Jim Messina Songwriters’ Performance Workshop

Jim MessinaThis 1-day intensive workshop is for students seeking to learn more about Singer Songwriter Performance.  The workshop will be on Monday August 29, 2016 starting at 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (a break for lunch) resuming again at 2:00 to 5:00 pm.  There is space for up to 12 active participants and 10 observing student participants.  18 years of age and above only.

Monday morning, we begin with the orientation into the “Course of Study” and “Emotional Body”. The schedule for the first 3 hours we will focus primarily on songwriting. After the lunch break, we will change gears and start to look at how we perform those compositions in front of a listening audience. As a group we will observe the many affects our lyrics, melodies and our performances thereof, have on those who experience our compositions.


The objective of this workshop is to become less analytical when relating our emotions and feelings. Through awareness, while experiencing our emotions and feelings in the presence of others, we can become more confident when accessing our own creativity. The workshop is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment in which a songwriter can access his or her emotions and feelings. The workshop assists students in learning how to translate their emotions and feelings into lyrical and musical expressions. Through group support and guided exercises, a student can gain the freedom to perform comfortably and confidently in front of a viewing audience.

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS: 12 spaces available

This workshop is for those student participants who have developed their singing, playing and performance skills to a level where they can accompany themselves at a pace consistent with other students. Those students who are singer/songwriters and would like to participate will need to take a seat nearest to the front of the stage.
OBSERVING STUDENT PARTICIPANTS: up to 10 spaces available

For those who are beginning lyricists, musicians and poets and wish to participate, this category has been created especially for those who may not feel comfortable enough, at this time, to sing and accompany themselves and would much prefer to “observe” rather than perform.


The curriculum first addresses lyrics, and how a songwriter may find new ways in which to reach inside and choose the right words to express their emotions and feelings, in lyrical terms. Finding just the precise lyric that will ultimately reach out and touch an audience and sympathetically vibrate with their feelings and emotions. This connection is called a “core-to-core” experience. An experience that occurs in the moment when the performer, by virtue of a well-written lyric, melody and arrangement, resonates “one-on-one” with the feelings and emotions of the listener.
Secondly, to assist the singer-songwriter to become more comfortable and at ease with performing in public, ways to structure a performance set, find the best key to sing their songs in as well as song sequencing and working with a sound system.
The workshop is designed to provide songwriters, performers, and poets with a safe and non-critical environment, with emphasis on communication skills that support feedback without judgment among participants. This is essential, especially for those students who are being assisted, during the workshop, in overcoming stage fright and other fears that are associated at times with performing in public.

Upon registration for this 1-day intensive workshop, participants will receive by email an orientation and class expectations/etiquette packet.  Contact Diane Kautzman with any questions: dkautzman@crownguitar.org or call directly 855-855-5900 ext. 3.

Jim Messina Biography

Jim MessinaA supremely talented guitarist, Jim Messina began working with the legendary band Buffalo Springfield in 1966 as a recording engineer on their second album Buffalo Springfield Again. In 1967, at the request of the group and Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun, Messina was asked to produce the band’s third and final album. Shortly thereafter, he replaced Bruce Palmer, the bass player, touring and recording with the band up until completion and release of their album Last Time Around.

When Buffalo Springfield disbanded, Messina, in December of 1968, signed a contract with Epic Records as a producer and a recording artist and along with fellow Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay joined forces to form Poco (originally named “Pogo” after the famous comic strip character). On the band’s self-titled second album, Poco (also released in 1969), Messina both produced and penned the band’s first hit single “You Better Think Twice” which has endured as one of the group’s signature songs. After producing three albums for the band, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, Poco and Deliverin’ (recorded live in 1970 and released in 1971) – Messina departed and signed on as an independent producer with Columbia Records.

In November of 1970, Messina opened up his living room to record a number of
compositions for a promising young songwriter named Kenny Loggins. Says Loggins: “Right from the beginning, Jimmy was the producer, I was the artist. I’d never made a record. I’d never put a band together. I’d never found a manager or an agent. So, Jimmy was the leader…” Leading the way as producer, arranger, vocalist, and guitarist, and contributing the signature songs “Listen To A Country Song” (subsequently also recorded by country music legend Lynn Anderson.  The album Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin’ In was released one year later in November of 1971 and an accidental duo was born.  By 1977, Loggins & Messina had sold sixteen million albums, become one of rock’s biggest live draws, and cemented their legacy as one of the most successful recording duos ever.

Following the split, Messina recorded four critically acclaimed solo albums: 1979’s sublime Latin rock with a touch of jazz album Oasis; 1981’s eponymous Messina featuring guest performances by Jeff Pocaro, Joe Pocaro and Victor Feldman; 1983’s One More Mile; and 1996’s re-imagined retrospective of concert favorites Watching The River Run Revisited. Messina also reunited with Poco for the 1989 album entitled Legacy, as well as establishing the Songwriters’ Performance Workshop whose purpose, explains Messina, “is to empower the amateur to let go of the fear and embrace the joy of writing and performing their music.”

In 2004 Messina joined Loggins at a benefit at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater and the nearly three decade gap was bridged in an instant. That spark fueled a series of festive shows in 2005 with the duo playing their seminal songs that, says Messina “spoke to a generation, not just to a radio station.” The resulting sold out nationwide tour culminated in the CD and DVD release Loggins & Messina Live – Sittin’ in Again at Santa Barbara Bowl. Messina’s next musical journey found him releasing the Latin-tinged EP Under a Mojito Moon: Part 1 in 2009 containing new Messina originals recorded only on his Flamenco guitar with sounds reminiscent of Spain and Cuba.

Messina’s most recent release is his DVD and CD entitled Jim Messina “LIVE” at The Clark Center for the Performing Arts. It contains the video and audio performances of his musical body of works, those he performed with The Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins and Messina, including a number of his newest songs such as She’s Gotta Rock and Sinners and Saints. Now, nearly 48 years after first stepping into the studio with Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay to engineer Buffalo Springfield Again, Jim Messina is hitting the road with guitar in hand to tell the stories and sing the songs that made Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and Loggins & Messina, iconic American groups.

website: www.jimmessina.com