Focus Music proudly presents a virtual event with five acts performing the songs of Phil Ochs.
Magpie presents a show with performances from them, Elise Bryant, Charlie King, Colleen Kattau and Tom Paxton! All in celebration of the legendary "topical" songwriting of Phil Ochs!
A staple of the 1960's counterculture era, Phil Ochs wrote hundreds of songs viewing the world through a unique lens of piercing wit and often-alliterative anti-establishment politically-aware activism. We lost Phil in 1976 as we've lost so many great artists - but his cut-short Life and career has inspired generations of not just musicians, but writers and filmmakers.
We hope you'll join us for an incredible night of tribute to one of the last century's folk greats!
About MAGPIE :
Since 1973, Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner 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. Award-winning recording artists, singers, songwriters, musical historians, playwrights, actors and social activists, Terry and Greg are proud to be, as Pete Seeger said of them, “…more links in the chain”, dedicating their lives and music to leaving this world a better place. Learn more at www.magpiemusic.com
Charlie King :
Charlie King is a musical storyteller and political satirist. He sings and writes passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Pete Seeger hailed him as “One of the finest singers and songwriters of our time.”
Charlie has been at the heart of American folk music for over half a century and has been writing songs for the past 45 years. In October of 2017 he received the annual the Phil Ochs Award, in recognition of his music and activism for social and political justice in the spirit of Phil Ochs. His songs have been recorded and sung by other performers such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell and Judy Small. Learn more at www.charlieking.org
Colleen Kattau :
“Joe Hill would be proud. Great singer and organizer at the same time,” Pete Seeger.
Colleen is a bilingual vocalist, guitarist and composer of songs. Her poetic originals and charismatic stage presence inspire hope and spark imagination and audience participation! After a show audience members frequently tell her “You touched my soul”.
Colleen has shared the stage with legendary performers Pete Seeger (he actually called her once when she was working in her garden- he loved “Singin down” the SOA with her and Jolie Rickman), Holly Near with whom she toured in 2012, and Tom Paxton.
Learn more at www.colleenkattau.com
Tom Paxton :
Tom Paxton has become a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture and celebrating the tenderest bonds of family, friends, and community.
In describing Tom Paxton’s influence on his fellow musicians, Pete Seeger has said: “Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.” Pete goes on: “In a small village near Calcutta, in 1998, a villager who could not speak English sang me What Did You Learn In School Today? in Bengali! Tom Paxton’s songs are reaching around the world more than he is, or any of us could have realized. Keep on, Tom!” Learn more at www.tompaxton.com
Elise Bryant :
Elise Bryant is an actor, singer, playwright, director, and labor educator. She launched her labor-arts career in 1982 as the Artistic Director of the University of Michigan’s labor theatre project, "Workers’ Lives/Workers’ Stories." She joined the National Writers Union and began her screenwriting career with a script for the documentary, "Porgy and Bess: an American Voice.”
Elise moved to the D.C. area from Michigan to teach at the AFL-CIO’s National Labor College, which became a degree-granting institution in 1997. Shortly after that, she met Luci Murphy and Steve Jones, and, with them and a few others, founded the D.C. Labor Chorus in February 1998. Elise has directed the Chorus for the 23+ years since then. She retired from the National Labor College a couple of years before it closed in 2014. Elise directed the labor jazz opera, "Forgotten," by Steve Jones and directed the debut of his latest labor jazz opera, "Love Songs from the Liberation Wars."
Elise is a lifetime member of the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World), a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 1000 and of Communications Workers of America (CWA)/Newspaper Guild Local 32035. Elise served on the Board of the Labor Heritage Foundation for 16 years. She resigned from the Board to act as Interim Executive Director in 2013 and accepted the permanent position in 2014. In 2017, she became President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and a month later was elected Vice-President of CWA/TNG Local 32031.