Here is a brief introduction to each of the participants in our weekly Songs in the
Key of Free workshops—we also noted here which songs they contributed to for the
album and for our podcast. Our group of tremendously creative and prolific
songwriters and musicians has created dozens of songs, some of which you’ll hear
excerpts of in our crowdfunding campaign, and they’re continuing to write and
perform new songs weekly.
Darrell is a multi-instrumentalist and music director. In his earlier life he opened for
Pieces of a Dream at the Dell. He is the songwriter of “I Refuse to Be Defined.”
Benny is a bass player on “Welcome Home” and “Letter to My Son” who holds the
record for perfect attendance in Songs workshops.
Tom is a visual artist who works in cut paper and mixed media art and who is
teaching himself guitar. He sings lead on “The Garden” and is the co-host of our
podcast, “Prison Prophets.”
Bernard L. is a bass player and vocalist who is the songwriter on “Key of Free.” In his
earlier life, he was the owner and manager of a record label and production
Rashied is a multi-instrumentalist whose first love is playing drums, and who also
plays saxophone and is a bassist. Listen for his raise-the- roof solo on “Freedom.”
Larry is a playwright and actor who has contributed spoken word pieces, including
“I’m Free,” and whose song “Don’t Tell” will be featured on our podcast, “Prison
Bomani is the songwriter of “Are You Listening?”—a song you’ll hear on our
podcast. He is also one of the chefs in the cafeteria at SCI-Graterford.
Kabir is a conga player who you’ll hear featured on numerous songs on the album
and podcast. He is the writer of “Watch Yourself, Shorty.”
Bizzy is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. He plays guitar, horn and recorder,
and composes prodigiously, sometimes a song per week. He is the songwriter and
performer on “I Still Cry,” which is on the album.
John is a lead guitarist with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, especially music of
the 1960s and ‘70s. He is featured on multiple songs on the album, including “Vigil”
and “I Still Cry.”
Manchino is an MC who is a prolific writer and performer. He is the songwriter and
performer of “Million Dollar Blocks,” which you’ll hear on the album, and of
numerous others songs, such as “American Made” and “Aim for the King.”
Weldon is a bass player and bluesman who is featured on many songs on the album,
including “I Refuse to Be Defined.”
Mouse plays keys and is the writer of “How Can I Show You the Hole in My Heart?”
which is on the album. It is dedicated to Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon
Paul is a songwriter and guitarist whose songs “Welcome Home” and “Letter to My
Son” are on the album. He also runs workshops on emotional integrity,
generational trauma, addiction, and mentors young prisoners.
Moose is an MC who has written many songs in our workshop; he is the songwriter
and performer on “Letter to My Queen,” a tribute to his mother, and “Rise,” which are on the
Akeil is a visual artist whose artwork is featured on the album and the podcast; he
created the logo for the podcast, and is drawing portraits of the musicians as they
rehearse and perform in the recording studio. He co-wrote and performs on “Streets
on Fire,” which is on the album.
Cody is a songwriter and guitarist who is featured on a number of songs on the
album. He wrote “Vigil” and “What These Hands Have Done,” and he sings lead and
plays acoustic guitar on both songs. His created the cover art for our EP.
Rasheed is a trombone player who plays on one of our newest songs, “Rise,” and is
featured on other songs on the album.
Jordan is an MC who was released in 2016. He is one of the songwriters of “ Million Dollar Blocks,” one of the songs on our debut EP. He is currently touring nationally as J. Smith.
Seven is a lead vocalist who is featured on many songs on the album, including “How
Can I Show You the Hole in My Heart?” and “I Refuse to Be Defined.”
Miguel is a vocalist who sings on a number of choruses.
Mike is a bassist with a love of punk and rock music.
Bernard is a vocalist who sings harmonies on a number of songs on the album,
including “I Refuse to Be Defined.”
Keefe plays keys and is featured on “Welcome Home,” and “I Refuse to Be Defined.”
Bob wrote a story that is the inspiration for “The Garden” and he also contributed
spoken word to that song. He is the one of the writers of “Count Time,” which is
featured on our podcast, “Prison Prophets.”
Mohamed is a rock drummer who was released in 2017.
Snead is a drummer who was released in 2017; you’ll hear interviews with him on
Charlie is a horn player who was released in 2017; he made many beautiful
contributions to workshop and we remember him as a champion Scrabble player.