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Maxell ‘Song of Year’ Goes To Jazz Songwriter

Indianapolis — The Maxell Song of the Year Award from the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (JLSC) was presented by Cheryl Severini, media product manager at founding sponsor, Fair Lawn, N.J.-based Maxell Corporation of America; Brian Rothschild, executive director of JLSC; and Sony recording artist Fatty Koo.

A $20,000 check for the 2004 award was given to Scott Routenberg of Miami. His song, “Bandwidth,” is the first composition in the jazz category of the contest to be honored as the Maxell Song of the Year. The writer was noted as a runner-up in last year’s JLSC in the electronic category, and has won numerous awards, including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards (2003 and 2004).

Routenberg is a professional jazz pianist with a master of music degree in jazz piano performance and a second master of music in media writing and production from the University of Miami. In addition, he teaches jazz and popular music history at Miami-Dade College.

Routenberg is starting a program this fall at Miami for doctor of musical arts. He has studied with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest and modern jazz composer Ron Miller, among others. He was also a composer participant in the 2004 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles.

The grand prize winners of all 12 musical categories become eligible for the Maxell Song of the Year, the winner of which is selected by a group of performers and songwriters including Elton John, Carlos Santana, Brooks & Dunn, Black Eyed Peas, Wyclef Jean, Enrique Iglesias, Dave Koz, Amy Grant and Carol Bayer Sager, to name a few.

In its ninth year, the JLSC will distribute over $240,000 in cash and prizes, the largest prize package to date. The contest now has two sessions, the first from April 15 to August 15, and the second from August 16 through December 15.

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest chose to announce the Maxell Song of the Year winner at the International Music Products Association (NAMM) summer session here for the third consecutive year to highlight the mutual goals of the JLSC and NAMM, and NAMM’s non-profit affiliate, the American Music Conference (AMC). Both strive to educate and encourage young people to write and play music and to provide options for career opportunities in the business of music.

The non-profit John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, the mobile state-of-the-art recording and multimedia studio, travels nationwide throughout the year to schools, conferences, concerts and community centers, and provides free workshops and tours of the facility. JLSC is also a supporter of, AMC’s free Web site for teens that provides music news, entertainment and music making opportunities.