Songwriters at the REP, vol. 2

Don’t miss the second installment of this ongoing songwriter series at the Seaside Rep. Four talented Nashville songwriters – Jessica Cayne, Chris Gantry, Phoenix Mendoza, and Jon Roniger – will play their original songs.

Songwriters at the Rep – Volume 2

December 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $25

Purchase Tickets:, 850-231-0733, Amavida Coffee, and at the door (if available)

The Seaside Repertory Theatre presents an evening of Songwriters at the Rep on December 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm. Don’t miss the second installment of this ongoing songwriter series at the Rep. Four talented Nashville songwriters – Jessica Cayne, Chris Gantry, Phoenix Mendoza, and Jon Roniger – will play their original songs. And you’ll see them up close in the intimate 75-seat Meeting Hall Theatre, where there’s not a bad seat in the house. The Rep presents only the best in music, so you can expect a great show!

Jessica Cayne

Jessica Cayne began writing and performing her own tunes at age 11. Her love of music, singing and performing took her to the stage in high school with performances in the repertory company as lead actress in many of the musicals and dramas. She attended college on a musical theatre scholarship until the pursuit of her own music took center stage.

Recognized for her bold vocals, lyrics, and humor, Jessica is an artist, singer/songwriter that has performed 150+ shows a year since 2005. Taking a break from a packed show schedule in 2009 she finished her first full length CD “Raising Cayne”, while writing all of the material for her next release and hitting a few casting calls (“Dating the Dark”, ABC) along the way. Her latest project (in production) will have tunes co-written with hit song writer, Amanda Williams (Garth Brooks, BEER RUN) and Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings Band). In addition to her own work, Jessica’s gutsy voice can be heard on emerging artist Gary Ray and the Heartwells CD, “Livin’ the Dream.” She is a featured “local” on the Billy Block Radio Show in Nashville, has opened for and shared the stage with the Lo Cash Cowboys, Kenny Chesney, Buddy Jewell, Tonya Watts, and Brantley Gilbert to name a few.

Jessica’s music is southern, soulful, country-rock. If Steven Tyler and Dolly Parton had a love child, it would be Jessica Cayne, rocking like Aerosmith with the honesty and grace of Dolly in her lyrics. This Georgia “peach” has an unexpected performance style with her guitar based writing driving her stage presence and her tunes.

“Raising Cayne” Jessica’s latest CD is sold on iTunes. Her EP, “A Little Bit of Me” is a disc of her older tunes she sells on-line and at all of her shows.

Quick Facts:

Jessica’s tunes:  “Let You” was co-written with Rose Falcon (Country Stong) and Brian Nash. Her song “Cool” that she performed on the ABC TV Show “Dating in the Dark” is a free download at

Media:  Highlights of TV, radio and video appearances: NBC Affiliate – WXIA TV-Atlanta Metro Mix Morning Show, ABC’s “Dating in the Dark” – 2nd season premier Summer 2010, Drivin’ and Cryin’s latest video, Good Day Atlanta, Moby in the Morning Radio Show, 94.9 The Bull Radio, Cleedus T. Morning Show, and The Regular Guys Morning Show ROCK 100.5.  Appeared in Van Wilder the Freshman year as a featured “Hot Girl”.

Other:  Her vocal talent can be heard on a song on the Waffle House juke box (look for the yellow labels).  Commercial voice over work/demos.  Jessica was a Regional winner in the Colgate Country Showdown, she and the band were winners of the NISSAN Battle of the Bands a national competition, and a semi-finalist in Nashville Star.

-Jessica plays guitar, keyboards and harmonica.

Endorsed by:

Chris Gantry

Early Background:

Chris Gantry was born December 29, 1942 in Queens, New York. He began his career as a singer/songwriter at age fourteen with a recording contract for Paramount Records. He moved to Nashville in 1963, after three years at Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee.

