The Peoples' Voice Cafe

An alternative coffeehouse offering
quality entertainment in New York City.

~ Spring 2014 Season ~

January 4, 2014:

Kim & Reggie Harris
Kim and Reggie Harris are a dynamic and superbly talented duo whose captivating stage presence and unique harmonies have 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 singer-songwriters, educators, interpreters of history and cultural advocates. Consummate musicians and storytellers, Kim and Reggie Harris combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a background in classical, rock, jazz and pop music.

John Flynn
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.

January 11, 2014:

Dave Lippman
Satirical songster Dave Lippman brings along the Bard of the Bankers, Wild Bill Bailout, in a Fairly Unbalanced program of rhyming commentary. Current victims of his parody and thrust include climate change, Uprisings in the Mideast and Midwest, Money vs. Speech, and of course fracking. Get ready for high-end pop rewrites and some very wise cracks.

David Laibman
David Laibman brings together an exciting variety of people's music: songs from many places and times, songs of struggle, singalongs, colorful commentary, and creative instrumental guitar techniques. He is an innovative ragtime guitarist and has released the CDs The New Ragtime Guitar (with Eric Schoenberg), Classical Ragtime Guitar), and Adventures in Ragtime. as well as the DVDs The Guitar Artistry of David Laibman and Play the Classic Rags of Scott Joplin, James Scott & Joseph Lamb. Inspiration for this evening's set comes from Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and the peoples' song movement. David will play some new ragtime compositions, fingerstyle renditions of classical works, and musical theater.

January 18, 2014:

Duncan Phillips
As the son of Bruce "Utah" Phillips, Duncan Phillips began traveling on the road with his father in the winter of 2000. Utah referred to Duncan as his "road manager", but Duncan jokes that everyone knows his father couldn't be managed. Duncan performed on stage just shortly after his dad's death in 2008. Along with Utah's old road-worn Guild guitar, Duncan inherited the songs and stories of the people and places that his father wrote about over his forty plus years of wandering the country. Tonight Duncan will be accompanied by Walter Parks, leader of the band Swamp Cabbage and formerly second guitarist for Richie Havens.

Generations: Michael & Aleksi Glick
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. Aleksi is a jazz guitarist and composer. He also leads the big-band rock group BAAM! and the Aleski Glick Jazz Trio.

January 24-26, 2014:

People's Music Network Winter Gathering
Peoples' Voice Cafe will be closed this weekend so that we can all go to the People's Music Network Winter Gathering Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 26 here in New York City. See you there!

February 1, 2014:

Judy Gorman
Judy Gorman's songs get their wings from her imagination and their roots from the folk, blues, jazz and gospel music she's been surrounded by all her life. Her earliest memories are of hearing the music of Billie Holiday, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson and Leadbelly, all of whom influenced her passionate vocals and her vision that another world is possible. Pete Seeger sums up Judy Gorman like this: "She came, she sang, she conquered. No two programs that she gives are the same. She is always thinking how to find the right phrase, the right song to hit the nail right on the head, to shoot the arrow straight to the heart of the matter. I hope she lives to be 100 and is able to bring her songs to every nook and cranny of this suffering world."

The Blues Mothers
The Blues Mothers are a mighty trio of vocals, harmonica and flute, backed by bass, guitar and drums. These five women and drummer dad produce an exciting sound that delights and surprises, with original songs and inspired retro covers in blues, jazz, and rock styles. Featuring Jenny Murphy (lead vocals), Hope Berkeley (harmonica & vocals), Pam Sklar (flute & vocals), Irene Maher (guitar & vocals), and Joan Indig (bass & vocals).

February 8, 2014:

Rod MacDonald
A Rod MacDonald concert is an intimate, authentic, and uplifting experience. He grabs his audiences and doesn’t let go. Wry and sentimental, silly and inspiring, humorous and reckless, and always compelling. Rod began as a reporter for a national newsweekly after he finished Columbia Law school, and his sharp ear and keen observations have found their way into his songs. 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 15, 2014:

Faith Nolan & the Bull Dagger Blues Band
Faith Nolan is a Canadian social activist and singer-songwriter of African, Mi'kmaq and Irish heritage. Her music, drawing from her roots as a queer, working class, African-Canadian woman, is a mix of blues, folk and jazz, with a taste of funk and reggae. Faith plays guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica, djembe and tambourine. She has released over a dozen CDs.

