The Peoples' Voice Cafe

An alternative coffeehouse offering
quality entertainment in New York City.

~ SPRING 2016 ~

January 2, 2016:

Photo by Robert Berkowitz.

Lois Morton
Lois Morton is an award-winning singer and songwriter who has delighted audiences in New York and beyond since 2008 with her abundant charm and humorous songs of social commentary on such subjects as cell phones, clutter, diets, psychotherapy, and road rage. Reinventing herself in retirement, Lois has gone from being an educator and therapist to a singer-songwriter with a rapier wit and a surprisingly contemporary approach.
"Underneath Lois Morton’s sweet grandmotherly demeanor lurks a wickedly clever songwriter. The legacy of Tom Lehrer lives on in Lois." —John Platt, host of WFUV's Sunday Supper.

Sue Jeffers
Sue Jeffers' dad probably had no idea what he was starting when he gave his daughter a copy of Abbie Hoffman's Soon To Be a Major Motion Picture as a high school graduation present. An Ohio native from the historically significant city of Kent, Sue drives a hybrid car, puts a lot of time and energy into her local peace coalition, and has recorded five albums on her own label, FBI Records. While many of her songs focus on political and social ills, she also writes about affairs of the heart and other everyday topics that all music fans can relate to, no matter what their party affiliation. And despite her focus on activism, Sue emphasizes that she is a musician first. While she has previously done a short guest set at the Peoples' Voice Cafe, this will be her first full one-hour performance for us.

January 9, 2016:

Reggie Harris
Born in Philadelphia, a city rich in musical and cultural heritage, Reggie was exposed to a range of composers and musical genres. Reggie met his wife and musical partner Kim at a summer camp in 1974, and began to develop their "Bach to Rock" musical approach, mixing classical, folk, gospel and jazz to their music of love, hope, freedom and empowerment. While Kim is away tonight, Reggie will be performing solo and with Pat Wictor.

Pat Wictor
Pat Wictor took a convoluted path to roots music, working his way through rock, heavy metal and jazz on a variety of instruments. He also spent much of his youth outside the U.S., giving him an unusually broad view of world music. When he settled on fingerstyle and slide guitar, he brought all these elements to his craft while drawing on the country, gospel and blues heritage of our nation. The result is an ability to honor tradition while moving it forward in unexpected ways. His strikingly clear vocals combine with a complete comfort with improvisation to create a signature sound with a touch of irony as he chronicles the human condition.

January 16, 2016:

Photo by Clyde Berger

Marie Mularczyk O'Connell & the Mountain Maidens
The Mountain Maidens are Marie Mularczyk O'Connell, Candice Baranello and Lorraine Berger, three voices blended in splendid harmonies that will lift your spirit and warm your heart. They sing folk, country, gospel, madrigals, sacred harp and Irish music, to the accompaniment of guitars, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp, spoons, and castanets. They are greatly inspired by the deep modal harmonies of Appalachian music. Tonight they will be joined by special guest Robbie Wedeen.

Norris Bennett
Born in Ocala, Florida, and raised in Buffalo, New York, Norris Bennett is a devotee of the high mountain sound of of the southeastern United States. A world-class musician with a style all his own, he has played banjo, mountain dulcimer, guitar, and autoharp throughout the USA and in fourteen different countries from Europe to the Far East. Norris is also the lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for the Ebony Hillbillies, an African-American string band that performs the old-time rural music that was a key element in the genesis of jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, R&B, and rock-and-roll.

January 23, 2016:

Tonight's concert is CANCELLED due to the snowstorm.

Kevin Nathaniel and The Owens Brothers will be rescheduled for the Fall, 2016.

January 30, 2016: Closed for the People's Music Network Winter Gathering in Albany, NY.

February 6, 2016:

Alix Dobkin
Alix Dobkin started out as a professional folk singer in 1962 and came out ten years later as a professional Lesbian. Since then she's been writing, singing, and performing over several continents with stories and songs focusing on women in general and Lesbians in particular, sprinkled with material from Jerry Lewis, Broadway musical scores, Yiddish folk tradition, and more. Groundbreaking and controversial, she was dubbed "Womyn's music legend" by Spin Magazine and is sometimes referred to as "Head Lesbian" and "Her Dykeness" in her community. Alix has produced six albums and three CDs. She has written a songbook (out of print) and the Lambda Literary Award nominated My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement. She is currently co-director of OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change).

