Learn more about the Romancing the West® Performance Team!
Below are the artists you can expect to enjoy during a performance of Romancing the West®. Some performers are part of our core team, and others rotate in and out according to their own performance schedules and availability.
Christina Lynn Martin-Writer, Producer, Performer of “Romancing the West®”
Known to her peers as a “Trobairitz,” the 12th century women songwriters who bore that name, Christina carries on the musical legacy of her ancestors. Born to stage actress Maureen Mansfield Carlson, granddaughter to National radio personality Ronnie Mansfield and chorus-line dancer Harriett Mansfield, she also carries on her musical family’s tradition as a writer, producer and performer.
Christina’s powerful lyrics and haunting Celtic folk style voice have moved audiences, who feel the power of the story. Stories told through seven CD releases and television productions including “The Gold Coast” and “Siskiyous Called Me Home, A Southern Oregon Christmas” have aired on NBC stations, Orange County Cable Television and Southern Oregon Public television. Christina is also the cofounder and owner of Purpose Media, a multimedia group specializing in regional guide and historic tourism including www.GuidetoOregon.com and www.OrangeCounty.net, working with nonprofit groups who preserve history, and celebrate culture.
“Romancing the West®” represents the culmination of Christina’s years of historic research, songwriting and cultural partnerships in a production that celebrates the history, mystery, and romance of the American West, the perpetual triumph of the human spirit and our interweaving of cultures, and champions the preservation of hometown America.
Butch Martin—Co-Producer and Narration
Butch was raised on a farm in South Central Illinois, where he was serenaded by the sound of the whippoorwills and the rumbling of the steam engines on the nearby railroad. His mother and father sang together in their country church, and Butch began singing as a small child.
Butch has an extensive discography and his song “Restless Wind” received a GRAMMY nomination. Butch embodies the authenticity of the American Cowboy as he recites original and classic poetry as one of the world’s most beloved cowboy poets and balladeers.
He and Christina spend much of their time on the road visiting their cultural partners, including museums and interpretive centers, and performing songs from their body of work for audiences while promoting the “Romancing the West®” worldwide tours. Together they are reestablishing and expanding Butch’s equine breeding endeavors with the “Romancing the West®” RTW brand, specializing in bloodlines that were historically significant in Western history, including Morgans and Kiger Mustangs.
Jacque Nunez-Frontier, Camp Director and Performer in “Romancing the West®”
Jacque Nunez was voted “Educator of the Year” in the state of California for her work as a Master Storyteller, teacher, singer and cultural consultant in schools with her production “Journeys to the Past.” Jacque has made a successful career of sharing her Acjachemen ancestor’s story. She prides herself on preserving and passing her culture along through the oral Native American tradition of storytelling.
Throughout her career she has received several esteemed awards, the Lois Wright Memorial Award, Outstanding Service Award – Mayor Tom Bradley, Five Jewel Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Outstanding Tribal Community Contribution Award and Most Outstanding Teacher Award. Jacque was also selected to be the First Director of the Veteran’s Arts Festival and Assistant Director of the Marlton School of Deaf production of “Cats,” performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Martin has performed in over 10,000 live events worldwide, which include solo appearances with orchestras in Germany, European Rock Festivals, the Russian Rhythm and Blues Festival, the Singapore Blues Festival, concert tours in the Persian Gulf countries and the Iceland Rock Festival. Martin Gerschwitz was a touring member of Iron Butterfly and The Animals for many years.
The Blue Delilahs
Amy Dyer and Melissa Ritter, Christina’s former band mates from “Velvet Bleu,” now lead “The Blue Delilahs” band in musically evoking a bygone era. The singers’ influences range from the Andrew Sisters & Louis Prima to Shirley Bassey and Etta James. Together sultry Amy and sassy Melissa weave a musical journey through time.
From the Boogie Woogie 40’s through Rockabilly 50’s to the Motown 60’s, they can have you up on the dance floor or enticed at a cabaret or supper club. If you love a retro groove, you will adore the Blue Delilahs!
As one of the founding members of Lovesong, Chuck was at the center of the Jesus Movement in Southern California in the 1970′s. Touring and performing in the nation’s stadiums, churches and festivals, he has continued to touch people with his music for over 3 decades. Lovesong is considered the birth of the “Contemporary Christian Music” genre and Chuck, the memorable voice of Lovesong and the Jesus Movement. Chuck has been called “one of this generation’s most skilled composer-musician-singers and a true contemporary psalmist.
Born and raised in Minnesota and now living in California, John Elliott has been releasing albums and performing in every type of venue you can imagine since 2006. His Honda Civic currently has 241,722 miles on it and is named Glen. His songs have been prominently heard on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Californication.” He has been featured in PASTE Magazine, on NPR and on Neil Young’s “Living With War” website. His music has a cult-like international following and artists worldwide cover his songs. You can hear his music anywhere and everywhere if you’re in the right place at the right time: on the radio, TV, and internet; in cars and around campfires. John remains an independent, unsigned and unaffiliated artist and he is proud of that fact. He continues to make a living and build a dedicated following the old fashioned way: one new believer at a time.