Thelma Thomas
Thelma Ruffin Thomas is artistic director of The Pearls of Wisdom, a touring ensemble of elder storytellers. In richly narrated presentations she tells stories that illuminate her own past and our collective histories. She has brought her lively, spirited, authentic presentations to Tanzania, Brazil, Ghana, Costa Rica, The Gambia, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Kenya, and (coming up this spring) Camaroon, continuing the tradition of elder folk art stories. Thelma is a founding member of The African Folk Heritage Circle, Inc. and a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers and the Harlem Arts Alliance.

February 22, 2014:

"Local Folks Night"

Jeremiah Birnbaum
Jeremiah Birnbaum is a "rootsy, soulful troubadour" (Time Out London) and folk-rock fingerpicker who plays a unique brand of "raucous alt-country...with a touch of whiskey burning" (New York Magazine, Critic's Pick). He has received several ASCAP songwriting awards and recently appeared on WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt, who also hosted Jeremiah at his monthly songwriter's showcase, On Your Radar. Jeremiah is currently recording a follow-up to his 2012 acoustic debut, Lucky, which reached #31 on the Roots Music Report/Cashbox charts.

Beth Kotkin
Beth's love of folk music began with playing music at the Seeger family's summer camp in Vermont as a child. From there she expanded her repertoire to include songs by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Hank Williams, Kate Wolf and others. She recently moved from the west coast back to her hometown NYC and is reconnecting with her folk roots here.

Jon Ziv
This is John Ziv's debut gig. We and he are hoping that by the time he’s done, the audience will be wondering why he waited so long. As a late bloomer, he’d rather be compared to Mother Jones than Grandma Moses. His songs encompass a range of themes and styles, but he confesses a fondness for the blues and ironic (tending toward absurd) depictions of everyday life. By day Jon is a long-time political and union activist.

March 1, 2014:

Tribute to Carolyn Hester
with Karla & Amy Blume

Kick off Women's History Month with American Folk Pioneer Carolyn Hester, a noted figure in the Greenwich Village Folk Scene. Known as a fiercely independent artist, she continues the work of a lifetime using her unique empathy to translate for the audience meaningful messages in the ongoing effort to create a better world. Her honeyed voice has raised up other artists to this calling, from Bob Dylan to Nancy Griffith. Tonight she performs after 56 years as a recording artist with her daughters, Karla and Amy Blume, continuing the tradition of American Folk Singer-Songwriters.

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March 8, 2014:

Photo by Paul C. Jablon

Alix Dobkin
Alix Dobkin began as a professional folk singer in 1962 and came out ten years later. Since then she's been writing and performing over several continents with songs focusing on women in general and Lesbians in particular, sprinkled with material from Jerry Lewis, Broadway, and Yiddish folk tradition and more. Controversial and groundbreaking, she was dubbed "Womyn's music legend" by Spin Magazine and is sometimes referred to as "Her Dykeness" by her community. Alix has six albums, three CDs, a songbook (out of print), and the Lambda Literary Award finalist, My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement.

They come from different places--Ina May Wool as a character-driven singer-songwriter and Bev Grant as a topical songwriter--and their collaboration has led to a debut CD full of feeling and fun. Wool&Grant's songs tell their life stories. They celebrate South African grandmothers on a soccer team, and they shine a powerful light on the short, spectacular life of Janis Joplin. Wool&Grant remind us with grace and power that wild women don't have the blues.

March 15, 2014:
People's Purim

Come celebrate Purim like you have never done before! We will begin with an updated retelling of the Megillah of Esther. Then Robin and Paul will fill the evening with Jewish and Jewish-themed songs from the past and present. Groggers (traditional Purim noisemakers) will be provided, and we will be selling Hamentashen cookies.

Robin Greenstein
Robin Greenstein plays guitar, banjo and ukelele. She studied and worked with folk legend Hedy West, was signed to Bob Dylan's publishing company, and was a clinician for Martin Guitars. Her first "real" job was a grant to study and perform Jewish music. She sings in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. Robin's most recent CD is Songs of the Season, with Cecelia Kirtland.

