3:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Registration / Sign-In - Listening sessions and showcases posted by the Ballroom entrance.


5:00 PM - 7:15 PM - Dinner special - Starting Sate Restaurant

6:45 PM - 7:30 PM - Orientation - Ballroom

7:30 PM - Songwriter Showcase #1 - Ballroom

10:00 PM - Open Mic - Jockey Club (adjacent to Winner’s Circle bar)



9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Song Listening Sessions

(Peter Lloyd session moved to 4 PM Saturday, Nick Haussling from 3:15 PM to 9 AM)

Country (Eric Gallimore) Matt Lindsey—Jockey Club Room

Country Chelsea Kent, Warren Sellers—Winners Circle Room

Pop/Rock (Shari Shankar) Buffy Hubelbank, Richard Harris - Club House Room

Pop/Rock Daniel Higbee - Grandstand Room

Pop/Rock Nick Haussling—Del Mar Room

Triple AAA-Americana—Steve Garvan, Bob Rea--Ballroom

Pop/Rock Brian Naguit - Ballroom B / Turf Club B

11:05 AM - 12:30 PM - Panel Discussions

Durango All-stars - stories and tunes from Durango’s finest - Ballroom

"Music Theory Workshop"—with Jake Simon—Jockey Club

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM – Lunch Special - Starting Gate Restaurant

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM - Panel Discussions

"Making A Competitive Demo" with Howard Benson, Lenny Skolnik, Johnny Litten- Ballroom

3:15 PM - 5:15 PM - Song Listening Sessions (Howard and Monica Benson moving from 4pm Saturday to 3:15pm)

Country/Americana - Bobby Rymer, Chris Gelbuda –Jockey Club Room

Country –Kendall Lettow, Chris Cole—Winners Circle Room

Pop/Rock - Gary Bowen, Tracie Verlinde - Club House

Pop/Rock Jake Simon, Brandon Schott—Grandstand

Pop/Rock –Mike Daly, Brian Naguit—Ballroom A

Pop/Rock –Howard and Monica Benson—Ballroom B

5:45 PM - 6:30 PM – Complimentary Wine Tasting!!! - Winner’s Circle (bar)

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Dinner Special – Starting Gate Restaurant


=> => 7:00 PM SHARP! - Songwriter Showcase #2 - Ballroom / Turf Club

9:45 PM - Open Mic - Jockey Club



10:00 AM - 11:20 AM - Panel Discussion

Film and TV - Chris Jackson, Brian Naguit, Adam Zelkind, Daniel Higbee, Kourtney Kirkpatrick, James Jacoby, Brandon Schott, Mandi Collier—Ballroom

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Lunch Special – Starting Gate Restaurant

12:30 PM - 2:30 PM - Song Listening Sessions

Country – Kevin Lane (Sarah Knabe), Anthony Smith—Jockey Club

Country – Ciara Stockbridge (Taylor Lindsey), Warren Sellers—Winners Circle

Pop/Rock - Chris Jackson, Gary Bowen—Clubhouse Room

Pop/Rock – Katy Wolaver, James Jacoby—Grandstand Room

Pop/Rock – Richard Harris, Adam Zelkind—Del Mar Room

Pop/Rock – Brian Naguit (Wende Crowley), Chris Cole—Ballroom

2:40 PM - 3:45 PM - Panel Discussions

Publishing – Kendall Lettow, Lauren Funk, Matt Lindsey, Jake Simon, Bobby Rymer, Peter Lloyd, Ciara Stockbridge, Kendall Lane—Ballroom

Management –Gary Bowen, Steve Garvan, Mike Lembo, Dan Agnew—Del Mar

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Song Listening Sessions

Country/Pop - Keith Follese, Steve Bloch

Country – Lauren Funk (Butch Baker), Jimmy Muffin - Los Alamitos

Pop/Rock –Peter Lloyd - Grandstand

Pop/Rock – Mike Daly, Jon Ernst - Club House

Pop/Rock - Kourtney Kirkpatrick, Mandi Collier—Del Mar

 AAA/Pop/Rock – Mike Lembo, Dan Agnew, Brandon SchottBallroom

– Jake Simmon, Buffy Hubelbank - Ballroom B / Turf Club B


6:00 PM - 7:15 PM – Dinner Special – Starting Gate Restaurant

7:30 PM - Concert – Ballroom

Featuring: SPECIAL GUEST MEGHAN TRAINOR! Big Al Anderson, Anthony SmithChuck Cannon, Chris Gelbuda


