The Peoples' Voice Cafe

An alternative coffeehouse
offering quality entertainment.

~ Spring 2013 Season ~

January 5, 2013:

Raised in the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia, Reggie Harris spices his folk and gospel style with elements of classical, rock, jazz and pop. For the past 30 years Reggie and his wife Kim have lent their soaring harmonies to songs of the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Movement as well as their own inspiring compositions. Tonight Reggie will give a unique and intimate solo performance while Kim studies for her Ph.D. at Union Theological Seminary.

Deeply rooted in the traditions of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, John Flynn paints vivid, lasting images of our common shared humanity, drawn from a palette of awareness, irony, humor, and compassion. A socially driven singer/songwriter not afraid of writing about the shadows, John lets his listeners come to their own conclusions. With nothing but a harmonica and an old Martin D-28, John’s powerful voice and open heart turn strangers into friends.

(Please note that Jon Fromer, who had been scheduled to share the evening with Reggie, had to withdraw for health reasons. We all wish him the best.)

January 12, 2013:
Hard Times & Good Times:
Country Songs & Old-Time Tunes with Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar & Bass

plays old-time banjo, occasionally guitar, concertina and fiddle, and sings traditional American and British songs. He has performed solo and with numerous groups at music venues and festivals from West Virginia to Canada. Alan regularly leads old-time jams in Brooklyn. He has also recorded a CD and has written articles for the Banjo Newsletter.

is a thirty-year veteran fiddler of New York's Old-Time music scene. He has collected and mastered a variety of southern fiddle tunes and styles. Born in Mississippi, he has recorded and taught workshops in the classic fiddle tunes from Carroll County, Mississippi. Harry has five recordings to his credit and performs in a number of duos and bands.

a proud Brooklynite, sings lead and harmony vocals, plays rhythm and lead guitar, and strives to play the banjo.  He performs with two trios, Triboro and Just Left Town.  He also co-teaches a harmony singing class at the Brooklyn music school Jalopy.  And for about five years he has been the late night jam leader during Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia.  By day he is a policy analyst and attorney with an anti-poverty agency, the Empire Justice Center.

plays upright bass, drums, and his own invention, the Flipper Rig, a low-volume mini-drum kit with a wash board, splash cymbals, frame drums, and a one-headed snare drum. He played with several bands in the 80s and 90s and now occasionally plays guitar with old time string bands. He moved to Brooklyn from Durham, NC in the mid-80s. Charlie has a number of recording credits.

January 19, 2013:

Mike and Aleksi join forces in a father/son guitar and songwriting ensemble that blends blues, jazz, Brazilian and Cuban styles, art song, political commentary and more. Mike has played with The New Song Quintet, known for their rhythmic diversity, brilliant improvisation and versatility. He had to bail out of his last gig at the Peoples' Voice (with Suni Paz) 24 years ago when his wife gave birth that night to Aleksi! Aleksi is now a superb jazz guitarist and emerging composer who studied at the Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University, where he held the Charlie Byrd Memorial Scholarship. He has studied with world-class jazz masters like Paul Bollenback, Vic Juris, Ron Jackson, Pat Martino, Lage Lund and Jon Abercrombie. He also co-leads a rock group BAM, and performs with his jazz trio at the Emerging Artists at The Bar Next Door, a well-known jazz club in Greenwich Village. Joining the group is Joy Hanson. A jazz vocalist at her core, her singing has drawn comparisons to the soft-soul vocals of Corinne Bailey Rae, Sade, and Esperanza Spalding.

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Rod Alonzo's mom came from New Orleans and dad came from Mexico City. This combination provided a wide range of musical experiences while Rod was growing up. His dad favored classical music, and often Segovia or Beethoven records were playing at full volume as the aroma of sauteeing garlic wafted out of the kitchen, while his mom played ABBA, Elton John, and the Bee Gees. Rod's own music is a finely-crafted fusion that shows the influence of Glenn Gould, Carole King and the Beatles.

February 2, 2013:

Smart, funny, informative--like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars. emma’s revolution is the award-winning, activist musicians Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Known to motivate and inspire, bring people to tears and back to laughter, their music has been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger and recorded by Holly Near. Touring over 200 days a year, emma’s revolution has performed at thousands of events around the world using the power of music to promote peace and justice, women's, LGBT, human rights, labor, and environmental issues.
"Gorgeous close harmonies and unsinkable tunefulness..." --Iowa City Press-Citizen

February 9, 2013:

A Rod MacDonald concert is an intimate, authentic, and uplifting experience. From the moment Rod begins to sing, he grabs his audiences and doesn’t let go. By turns wry and sentimental, then tart and silly, his music is infectious and inspiring, often humorous, sometimes reckless, usually thought provoking – and – always compelling, leaving his audiences wanting more. His sly humor and sharp ear make their way into many of his songs, exhibiting the talent for observation that led to a job as a reporter for a national newsweekly after he finished Columbia Law school.