DK & the Joy Machine
DK & the Joy Machine's "quirky and smart" songs celebrate all the crucial things in life: getting the girl's phone number on the train, falling in love with feral cats, and treating yourself with kindness. Known for her sultry, expressive voice, well crafted songs, and genre-blending, innovative work on mountain dulcimer---plucking, strumming, bowing and rocking out on this trad instrument, DK's music is at turns evocative, moving, playful and fun, and always genuine. Her first studio recording, the EP, Love Harder, released in 2013, was described by VENTS magazine as "an album with heart,, and passion. In every chord, note, or string you can feel poetry, sincerity, greatness." Her more recent album, Shy One, has been described as "...intense, colorful and diverse ... a novel of sorts. Dark, light, humorous & humble."

February 13, 2016:

Rod MacDonald
A Rod MacDonald concert is an intimate and uplifting experience. Wry and sentimental, silly and inspiring, humorous and reckless, and always compelling, he grabs his audiences and doesn’t let go. 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. When not touring, Rod is an instructor at Florida Atlantic University through their Lifelong Learning Program, presenting eight-week lecture/performance series on music history. His most recent CD, Later That Night (2014), reached #3 on the National Roots Music folk charts. He has also published a novel, The Open Mike.

February 20, 2016:

Photo by Joe Oliverio

Ben Grosscup
Ben performs original songs of social critique, addressing issues such as 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 the longing for a free society. Ben's 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, he is an activist involved in organizing for immigrant rights, ecological justice, and resisting military violence. He serves on the Steering Committee of Peoples' Music Network.

Chris Seymour
Chris Seymour brings his warm baritone, banjo, sense of humor and several friends to share traditional and contemporary songs of hope, freedom and struggle. His eclectic repertoire runs from ballads to gospel to work songs, courting songs and satirical ditties. Joining him in various combinations will be guitarist and country harmonizer extraordinaire Matt Borgmeyer, rich-voiced singer Katie Browning and Alison Kelley of the Johnson Girls.

February 27, 2016:

Photo by Bill Steber

Hubby Jenkins
Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. Hubby got his higher musical education started as a busker. He developed his craft on the sidewalks and subway platforms of New York City, performing material by those venerable artists whose work he was quickly absorbing. An ambitiously itinerant musician, he took his show on the road, playing the streets, coffee shops, bars, and house parties of cities around the U.S. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Triboro hails from the boroughs of New York, but looks beyond the Hudson to other places and other times for songs and inspiration. They are an acoustic vocal trio that applies fine three-part harmony to an eclectic mix of musical genres: old-time, new-time, Carter Family, country, Western, bluegrass, Hawaiian, and beyond. Phyllis Elkind (Manhattan) plays guitar. Don Friedman (Brooklyn) plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Evy Mayer (The Bronx) plays guitar, ukelele and percussion. Founded in 1998, Triboro still takes pleasure in finding a great new song, working out harmonies and an arrangement, and making it their own.

March 5, 2016:

The Filthy Rotten System
The Filthy Rotten System is a street band that is usually found in front of immigrant detention centers, at housing rallies, and at peace vigils, adding voice to the voiceless. The band sprang out of the Catholic Worker movement and, though hardly religious, the band works to feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, and go to jail for justice. We have stood in the freezing cold and the extreme heat with many different groups singing songs of peace, love and change.

The Peace Poets
The Peace Poets are a collective of artists that celebrate, examine and advocate for life through music and poetry. Their art can take you on a journey from the Boogie Down to Berlin, from the border to the bodega. Their style emphasizes lyricism, rhythm and authenticity. Hailing from the Bronx, the crew has been rocking the mic since 2005.

March 12, 2016:

Carolyn Hester, with Amy & Karla Blume
Celebrate 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 celebrates 59 years as a recording artist with her daughters, Karla and Amy Blume, who continue the tradition of American Folk Singer-Songwriters.
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March 19, 2016:

Colleen Kattau & Dos XX
Colleen Kattau & Dos XX offers gringa grooves from the heart. The band is Jane Zell, lead guitar, vocals; Colleen Kattau, vocals, rhythm guitar; & Connie Walters, percussion, vocals. The Latin-fem-folk fusion combines Zell’s blues bent with Walters’s and Kattau’s passion for world music rhythms to create music that leaps out of the ordinary and gets audiences moving. DOS XX won the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance band contest in 2013, are featured performers at the Pan-African Village State Fair Stage, and perform throughout the Northeast. "Power and beauty steeping in a fine tea."

