By Kathy L. Collins
Ian White and Alex Gonzalez, both residents of the greater Brandon area, recently received the distinguished honor of being accepted into the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project for young songwriters. This is the first time the project was brought to Tampa. White and Gonzalez were among the 27 out of 360 students accepted and were the only two from the greater Brandon area to be accepted into the project.
The project is a four week camp for young and aspiring songwriters and musicians which was held from July 22 to August 16. The project is personally directed by Bob Santelli, founder of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. He is also the author of biographies on Bruce Springsteen and Bono.
White, a senior at Tampa Catholic High School said of the experience, “For the first time in my life I was given a chance to work with other musicians in my age group who were as passionate about music as I am.”
Gonzalez, a student at St. Pete College said, “All in all it’s a great experience. You meet some great people who are nice contacts to have and come out with some new friends. If you have the chance to do this, take it!”
The project’s goal is to offer creative and gifted musicians the opportunity to engage in musical discourse and performance with other talented young people from their area.
White said, “During the first week, I was put into a group. We were given the task of writing a blues song which we did in about an hour. The next day, Grammy Award winning blues artists, Billy Branch, came to speak to us. He listened to the songs. He liked our song, “The Unforgiving Road,” so much that he asked me to send it to him. Later, Bob Santelli told me that was the first time that something like this had ever happened!”
The Music Revolution Project was first introduced in Kansas City last year. It was brought to Tampa with the help of Lisa Yob of the Yob Family Foundation.