Joe Jencks


Joe Jencks ~ Live at Caffe Lena + Library of Congress 2020 Homegrown Concert

Joe Jencks nbspLive at Caffe Lena nbspLibrary of Congress 2020 Homegrown Concert

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the cornfields of Illinois. The time of harvest is near, and I hope that somewhere in your life, there is a source of abundance that brings you joy. My dear departed friend and songwriter extraordinaire James Durst one printed a T-Shirt that said simply, beautifully, Music Heals. AMEN. And music is also an abundant harvest.

As such, I am excited to let you know about 3 upcoming musical events in the Joe Jencks universe:

First – 8:00 PM ET - this Saturday night August 29th, I will be performing live from the historic and beautiful Caffe Lena, in Saratoga Springs, NY. Many thanks to Sarah Craig, Carolyn Shapiro, Reese Fulmar and the whole crew at Caffe Lena. Please be generous and help keep this amazing Folk concert hall in good stead. In keeping with safety protocols, it will be a broadcast only event. But you can listen live and watch from the comfort of home via YouTube:

Second, I will be offering an actual in-person live performance for Acoustic Brew in State College, PA on Sunday August 30th, at 6:00 PM ET. This is a rescheduled event from March, and will be a socially-distanced outdoor concert in a town park. Bring your own mask, please. Many thanks to Holly Foy, Jim Colbert, Mel DeYoung and so many others for working to bring this event together.

Third – On Wednesday September 2nd, the program I have been researching and recording for The American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress will broadcast at 12:30 PM ET/ 11:30 AM CT. I have been deep down the rabbit hole this summer with a grant funded project of researching and resurrecting songs from within the John A. Lomax & Ruby Terrill Lomax collections at the Folk Archives. I am delighted to finally share this with all of you. The concert features songs originally recorded at the Raiford Prison (Raiford, FL) in 1939. As is the case now, there were a disproportionate number of African Americans incarcerated in this country in 1939, especially in the south. The Lomax Family worked hard to document the music of this unique culture, and in so doing shined light on a tremendous injustice. It has been my honor and joy to bring some lost songs and older versions of songs, back into circulation with the support of The American Folklife Center. My dear friend and colleague Si Kahn will have a presentation of work songs from the archives at 12:00 Noon ET on the same day. Many thanks to Thea Austen, Stephen Winick, Jennifer Cutting, and Todd Harvey, curator of the Lomax Collection for their support. And also to Elise Bryant at the Labor Heritage Foundation. (ARCHIVE LINK for this concert:

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I have also posted a new essay on about why we celebrate Labor Day, and the importance of Labor & Work songs. 8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, 8 hours to do as we feel best. Please check it out here:

Additional concert and broadcast information for the fall of 2020 can be found under Tour Dates at Please check back regularly as scheduling changes are the new normal. All plans are provisional. Very Zen.

Please be well, and stay well.

In Gratitude & Song,

~ Joe Jencks

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