Paul has studied violin for over forty years. A third generation musician and performer, he was classically trained since the age of 6. His interests lean toward jazz improvisation, Celtic and electronic music. Also an award winning country fiddler, Paul has extensive credits in recording and live performance. From his native California, across the United States, Europe and Asia, Paul has enjoyed performing his instrumental passion, sharing the stage with performers like Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings and Alison Krauss.
Featured Performers, 2013 Season:
Melanie, who became the voice of an era in one magical instant onstage at Woodstock, has been putting the pieces in order.
Pieces of a career, scattered by the winds of experience and assembled again by the force of love into the most personal and brilliant moments of her musical journey. Melanie is poised to enlighten new generations about what it means to sing with both passion and eloquence, to write at once with intelligence and emotion, and to inspire through song… and nobody does this better than Melanie.
With guitar in hand and a talent that combined amazing vocal equipment, disarming humor, and a vibrant engagement with life, she was booked as the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, and later opened the New Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Sydney Opera House, and in the General Assembly of the United Nations, where she was invited to perform on many occasions as delegates greeted her performances with standing ovations.
The top television hosts of all time — Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett — battled to book her. (After her stunning performance on his show, Sullivan goggled that he had not seen such a “dedicated and responsive audience since Elvis Presley.”)
Accolades rolled in, from critics (“Melanie’s cult has long been famous, but it’s a cult that’s responding to something genuine and powerful — which is maybe another way of saying that this writer counts himself as part of the cult too,” wrote John Rockwell in The New York Times) as well as peers (“Melanie,” insisted jazz piano virtuoso Roger Kellaway, “is extraordinary to the point that she could be sitting in front of us in this room and sing something like ‘Momma Momma’ right to us, and it would just go right through your entire being.”)
In the years that followed Melanie continued to record, continued to tour.
UNICEF made her its spokesperson; Jimi Hendrix’s father introduced her to the multitude assembled for the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Her records continued to sell — more than eighty million to date. She’s had her songs covered by singers as diverse as Cher, Dolly Parton, and Macy Gray. She’s raised a family, won an Emmy, opened a restaurant, and written a musical about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
Searching for a musical soul mate, Canadian singer and lyricist Cilette Swann traveled to Europe chasing her Celtic roots. After a few years singing in Paris in French jazz clubs, her quest took her to Edinburgh, Scotland where she met world-class musician and producer, Roman Morykit.
After 20 years of marriage and a prolific musical partnership, the duo has recorded eleven CDs and a live concert DVD from Triple Door in Seattle, WA. With half a million miles and countless unforgettable performances in the US and abroad under their belts, these esteemed performers have sold over 120,000 CDs on their own label, Off The Beaten Track Recordings.
Besides 1.5 million downloads, Gypsy Soul’s music has aired over 100 times in films and TV shows including Providence, Felicity and Roswell, along with movies including Michael Caine’s Quicksand and Brooke Shields’ After Sex. They’ve won numerous artist and songwriting awards including Lilith Fair, Just Plain Folks and The IMAs. With over 60 Critic’s Choice features in papers nationwide, it’s no surprise most of Gypsy Soul’s performances are sold out. They’ve earned a Top 40 A/C with their song Silent Tears and charting success on Folk and New Age radio. Most recently, their music has aired in European countries including the BBC in the UK and Ireland, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy and numerous other countries.
Their most recent CD, “The World Is My Country,” was released in March of 2013. This CD contains Gypsy Soul’s best songwriting to date, with a distinctive Americana/Pop twist in their traditional Acoustic/Rock sound.
For everything Gypsy Soul: http://www.gypsysoul.com
Patti Moran McCoy
By the age of 12, pianist Patti Moran was playing with symphony orchestras; a few years later she received a scholarship to study privately with Edwin Hughes, famed professor of music at Juilliard. Patti’s recordings include “Porgy and Bess,” with Duke Ellington and Mel Torme. Patty won the respect of fellow artists in the classic 1950s and 60s in Las Vegas, with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and even Elvis frequenting her show. Patti opened the first jazz concert ever played at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon with David Brubeck. She is now considered one of the top jazz pianists in the world.
Monte as played jazz, rock and blues music for over 35 years recording hundreds of songs as an artist, songwriter, musician and performer all across the country. Monte plays alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, guitar, electric bass and flute and has shared the stage and recorded with Christina Lynn Martin for over 16 years.
