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2015 Summer Gathering

Bloomingburg, NY, Camp Echo, June 5-7, 2015

Workshop Descriptions and Workshop Grid

Video

Sorry, we have no video from this gathering

Plenary: Kim & Reggie Harris

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 1:00 PM -2:00 PM

Biography: Consummate musicians and storytellers, Kim and Reggie Harris combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock and pop music. Creative curiosity, years of road and stage experience and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Tom Paxton, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte and others, has led them to produce music that entertains and inspires.

As a result of their CDs “Steal Away” and Get On Board” (Appleseed Recordings) and materials developed in their work with the Kennedy Center, Kim and Reggie have earned wide acclaimed for their contributions to the resources and knowledge base – in historical and educational circles – on the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement.

Kim and Reggie Harris are dynamic and superbly talented traditional folk performers, whose captivating stage presence and unique harmonies has earned the respect and love of audiences throughout the US, Canada and Europe for over 30 years. They are unique in their ability to entertain audiences of any age and background as they blend their talents as singers, songwriters, educators, interpreters of history and cultural advocates.

www.kimandreggie.com

Friday Concert Performers

Steve Deasy is a Pittsburgh born, Detroit based performing songwriter, producer and arranger. His songwriting has been recognized by the Kerrville Music To Life and Great Lakes Songwriting competitions. Steve is a socially conscious writer in the tradition of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, but with the contemporary musicality of new folk, classic rock, pop, and jazz influences. Add some humorous Steve Goodman-style story songs and you have Steve Deasy: relevant, complex funny and talented. www.stevedeasy.com

Al Bradbury is a singer/songwriter in Brooklyn, and a member of Musicians Local 1000. She’s also the editor of Labor Notes, a magazine and organizing project dedicated to putting the movement back in the labor movement, where she reports on the Teamster, health care, postal, higher education, and auto industry beats. Previously she worked with hospital workers as a researcher and organizer for Service Employees Local 49 in Oregon. You can find her songs for free at www.etandtheboy.wordpress.com


Ben Bath is an Ethnomusicologist, philosopher and singer who researches the history of American folk music and the American Left.

Hudson Valley Sally (John Fisher, Terry Colliton, Dave Tarlo, and Laurie Siegel) has been described as blending like brothers and sisters from the same home. Their music is influenced by rich experiences that include everything from life in a convent to time in jail for protesting injustice. And family legacies that include combat in the trenches of Spain during their Civil War, right up to a just-completed daring peace mission to Pakistan. And like family, each member brings a unique energy to their mix of old, new and original songs. Their mission is to inform and inspire, and they do this in a lively, fun, entertaining way. www.HudsonValleySally.com

Lorre Wyatt has been performing his social and environmentally-conscious songs on the folk circuit since the early 1970s. He’s best known for the classic song, “Somos El Barco/We are the Boat”, and for numerous songwriting collaborations with Pete Seeger, including their 2012 album “A More Perfect Union”. Lorre engages audiences with a vibrant blend of classic and contemporary folksongs and sing-alongs from many different traditions. www.lorrewyatt.com

Kim and Reggie Harris are the 2015 PMN Artists-in-Residence. Consummate musicians and storytellers, they combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock and pop music. Kim and Reggie have earned wide acclaimed for their contributions to the resources and knowledge base – in historical and educational circles – on the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement. Kim and Reggie Harris are dynamic and superbly talented traditional folk performers, whose captivating stage presence and unique harmonies has earned the respect and love of audiences throughout the US, Canada and Europe for over 30 years. www.kimandreggie.com


New Freedom Song Challenge

FROM KIM AND REGGIE HARRIS: ON THE PMN “NEW FREEDOM SONG CHALLENGE”

Dear Fellow PMN Singers and Songwriters,We hope you are all still buzzing and excited by the marvelous exchange of energy, songs and ideas we all shared during our “snow anointed” PMN Winter Gathering in January 2015. (Much of the gathering was documented by video.)We’ve been thrilled to receive all the great feedback, from so many of you, regarding the ideas we shared in our keynote. Our travels, which included the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Jubilee, have only served to highlight what we know: Music Matters!!

Recent events in Selma, Birmingham, Ferguson, Oakland, Cleveland, New York City and beyond have demonstrated that NOW is a critical time to re-energize the use of cultural and musical influences in the efforts to engage and mobilize those who are at the forefront of the new freedom and justice movements.

This is why we “threw down” the New Freedom Song Challenge.

With that in mind, we look forward to the PMN Summer Gathering, June 5-7, as a great opportunity to unveil some new sing-able, accessible songs and to sharpen our song leading skills.

Movements need songs that speak to the heart AND the issue…songs that can be quickly learned… songs that can be integrated into use and then passed along from place to place as we step toward the challenge of networking, marching and organizing.

This is a THREE-PART CHALLENGE. We invite you to take part in any or all parts.

Gathering… Composing… Modifying.

    1. Gathering: Listening and learning to lead old and new songs for political themed community singing.
    2. Composing: Write new songs, suitable for organizing meetings, activist and protest actions, times of reflection (e.g., memorials to protest martyrs)
    3. Modifying: How might an existing song be modified for protest settings? Can it be sung paperless if only the chorus is used? If people know the chorus from radio play, how might it be utilized in activists settings without the more complicated verses? (e.g., “Glory”)

As you gather, write, and modify songs, we invite you to check out these articles by some amazing elder song-leaders and activists, which highlight some of the issues around how and why freedom songs work.

Essential Reading: Bernice Johnson Reagon, “How to Think of Freedom Songs

In-depth Reading: Robert Darden’s latest book, “Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement

Listen to some New Freedom Songs:

This movement song, “Hand In Hand” by a young person connected with the Black Lives Matter Movement in Minneapolis. And yes…if you like it, we encourage you to support her by downloading it for $1.

Prince Wrote “Baltimore“. It’s singable and playable.

The Peace Poet’s wrote “I can’t Breathe“, which has been sung on the front lines of many “Black Lives Matter” actions.

Greg Greenway gave his blessing for PMN members to sing and share his song “From There to Here” which was written in honor of Congressperson John Lewis. He asks only that you attribute it and that no one records it before it comes out on the next CD by Brother Sun, due later this year or early next.

Sincerely,

Kim and Reggie Harris



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