Peoples Voice Cafe The Peoples' Voice Cafe

An alternative coffeehouse offering live entertainment in New York City,
from folk music and protest songs to rap and jazz, and poetry, storytelling, and dance.

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~ Spring 2017 Season ~

Saturday, January 14, 2017, at 8pm:

Windborne is a group of vocal chameleons who specialize in close harmony singing, shifting effortlessly between drastically different styles of traditional music. Their musical knowledge spans many continents and cultures, but they remain deeply rooted in American folk singing traditions. Praised for "the purity of their voices, strength of their material, and attention to detail in their arrangements," Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon share a vibrant energy onstage. They educate as they entertain, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.

Robin Greenstein
Robin Greenstein is a singer-songwriter and song-interpreter based in NYC. She blends folk, pop, country and blues into a style she calls "Acousticness." She started playing guitar at age 11 and banjo at 17. She majored in music at SUNY-Stony Brook, with a year at Trinity College of Music and King's College in London. At college, she worked under sixties folk icon Hedy West. After graduation, Robin was signed to Bob Dylan’s publishing company while also receiving a grant to research and perform Jewish music in NYC. She has also been a clinician for the world-reknown Martin Guitars. She now performs extensively in the US college market, the folk circuit, and abroad.

Saturday, February 4, 2016, at 8pm:

Lindsey Wilson & the Human Hearts Trio
Lindsey Wilson & The Human Hearts Trio bring folk, jazz and pop to your door. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Lindsey Wilson's socially conscious lyrics and loving undertones are reflective of the country's proud past, cautionary present, and optimistic future. She is joined by Reggie Sylvester on drums and Michael Trotman on bass.

Ren Anton
Ren is an Arsty Educator who mentors in the NYC area with Urban Art Beat, working with youth to promote self expression through the arts. She also contributes to the New Black Arts movement, working towards a liberated and advanced revolutionary society through process, practice, and study. Ren uses poetry, song, and dance to express the historical lessons of the cultures and nations she identifies with.

Dilson Hernandez
Dilson is a multi-genre artist from the Bronx. His talents range from spoken word to playing various instruments to singing. He wishes to change the world with his art, aiming to strive for a more progressive and creative future. He works with New York City youth as a teaching artist with Urban Art Beat. Dilson is also a manager at Funkadelic Studios.

Saturday, February 11, 2016, at 8pm:

Rod MacDonald
Rod MacDonald was born in Connecticut and rose to prominence in NYC’s Greenwich Village in the 1980s, where he headlined Village clubs and co-founded the Greenwich Village Folk Festival. A recording and touring artist since 1983, he has released 11 CDs and and gives 100 performances annually throughout North America and Europe, dazzling audiences with his passionate singing and thought-provoking writing. His songs have been recorded by Shawn Colvin, Jonathan Edwards, Dave Van Ronk, Happy Traum, David Rowe, Four Bitchin’ Babes, Garnet Rogers, Joe Jencks, and many others. His latest CD, Later That Night, reached number 3 nationally on the Roots Music Folk charts, and the song "Raven" hit number one. Rod’s songs will stay in your heart and mind long after the music has ended. In 2014 he published his first novel, The Open Mike.

Saturday, February 18, 2016, at 8pm:

Painting by Joe Matunis

Steve Suffet's 70th Birthday Celebration
Come celebrate the 70th birthday of folksinger and longtime Peoples' Voice Cafe volunteer Steve Suffet. Instead of a party, Steve and his wife Marilyn Suffet are hosting this free folk concert featuring Beth Kotkin, Joel Landy, Sandy Pliskin, Anne Price, and Gina Tlamsa. Each is an accomplished musician in his or her own right, so this should be a truly spectacular evening. Steve will perform two or three songs towards the end. Admission is completely free, but in lieu of a birthday present, a small donation to the Peoples' Voice Cafe would be appreciated.

Saturday, February 25, 2016, at 8pm: New Voices Night

Linnea Paton
Linnea Paton is the granddaughter of Folk Legacy founders Sandy and Caroline Paton and grew up surrounded by traditional folk music. She developed a love for singing at a very young age. True to her parents' and grandparents' legacy, Linnea plays traditional and contemporary songs and believes that singing together is a very important and very human way to connect with others. She is working to establish a stronger culture of singing in her generation and in new waves of activism. Her songs feature themes of climate justice, human migration, and political freedom.

