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Dear Friends in Music,
First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for the unbelievably gracious support over the last seven months. You have been showing up to my online broadcasts and offering the generosity of your time and financial support in ways that have allowed me to keep being a working musician, giving what I have to give. THANK YOU! From broadcasts via Caffe Lena and The Ark, to online festivals and many co-presented concerts via my own YouTube channel in partnership with presenters from across North America, you have been upholding your end of the social contract between artist and society.
We as creators and performers promise to give you our best. You in return, keep showing up and valuing what we do and what we give. It has always been a sacred covenant and commitment between artist and community that we will each give our best to each other. And you all continue to honor that ideal with such graciousness. I am incredibly grateful.
Conventional wisdom says never send a newsletter on the weekend, no one will read it. I think this is definitely a year when conventional wisdom is sort of out the door. For better or worse, we are all continuing to adapt our lives and our routines to meet the zeitgeist. It’s a lot of adaptation all at once, and over a prolonged period of time. Congratulations on continuing to navigate the ever-shifting paradigms. For those who have experienced direct losses recently, my heart is with you. There have been too many losses and not enough time together to grieve in community. I miss hugs. Consider one of them yours.
For those who are digging in and standing up for civil rights, human rights, voting rights, thank you. For those volunteering to help out at food pantries and soup kitchens, shelters and in so many other ways, thank you. For those volunteering to be poll workers and monitors, standard-bearers of our democracy, thank you. For those continuing to do the work of parenting and elder care, connecting the generations and shaping the future, thank you. To those of you in education, thank you! To our healthcare workers at every level, thank you! I find hope in all of these things, and I thank you for showing up in this time and in so many ways.
Pete Seeger wrote in his song, My Rainbow Race:
One blue sky above us
One ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round
Who could ask for more
And because I love you
I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It's too soon to die.
I have been thinking on these words. I always wondered about the sense of melancholy in the music, and its juxtaposition against these hopeful words. I think I understand now. Pete felt overwhelmed at times too. And this song, it was a personal meditation and mantra to remind himself of his own commitment to keep his oars in the water and the boat pointed in a good direction. I find it a source of strength presently. What brings you joy and hope right now? I am curious. And I will gladly write back if you feel like sharing an answer. Hope is fuel. Hope is power. Hope is life. What is life-affirming to you right now?
Music Heals. James Durst said that, and printed it on a tee-shirt. I wear it with pride and joy. And doing so reminds me that it is not a platitude. It is truth. Music heals.
To that end. There are a few opportunities to see me live this month online and more in November and December.
Sunday, October 4th at 5:00 PM ET/4:00 CT / etc. I will be offering a live-stream concert in partnership with WorldWind Concerts in NJ. My friend Madhumita Chakrabartti is continuing to bring many forms of goodness into the world including hosting music. Tune in LIVE via the Joe Jencks Music Official YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/e1M0nSY0zAM
Saturday, October 17th at 7:30 PM ET/ 6:30 CT/ etc. I will be offering a concert in partnership with one of the truly great and longstanding coffeehouses in New England, The Linden Tree. Liz Freeman and her crew have been working hard to keep the musicians and the community connected. Tune in LIVE via the Joe Jencks Music Official YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/HcBcFI00DXs
Thank you for weaving your life with mine in the beautiful tapestry of community. I can feel it holding us all up. And that gives me hope.
In Gratitude & Song,
~ Joe Jencks, 10-3-20
PS. Please check the www.joejencks.com Tour Dates page regularly as additional Live-Stream concerts, services and other events will be posted. November 6th, Americana Community Music Association (FL). November 8th, Isis Music Hall (NC). November 21st, Fine Line Concerts (IL). December 5th, Focus Music (DC region). All accessible via Live-Stream. More to come.
Also, you can tune next Wednesday (October 7th at 9:00 PM ET) or Sunday (October 11th at 1:00 PM ET) for the next episode of my monthly radio show, My Highway Home on Folk Music Notebook: www.folkmusicnotebook.com