Pam Mark Hall
Pam Mark Hall, co-writer with Christina of the songs Romancing the West® and California, is known for her lyrical depth & creative virtue as a Grammy & Dove nominated artist with 6 solo albums & songs on two gold albums. A pioneer in the 70’s Jesus Music scene, she left the Contemporary Christian Music industry in the early 90’s, and PMH returned to her acoustic roots, transcending the new folk approach to record PALER SHADE. Impressionistic, her earthy tones intertwine the relationships of humanity & creation. PALER SHADE was produced by veteran blues/rocker Dave Perkins. In addition to writing, recording & performing at venues like Nashville’s famous BlueBird Café, Pam produces cause-related marketing programs that integrate causes, business and music.
Thomas Morning Owl, Jr.
Thomas Morning Owl, Jr., is a tribal leader, linguist, teacher, and musician. He has served as the Chairman of the General Council of the Umatilla Reservation of Oregon. In 1981, he was the youngest individual to be elected to the Tribes Governing Body at the age of 18. Thomas founded the traditional language program for the Umatillas and has supervised the tribe’s preservation of Columbia plateau language, culture, and song. Thomas is an accomplished traditional singer and Powwow producer and announcer including the Nez Perce Powwow in Joseph, Oregon. His knowledge of traditional songs spans many years.
Public Affairs Research Consultants-Business Development and Consulting Firm, planning and execution
PARC was formed in 1985 as a professional consortium of consultants who specialize in serving the organizational and developmental needs of nonprofit organizations, special and port districts, local and state governments, Indian Tribes, and businesses.
Over the past 22 years, PARC has acquired a sterling reputation with its clients through strict attention to detail and an ongoing commitment to excellence. With an extensive and diverse range of completed projects, PARC has the hands-on knowledge and practical experience to help you achieve the most innovative and unusual projects imaginable.
Hannah West Design-Web Services, Graphic Design
Hannah West created her first website in 1998 and began creating them professionally in 2007, working mainly with visual artists. She now provides web development and design services, print media design, WordPress and social media services, and search engine optimization, and teaches workshops to empower artists to manage their own online presence. In January 2010 she launched the Southern Oregon Artists Resource to promote the art community of Southern Oregon and its events, following the main directory site with a companion blog, “Art Matters!” and social media presence in March 2010. She also serves on the board of directors of the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville, Oregon, curates the art exhibit at Jacksonville’s GoodBean Cafe, and is a founding member of the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon. We are happy to have her on our team too, working with print media and managing our websites. An artist herself, Hannah’s technical skillset and understanding of the online marketing needs of creatives, excellent writing and communication skills and artistic approach make her a great fit with the rest of our team.
Kent Romney-Film Maker (Documentary “Romancing the West®”)
In recent years, traveling to distant lands and cultures of our world, Kent worked on production teams that created film and television projects shown on The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, ABC Primetime and other broadcast networks. As a filmmaker, he creates video and film projects reflecting his interests in adventure travel, social topics, cultural issues and spiritual growth.
Since 2000, his filming experiences have taken him to cultures all around the globe, making profound connections with Indigenous people, especially the elders and the “wisdom keepers.” Kent is honored to have made very deep and lasting connections with them.
In the last few years, Kent has met with spiritual and native leaders from China, India, Nepal, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Australia and Hawaii to name a few. He had the privilege of participating in interviews with the Hopi and other Native American cultures, in North, Central and South America.
Kent’s passion lies in telling these stories of ancient wisdom and being a bridge to our contemporary modern world, while assisting the future evolution of humanity.
Dennis Dragon-GRAMMY award winning sound engineer for “Romancing the West®”
Dennis was born one of five children to Hollywood symphony conductor/orchestrator Carmen Dragon and his wife, soprano singer Eloise. In the mid-seventies, he got a call from his brother Daryl to engineer the first Captain & Tennille record at A&M Records. The result was a long string of hits and a Grammy award for “Love Will Keep Us Together,” Record of the Year, 1975. This opened the door to professional audio engineering/producing gigs for many years to follow, and Dennis found himself working with the likes of Lou Adler, Carole King, Johnny Rivers, Cheech and Chong and many more. He opened up his own recording studio in Malibu and was “booked solid.” Dennis is the producer/engineer for the songs “Romancing the West®” and “California.” Interesting trivia: Carmen Dragon and Christina Lynn Martin’s grandfather Ronnie Mansfield both had national radio shows at NBC studios in Los Angeles at the same time in the 1940’s.
Laurel Briggs, Creative M Design-Original Website & Logo Design
In the beginning of 2009 Laurel founded Creative Marketing & Design and opened an office on 132 W. Main St. CM&D now provides web development, marketing planning, and design services to over 100 local and out-of-area businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations. Laurel Briggs began her career in Salem, Oregon working for a local magazine and obtaining a BA in English from Willamette University. After an internship at Domus Advertising in downtown Philadelphia, Laurel earned her MA in Communications and Marketing from Cal State Fullerton. Laurel’s mix of local market understanding, education and big-city experience provide her clients with a unique marketing edge.