the ranks of artists I greatly admire – Rachael Kilgour, Wilder Adkins, Liz Longley – is just such an honor. I’m so grateful for every aspect of this experience – getting to play Lincoln Center, planting the seeds of so many new friendships among my fellow finalists, getting to record and release a new project and, thanks to ASCAP, getting to play at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for believing in me, NewSong Music!”

Invitations also will be extended to other 2017 competition finalists and standouts to participate in future NewSong Music events in various U.S. locations. They also will be given consideration for film and television placement opportunities as well as for future releases on NewSong Recordings. This year’s finalists included Biscay (London, England), Jerome Brooks (New York, NY), Brie Capone (Asheville, NC), David Cecil (Greensboro, NC), David Robert King (Decatur, GA), Becca Leigh (Charleston, SC), Andrea Lopez (Miami, FL), Cary Morin (Fort Collins, CO), and India Ramey (Nashville, TN).