Hudson River Rose
Anne Price is a songwriter and extraordinary singer in the Joan Baez tradition with several CDs to her credit. Rita Deutsch has been singing since her teens, has recorded her own music, and has joined Anne in forming Hudson River Rose after the two met on Facebook. They sing old songs, new songs, their own songs in sweet harmonies.

March 26, 2016:

Closed for Easter Weekend

April 2, 2016:

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).

Elaine Romanelli
Elaine Romanelli is racking up superlatives for her album The Hour Before, named on four "Best of 2015" lists. DJ Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago says: "Elaine shines like supernova... utterly haunting.... highly original." She has lived other musical lives in addition to singer/songwriter. She's been on TV, off-Broadway, and in improv. She currently does a mix of singer/songwriter work, cover gigs, classical music singing, and composing/singing liturgical music. Elaine was born in Philly, raised in the midwest, and seasoned in SF before moving to NYC.

April 9, 2016:

Generations: Mike & Aleksi Glick
Generations: Mike & Aleksi Glick is an NYC-based father-and-son duo blending soulful vocals with virtuoso guitar playing. Mike (lead vocals, guitar) toured the USA, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean with an earlier group, The New Song Project. Robert Palmer of The New York Times wrote, "More rousing and musically substantive than the music of city folksingers of previous generations." Now Mike is back, better than ever, with his son. Aleksi (lead guitar, vocals) leads his rock/jazz group Snack Cat and plays in other groups with such sterling jazz masters as Paul Bollenback, Ed Cherry, Vic Juris, and Seth Weaver. Nick Noble of WICN-FM, Worcester, MA, describes their new CD as "a wonderful album! One of the most powerful tracks is 'Living While Black.' Listeners to my show have commented on its timeliness....a contemporary inheritor of the folk tradition offering commentary on social issues."

David Massengill
Songwriter, storyteller, guitarist, and a brilliant innovator on the mountain dulcimer, David Massengill has been captivating audiences for 25 years. Born in Bristol, Tennessee, on the Virginia border, he creates music deeply rooted in folk traditions but sparkling with keen observations of modern American life. His records are on Flying Fish and Gadfly.

April 16, 2016:

Second Annual Ray Korona Song Night
Last April we held our first Peoples’ Voice Cafe concert of Ray’s music since he passed away. His songs of love, peace, social justice, environmental healing, dignity and empowerment were performed by members of the Ray Korona Band and additional artists, bringing exciting new interpretations. The spirit in the room was powerful!

We invite you to join us again this year for an equally exciting line-up! The band — Ivice, Barry ­Kornhauser, Ellen Davidson, Gina Tlamsa, and Sharon Abreu — augmented by Dave Tarlo, Rick Ulfik, Laura Liben, Paul Stein and Chris Owens, will present a number of Ray’s songs. Interspersed will be guest performances by Mercy Van Vlack, DuPree, Joel Landy, Liz Zelvin, Laura Warfield, Jenny Hurwitz & Talbot Katz, The NYC Street Singers, Julie Weiner, David Lippman, and Marie Mularczyk O’Connell, Doreen D’Amico & Kathy Devine.

Ray's songs touched our hearts and made us think; people left a Ray Korona Band show laughing, hopeful, and ready to organize. Please join us in keeping Ray’s music alive tonight and further down the road!
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April 23, 2016:

Closed for Passover

April 30, 2016:

Professor Louie & the Lewis Family
Jordan Carlos writes and performs on Comedy Central's " Nightly Show" and does stand-up all around the country. Shayna Lewis and Matt Hunger run an organic farm upstate and write and play music mostly in the winter. Talk to them if you want to buy their produce. Perry Robinson, a multiple first place winner of the Downbeat International Jazz Poll, has played all over the world with musicians from Dave Brubeck to Badal Roy to Charlie Haden. Joe Lewis plays blues guitar and mouth harp in various bars in Mexico. Erica Hansen sang with the U Mass Chamber Choir and also won the gold medal as the lead vocalist in the state-wide Jazz Band Competition. Professor Louie, a veteran of the Peoples Voice Cafe, has played more meetings, rallies, benefits and demonstrations than even he can remember. Most everyone has CDs out somewhere in the world.