Career Credits:

Chris has written more than a thousand songs—some of them as collaborations with Nashville’s best—Kris Kristofferson, Mel Tellis, Shel Silverstein, and Eddie Rabbitt. Seventy of his songs were recorded by various artists, Roy Clark, Johnny Cash, Sonny Curtis, Robert Goulet, Wayne Newton, Johnny Lee, Reba McEntire, Billy Walker, Garry Pucket, and Rhett Akins, including “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife”, by Glen Campbell. “Dreams…” won three B.M.I. Awards, plus the Millionaire’s Award for over two million performances. It also won the Nashville’s Songwriters Award in 1968. Chris recorded five albums for Monument and ABC Dot Records.

Between 1983-1986 Chris lived in Key West, Florida and won the Tennessee William’s Playwriting Contest with a collection of one act plays titled “Teeth and Nails”. He wrote a collection of published short stories entitled “Father Duck Tales”. He appeared locally in the “Rebel” an evening with James Dean in 1997.

From 1995 to 2000, Chris wrote for Sony Music and Warner Chapel Music. He penned songs for Rhett Akins and the band, Yankee Grey. He wrote the title cut on their first album entitled “Untamed”.

In 2001, Chris went to work for Faverett Music Group, collaborating with Josh Osborne, a young multitalented singer songwriter. Together, they’ve written a wealth of material of all different musical styles.

Career Endeavors:

Presently, Chris writes for Faverett Music Group and performs with “The Mulberry Bunch”. Chris is completing a new children’s book entitled, “Up Down the Front Back Door”, a collection of abstract poems put to music.

Phoenix Mendoza

If 70’s pop got together with funky Motown, and had a bluesy soul child, his name would be Phoenix Mendoza. With a unique guitar playing style and a seductively silk like voice, Phoenix’s mere presence commands your utmost attention. Combine that with his amazing songwriting capabilities, and his patient ear for finding the deepest grooves in anything he hears, and you have all the makings of a superstar.

Born in Pasadena California, to a Colombian father and American mother Phoenix was “seduced by music” at an early age. He started playing the trumpet when he was 8, and did musical theater all through his teens. Early in his freshman year of high school, Phoenix discovered the guitar and his world quickly changed. “I found that girls don’t like trumpet players unless you’re Miles Davis, and I was never going to be Miles Davis.” The guitar however, was a much more female-friendly instrument. “I learned that if I went to a party in high school and played the guitar I could get everybody’s attention.” But something unexpected happened, “It didn’t take long for the guitar to pull me in completely. It became my friend, confidant and means of expression”. The hyperactive teenager (“I was always bouncing off the walls,” he says) found a focus for his energy and an outlet for his creativity.

Phoenix moved to Nashville in the spring of 2004 to channel that creativity. Playing bars and nightclubs in the southwest for years, Phoenix became the captivating “groove master” that he is today. “I wanted to grow… to step outside myself and try and find the lyrics and melodies that I was raised on.” His mother cultured him and his four siblings on everything from the Jackson 5, James Taylor, Jim Croce, to Neil Diamond, Julio Iglesias and Marvin Gaye. “Music is too important to put limitations on. If you look at the most influential people in the world, Pro Athletes, Movie stars, Scientists and even the President of the United States, they ALL… have a favorite song. That’s how powerful music is to the human heart. It’s our common thread.”

Talented and wise beyond his years, Phoenix Mendoza has something real to offer. An organic blend of the past and the future residing somewhere in between Michael Jackson and Boz Skaggs with a dash of Eric Clapton and Al Green and the list can go on. Whether you see him play live, or hear him on your radio. You will be moved.

Jon Roniger

Jon Roniger’s heartfelt roots rock is a truly American slice of songwriting a la John Hiatt, Steve Forbert and Tom Petty. Roniger has music placements on HGTV, Platinum Babies, and the theme song for UK based company Bedford for Beds. He also has a song in the full length feature film “Island of Fantasy” due for a fall 2011 release.

Touring internationally since 2007, his last record “Charmed Life” saw regular spins on BBC, BBC Wales, BBC Scotland, and nationally broadcast Radio Amsterdam. Recently selected for the 2011 French Quarter Festival and the 2011 Key West Songwriters Festival, Roniger has played such renowned venues as Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, Atlanta’s Eddie’s Attic, San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, and New Orleans’ House of Blues.

This entry was posted in Latest News, Performances and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.