Groove through these grey January days with Jamie Cepero, the newest addition to Playbill's Songwriter Series.
Cepero is an Afro-Latino queer non-binary artist and activist, most well known for playing the conniving Ellis Boyd on NBC’s cult favorite musical drama SMASH. As a writer, Cepero has been a member of the WIO Playwriting Cohort at National Queer Theater, and the Devised Theater Working Group artist residency at The Public Theater.
Cepero brought material from their musical Francois and The Rebels, A Punk Rock Ritual, and their song cycle, Songs About Anxiety.
Francois and The Rebels, A Punk Rock Ritual is a high-energy punk rock musical honoring the history of the 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution. Featuring a book, music, and lyrics by Cepero, the work is truly a labor of love.
Songs About Anxiety is a pop song cycle about the ups and downs of a group of queer millennials as they journey towards self acceptance while juggling the responsibilities of growing up in an over saturated digital world. Like Francois and The Rebels, book, music, and lyrics are all by Cepero.
For their episode, Cepero presented two songs from Francois and The Rebels, including "Sonthonax To The Max" as performed by Jada Valenciaga and "Mistress Madeline" as performed by Kristina Nicole Miller. From Songs About Anxiety, Cal Mitchell performed the song "Move", and Cepero performed "When I'm Gone".
For the session, Cepero was joined by Xander Browne on the Sing For Hope piano, as well as Drew Cooper on guitar, and Andraleia Buch on bass.
Cepero's music has been featured in The Musicals of Tomorrow for Broadway Podcast Network, the Times Square City Songwriting Competition, and the New York Theater Barn Choreography Lab at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Francois and The Rebels was a 2022 nominee for the Vivace Award for groundbreaking new musical theatre, and Cepero's organizing and community engagement work on the 2020 March On Broadway won two Gold Anthem Awards from the International Academy Of Digital Arts & Sciences.
Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Our creative programs bring hope, healing, and connection to millions of people in hospitals, schools, care facilities, refugee camps, transit hubs, and community spaces worldwide. A non-profit organization founded in New York City in response to the events of 9/11, Sing for Hope partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, mobilizes thousands of artists in creative service, and produces artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos across the US and around the world. The official Cultural Partner of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Sing for Hope champions art for all because we believe the arts have an unmatched capacity to uplift, unite, and heal. Learn more at SingForHope.org.