Al Anderson (Nashville, Santa Fe) Legendary Hit Songwriter. Al is a very important part of The Expo and one of our greatest songwriters, guitarists, and artist/performers. Most recently, he has the title cut on the new Vince Gill album “Down To My Last Bad Habit.” He was a founding member of the legendary rock group, NRBQ and has had numerous big hits for George Strait, Tim McGraw, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett, Diamond Rio, Trisha Yearwood, and many more. Big Al also wrote “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying” with Chris Gelbuda, and Meghan Trainor at the Expo, which was cut by Sabrina Carpenter. We appreciate his loyalty and commitment to The Expo!

Bill Attebery (Kelseyville) - Emcee for The Expo. Founder of The Recovery Broadcast Network, an Internet and television-based organization that works closely with MusiCares.

Howard Benson (LA) Hit Producer. Howard has produced platinum records for Daughtry, Rascal Flatts, Bon Jovi, All American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, Skillet, Kelly Clarkson, Hoobastank, and others. He's always looking for a great act.

Monica Benson (LA) Owner/President, BOK Music Publishing. Justin Bieber’s hit single “Sorry” was written by one of her writers, Julia Michaels. Other recent cuts are Selena Gomez's singles “Good For You” and “Slow Down”, are Rita Ora single in the UK “Poison”, the Cash Cash single “Surrender”, as well as cuts with Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Zedd, Kelly Clarkson, Zella Day, Bea Miller, Little Mix, Daughtryand Halestorm, and numerous Film and TV placements. She recently signed Expo attendee Meron Ryan as a staff writer.

Steve Bloch (Nashville)Director of Publisher Relations, A&R, LLC. Steve is the sole proprietor of Southern Cow Music and co-founder of Writer Zone Music. He also listens for Doug Johnson, creative head of Black River Entertainment, whose artists include Kellie Pickler, Craig Morgan, and Sarah Darling, among others. Steve is a frequent guest of many songwriter festivals, workshops, and publisher nights.

Gary Bowen (LA)VP of Creative, SQE. Gary brings Artist Management, Label A&R, and Publishing together for SQE. His songwriters have written for Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Rob Thomas, Sugarland, and many more.

Chuck Cannon (Nashville) – Hit Songwriter. Chuck is one of our Expo regulars. His hits include John Michael Montgomery’s "I Love The Way You Love Me,” which won Song Of The Year at the Academy of Country Music awards, multiple hits with Toby Keith, including "Me, Too", "How Do You Like Me Now", and "American Soldier."  He also co-wrote the Shawn Mullins hit "Light You Up."

Chris Cole (Dallas) Owner/ President, Soundbridge. Chris is the head of the Dallas based sound/p.a. company, Soundbridge, which has graciously in the past provided the wonderful p.a. system for the Expo. He is the President of Main Gate Music Group with four different labels and has publishing offices in both Nashville and Dalla. He’s produced records for MCA, Starsongs Records, Inside Records, and has written for BMG Music Publishing.

Mandi Collier (LA) – Music Supervisor, Whirlygirl Music. Music Supervision for Nashville and Body of Proof on ABC, Army Wives on Lifetime, Hung on HBO, Magic Mike, Lila and Eve, and more.

Mike Daly (LA) – Executive Director A&R and Music Publishing, Disney Music Group (Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records, DMG Nashville and Disney Music Publishing). Daly's songs have been recorded by such artists as Lana Del Rey, Jason Mraz, and Alanis Morissette to name a few. Currently, he maintains an active role in finding and developing new artists and projects for the labels as well as identifying and developing writers for the publishing company.

Jon Ernst (LA)Owner, ShowRunner Music. Music Supervisor, composer, and songwriter. His long list of credits includes MTV’s mega-hits “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach, scores on the VH1 series “Behind The Music” and the a little banjo on “Duck Dynasty”. Recent projects include “Single Ladies”, “Big Country”, and “The Vineyard”.

