Stax student HARZEE named Tennessee Songwriters Week Finalist at Lafayette’s Music Room


17-year-old Stax Music Academy student HARZEE won a spot to perform at Nashville’s historic Bluebird Cafe in March as part of the Tennessee Songwriters Week showcase. As announced this week by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, one of seven Tennessee Songwriters Week finalists impressed judges, the audience, and fellow songwriters on stage at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis this past Tuesday night. HARZEE competed against 17 other songwriters to win the showcase.

Six other showcase events are scheduled this week, including at The Bijou Theatre, Songbirds Foundation in Chattanooga, Ole Red in Gatlinburg, The Down Home in Johnson City, The Franklin Theatre in Franklin and The Palace Theatre in Gallatin.

Each of the seven finalists earns the opportunity to perform at The Bluebird Cafe during a private event in March with music industry professionals, a branded commemorative Taylor guitar, two-night stay in Nashville, $100 gift card for travel, and one-year membership to Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). Songwriters performed at qualifying rounds in February at more than 50 venues, museums, attractions and cafes to advance to the showcase events.

HARZEE’s charismatic performance of his original song, “Skyfall,” captured the attention of audience and judges alike. The 17-year-old performer—a senior at Overton High School in Memphis—has taken a deep interest in music from the age of 12. Currently working on an album, HARZEE will drop his third single on Feb. 24.

Stax Music Academy student HARZEE (photo furnished by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development)

HARZEE also won a free four-hour recording session, sponsored by Made in Memphis Entertainment, owned by the legendary David Porter. Made in Memphis Entertainment studio manager Crystal Carpenterserved as a judge, along with Grammy-nominated composer, producer, and musician Scott Bomar, CEO of Connect Music George Monger, and Jaime Scorby with The Bluebird Cafe. Judges considered lyric originality, performance and connection with the audience.

Longtime Memphis music advocate Pat Mitchell Worley, President and CEO of Soulsville Foundation, hosted the event. Previous Memphis finalist Jay Da Skreet performed as special guest.

Fans can experience live music in venues across the city, from Overton Park to Beale Street and at signature music festivals, events, legendary recording studios, and music attractions. Memphis is also home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and the Million Dollar Quartet, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, The Bar-Kays, Justin Timberlake, and Three 6 Mafia are just some of the very talented people who call this city “home.”

Helmed by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Tennessee Songwriters Week was established in 2019 to support music venues, celebrate songwriters with live performances in all genres of music, drive visitation, and inspire travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues. Since its inception, more than 3,500 songwriters have shared their original music across Tennessee stages during the annual celebration.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partners with The Bluebird Cafe, NSAI, Taylor Guitars, music venues and local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers, and partners across the state, all committed to make sure songwriters can share their original work onstage with other writers.

Follow the journey of these songwriters and join the fun by following @tnvacation on social media and #tnsongwritersweek.

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Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

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