It has been an eventful week for Jason Ma. He was on a lunch break from rehearsal of the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere production of his new musical, Gold Mountain in the Salt Lake City area, when he got the call that he is one of two 2021 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award recipients this year. He will share the award with Daniel Mertzlufft, a NY-based composer and arranger.
Jason Ma (⾺智培) is a son of an immigrant family and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome, and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. In addition to writing, he is an actor who has performed extensively on Broadway and off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters, and in many international venues. This is Ma’s second ASCAP Foundation Award. Ma received the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist, and he wrote the music, book, and lyrics for Gold Mountain. Click here to learn more about the ASCAP Foundation.
Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the world’s first transcontinental railroad. Ma’s original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.
Click here for tickets to the World Premiere of Gold Mountain from Nov. 4 -20 at West Valley Performing Arts Center, 3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119.
Ma said, “My gratitude to the ASCAP Foundation for their continued support is boundless. An award like this always open doors for the recipient and I will continue to carry with me, stories centered around Asian humans, as these thresholds are crossed.”
The ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Awards are presented annually to aspiring lyricists who participate in an ASCAP or ASCAP Foundation workshop in the musical theater, pop and/or country and R&S genres. It is funded by bequested royalties from Harold Adamson, who co-wrote the famous American sitcom theme “I Love Lucy (And She Loves Me),” among other songs.
Past ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Awards for Musical Theatre Recipients include Rona Siddiqui, Ben Bonneman & Christopher Staskel, Mark Sonnenblick, Michael R. Jackson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Michael Lluberes, Gabriel Kahane, Sam Willmott, Mike Pettry, Joe Iconis, Matt Gould & Griffin Matthews, Adam Gwon, Christopher Dimond and Ryan Scott Oliver.
On October 28, Broadway Records released THE RAINBOW LULLABY, the world’s first LGBTQ lullaby album. Conceived by Ryan Bauer-Walsh, the recording includes songs by fifteen LGBTQIA+ writers, including a new lullaby, “There’s a Bunny on the Moon,” sung by Aury Krebs, and featuring lyrics and music by Jason Ma. The album is available wherever digital music is sold and on BroadwayRecords.com
The creation of Queer cultural family music traditions is part of the constructive path forward to equality and representation. Ryan Bauer-Walsh conceived the project in memory of his mother, Nancy, as a way to continue her legacy of maternal strength, kindness and love.
Ma shared, “Aury Krebs lends her beautiful, womanly, ethereal voice to our song. It was an honor to write a lullaby for an interracial gay couple and their mixed Asian baby, and include the East Asian tale of the Moon Goddess and Jade Hare.”
Click here to listen to the track.
Proceeds from THE RAINBOW LULLABY support the Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ+ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.
Ma is currently working on music and lyrics for Broken Ground, a new musical commissioned by Village Theatre in collaboration with co-lyricist and book writer Christine Toy Johnson, where it is currently in development. In Broken Ground, a young girl named Xue Lan takes an unexpected journey to womanhood. Guided by the beloved spirits of departed family, the desires of her heart, and a goddess or two, she finds her purpose and true destiny.
On October 26, Meadow Tien Nguy sang “You Should Be So Happy,” in Prospect Theater Company’s Reignite Concert at Symphony Space in New York.
Daniel Mertzlufft is a NY-based composer and arranger most known for his viral sensations The Thanksgiving Musical on The Late Late Show with James Corden, as well as his arrangement of “Remy The Ratatouille” by Emily Jacobson that launched the TikTok Ratatouille musical movement. Daniel also served as music supervisor, composer, and arranger for Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, a live-streamed concert that raised over $2 million for The Actor’s Fund. Daniel also wrote “The Meaning Of Pride (Be True To You)” for Nickelodeon’s Pride 2021 collection performed by drag queen and activist Nina Queen. His other original works include: Breathe, Dot and the Kangaroo, commissioned by MTI Australaisa and iTheatrics, House Rules: A New Musical based on the New York Times Best Selling novel by Jodi Picoult. Additionally, Daniel is a member of the advanced class of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
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