Keith Follese (Nashville) – Hit Songwriter. He has with over 200 cuts with major recording artists such as "The Way You Love Me" with Faith Hill, "Something Like That" with Tim McGraw, and "I Love You" with Martina McBride. ASCAP and Billboard Magazine Songwriter of the Year 2002. Former label head.

Lauren Funk (Nashville) - Creative Manager, Big Yellow Dog Music. She is a Belmont University graduate who interned at the publishing company for two semesters before making the transition into full-time member of the creative department. Big Yellow Dog Music is one of the most successful independent publishing companies in Nashville, with a staff of writers that includes Meghan Trainor and 4-time Grammy winner Josh Kear.

Steve Garvan (Idaho) CEO/Expediter, Garvan Media, Management & Marketing. Current management roster includes Big Wide Grin, Chris Daniels, Michael Kelsh, Lenou (France), and Tom Roznowski. Steve’s focus is Folk, Americana, and AAA. He has been in the music business over 30 years and an integral part of the Expo!

Chris Gelbuda (Nashville, Chicago, LA) Producer and Staff Writer, Big Yellow Dog Music. Some of his cuts include “Wingman” by Billy Currington, "On My Way To You" by Chris Young, and “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying” by Sabrina Carpenter, written at the Expo with Big Al Anderson and Meghan TrainorHe co-wrote “3 AM” with Grammy winner Meghan Trainor, which is featured on her #1 debut album Title. He also produced her hit song “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” featuring John Legend.

Steve Garvan (Idaho) CEO/Expediter, Garvan Media, Management & Marketing. Current management roster includes Big Wide Grin, Chris Daniels, Michael Kelsh, Lenou (France), and Tom Roznowski. Steve’s focus is Folk, Americana, and AAA. He has been in the music business over 30 years and an integral part of the Expo!

Richard Harris (LA) Producer and Staff Writer, Peermusic. Richard is one of our Expo success story. As a result of winning our pop song contest he hooked up with Steven Melrose and signed as a writer with peermusic. Richard has numerous Film/TV placements on shows like One Tree Hill, Cold Case, and Third Watch. He’s had charting successes abroad, including his recent #1 Billboard dance hit!

Kree Harrison (Nashville) - Singer/Songwriter. American Idol Runner up season 12, and has a new record coming out. She recorded the Big Al Anderson/ Sarah Buxton song “Every Time I Fall In Love.”

Nick Haussling (LA) – A&R, Razor & Tie Music Publishing. Former Creative for Warner Bros. Records. He has worked with Disturbed, Art Of Dying, Cavo, The Veronicas, Seal, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Steely Dan, and Guster, as well as soundtracks for The Departed, Inception, Inglorious Bastards, Transformers 1 & 2, Book of Eli, The Watchmen, 300, The Devil Wears Prada, and the Elfman/Burton 25th Anniversary Box Set. Nick recently signed the New Zealand singer/songwriter Kimbra.

Jack Hayford (Nashville) - Co-founder, Jack is a songwriter, promoter, and marketing guru. Jack has been here from the beginning and very instrumental in The Expo’s success. He hosts the Durango Songwriter’s Nights in Nashville. Thanks, Mr. Jack!

Daniel Higbee (LA) Head of Film & TV, Secret Road Music Services. Secret Road Music has an impressive list of artists they represent and manage including Ingrid Michelson. They have provided music for Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, No Strings Attached, and Private Practice.

Brad R. Irwin (Denver) – CEO, Elevation Entertainment, LLC. Mr. Irwin is an attorney, publisher, and in addition to being the CEO of Elevation Entertainment, is also the CEO of Aero Television Corporation.  Mr. Irwin also has a background in media and entertainment law, with a focus on artist management, as well as, music, television and film production.  Elevation Entertainment, LLC is based in Denver and soon to be expanding to Nashville and Los Angeles.  

Chris Jackson (LA) – Director of Music, Comcast Entertainment (E! Network, Style, G4). Chris oversees all aspects of music acquisition, placement, and production for the major cable and network group.

