Join TRACTION this Sunday, January 3, for VIBES: a virtual music showcase featuring Trans+ and nonbinary artists!
Namoli Brennet (she/her)
Trans* songwriter Namoli Brennet has been touring the US and Europe for over a decade. Swapping between electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard and other technological infatuations, Brennet is at heart a songwriter with a desire to communicate something profound. Her performances touch on her experiences as a trans* person while connecting it with the wider experience of what it means to be marginalized. Expect a performance that is real, meaningful, imaginative, heartfelt and genuine. Namoli was named on the inaugural Trans 100 list, and her music has been nominated for numerous Outmusic awards, the German Music Critics award and was featured in the Emmy-award-winning documentary Out In The Silence.
Tip jar: venmo: namoli-brennet
Joe Stevens (he/him)
California-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Stevens is a third-generation professional musician in a long line of restless westward-moving souls. He caught the songwriting bug at 15 and has been at it ever since. After starting out as a self-taught guitar player and songwriter, he received a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, and has been traveling with his music across the US and abroad ever since.
Between 2006 and 2012, Joe’s first band Coyote Grace released five well-loved albums and toured with the Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, and Girlyman; sharing stages with Chris Pureka, Greensky Bluegrass, Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band, and legends such as Cris Williamson and Lowen and Navarro.
Joe released his first solo album Last Man Standing in 2014, recorded in Seattle at Empty Sea Studios. A dark past and keen insight gives weight to Joe’s words, sung in his signature smokey voice, telling the stories that make us who we are. Songs of the People was birthed in 2014; a project where Joe writes songs based on interviews with willing folks. Many a wonderful song has come from this project, some of which can be found on Joe’s Soundcloud page.
Tip jar: venmo: @joe-stevens-24
Lara Americo (she/they)
Lara Americo is a trans, indigenous multi-instrumentalist and performance artist. Her work is an attempt to call on ancestors and find parts of her identity which were taken during North American colonization. She lives in NYC and is releasing an EP called Leché that will be released January 1, 2021.
Tip jar: Venmo: @Lara-Americo
Cooper John Uglow (they/them)
Native to nowhere and everywhere, a one-themme band, Best Believe is a dream rock project founded by Cooper John Uglow. Sometimes back by friends and comrades, Cooper is generally known to take the stage alone, armed with only a vintage guitar and effects pedals. They are currently recording an EP of protest music titled “National Bird.”
@best.believe.music on ig
Tip jar: Venmo: @Cooper-Uglow
Michelle Rocking Horse Garcia (she/her)
An alternative, americana, blues, country, indie, latin, pop, rock, songwriter artist from Nashville, Michelle grew up playing music in Hollywood clubs, meeting and playing with some very famous people before they themselves ever got uh, famous. Richard Elliot, Danny Elfman, Katie Sagal, Brian Mann, are just a few who have played with Michelle and backed her up. Michelle is a ‘two-spirit’ Native American musician and performer, healer and focus of a the documentary film “Tipping the Scales,”’ which details her personal journey as an openly transgender woman and activist for the LGBT community. Now with her Nashville band, Rocking Horse, and 4 great new albums of Classic Rock, R&B, and Country music she is ready to play live in the greater Nashville area. Michelle Rocking Horse’s back up band has grown up in Nashville, played at many different venues, clubs, parties and weddings alike. They are well seasoned musicians who know how to back up an artist like Michelle.
Tip jar: Michelle Rocking Horse Garcia
7012 City Center Way, #295, Fairview, TN 37062
Mya Byrne (she/her)
From San Francisco by way of NYC, Mya Byrne is a poet, award-winning performing songwriter, actor, and activist. She’s opened for many of her heroes, including Levon Helm and S. Bear Bergman, and is the first trans woman to ever be featured as a solo performer at the SF Dyke March. Her music has been featured on official Spotify playlists and on terrestrial radio nationally and internationally, SingOut!, CountryQueer.com, The Advocate, Village Voice, New York Magazine, MSNBC, NPR, and CBS/Radio.com. Recent highlights include public speaking at SUNY, UC Berkeley, and the UU, and on stage at the Philadelphia and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals, Berkeley Rep, Z Space, the San Francisco Trans March, Poems Under the Dome, and Folsom Street Fair.
