With Dave Lippman at the speakout “Isn’t It Time for New Priorities?” in Fort Greene Park on April 13th sponsored by Brooklyn for Peace and Fort Greene Peace. Photo by Matthew Weinstein
On April 11th, I marched with Local 802 American Federation of Musicians (I’m a member) and others, including folks from the Occupy Music Group, in support of the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign. I am not a jazz artist, but I did the best I could with my trusty melodica (pictured below) to keep up with some great players. We stopped first at a mansion on the Upper East Side owned by a member of the Bensusan family and later in the evening marched around in front of their renowned jazz club in The Village, the Blue Note. Photo by the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign.
On December 21, 2012, I was privileged to take part in the Make Music New York “Harmonaboard Parade”, a pick-up group of 25 jazz musicians led by renowned jazz pianist and melodica player Jonathan Batiste parading down Harlem’s 125th Street playing melodicas (also known as “harmonaboards”) and stopping in at neighborhood landmarks. I am at the far right of the photo, provided courtesy of Hohner Music.
As in previous years, The Filthy Rotten System (the Catholic Worker band, of which I am a proud member even though I don’t exactly fit the demographic) provided musical support for a moving all day Ash Wednesday vigil that traveled to detention centers in New Jersey protesting our government’s oppression of immigrants. The day ended at the Elizabeth Detention Center, which is owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, a key member of the Prison Industrial Complex. Various New Jersey jails that we demonstrated in front of also make big bucks as contractors to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A coalition of community and religious groups led by Irate & First Friends sponsored the event. (Photo credit – Irate & First Friends)
Had a great time (with Elena) at the People’s Music Network (the progressive protest musicians’, singers’, and songwriters’ association) winter gathering in Springfield, MA over the weekend. Getting together with so many committed and talented activists is a real treat. The workshops that I attended led by David Rovics and Steve Suffet were most enjoyable and instructive. I was privileged to lead a workshop on “Performing Music for People Who Have Lost Their Homes”, based on my experiences at numerous holiday dinners and parties in NYC and entertaining folks in Super Storm Sandy shelters. Also worked the mixing board for part of the round robin.