Jonny Grave
Jonny Grave is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, bandleader, teacher, musical historian, journalist, photographer, and Bluesman from Washington DC. Growing up in a musical family steeped in traditional music, he started learning slide guitar techniques from old Blues records, and by seventeen he was performing them live. The distinct sound that Jonny Grave’s music conjures is a resurrection of sorts, blending the styles of R. L. Burnside, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson and Bukka White. His repertoire is made up of new arrangements of older Blues tunes and deep-rooted solid originals.

Pamela Jean Agaloos
Pamela Jean is a singer of traditional Scottish and Irish ballads. She’s had opera training under Edgardo Crisol, and has performed in musical theater productions and pop orchestras in the Philippines. While studying at the New York Film Academy, she performed in cabarets. Recently, she sang with Donie Carroll and Gabriel Donohue at the Annual Mercy Centre Fundraiser. Pamela Jean is a neighbor of the Sunnyside Singer’s Club at the Aubergine Cafe, and she sings with the Iona Scottish sessions every Monday night in Williamsburg.

Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 8pm:

New York City Labor Chorus
The New York City Labor Chorus, with 75 members representing over 20 labor unions and District Councils, promotes union solidarity through songs about the history and ongoing struggles of workers for economic and social justice. Their dynamic repertoire combines the power and culture of union music with the great gospel, jazz, classical and folk traditions.
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Saturday, March 11, 2017, at 8pm:

Camela Widad
Camela Widad is a little bit saintly, a little bit rock-n-roll, with a voice like honey and fire. Her songwriting delves straight to the core: full of beauty, heartbreak, truth and timeless wisdom, coupled with a voice that begets the sinner/saint quality. Her songs have a distinct Nashville flair; the hooks feel familiar and the melodies easy. Her latest record is Warriors of Love.

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).

Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 8pm:

Concetta Abbate
Concetta Abbate is a NYC-based violinist and songwriter. Her original songs are inspired by natural science, folk tales, poetry, everyday objects, fleeting sounds scarcely noticed, paper clips, a dusty book, bright fish in time. Little songs like little shells. Described as a "badass violinist" by Garrett Bryant (Hinged), Concetta is best known for her work with poets, dancers and writers of all kinds in the NYC area.

Peter Pasco
No one else plays guitar and racked harmonica like Peter Pasco, and no one writes songs like his. The melodies are unique and the lyrics subtly crafted, with novel metaphors and internal rhymes that delight the ear. His subject matter is moving and thought-provoking, reflecting an interesting life that began in Tallahassee, Florida, and has included folk groups and rock bands, an M.A. in English, and stints as a plant care specialist and a music therapist. His CD, The Breeze Before the Dawn, is not to be missed.

Photo by Jim Pica

Jennifer Richman
Jennifer Richman is a Brooklyn born and bred singer/songwriter with a penchant for uplifting lyrics and songs of inspiration. Her song "Beautiful Girl" spent over 30 weeks on Top 40 and Adult Contemporary Charts in 2010 and gained her nominations as Best Female Artist and Best New Artist by New Music Weekly. Follwing the positive reception of her first album, Flowers of Gold, Jennifer is currently recording her second one, with famed producer Mike Rogers.

Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 8pm:

Bev Grant & the Human Condition Reunion Concert
The Human Condition began as a political folk-rock band in the early seventies. Bev Grant, Jerry Mitnick and Mario Giacalone all contributed songs, and they played at community events and anti-war events in support of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and other progressive/left political organizations, as well as venues like Folk City. By the eighties they had grown to become a multi-national, multi-genre group reflecting the diverse cultures of NYC, singing in many different languages. They recorded two albums and played together until 1991.

Saturday, April 1st, 2017, at 8pm:

Lavender Light Gospel Choir
When Lavender Light was formed in 1985, it was the only lesbian and gay gospel choir in the world. As we celebrate our 32nd year, we are proud to continue keeping alive the black gospel music tradition in an environment supportive to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, while also building bridges of respect and understanding through music.

Gotham Rock Choir
Gotham Rock Choir is New York City’s first choir devoted exclusively to the performance of Pop, Rock and Soul music. Founded in 2009, GRC was formed to provide an outlet for vocalists of all levels and backgrounds to explore contemporary music in a supportive and fun environment, to provide an alternative to the city’s many traditional choirs, and to bring a much-needed sense of “cool” to choral singing. GRC’s repertoire is drawn from the history of Pop music, from 1960 to today, and focuses primarily on Rock, Pop, Soul and related genres, including songs by Elton John, Green Day, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Jackie Wilson, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Queen, The Beatles, Journey, Madonna and many others.

Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 8pm:

Third Annual Ray Korona Song Night
“We need more Ray Korona songs!” We hear this a lot from people struggling to survive the Trump regime. It is striking how many of his songs are more relevant today than ever. “It’s Still the Sixties,” for sure. Ray wrote songs about jobs, Social Security, health care, war and the nuclear brink, water, the environment, prisons, ­homelessness, women’s rights and more. Perhaps what we need most now from Ray’s music is his optimistic ­vision of the future. His songs encourage us and empower us to fight back!

Please join us for our third annual concert of Ray Korona songs since he passed away. The band – Ivice, Barry Kornhauser, Ellen Davidson, Gina Tlamsa, and Sharon Abreu — augmented by Laura Liben and Chris Owens – will ­present a ­number of his songs. Interspersed will be guest performances by Steve Brant, Joel Cohen, Suzanne Cohen, Lydia Adams Davis, Lisa Garrison, Emma Graves, Sharleen Leahey, Adele Rolider, Ben Silver, Steve Suffet, Mercy Van Vlack, and Lindsey Wilson.

Saturday, April 22, 2017, at 8pm:

Book Launch: Grassroots Leadership & The Arts For Social Change
Come celebrate the launch of a new book, Grassroots Leadership & The Arts For Social Change. Topical songs, spoken word and dramatic readings will be performed by Denise Archuleta, David Davenport, Marsha Dwyer, David Edelman, Suzanne Epstein, Tricia Garwood, James Jarc, Francisco Letelier, Magpie, Anu Mitra, Holly Near, C. Greg Obi, Garth Ross, Justin Snyder, and Randal Thompson.

Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 8pm:

Photo by Bob Trester

Bing Futch
With a big smile and wild dreadlocks, Bing Futch kicks off every performance with a buoyant energy that is inviting and energizing. Playing Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele, drums, electronic effects, and a limber tenor voice, he deftly navigates the varied waters of traditional and modern Americana with passion, wit, and a huge heart for sharing music with a crowd. Known for his musical shape-shifting, Futch changes style with every new song. His casual way with any audience, coupled with a fierce originality on the dulcimer, makes each show a one-of-a-kind, good-time romp.

Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 8pm:

Spoken Word Night

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.

The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective
Since 1994, The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective has spread consciousness through spoken poetry in numerous appearances in festivals and gatherings across the United States, Canada and England, as well as on radio and television. "Love is the motor that drives our engine."

Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 8pm:

Skinner & T'witch
Skinner & T'witch are an original, contemporary acoustic duo with strong vocals, driving rhythms, and a flash of flamenco. Their music moves through an eclectic range of styles, including folk, jazz, music hall, musical theatre, and the satirical tradition. Based in Leeds, England, they perform their own original material, assisted by the improvisational jazz guitar of Mike "The Woodman" Jordan.

Vincent Cross
With roots in Ireland and Australia, and now based out of New York, singer-songwriter Vincent Cross exemplifies the folk tradition, drawing inspiration from old and modern sources, and often writes powerful narrative ballads of real-life events. His recent release, Old Songs for Modern Folk, hit #2 in the Folk DJ album charts for 2016.
"Blends the old blues traditions of Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House with the folk traditions of Dave Van Ronk and Tom Rush." --John Sillberg, CKOL's Small Time Radio Show.

Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 8pm:

Sweet Resistance: A Call to Carry On the Music and Causes of Jean Ritchie
Featuring Magpie, Ivy & Miranda, and Jon Pickow.
Come honor Jean Ritchie at this special celebration. Musicians will perform Jean Ritchie's songs and others that embody the causes she believed in – environmental protection, occupational health and safety, respect for working people, human rights, and equality for women. The tribute will also connect the struggles of the past with those of today.
Cosponsored by the Folk Music Society of New York (NY Pinewoods Folk Music Club).

Magpie is Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner. Since 1973 they have brought their unique sound and remarkable versatility to audiences everywhere, featuring traditional and vintage Americana to contemporary and stirring original compositions. With two strong voices in harmony and superb instrumental arrangements, their sound is powerful and moving.

Ivy & Miranda (Ivice Rose & Miranda Haydn) met at a singalong in Woodstock in 2009 and have been singing together ever since. Their repertoire includes songs of heartache, love, war & peace. From traditional to contemporary, their harmonies capture the music inspiring hope and clarity.

Jon Pickow is the son of Jean Ritchie, and performed with her frequently from his childhood until her retirement in 2009. Jon specializes in dulcimer and banjo and has appeared at folk festivals all over the world.

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).