His most recent CD is Songs of Freedom. When not touring, Rod is an instructor with Florida Atlantic University through their Lifelong Learning Program, presenting an ongoing and well-attended eight-week lecture/performance series on music history, most recently "The Great American Songbook."

February 16, 2013:

PEARLS OF WISDOM ~ Elders Who Tell Personal Stories
The Pearls of Wisdom are a touring ensemble of elder storytellers led by artistic director, Thelma Ruffin Thomas from Elders Share the Arts. In richly told presentations, the Pearls tell stories that illuminate their individual pasts and our collective histories. Their lively, spirited, interactive, and authentic presentations continue the tradition of elder folk art stories and inspire listeners to share stories of their own.

Harmonic Insurgence has been singing about peace, freedom, justice, and social change since 2003. With the rich harmonies and intricate rhythms of director Gene Glickman's arrangements, the singers--Laurie Bennett, Ellen Davidson, Ben Frisch, Mara Goodman, Nancy Hoch, Mark Karwowski, Jenny Knight, and Marie Robinson--present folk, reggae, blues, labor and love songs. Tonight includes the joyous "Frutos Deliciosos," which they learned on their 2011 trip to Cuba; the haunting "We Come and Stand at Every Door," about children and war; and the rousing "Banks of Marble" (yes, please join in!) against economic inequality. Come to rekindle your conviction that another world is possible.

February 23, 2013:

Tonight you will hear ukuleles, slack key guitar, steel guitar, and more from some of the finest local practitioners of Hawaiian music, including Jason Poole (The Accidental Hawaiian Crooner), Claudia Goddard, Terre Roche, Chris Davis, and Triboro. You will enjoy authentic hula dancing by the New York Branch of Kumu Hula (Master Teacher) Vicky Holt Takamine's Pua Ali'i 'Ilima. And if you feel like dancing, you might even learn a hula yourself. Wear a Hawaiian shirt or other festive attire. Produced by Evy Mayer and co-sponsored by the Folk Music Society of New York.

March 2, 2013:

Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner formed the duo Magpie in Ohio in 1973. They play folk, country, swing, and jazz on guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, harmonica and kazoo. The precision of their chamber-folk arrangements and their graceful harmonies--refined over the years to an effortless rapport--make this duo a thrill to hear and see.

Ruth Pelham is a nationally known singer, songwriter, and educator whose songs embody the spirit of community. Filling the stage with humor, warmth and spontaneity, she gets audiences singing, clapping, tapping and feeling like a room full of longtime friends and family. Pete Seeger calls her "one of America's greatest songwriters," and audiences describe her as charismatic, mesmerizing, and inspiring. Ruth is also the founder and director of Music Mobile, an educational arts organization which presents innovative programs that foster a love of music and creative arts, promote cooperation, build self esteem, and revitalize neighborhoods and communities.

March 9, 2013:

An extraordinary lineup of singers and musicians: Sally Campbell with the Disabled in Action Singers & Friends, Hudson Valley Sally, Joel Landy, The Lords of Liechtenstein, Rick & Andy, Thelma Thomas, and Wool & Grant will donate musical performances to raise funds for this much beloved organization. Now widely known as PMN, it uses music and culture to promote progressive ideas and values and sparked the founding of the Peoples’ Voice Café just two years after it began in 1977. PMN celebrates diversity, including gender, age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, and economic status, and nurtures social justice music and other art forms of many kinds. Through music and storytelling, the program tonight will offer an exciting exploration of these core PMN values. Come, sing along and give whatever you can to help support PMN. You might even take home one of the valuable premiums contributed by well-known musicians to make the evening even more of a party!

Wool & Grant, Thelma Thomas, Rick & Andy; Hudson Valley Sally, Lords of Liechtenstein, Joel Landy, Disabled in Action Singers, Sally Campell.

