Musician up for Jammies one last time |

Musician up for Jammies one last time

Molly Roth, a musician who performs in the Grass Valley area, is competing in Sacramento News & Review’s “The Jammies: Night of Contemporary Music.”

Her first round is Saturday, 8 p.m., at Christian Brothers High School, Second Floor Theater, 4315 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

This sixth year of the competition isn’t something new to her, as she entered it at 16 (she’s now 19) as a solo artist and won the competition the following year – a rush, as she played, she said, “at the famous Crest Theatre in downtown Sacramento in front of thousands of people with the other winners.”

But this year is the last year she can compete (age 19 is the cutoff). Also, this year is a little different, as she will be backed up by a three-piece band, new enough that it doesn’t have a name yet.

“It has always been my dream,” she says, “to have a band with talented musicians behind me, and that’s why I am most excited about this year’s show.

“I will be singing while accompanying myself on the piano. I’ll perform six or seven songs – all original music in the genre of jazzy, alternative rock/pop.”

A lifelong artist (she started classical piano lessons at 6 years of age), Roth “began performing wherever I could with an eclectic set … Bach and Rachmaninoff to contemporary rock and my own music at weddings, restaurants and cafés. My best friend, Sheena Wenger, who also plays the piano and violin, played with me, as well, and still does till this very day.”

In her teens, she took part in the “Music in the Mountains Composers Symposium” for three years, mentored by composers Jay Sydeman and Jerry Grant. Other musical influences in her life includes Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Sia, Fiona Apple, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“When I was 16, I joined our local, seven-piece classic rock and ’80s party band, Mad Dash, as their keyboardist and vocalist. After I graduated high school, I attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood for one year, learning recording, studio engineering and producing, and recorded a demo. I also played keyboards with different bands and got to play at famous venues like the Roxy and The Knitting Factory.”

For all her classical training, Roth says simply, “I listen to anything and everything musical, but am obsessed with chicks who rock on the piano.”

Roth’s next local gig is Feb. 15 at Rhythms Music Cafe in Grass Valley at 7 p.m. (cover charge of $5). Check her out on line at


Editor’s note: The hot indie rock band, The Shreds (see Prospector, Dec. 13, for a cover story on the band), are also competing in the Jammies at its scheduled time of Jan. 25 at 8 p.m., at The Underground, in Roseville (2401 Olympus Dr., $8 cover, all ages). Call 478-7789 for directions and to carpool.

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