‘Ultimate Singer-Songwriter’ crowned

Catherine Stephani beat out 59 other musicians to win Waltz-Astoria’s third Ultimate Singer-Songwriter Contest.

During three consecutive nights, 20 singer/songwriters performed in front of a judge’s panel to pick three to compete in the Sunday, January 30 finals. A “wild card” was also selected.

Each of the 10 finalists performed three original songs in front of a full room.

Waltz-Astoria owner Pedro Gonzalez described it as “some of the best music I’ve heard in a very long time.”

“These guys are really top notch,” he said.

In addition to Stephani, who uses the stage name “Cat Cat Cat,” this year’s finalists were Robinson Treacher, Jeff Jacobs, Stephanie Nash, Justin Bohr, Elizabeth Devlin, Lindsay Dragan, August Glory, Mieka Pauley and Bryce Larsen.

After all the finalists performed, the audience voted on their favorite to select the winners. As the first place winner, Stephani received a trophy, $500 cash prize and an upcoming featured show at Waltz-Astoria.

Stephani, who played the guitar and ukulele and was accompanied by younger brother Nick, also on guitar, said it felt “wild” to win the contest.

“I feel like I no longer have an excuse to not get this music off the ground and the ball rolling. The music I write means absolutely everything to me. Sharing it with other people means everything to me,” she said. “Winning this thing and these incredible opportunities is a gift and the start my brother and I were struggling to find on our own. We couldn’t be more excited – or thankful.”

Although Stephani said she thinks “music as a competition always feels a little strange,” she said that the contests at Waltz-Astoria give artists “incredible opportunities.”

“There’s no denying that the Waltz-Astoria does an incredible service for local musicians throughout the city,” she said.

Larsen came in second place and, in addition to a $50 cash prize, will also perform at Waltz-Astoria. Third place winner Treacher will have a show at the venue and received a $25 gift certificate to it.

For more information on Waltz-Astoria, including upcoming performances and contests, visit www.waltz-astoria.com.

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