Paul Stein
Paul Stein is an accordionist who doubles on the melodica and claviola, a singer (English, Yiddish, Hebrew), songwriter, and activist who has been singing out against war and for progressive social change for over 30 years. He co-founded The Occuponics, one of the most active musical collaborations at Occupy Wall Street, and can be heard on picket lines, marches and peace vigils throughout the metropolitan area. Paul is also member of the Filthy Rotten System (Catholic Worker band) and the Coalición Unidad Sunset Park.

March 22, 2014:

The Brooklyn Community Storytellers
BCS is an eclectic group of educators, performing artists, musicians, and healers who tell stories celebrating the connectedness of all creatures and the shared history of the human family. Since 1997, they have told our stories in Brooklyn and beyond, spinning tales for neighbors, friends, and families on stone stoops, in parks, churches, libraries, and schools. Their repertoire weaves together folklore from many traditions, myth, history, and song.

Robin Bady
Award-winning storyteller Robin Bady has been experimenting with the power of the spoken word for over 40 years. She performs internationally, telling her bighearted, personal, and street-smart versions of stories from European and other world cultures as well as from her own life. She is the author of Ghosts I’ve Met Along the Way (a book of true ghost tales), and she hosts the BADYHouseStorytellingConcert series in Brooklyn.

March 29, 2014:

Terry Kitchen
Called "one of New England's best songwriters" by The Boston Globe, Terry Kitchen's songs are portraits of ordinary people and emotions, captured with extraordinary compassion, honesty and humor. Kitchen's songs have won the USA and the Mid-Atlantic song contests and been runners-up in the John Lennon Song Contest, and he has released ten CDs since the 1990s. His debut novel, Next Big Thing, is set in the 1980s music scene, when Kitchen sang with the group Loose Ties.

Pat Lamanna
Pat’s songs have been praised highly by Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, David Roth, and others. They have a strong folk influence, and cover issues such as peace, religion, the environment, and personal topics. They are carefully crafted and lyric-driven, with tunes that are eminently singable. She has two solo albums, Full Circle (2009) and Do I Know My Song Well Enough to Start Singing Yet? (2012).

Mara Levine & Caroline Cutroneo
Mara and Caroline have gorgeous voices, which they blend in tight harmonies, singing original, traditional and contemporary folk and blues. Mara has been called "one of the best singers of her generation" by Christine Lavin, and her latest CD, Jewels and Harmony, was the #1 album on the Folk Chart January 2013 and #3 for 2013. Caroline is an award-winning singer/songwriter-guitarist who delights her audience with originals and rare finds from traditional folk songs, depression-era jug bands, and newly-discovered treasures from the sixties folk revival.

April 5, 2014:

The Ray Korona Band
Join band members Barry Kornhauser, Ellen Davidson, Gina Tlamsa, Ivice and Ray with piano virtuoso Rick Ulfik for the Ray Korona Band’s annual homecoming concert for friends and activists! Lots of new songs on current social justice issues, love, life and survival! Enjoy a musical celebration of Pete Seeger, the Raging Grannies, fearless demonstrators, workers, environmentalists and all those taking a stand for a better world. Not to mention the band’s fabulous acoustic instrumentation, polished vocal harmonies, and a special guest set by Kicking Down Doors, featuring Autumn Walden & Ernie Tokay!

April 12, 2014:

Pete Seeger Celebration Sing-Along
Let's celebrate the life and music of Pete Seeger! Several of our favorite Peoples' Voice Cafe performers have volunteered to serve as song leaders. This is a fully participatory event, so come prepared to sing. We are not charging our regular admission, but we are requesting a voluntary $5 or $10 contribution to cover our rent and other overhead expenses.

April 26, 2014:

Irthlingz: Sharon Abreu & Mike Hurwicz
Sharon Abreu (vocals, fiddle, guitar) and Michael Hurwicz (vocals, guitar, harmonica, bass) met at the People's Voice Café in 1998. In 1999, they brought their environmental musical show Turn the World Upside-Down to the NYC public schools. Sharon and Mike are founders of the nonprofit Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education. Sharon played fiddle in the Ray Korona Band for several years and has sung for Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and at the U.N. Her song "Change in the Climate" became the climate change theme song for the radio show EcoTalk on Air America. In 2011, She received the Spirit of Nature, Ecology and Society Environmental Justice Award at CUNY for her show The Climate Monologues. Tonight Sharon & Mike will offer songs for peace and environmental healing, and selections from The Climate Monologues.

