The Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Competition

Dedicated to TKMA's friend and 2013 Headliner Stefan George who passed away in 2015.

0, May 5th, — 0:30
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Ten finalists (chosen from a field that typically numbers more than 40) will perform two original songs each for the Folk Festival audience and a panel of judges that includes fellow songwriters.
Contestants will be evaluated on:
  • Originality & Uniqueness
  • Song Structure
  • Arrangement
  • Talent & Stage Presence
First Place:
  • $100 Award
  • 25-minute set on the Plaza Stage at 6:00 on Saturday.
  • $50 Award

Congratulations To The 2018 Finalists.

Finalists are shown here in random order. Order of performances will be chosen on the day of the contest.

Amber Ikeman Bozeman, MT
Amber Ikemans music carries audiences across the open spaces of the American West and into the depths of their souls. Both powerful and intimate, her contemporary folk songs tell stories of self-discovery, resilience, and wildness. Inspired by her solo journey from her Florida hometown to live and work in Yellowstone National Park, her debut album, "Free," was named one of Southwest Montana's best local albums of 2015. She is currently touring nationally with her second album.

Joyce Luna Tucson, AZ

Helen Hudson tucson, az

Carol Markstrom Tucson, ARIZONA
Carol Markstrom is a singer-songwriter whose musical inspirations include Western Roots, Americana, and Country. She received the 2017 Original Western CD of the Year Award for her album Crossing Borders, and is two-time nominated as Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artistsan award she won in 2015! Carol writes songs about engaging people, places, and events of the West including Native American cultures, and has released three albums.
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Sophia Rankin Tucson, Az
I am a local Tucson singer/songwriter and have played in events such as Meet Me at Maynard's, Fire Fighters' Chili Cook Off, the Tucson Desert Songwriting Festival, The Tucson Folk Festival Young Artists Stage and Main Stage, and more. My influences include Brandi Carlile, Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, John Denver, and Jesse y Joy. I released my album "Reverie" in December 2016 and recently released my single "Before I Get to One". I am studying music at the UA and perform as often as possible.
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Flagstaff Flagstaff, ARIZONA
Shawn Dennehy is a professional musician with a diverse resume. He is the bandleader, songwriter, guitar player, and lead vocalist of Lucky Lenny (6-piece Americana string band). He also works as a songwriter, composer, music instructor, luthier, and sound engineer. Shawn grew up in Tucson and now resides in Flagstaff with his wife and daughter.

Dan Weber Vancouver, WA
Award Winning songwriter Dan Weber has been described as The Classic Mid-Life Overnight Sensation. A gifted storyteller & engaging performer, in 2015 Weber won the prestigious Winfield NewSong contest for his tribute to Woody Guthrie & became a rare 3 time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk contest. An ex-Park Ranger, his songs have been described as reminiscent of early John Prine & the legendary Ramblin Jack Elliott said I love Dans songs and he tells really good stories.

Kevin T. Hale Brentwood, Tennessee

Mike P. Ryan Clifton, VA
Mike P. Ryan writes heartfelt songs about the emotions and experiences of everyday people. His songs have received awards from The Connecticut Folk Festival, The Dallas Songwriters Association, and American Songwriter Magazine. In 2017 Mike won 1st Place in the Folk/Americana Category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Mike has been a finalist at The Kerrville New Folk competition and the Wildflower Performing Songwriter Competition. Mike lives in Virginia and gigs throughout the U.S.
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Eric Schaffer Tucson, AZ
Singer/songwriter Eric Schaffer grew up in New Jersey, but has called Tucson home for 11 years. He has performed throughout the U.S. on stages large and small, and can frequently be found fronting his band, The Other Troublemakers at venues in Arizona and places beyond. He and his writing partner (and wife) Carol Schaffer are known for their thoughtful lyrics and smooth melodies.
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