March 16, 2013:

Award-winning singer/ songwriter/ guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Heather Lev writes original, whimsical, philosophical, inspiring, and political songs, in styles ranging from folk-rock sing-a-longs, to traditional-sounding bluegrass tunes, to a capella rounds. Her two CDs On the Train to Babylon and Reason for Rain have received strong reviews and radio play worldwide. Heather is a two-time winner of the Great American Song Contest Honor Awards (for "Lost Love & Bad Weather" and "The Village is Haunted"), an Honorable Mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for "Harlan County", and a Puffin Foundation Award for Songwriting.

Come hear Adele Rolider as she shares her hope, love and inspiration through song. From spiritual to rap, from songs of love, to songs about justice and building community, she'll get you singing and tapping, moving, and maybe even breathing more deeply. With Adele on vocals and guitar, Cynthia Hilts on piano and vocals, and Mara Goodman on vocals. "And we're all connected and we need that too, gonna feed each other, gonna live what's true, and breathe...believe!"
"Adele's beautiful voice and empowering songs make me know a better world really is possible." -- Ray Korona, folksinger and activist.

March 23, 2013:

Women's Voices for Peace and Justice

Pat grew up in New York City and now makes her home in Hudson Valley. She has been writing and performing folk-style songs all her adult life, and they have been praised highly by Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, David Roth, and others. Carefully crafted, lyric-driven, and singable, her songs sing of peace, religion, the environment, and personal topics. Pat was Sonny Ochs' pick to perform in the Folk DJ Showcase at the 2012 conference of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance. She has two solo albums, Full Circle (2009) and Do I Know My Song Well Enough to Start Singing Yet? (2012).

Dr. MaryNell Morgan is a Professor of Political Science at SUNY Empire State College and a recognized authority on the life and work of W.E.B. DuBois. She is also a performer and a longtime activist for peace and social justice. MaryNell and her eight siblings grew up in a multi-generational extended family where singing and storytelling were part of their everyday lives. Although she sang in choirs, MaryNell admits that she was apprehensive about performing solo until, as an adult, she started going to open mic nights at Cafe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. Since then MaryNell's rich and powerful voice has been heard at SUNY-ESC faculty meetings, academic conferences on African-American culture, informal sing-alongs, rallies outside the New York State Capitol, and People's Music Network gatherings.

After several years' absence, singer-songwriter, author, publisher, baker, pacifist, feminist, environmentalist, scavenger, and stoop-sale impresario Vicki Rovere returns to the Peoples' Voice Cafe with some new songs and some oldies-but-goodies. Vicki's songs come out of the newspaper and out of the experience of her own offbeat and rather entertaining life. One of them is available on Youtube: Vicki is also the author of the underground classic book, Where to Go: a Guide to Manhattan's Toilets.

April 6, 2013:

Young Political Songwriters Night

A political activist since childhood, Sima Cunningham integrates her political worldview with more personal observations about life. For twelve years she performed with the multi-cultural Chicago Children's Choir, and sang at anti-Iraq war rallies in Chicago when she was twelve. She has performed in Venezuela, Armenia, Turkey, Ireland, and South Korea, where she sang at the DMZ. Sima studied Cultural Diplomacy at NYU's Gallatin School and upon her recent graduation, gave a TEDx talk in Yerevan, Armenia, about the power of music to cross political and social boundaries. She has recorded three albums and will soon return to the studio with her new band in Chicago.

Jacob is a 21 year old singer songwriter from Pete Seeger's home town of Beacon, NY. He is a founding member of Clearwater's Power of Song band and founder of the Something to Say Café, a place for teenagers to express themselves. His songs explore life's journey from a young person's perspective, mixing Modern Acoustic with folk sensibilities, and touch upon war and peace, homelessness and poverty, as well as more uplifting things. He has recorded a CD, Footprints, and is working on another one. "Jacob Bernz's powerful songs are an artful mix of youthful passion and deep roots." - Andrew Revkin, New York Times.

arjuna greist is an artist for the people, delivering provocative, queertastic folk n' word with a mission. Her music has a folky tone but a punk sensibility, blending progressive politics with witty observations from an ecofeminist perspective. Combining performance poetry with songs both poignant and droll, arjuna leaves her audiences uplifted and wanting more. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll discover a whole new reason to recycle.

April 13, 2013:

Join band members Barry Kornhauser, Ellen Davidson, Gina Tlamsa, Ivice & Ray with piano virtuoso Rick Ulfik for the Ray Korona Band’s annual homecoming concert for friends and activists! Help launch a musical attack on the wrongs of the world with acoustic instruments and polished vocal harmonies! Hear spirited new songs celebrating people taking action for justice from the workers one hundred years ago at the Paterson Silk Mills to the Raging Grannies today. Join in Musical Solidarity with Joe Homeless, Gay Boy Scouts, kids with computers, environmentalists, domestic workers and all those fighting to save our planet and safety net programs. Plus, enjoy a special guest set by a pair of dynamic young political singers, Elissa West and Karen Winner. Free concert DVDs!