Colleen Kattau & Some Guys
Colleen Kattau is a performer whose indie ecletic folk and socio-environmentalist music is "power and beauty steeping in a fine tea." Colleen has four CDs and three benefit CDs. Her fifth recording, The Living Years, will appear this spring in the art journal, Corresponding Voices. Colleen and Some Guys (Brandt on bass, Yaman on sax and vocals) inspire hope and spark imagination and participation. They were recently showcased at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, and at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Under the name, Dos XX, they won the 2013 Band Contest at Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Ithaca, NY. Colleen is an arts activista who believes in the transformative power of song and all the arts to create a better world.

May 3, 2014:

Ben Tousley & Sue Kranz
Sue Kranz & Ben Tousley have been bringing their uplifting voices and sweet harmonies to audiences for 25 years. With flute and guitar, original songs and covers, this lively duo offers heartfelt ballads, soulful love songs, incisive social commentary and a delightful sampling from Latino, Irish and Jewish traditions. Kranz has three recordings and has appeared with the women’s singing group Constellations. She has collaborated musically from Peru to Nepal. Tousley is known for stirring anthems and wry storytelling and has released six albums of original songs. Their new album as a duo is Take Heart.

Carrie & Michael Kline
Michael and Carrie Kline weave West Virginia folklore with spine-tingling harmonies on voice and guitar. They have recorded music and stories from the coalfields and mountainside farms of the Appalachians, and documented music in industrial cities. To hear them is to be transported to a country church, a primeval forest, a coal miner's picket line, or grandma's kitchen. Their CDs include Working Shoes and Wild Hog in the Woods.

May 10, 2014:

SONiA of Disappear Fear
disappear fear is a songwriter, a band, a visual artist named SONiA (Rutstein) from Baltimore. Touring in 16 countries and leaving a whole bunch of smiles in her wake, SONiA has received many awards, including the Coin of Honor from the U.S. Army for her humanitarian efforts and the GLAAD award for Best Album. SONiA is grateful to her worldwide fan base that has been the backbone of her 25-year career.
"SONiA is universal and personal all at once. SONiA makes art a mirror, confidant, advocate, international observer and participant in the human struggle." --Reggie Harris.

May 17, 2014:

Songs & Stories from the 1960s Southern Freedom Movement

Larry Rubin
Between 1961 and 1965, Larry Rubin was a SNCC field secretary in Georgia and Mississippi supporting African-Americans who were risking their lives attempting to register to vote. In Marshall County and surrounding northern Mississippi counties, he helped organize Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party precincts and helped tenant farmers participate in community committee elections. He helped black and white workers gain the right to vote for a union at the Marshall County Brick and Tile factory. For 45 years, Larry has worked in the labor movement as an organizer, speechwriter, and political advocate.

For over 40 years, Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino have raised their voices to celebrate, inform and support struggles for a better world. Their music is powerful, uplifting and inspiring, always drawing on the historical roots that have nourished their artistic collaboration. From demonstrations in Washington, DC, to schools to festival stages, their audiences respond to their strong harmonies and their timeless message: that together we can build bridges of understanding, justice and peace. Magpie is known for their own compositions and their interpretations of the classic songs that were the cultural foundation of the modern civil rights movement.

Marshall Jones
Marshall Jones was involved in the civil rights movement in Knoxville while studying at the University of Tennessee. His brother Matthew encouraged him to join the SNCC Freedom Singers in 1963 and Marshall performed with the group from 1963 to 1967. During that time, he composed "In The Mississippi River," a tribute to Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, civil rights workers who were murdered during the Mississippi Summer Project. The song has been included in award-winning documentaries like Neshoba and Eyes on the Prize, as well as CD collections that commemorate that special moment in history when anything seemed possible.

Luci Murphy
Vocalist Luci Murphy is a native of Washington, D.C., where she often leads group singing. She has a long history of community activism, especially working with children at risk. Currently she sings with the SGI New Century Chorus and the D.C. Labor Chorus. In 2007, she received the Paul Robeson Award for Peace and Justice from the Friends of the People's Weekly World. Luci has been performing since her childhood in the 1950s. To reach the members of our diverse human family, she sings in ten languages: English, Spanish, French, Creole, Portuguese, Zulu, Arabic, Hebrew, Cherokee, and ki-Swahili. She draws on the folkloric traditions and musical idioms of all these cultures, as well as her own roots in spirituals, blues and jazz.

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