www.myabyrne.bandcamp.com for music and merch
#MyaByrne #TransDyke #LeatherDyke
Tip jar: Venmo: @MyaByrne, CashApp: $MyaByrne
Miss Kelli (she/her)
Recording artist and singer-songwriter Kaleia “Miss Kelli” Brown grew up on the west side of Baltimore, Maryland. Influenced by the greats, Kelli honed her skills listening to R&B/Soul music. Studying the likes of Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin and Sylvester, she crafted a sound that paid homage to them yet was her very own. She began writing and recording demos with a friend; those songs eventually landed in the hands of DJ Pope (Basement Boys, DJ Spen, Ultra Nate’). By the summer of 1996, DJ Pope released the Sylvester remake “Sell My Soul” on Shelter Records, a subsidiary of Rhythm Records, with Miss Kelli’s stellar vocal performance leading the track. The song was a big club hit in US and Europe. At the end of 1996, DJ Pope released another record, “Spirit” featuring Kelli on lead and backing vocals on the Cutting Records label.
By Spring of 1997 Kelli co-wrote “Happy Song” with house music producer Charles Dockens (Sheila Ford, James Howard), released by Groove On Records. With the success of the remake “Sell My Soul”, Kelli recorded another Sylvester song, “I Need You”, with DJ Pope on Poji Records in 1998. Kelli wrote “Your Love” in 1999 with DJ Pope which was also released on Pope’s Poji Records label. Miss Kelli’s new remix CD, “Trancendence Dance REMIX” is due out on March 22, 2021.
Tip jar: CashApp – $ladysuperstar007
Donnie Cianciotto (he/him) – Emcee – is a transmasculine musical theater performer based in New York City. He made his off-Broadway debut in Southern Comfort at The Public Theater, and is the creator and producer of Trans Voices Cabaret. He has appeared on panels at BroadwayCon and Samuel French’s IdentityWeek, and in videos for NowThis, VICE News, and Buzzfeed, and has also performed at iconic venues like 54 Below, The Duplex, The Cutting Room, The People’s Improv Theater, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center, and Birdland. He is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, and is a featured performer in Seth Rudetsky’s What the World Needs Now dance video with Broadway For Orlando. He is the subject of an Emmy award-winning documentary short called “DONNIE” directed by Ania Augustowska that is being released as a feature-length film in 2021. When not onstage, he runs an online Etsy store where he sells vintage treasures and original paintings (www.etsy.com/shop/thatartsyguydesigns) and lives in Queens with his girlfriend, senior rescue dog, and three cats.
Instagram: @thedonniecianciotto and @transvoicescabaret and @thatartsyguydesigns
Hashtags: #donniecianciotto, #transvoicescabaret, #transsinger, #transactorsguild, #changethestage
Tip jar: Venmo: @Donnie-Cianciotto
Michael Woodward (he/him) – Producer/Director – is a writer, rock star, inclusion consultant, and aging queer trans guy. He has published myriad books, articles, and blogs, including the essay “Manning Up” in the anthology of the same name (Transgress Press, 2014). You might also have caught his cameo appearance as one of the competitors in the 2018 transgender body building documentary “Man Made”, directed by T Cooper. A recovering Hoosier, Michael lived many years in Tucson, Arizona, where he co-founded the notorious trans and allies cover band, Too Much Information, and worked as a change agent, rabble rouser, and early leader in the gender justice movement. He was also an original cast member of Musical Mayhem Cabaret, founded by co-emcee Donnie Cianciotto. Former director of the Gender Odyssey Conference, he currently splits his time between Seattle, WA, and Riverside, CA, where he works as the Trans Community Health Manager at Borrego Health, California’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. By night, he performs as lead singer in his third classic rock cover band, The Right Bunch of Fellows. Michael is the co-founder and current Board Vice President of TRACTION, producer of tonight’s event.
YouTube: BlackMagic (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCISDatqCCKMkkqPdWCRHdyA)
Tip jar: Venmo: @MorphingMichael
Jasmine Trujillo pronouns: she/her
Lauren Lozano pronouns: she /they