May 7, 2016: Women in Story & Song:

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.

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.

May 14, 2016:

Joel Landy
Pete Seeger called him "A real live wire!" and audiences say he reminds them of Phil Ochs. He has sung in coffeehouses and at demonstrations around the country, and his songs are heard on Pacifica Radio. Joel Landy is a familiar friend and spirit at the PVC, known for his topical songwriting, clever parodies, and energetic stage performances. He is perhaps best known as the producer and host of Songs of Freedom, an award winning cable television program celebrating the dignity of human struggle, seen in New York City and on the internet since 1996. Joel says, "My shows are about creating a safe and fun place for people to express themselves." It’s what he does best.

Steve Suffet
Peoples' Voice Cafe volunteer Steve Suffet is best described as an old-fashioned folksinger in the People's Music tradition. His repertoire is a mixture of railroad songs, trucker songs, miner songs, union songs, old-time country music, ballads, blues, ragtime, Gospel songs, bluegrass, topical-political songs, Woody Guthrie songs, and whatever else tickles his fancy, including many songs he has written himself in traditional folk styles. Over the past few years Steve has become better known as a performer in the United Kingdom than back home in the USA. Here in his native New York City, Steve often sings a song or two in a group concert, but this will be one of the rare occasions when he gets to do a full-length performance in his own home town. Don't miss it!

May 21, 2016:

A Toast To Those Who Are Gone:
Matt Jones/Phil Ochs Tribute with Magpie

Celebrate the lives and music of two troubadours of topical songs, with performances by Magpie (Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner) and readings by Susie Erenrich.

Matt Jones (September 17, 1936 - March 30, 2011)
Matt Jones was one of the leaders of the Nashville student movement while enrolled at Tennessee State University in 1960. He wrote his first freedom song in 1961, and in 1963 developed the Danville Voices. The group would go into the tobacco fields of Virginia using freedom songs as an organizing tool. In Danville, he wrote many anthems including the Ballad of Medgar Evers. In the fall of 1963, Matt went to Atlanta to reorganize the SNCC Freedom Singers. He remained with them until 1967. Matt was arrested 29 times while in the Civil Rights Movement. For more then five decades, he dedicated his life to the ongoing struggles for social change. Matt composed more than 500 songs during his lifetime. He will have turned 80 on September 17, 2016.

Phil Ochs (December 19, 1940 - April 9, 1976)
Phil Ochs was a musical spokesman of the 1960's. His song, I Ain't Marchin' Anymore was one of the anthems of the anti-Vietnam War Movement. He was a committed activist who never compromised. In 1964, Phil joined the Mississippi Caravan of Music to help break the back of Jim Crow. He went South to support the domestic warriors on the front lines and then used his songs to educate those who were unaware of southern racial injustice or were unable to make the journey. Throughout his life he traveled the world, lending his voice to many causes and organizing significant concerts like the 1973 “Evening With Salvador Allende,” to raise money for the Chilean people after the 9/11/1973 coup. Phil’s friend, Chilean folksinger Victor Jara, was tortured and executed during the early days of the dictatorship, so the show took on special meaning. This tribute concert marks the 40th anniversary of Phil’s death.

Magpie’s career has spanned more than forty years. The duo has traveled the globe, bringing their unique sound and breathtaking versatility to audiences everywhere. From traditional songs to vintage blues, swing and country to folk classics to contemporary and stirring original compositions, they cover a lot of musical ground. With their powerful voices and harmonies and their excellent instrumental arrangements on guitars, mandolin, harmonica, dulcimer, and concertina, their sound is much bigger than just two people. Award-winning recording artists, songwriters, musical historians, and social activists, Terry and Greg always promise a presentation that is highly entertaining as well as provocative and deeply moving. Tonight they will honor two movers and shakers that touched their heart and transformed their lives.

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The Peoples' Voice Cafe's 2016-2017 season program was supported in part by an Ethelwyn Doolittle Grant from the Community Church of New York (Unitarian-Universalist).