Siena Select 2017 - Judges' Bios

Letitia VanSant is a singer-songwriter known for her distinctly intimate voice and sincere stage presence. Whether she is performing solo or backed up by a three-piece band, VanSant's sound ranges from stripped-down indie folk to gritty Americana. After the creation of her debut album in 2012, she became a favorite of local Baltimore radio station 89.7 WTMD. Listeners voted her the winner of the Baltimore Band Block Party, and placed her song "Rising Tide" among the most popular of the year. She won the gold medal for the folk/acoustic category in the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.

Naseem Khuri is the lead singer and songwriter of the rock band Kingsley Flood, which has been featured in Rolling Stone, MTV, NPR, the New York Times and American Songwriter, among others. The band has played the Newport Folk Festival and has won three Boston Music Awards, including Album of the Year (Battles). Their song “Cavalry” was used in a CNN Films feature “The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House,” and their song “Waiting on the River to Rise” was used in promos for the History Channel’s show “Mississippi Men.” Their latest album, Another Other, is out now.
Will McKindley-Ward is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter whose musical interests range from prog rock to R&B to traditional Irish music. He sings, writes, and plays guitar for the synthy rock band Fellow Creatures, whose self-titled album was featured in Paste Magazine and CMJ. His song “Silurian Stomp” was featured in DC Music Download’s "Best Tracks of 2016." In addition to releasing a solo album, he’s worked as a guitarist and drummer on many other records, including for Letitia VanSant and the Bonafides and Ugly Purple Sweater.

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