James Jacoby (LA) – Senior Coordinator of Sync & Licensing, ole Media Management. Formerly worked in Sync & Licensing at Warner/Chappell, where he specialized in stage licensing and master clearance. He also has been a music supervisor or consultant on independent films like Everly, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, and Digging Up the Marrow, as well as episodes of the Starz TV series Outlander.

Les Kahn (Boulder) - Sound Engineer/Producer. Les is a multi-Grammy winning sound engineer/producer who’s traveled worldwide running live sound for many well known acts including Toad The Wet Sprocket, Ornette Coleman, The Guitar Trio. He also co-produced Hendrix’s Gold Album. Les has done sound at the TAXI Road Rally for 10 years and our own Durango Songwriter’s Expo for the past 8 years. Thank you, Les!

Chelsea Kent (Nashville) - Creative Director, Still Working Music. She currently works with writers Tommy Lee James, Matt Nolen, Ryan Lafferty, Chase Bryant, Derrick Southerland, and Alana Springsteen. Out of college she worked for veteran producer Jimmy Ritchey (Jake Owen, Mark Chesnutt, Clay Walker, and Greg Bates) in publishing with Vibe Room Music/Crosscut Music, production, and artist management.

Kourtney Kirkpatrick (LA) – Director of Film/TV, Razor & Tie Music Publishing. Kourtney has an extensive background in synch placement and licensing. She’s had placements with Hart Of Dixie, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Nashville, Pretty Little Liars, to name a few. 

Scott Krippayne (Seattle) Songwriter/Producer. His songs have appeared on releases by Demi LovatoJordin Sparks, Smash Mouth, Kool & The Gang, Kutless (BMI Christian Song of The Year), Joy Williams (of The Civil Wars), and Disney's Bridgit Mendler among others.  In addition to having various songs used in films, Scott also penned the theme song for the Nick Jr. hit series Paw Patrol and has song placements on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, VH1, Disney, and more.

Kevin Lane (Nashville) – Creative Director, BMG/Chrysalis. Kevin has been with BMG since 2010 and has witnessed the company’s tremendous growth through various acquisitions. Kevin’s career has grown along with the company as he has moved from his catalog Creative Assistant role to Creative Director. He has worked with great songwriters like Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Will Hoge, Jamie Moore, John Paul White and more. He has secured cuts with Carrie Underwood, Eli Young Band, Rodney Atkins, and others.

Kendall Lettow (Nashville) – Creative Director, THiS Music. Her various writers have cuts with various artists including George Strait’s single “Cold Beer Conversation” co-written by Al Anderson. She previously at Still Working Music.

Mike Lembo (Tucson) President/Owner, Mike’s Artist Management and Funzalo Records and Publishing. With over 40 years in the business, he has managed such luminaries as our own Big Al Anderson, Jules Shear, Tony Furtado, The Church, North Mississippi Allstars, etc. His current roster includes Brian Lopez, SIRSY, Luca, and more.

Matt Lindsey (Nashville) VP of Creative, Big Yellow Dog Music and Owner, Matt Lindsey Music, LLC. Worked formerly for Forerunner Music Group and Morgan Music Group.  Some recent cuts include “Who Are You When I’m Not Lookin’” by Blake Shelton, “I Wouldn’t Be A Man”by Josh Turner, and “It Ain’t The Whiskey” by Gary Allan. As a songplugger, he pitched songs recorded by Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Collin Raye, Brooks and Dunn, Tracy Byrd, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Clay Walker, Rod Stewart, David Lee Roth, and many more.

Peter Lloyd (LA) – Creative Director, Disney Music Publishing. Lloyd has been in music publishing for 16 years.  He's worked with some of the biggest songwriters in the world including Dr. Luke, Desmond Child, Andreas Carlsson, Bonnie McKee, Oligee, etc. Formerly worked with Pulse Music Publishing and Razor & Tie Music Publishing.

Jeffrey C. Mattoon (Denver) President, Elevation Entertainment, LLC. Mr. Mattoon is a 30-year veteran of the entertainment and television industry, as well as an award winning writer, producer and director of music, television and film. Mr. Mattoon was also the developer and executive producer for several music related shows including the precursors to American Idol and the The X Factor.

