The second of seven Tennessee Songwriters Week finalists impressed the judges and audience alike on stage last night at The Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development announced today. Jacc Moran competed against more than a dozen songwriters to win the showcase with his original song “Gasp.” Six other showcase events are scheduled this week, including at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis, Songbirds Foundation in Chattanooga, Ole Red in Gatlinburg, The Down Home in Johnson City, Temple Theatre in Portland and The Franklin Theatre.

Jacc Moran is the singer and main songwriter of the band Run 40. He grew up in Memphis and has been living in Knoxville for almost a decade. After a long hiatus from playing music, Jacc has recently started performing again, thanks to the support and kindness of Knoxville's music community. Run 40's debut EP, High Water, is set to release this year. Moran advanced from Boyd’s Jig and Reel in Knoxville. The showcase, presented by Visit Knoxville and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, is promoted as an opportunity to “celebrate the craft that put Tennessee on the map: songwriting.”

“We’re so proud to have Knoxville represent East Tennessee with the Songwriters Showcase hosted at the iconic Bijou Theatre,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “There is a lot of talent in our region, and last night’s event demonstrates that in a way that is accessible to visitors interested in Tennessee’s music from past to present.”

Each of the seven finalists earned 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. Knoxville qualifying round venues included the Maple Room at Maple Hall, Schulz Bräu Brewing Company, Scruffy City Hall and Boyd’s Jig & Reel. Regional qualifying round venues also included Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland, Oakey’s Sports Grill in Oak Ridge and Gather Coffee Lounge in Oneida.

Another popular songwriter and performer, Evie Andrus, hosted the event. The fiddler and vocalist released her first album “Evie’s Great Adventure” in 2022. 2023 Tennessee Songwriters Week Knoxville finalist Melanie LaFoy had a special performance at the event. Her band, nightjar, is set to release a debut album in the coming months, as well as perform at festivals and events during the spring and summer. Past Knoxville showcase winners Travis Bigwood and the Lonesome Doves also performed. Former finalist Tyson Leamon couldn’t attend the event, as he’s working on recording new music and continues performing at music venues statewide.

Judges for the showcase included Mic Harrison of Mic Harrison and The High Score; John Baker, musician and owner/operator of The Arbor Studio; WDVX Host Red Hickey; visual artist, writer and radio show host Wayne Bledsoe, veteran music journalist Steve Wildsmith, and Liana Alpino with The Bluebird Cafe. Judges considered lyric originality, performance and connection with the audience. Music has always been a part of Knoxville, and the Bijou Theatre has been at the center of that legacy. The city played a large part in Ken’ Burns Country Music Documentary on PBS Country Music. Giants Roy Acuff, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and Kenny Chesney are only a few of the greats who were born in the region and got their starts in Knoxville. Popular new artists from the area include Morgan Wallen and Kelsea Ballerini.

Many other musicians honed their skills in Knoxville just before moving on to major fame, including Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, The Louvin Brothers, Kitty Wells and The Everly Brothers. By combining perfect harmonies with the rock and roll genre, Don and Phil Everly made a global impact on popular music. It was in Knoxville that the brothers began performing as a duo, discovered rock ‘n’ roll - and met country music icon Chet Atkins. Many of the Everly Brothers’ hits were written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, a songwriting team famous for “All I Have to Do is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and of course, “Rocky Top” - UT’s beloved fight song. Everly Park in Knoxville pays tribute to their success.

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 4,000 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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The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) is dedicated to driving economic growth and tourism in all 95 counties. TDTD’s global marketing efforts increase visitation to Tennessee, which boosts tax revenue, creates jobs and attracts new investment across the state. Tennessee is a global destination of choice offering visitors world-class music, live entertainment, family-friendly experiences, charming communities, innovative and classic culinary creations, renowned scenic beauty and outdoor adventure—all centered at the crossroads of rich history and unrivaled hospitality. Vacations “sound perfect” in Tennessee. Visit and follow @TNvacation on social media for travel inspiration. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Press Website


Visit Knoxville (Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau) is the official CVB for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Visit Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private company that works together with the community, business leaders and local and state government to further develop Knoxville as a premier leisure, meetings and travel destination. Tourism is the second highest grossing industry in the state of Tennessee. Knoxville/Knox County annually produces over $1 billion in travel spending. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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