April 20, 2013:

Roy Zimmerman writes fiercely funny songs about ignorance, war and greed. In twelve albums over twenty years, Roy has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for Peace and Social Justice. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. He’s been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered, and he's a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. Roy’s YouTube videos have garnered over four million views and tens of thousands of comments, many of them coherent. The Los Angeles Times says, “Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society’s foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer." Joni Mitchell says, "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection."

April 27, 2013:

The Peaceniks, inspired by The Byrds, Bob Dylan, The Band, and the Beatles, were founded by songwriter Moogy Klingman, best known for writing the Bette Midler classic "You Gotta Have Friends." This will be the first gig for the reunited Peaceniks after the passing of Moogy in November of 2011.  Moogy asked his musical partner, New York peace activist Barry Gruber, to keep the flame burning. The new band features Barry on vocals and guitar, Patti Rothberg on guitar and vocals, Jim Satten (Bo Diddley's main man) on guitar, Mark Greenberg (formerly with Dicky Betts) on drums, and Darryl Tookes on keyboards and vocals. Darryl has worked with Sting, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, and Carly Simon. The Peaceniks' third CD comes out this spring.

A former New York union organizer, George Mann sings songs from the last century of labor and social activism. His own songs are powerful and funny takes on the state of the nation. His concerts are part sing-along, part history lesson, and he can make you shout for joy, send chills down your spine or bring tears to your eyes in the same set. George created and produced the Hail to the Thief! anti-Bush CD series and has filmed a documentary on his late musical partner Julius Margolin. George's new CD is Patience in These Times.

Rik Palieri plays original and traditional songs on the banjo, 6 & 12 string guitars, mouth bow, Native American flute, and a collection of rare Polish bagpipes, which he learned under the tutelage of the last remaining pipers in the mountain village of Istebna. He was a member of Pete Seeger's Hudson Valley Sloop Singers in the 70s and has collaborated with Utah Phillips. Rik is also the producer of the TV series Songwriter's Notebook (1999-present) and the author of The Road Is My Mistress: Tales of a Roustabout Songster (2004).

May 4, 2013:

Jazz vocalist Pam Parker blends Billie's precision with Aretha's brand of soul. The combination of sweet tone, spot-on vibrato and something hauntingly reminiscent of jazz singers of old that makes her live performances enthralling. Her CDs include Imagine, Bread and Roses, and The Lemonade Project.

Elaine brings you indie folk/pop with a hint of Celtic lilt, blending poetic lyrics, wry humor, and soaring vocals.
"Her songs are vivid, aphoristic, often metaphorically charged." --Lucid Culture blog.

Ben performs songs of social critique. His original songs address issues including student debt, ecological breakdown, and the madness of the authoritarian security state we live in. He performs songs of fellow artists that express a sensibility for radical social change and that nurture the longing for a free society. His powerful voice and thumping guitar are the foundation for lyrics that make no apology for having a position on contemporary events. Based in Amherst, MA, Ben is an activist involved in organizing for immigrant rights, ecological justice, and resisting military violence. He serves on the Steering Committee of People’s Music Network.

May 11, 2013:

Mothers Day Concert Against Gun Violence
A benefit for the Children's Defense Fund, featuring performances by KJ Denhert, Alix Dobkin, emma’s revolution, John Flynn, Terre Roche, Claudia Goddard, and others.

May 18, 2013:

Quaker singer/songwriter, Sally Campbell, longtime PVC activist and supporter, returns with her autoharp to sing her sometimes funny, sometimes deep, always friendly songs. She's been giving away Giftsongs and Blessings, the CD of her 70th birthday concert/party as a way to strenghten the gift economy in this overly commercialized world. Since she feels that songs are given to her, she wants to give them onwards. Come and join in singing about beloved belongings, hugging friends and being the change we wish to see in the world (unless you don't wanna).

Whether he's in singer/songwriter mode or doing McFerrinesque vocal improvisations, Ben Silver's music slides through folk, R&B, funk, jazz and back again. Ben sings passionately about peace, freedom, parenting, our environment, LGBT issues and even an occasional romantic love song. His songs have been published in Carry It On, Sing Out, The Washington Post, and the book Hearing Everyone's Voice.