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The Deep Roots Music Project

Our Mission -

The Deep Roots Music Project, founded in 1998, is committed to positively impacting the lives of young people by engaging them in our innovative, empowering, and sustainable writing program.  This life-changing program enlists professional musicians, who draw on the universal power of music and real-life experience as musicians and songwriters to help students compose their own song lyrics and create their own music CDs. Through Deep Roots, we aim to help participants build strong communities, develop teamwork and project-planning skills, and become more enthusiastic, skilled writers who recognize the unlimited potential of their unique voices.

Our Organization -

Currently, The Deep Roots Music Project is being hosted as a program of The Department of Continuing Education at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. This relationship allows us non-profit tax-exempt status, with Lewis and Clark serving as our fiscal agent.

We are also exploring the possibility of establishing our own non-profit corporation for the public interest. No timeline has been set for this transition.


 Program Personnel

Chris Gragg
Program Director
(Portland, Oregon)


Chris Gragg grew up in Portland, Oregon as a lover of both music and writing.

For over ten years, he taught English and creative writing at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.  It was during that time, starting in 1998, that Gragg and his students established and developed The Deep Roots Music Project.

Gragg is a graduate of  University of Oregon (1991),  Concordia College (1994).  and Lewis and Clark College (2004).

He currently teaches at Camas High School in Washington

Richard Brown
Roosevelt Site Leader / Producer
(Portland, Oregon)



Richard Brown is currently a language arts teacher working at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon. Richard is a poet and lover of music. He serves on the board of the N.A.P.T. (National Association for Poetry Therapy) and is a C.A.P.F. (Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator). Richard leads an after school poetry group at Roosevelt High School and incorporates poetry and music into his classroom. He was a DJ in college and has been writing poetry since he was 13 and has one recorded song to his credit.

Richard and his students have been Deep Roots participants since 2006.

Ezekiel Goodrick
(Troutdale, Oregon)



Zeke grew up in the town of Troutdale, Oregon.  His first experiences with music were his piano lessons at age 6. In the fourth grade he started playing the cello, then switched to bass in middle school.  At Reynolds High he played piano and guitar in the school's award-winning jazz band, “Band in Black.” His senior year, he performed on the first ever “Deep Roots Project.”

After high school, Zeke performed and wrote songs for several Portland-based band; including, Blueroom5, Six Foot Sam, Zeke and the Pop All-stars, and finally The Kinder Scale, which is his solo singer/songwriter project.  In 2006-7 Zeke returned to his old school for the opportunity to work on Deep Roots 9 & 10. Ever since, he has become increasingly involved in Deep Roots and now serves as our producer at the Reynolds site.


Jeremy Wilson
Recording Engineer
Roosevelt Project (Portland, Oregon)



Jeremy is widely known for his song-writing and as the singer-guitarist for rock bands such as Dharma Bums and Pilot.

Besides continuing to write and perform music, Wilson is now producing music in his Portland, Oregon studio, Mastan Music, and also film & video for Conveyer Films,

With a publishing deal with Sony, and numerous albums for labels like Frontier, BMG, Elektra, Mercury and T/K Records under his belt, Jeremy also brings to Deep Roots a wealth of industry experience.


Dave Fleschner
Recording Engineer
(Portland, Oregon)




As a musician, Dave Fleschner has played with notable performers such as Mel Brown, Dan Balmer, Roy Scheps, Paul Delay, Curtis Salgado, and many others.

Fleschner also has over a decade of experience as a recording engineer, and has worked with hundreds of artists in that capacity. He's been our main man in the studio for the recording of 10 Deep Roots CDs.

Dave also teaches music; at Ethos Inc (Portland) and at Multnomah Art Center.

He holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (2002) from Portland State University, where he received the Laurels Full Tuition Scholarship and studied with Darnell Grant.