FocusMusic Presents Phil Ochs Song Night

(virtual show)

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--a director, actor, singer, and playwright--has been teaching and inspiring Americans to be active in their communities, their unions, and the democratic process for 30 years. Alongside the many lions of the long fight for worker justice who hail from the Motor City, she has been called “Detroit’s Gift to the Labor Movement.”

Bryant’s unique ability to adapt the techniques and rhetoric of theater and opera to community organizers and union halls has won her numerous awards, including a "Joady" award in 1992 from the Film Arts Foundation in California. Her 1998 script for "Porgy and Bess: An American Voice," a PBS documentary, renewed public appreciation for the Gershwin breakthrough hit of two generations earlier. Before coming to Washington, D.C., in 1997, Bryant was artistic director for both Common Ground Theatre Ensemble and Workers' Lives/Workers' Stories in Ann Arbor for 15 years starting in 1982. Her most recent work, performed in Michigan, was the 2007 adaptation of the work of historians Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove as "Voices of a People's History of the United States," in which she also appeared as Sojourner Truth.

Some of Bryant's other works include, "Forgotten: The Murder at the Ford Rouge Plant," "Zoo Zoo Chronicles," and "Workin’ for a Livin'.” Labor activists throughout the nation revere Bryant for her warm, genuine, and powerful spirit, as distinctive on stage as off. Several leaders credit her with literally teaching them their voice, in their union and the political arena. She is currently a teacher at the National Labor College at the George Meany Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.