Boston Musician Four-Time Winner in International Contest

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Loyal Dissent strikes loud chord in Billboard songwriting contest.

Jazz composer, guitarist and humanist, Claude DiDomenica, won four honorable mention awards in the 13th Billboard World Songwriting Contest. DiDomenica’s winning songs, “Baghdad I,” “Blood For Profit II,” “French Fries” and “Patriot inACTion,” are from his latest CD, “Loyal Dissent,” a musical interpretation of America after 9/11.

“To borrow a line from the film “Apollo 13,” ‘I'm proud, happy and thrilled,’” said DiDomenica. “I won the first award and then received three more over the next few weeks. Amazingly, all four compositions that I entered won an award.” DiDomenica won an Honorable Mention award for the top 1,500 songs, and three Honorable Mention awards for the top 500 songs respectively, for 2005.

Billboard is widely considered to be the flagship name in the music industry. Billboard issues weekly charts on U.S. sales (Hot 100, Billboard 200) and tracks music in a variety of categories, such as R&B/Hip-Hop, Country, Latin and Jazz. The annual songwriting contest attracts thousands of entries from around the world.

When asked what prompted the “Loyal Dissent” CD and companion Website, DiDomenica explains, “The Bush Administration’s heavy-handed response to resistance to the Iraq war prompted me to do something. This is my reminder to people that dissent is not unpatriotic. It’s ironic that I wrote about dissent last year, before Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen came out with their protest albums this year.”

DiDomenica summed up each song: “‘Baghdad I’ is a relaxed mix of jazz and Middle Eastern-like melodies to represent President Bush standing under the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner following the initial phase of the Iraq invasion in 2003. ‘Blood For Profit II’ is an edgy piece with an improvised jazz guitar solo that reflects the sociopathic nature of many of our ‘leaders.’ ‘French Fries’ is a soulful and bluesy tune, reminiscent of the people who pushed to change the names of ‘French Fries’ to ‘Freedom Fries.’ ‘Patriot inACTion’ is a piece about a heavy-handed clandestine group bent on ending our civil liberties. And ironically, this year, we find out that President Bush authorized what many consider illegal domestic surveillance on American citizens, via the National Security Agency.”

DiDomenica’s talents stem from his strong musical history. His late mother, Leona, was a gifted pianist and teacher, and his father, Robert, is a retired composer and former dean and professor at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. DiDomenica grew up hearing the music of Mozart, Charlie Parker and his parents.

DiDomenica is delighted to receive this recognition for another reason. “I performed 100 percent of the work on this CD,” he explained. “I was the producer, sound engineer, mixed and mastered the tracks, created the computer musical backgrounds, played guitar and composed the melodies. I tapped into all my musical, technical and production experience to create this CD.” DiDomenica concludes, “I appreciate Billboard’s recognition for music on the cutting edge of jazz.”

Commenting on DiDomenica’s music, Mark Furnas, Billboard Contest Director wrote, “[DiDomenica is] obviously writing at a high level. This is quite an accomplishment considering the quality of this year’s entries.”

Claude DiDomenica is a jazz musician and social activist in the Boston area and attended the New England Conservatory of Music. He is also a self-taught sound engineer, producer, composer and arranger. Ordering information for the Loyal Dissent CD is available on his Website at


Claude DiDomenica


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