Sherry Orsen (LA) Head of Creative Affairs, Red Queen Music. Sherry Orson currently represents emerging artists, unique vintage catalogs and more through her company Star Vibe Group. She worked formerly for Renegade Nation/Steven Van Zandt and Universal Music Group. In her 10 years at Universal, she worked with Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, Selena, Babyface, Jessica Simpson and many others.

Jeffrey C. Mattoon (Denver) President, Elevation Entertainment, LLC. Mr. Mattoon is a 30-year veteran of the entertainment and television industry, as well as an award winning writer, producer and director of music, television and film. Mr. Mattoon was also the developer and executive producer for several music related shows including the precursors to American Idol and the


Sherry Orsen (LA) Head of Creative Affairs, Red Queen Music. Sherry has licensed music with KFC, McDonald's, HBO, Showtime, Hallmark, MTV, Fox, NBC, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many others.

Bobby Rymer (Nashville)Director/Head of Publishing, Writer’s Den Music Group Nashville. Previously VP/GM of Almo/Irving/Rondor, representing diverse catalogues from rockers Peter Frampton and Bruce Springsteen to Americana icon Patty Griffin to Country legend Kent Robbins.

Brandon Schott (LA)Senior Manager of Sync & Licensing, ole Media Management. An award-winning songwriter, producer & performer with over 13 years of licensing, copyright and creative experience, Brandon served latest as a Manager of International Licensing at Warner Chappell Music Inc.

Warren Sellers (Nashville) Staff Writer, Songscape Music. Warren has been coming to the Expo for years and through that procured a publishing deal at Windswept Pacific. He recently published the book “The Journey of a Song: 60’s and 70’s” where music lovers can learn about how their favorite hits from the 1960's and 70's were written, which is available at the Expo.

Ciara Shortridge (Nashville) - A&R Coordinator, Disney. Ciara began working for Disney in 2009, where she currently scouts for new talent, arranges collaborations and pitches catalog. Disney has enjoyed success in Nashville with chart toppers like “Mine Would Be You (Blake Shelton)”, “Let Me Down Easy (Billy Currington)”, ”You Look Good In My Shirt (Keith Urban)”, and “The Climb (Miley Cyrus).”

Jake Simon (LA) A&R, Atlas Music Group. Responsibilities include signing songwriters and producers to the company, pitching songs for placements with artists as well as working with the head of synch/licensing in LA for placement in film/TV. Also responsible for setting up collaborations for Atlas writers with other writers and producers

Anthony Smith (Nashville) Singer/Songwriter. Anthony is a multi award winning and critically acclaimed Singer/Songwriter with numerous BMI, ASCAP & NSAI awards. Over 200 of his songs have been recorded by superstars such as George Strait, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Randy Houser, and many more.

Tracie Verlinde Executive Director of Writer-Publisher Relations, BMI. Prior to joining BMI, Verlinde worked at Avalon Attractions in Los Angeles where she held the positions of Talent Buyer, Media Director and Media Coordinator. She is a member of the City of Hope Music and Entertainment Industry Executive Committee.

Jimmy “Muffin” Yessian (LA) – Songwriter/Performer. Jimmy is one of our Expo regulars. Former VP of Publishing for Ash Street Music, West Coast. He has appeared on the same bill or worked with artists as diversified as Jeffery Steele, Allan Rich, Steve Dorff, Al Anderson, and Billy Dean to name a few.

Katy Wolaver (LA) – A&R, SONGS. With experience in both the label and publishing worlds, Katy is skilled at connecting artists and songwriters for collaborations in pop, rock and country, finding talent and exploiting copyrights. She has had cuts with artists such as Flo Rida, Cobra Starship, the Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, One Direction, Bruno Mars and many others.

Adam Zelkind (Santa Monica) - Songwriter/Composer/Producer. Eight time award winning composer Adam Zelkind has created cutting edge music for hit television episodes as well as various feature films. His over 600 placement credits include: Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, I Love Money, Real Chance of Love, The Surreal Life, From G's to Gents, I Love New York, Charm School, My Fair Brady and many others. His awards include ASCAP’s “Most Performed Music on Television” for two consecutive years.