Meet the team
Ben Buddy Slack
Founder & Creative Director
Ben is an award winning songwriter and community musician. He has released albums as a solo artist, with his band (The Blind Dead McJones Band) and as a duo with Siobhan Donnelly. His community music work has involved delivering songwriting workshops and courses in a variety of community settings, mental health facilities and prisons. He was inspired to start The Swan Song Project after losing his Grandma and regretting not recording her singing with him.
Lisa Marie Glover
Lisa is an experienced songwriter with several albums under her belt. She is an events musician and has lots of experience playing in a variety of care settings. She has run song writing workshops for several social and mental health charities around Leeds and she worked on an online children’s song writing project during lockdown. She was once commissioned by the University of Leeds to write a song about subatomic particles. She also composed a song about the suffragettes for a children’s choir in London. She is about to qualify as a counsellor and she has a strong interest in the therapeutic benefits of music and creativity. When she’s not song writing, counselling or teaching guitar, she enjoys playing her saxophone with her quartet, The Hornadoes. https://
‘Jamie Roberts is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter based in South Yorkshire. Performing on the UK folk circuit as part of Gilmore & Roberts, The Dovetail Trio, Kerfuffle and A Winter Union, Jamie has toured around the UK, Canada and mainland Europe, appeared at some of the UK’s biggest acoustic festivals and featured on many acclaimed albums. Jamie has also worked as a composer/sound designer in dance theatre as well as doing extensive community music education work in SEND schools, care homes and youth music programs.’
Julia Waldron is a Singer Songwriter from Sheffield with over two decades of writing and performing her original music up and down the country behind her.
Julia’s songwriting is deeply rooted in human experiences, exploring themes of love, loss, laughter, resilience, and the complexities of navigating life’s ups and downs.
Julia is 100 percent a people person, and her impact extends beyond her music. As an advocate for social justice and equality, she uses her platform to raise awareness on important issues and inspire positive change. Her lyrics often carry messages of hope, resilience, and the power of unity, reflecting her belief in the transformative power of music as a force for good.
Julia is absolutely passionate about the work of the Swansong project, and in her own words ‘ is chuffed to bits to be working for such an amazing organisation. It’s an honour and a total privilege to help people interpret their stories into songs’.
Mark Stoney is a Sheffield-based singer- songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, producer & collaborator with over 20 years experience in the music industry. renowned for his genre-hopping classic melodies and sharp lyrics, his critically-acclaimed solo work has been featured in publications such as NPR, NME, Entertainment Weekly, The Sunday Times, and The Huffington Post and led to touring & working alongside the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Laura Marling, Athlete and Jamie T.
In recent years he has contributed music to several major Hollywood films & TV Shows including American Idol, Better Call Saul & Legends and scored two indie films. Stoney also has a particular heart for developing up & nurturing up and coming talent, and his co-writing and production skills have helped launch the careers of many award winning young artists over the last few years.
Although highly experienced in the world of high achieving hit-makers, Stoney believes that everyone has a song in them and compares his role as a co-writer and producer to a “musical midwife” to help facilitate bringing it into being.
“The important work of The Swan Song Project facilitates a powerful and important process that is an honour to participate in.”
“I love writing songs with and for the people who have knocked on Swansongs door. However, seeing the smiles on their faces has been one of the joys of my life. It’s all about the people.”
Sam Hodgson / Samh
Jess Baker / Kaninchen
Jess is a community musician based in Huddersfield. She runs community choirs and singing workshops, specialising in harmony singing for mental health and wellbeing. Jess performs in several bands and performs as a solo artist under the name Kaninchen using voice and loop pedal.
“Ric has extensive experience as a songwriter and musical director. He has released several solo albums and worked on a range of shows. Two of Rics songs made the top ten of the UK Songwriting Contest in 2013 and he has lectured on songwriting for over ten years in the UK and overseas.” www.ricneale.com
Rob Crisp has 15 years experience of making music with a wide range of groups, encompassing youth work, art for mental health and well-being improvement, delivery in education establishments, and work with people with dementia and their carers. His diverse musical background ranges from classical and jazz to rock and pop through to electronic music. As a solo performer and producer working under the pseudonym Rib Corps, he’s released multiple albums in a wide variety of styles and played gigs with multiple lineups, including solo electronic improvisations, full band prog rock epics and even a 40 piece orchestra. He’s the bassist in garage blues trio Knuckle and plays sax in Yellow Goose, amongst many other performance and recording credits.
Anthony is the Project Director at Participate Projects, responsible for Social Venture support projects and employee volunteering across Leeds City Region. He has personal experience of the value of music at the end of life and believes everyone should have the opportunity to write their Swan Song.
Jeannie is a qualified social worker and a life-long fan of all kinds of music. From personal and professional experiences, she’s aware of how music touches peoples’ lives and their deaths, and believes that Swan Song is a great way to give and receive memories of a precious life.
Jon Gomm is a singer/songwriter based in Yorkshire, UK, known around the
world for his virtuoso guitar playing style, soulful singing and his honest and
emotive songwriting style.
Jon said “I am honoured to be the 1st ambassador for The Swan Song Project. Writing a song in those
circumstances is an amazing idea. Sometimes it’s incredibly hard to express things in words or face to
face. So being able to put it into that form, that people can then listen to forever, seems to me an incredible
way of having a real memory of a person, to help you cope with the fact that they’re not there anymore.”