Arizona Arts Live & Club Congress are thrilled to light up the Congress stage with a dynamic duo of modern solo songwriters. Elizabeth Goodfellow and Jillian Bessett both operate on the new frontiers of songwriting and instrumentation, composing and performing through unconventional means with beautiful results. Join us as these two extraordinary and innovative women explore new sonic landscapes.
Beth Goodfellow’s singer-songwriter approach to the marimba was born out of a desire to write songs on a chordal instrument after drumming in other people’s bands. She bought a 1920s Deagan Marimba through Craigslist and began incorporating it into her original songs. When the pandemic hit in 2020 she spent the better part of eighteen months writing for voice and marimba from Tucson, AZ and her apartment in Los Angeles. The pandemic allowed her time to strip the marimba and vocal approach down to the basics and focus on writing two-minute songs that were intended to be stream-of-conscious with minimal rewrites. These songs were released in early 2021 as the band camp album “Hunting The Silence”. Beth’s writing for marimba also draws inspiration from the polyrhythmic counterpoint of minimalist composer Steve Reich. By building loops of marimba counterpoint she creates a uniquely meditative backdrop for her lyrics and vocals.
Beth is a drummer, percussionist and vocalist based in Los Angeles and has recorded or toured with artists including Iron and Wine, boygenius, Madison Cunningham, Per Gessle, and Calexico.
Jillian Bessett is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Tucson, Arizona whose evocative lyrics and welcoming stage presence have endeared her to audiences throughout the southwest music scene. The keystone, however, is an instantly recognizable smoky alto voice that has prompted comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Feist, Nina Simone, and Adele.
In 2014 Jillian released Electric Moon a stripped back solo endeavor which came in at #100 on KXCI’s Top 100 Albums of The Year. A full band filled out her next release with 2016’s Mr. Airplane. Jillian and the Giants–aptly named for their giant electric sound and stature– gigged furiously and put out two beautiful music videos for the singles “Mr. Airplane” and the locally loved “Chicago.” Mr. Airplane has over 58K streams on Spotify and came in at #19 on KXCI’s Top 100 Albums of the Year.
Jillian is currently writing music and gigging with her new favorite instrument the Boss RC-505 Looping Station. Watch her use it here.
Produced by Hotel Congress. For any questions about this experience, please contact Hotel Congress.