Concerts & News ~ A Song Is Raised Up!
Thursday, June 25, 2020
As we all strive to make sense of the world around us, I am reminded of how deeply we need community. We have adapted and shifted. We have learned to make and wear masks. We have learned social distancing, and we have learned both how to create and to enjoy music in new ways. We have also learned how to be agents of positive change in new ways. We are adaptive creatures, and I have faith that this marvelous music community that is our common thread, will continue to roll with whatever comes next. It’s how we do.
I was privileged to go on a retreat a few years back at The Highlander Center in Tennessee, one of the true birthplaces of the modern Civil Rights Movement. While there I had an amazing conversation with Bernice Johnson Reagon, one of the original Freedom Singers and founder of Sweet Honey In The Rock. She said, “In community a song is not just sung, it is raised up! A song leader needs to understand the difference between singing for themselves and singing for the community. A song leader cannot lift a song and the weight of its meaning and intentions alone, they lead a community in raising up a song, together.”
Whatever our song, may we learn better how to raise it up together, to heal what is broken and build a more hopeful future for all of us. Racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism are problems that belong to all of us. And healing the wounds of these deep hurts can and should be the work of us all.
To that end, I am offering a free concert in partnership with The Garden Stage on Long Island. Friday June 26th at 8:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM CT/ 6:00 PM MT/ 5:00 PM Pacific
Joe Jencks in Concert: Fan Favorites & Requests.
Have a FAV Joe Jencks song? Send me a note before 2:00 PM on Friday and I’ll try to work it in. Live Link: https://youtu.be/7cQ7kxDhObc
Fish Painting - Acrylic on River Rock - by Kate Blain, 2020
On Saturday June 27th, I will be appearing on Folk Music Notebook as one of the performers in a virtual Old Songs Festival. The festival will run on FMN Friday, Saturday and Sunday. www.folkmusicnotebook.com
Saturday June 27th, will also see me offer a guest set in a virtual concert hosted by the Getting’ Higher Choir, in Victoria, BC. This is a fundraiser for The Caia Connection – a community foundation in Mozambique. Other guest artists include Shari Ulrich, and Ann Mortifee.
Wednesday July 1st – I will be the first artist in a new series hosted by the Woodstock Folk Festival in Woodstock, IL. Woodstock Wednesdays. Check their website for more details: https://woodstockfolkfestival.org
Last but not least, also on Wednesday July 1st and again on Sunday July 5th a special Fourth of July episode of my monthly radio show will broadcast on Folk Music Notebook.
My Highway Home, episode 2.6: We The People ?
Wednesday July 1st at 9:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM Pacific
Sunday July 5th at 1:00 PM ET/ 10:00 AM Pacific
Most of us have been watching, listening, considering. Some of us have been marching, demonstrating, protesting, giving what we know how to give. Some of us have been donating food, medical supplies, time, and attention to various branches of this revival of the Civil Rights Movement. Some of us have been writing checks, some of us have been writing songs, and others have been singing those songs. All of us are affected. None of us are untouched by the long legacy of racism in this country, and none of us are immune to the long-term impact of the unanswered questions, the half-truths, the partial peace, and the myths about equality.
However imperfectly, please keep showing up. Listen to the voices of diversity all around us. Ask questions, and question answers. March and demonstrate. Write letters, give money to legal defense funds, paint rocks with hopeful messages and leave them on walking trails. Make Covid-19 masks to give away to people at various Civil Rights gatherings. Ask leaders of color in your community how you can be most helpful, and then follow through. Learn how to help celebrate and uplift leaders of color in your community. Even if the work is not glamorous, it needs to be done. And if you have a specific skill and time on your hands, offer that skill to the movement in your area.
But no matter what keep singing. Keep singing the songs. Sing the old songs and now songs, write the new songs. Historically, the movement has never been stronger than when we were a singing movement. Let’s continue to be a singing movement, even from a distance.
~ Joe Jencks