In May 2017, Don Weir’s Reno Dodge will present Rhythm & Rawhide to benefit the Reno Phil and Reno Rodeo Foundation. This country western flavored event is the major fundraiser for the two organizations, with fun and exciting participatory entertainment and exhilarating music that will surely knock your boots off.

Rhythm & Rawhide will feature the Reno Phil conducted by Laura Jackson will special guest vocalists Brett James & Chris Destefano of Music City Hit Makers!

Country Cocktail Attire 

Sponsorships and Individual Tickets are available now!

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Grammy Award Winner & ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, Brett James, joins Laura Jackson & the Reno Phil Orchestra for Rhythm & Rawhide May 19, 2017. For over a decade, James has been one of the most prolific and versatile songwriters in Nashville having had more than three hundred of his songs recorded by major label recording artists.

A native of Oklahoma City, Brett attended Baylor University where he completed two years of medical school before moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of becoming a country star.

In 1995, Brett James was signed to the Arista subsidiary Career Records and subsequently released his self-titled debut album. Career Records was later dissolved in consolidation and with it, James’s recording artist aspirations. Brett persevered as a writer at Patrick Joseph Publishing which fostered the relationships that destined him for success.

In the year 2000, James received his first major album cut with the song ‘Love Is A Sweet Thing,’ recorded by Faith Hill followed by a top 20 single ‘You Won’t Be Lonely Now,’ with Billy Ray Cyrus. It wasn’t long before Brett reached the benchmark that all songwriters and artists alike strive for, the coveted #1 song. In April of 2001, then break out artist Jessica Andrews landed James his first #1 with the song ‘Who I Am.’ He returned to the top of the chart in 2002, this time with country superstar Martina McBride and the song ‘Blessed.’

Brett has toured with the CMA Songwriters series since 2010 sharing the stage with some of country music’s biggest stars; Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Martina McBride and many more! James current has four Top 20 songs climbing the Country charts with Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Thompson Square and Danielle Bradbery.

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A native of Mt Laurel, New Jersey, Chris Destefano is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Chris began singing at a very early age in the acclaimed Academy Boys Choir of Philadelphia. At age 13, he acquired his first guitar and remembers writing his very first songs shortly after. Driven by his passion for music and knack for picking up new instruments, Destefano’s talents lead him to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music where he studied film scoring.

Upon graduating, Destefano followed the natural migration for many aspiring film score composers and moved to Los Angeles, California. However, what he discovered in LA was not the soundstage, but his gift for songwriting and producing. In 2008, Chris signed a publishing deal with EMI. It wasn’t long before he found his name climbing the Billboard charts with the first single from David Archuleta’s sophomore album, a song called “Something About Love.” Destefano followed with a string of songs on the records of several other notable American Idol winners or finalists; Kelly Clarkson, David Cook and Scotty McCreery.

Setting his sights on the Country Airplay chart, Chris began splitting time between LA and Nashville, collaborating with some of Nashville’s hottest songwriters. The transition was seamless and in early 2012 Chris charted his first country single with Jana Kramer’s “Why You Wanna” which peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart. Right on the heels of this success, Destefano achieved his first Country chart topper with the song “Good Girl” recorded by another former American Idol winner and Pop-Country superstar Carrie Underwood.

Chris has followed with a streak of #1 songs recorded by Carrie Underwood (“Good Girl”), Billy Currington (“Hey Girl”), Brett Eldredge (“Don’t Ya”), Luke Bryan (“That’s My Kind of Night”), Miranda Lambert (“Somethin’ Bad”), Rascal Flatts (“Rewind”) and Chase Rice (“Ready Set Roll”). He recently scored another #1 with Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water” which was co-written with Underwood and fellow Hit-Maker Brett James. The single spent 7 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country chart!


Because of your support of Rhythm & Rawhide last spring, the joint fundraiser for the Reno Phil and Reno Rodeo Foundation raised over $150,000 to equally support each organization in accomplishing their mission. We couldn’t have done it without you! Rhythm & Rawhide will be held May 19, 2017 at the Downtown Reno Ballroom. Early sponsorship is encouraged!