Friday, January 25, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., Unity Hall, All Souls UU, 19 Jay Street, New London, CT. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Ticket prices: $20 at the door, $17 in advance, $10 students w/current ID. Visit fridaynightfolk.org for season schedule and concert information.
For more than thirty years, Geoff Kaufman has been leading audiences to find truth, humor, and beauty in folk music. Whether singing sailor songs with his quartet, Forebitter; or environmental songs on board the Sloop Clearwater in the Hudson River; or in solo performances at coffeehouses throughout the Northeast United States and festivals in Europe, Geoff has entertained and touched audiences near and far.
Songs of the sea, songs of the earth, songs of the heart and the spirit—all of these are in Geoff Kaufman's ditty bag. Ancient ballads, work songs, and songs of love; poignant songs of people in struggle, humorous glimpses of human foibles, and insights into history—all of these are likely to be woven into one of Geoff's concerts.
Above all, at the core of Geoff's performance is his rich tenor voice and an exuberant love of singing. And part of that love is to entice audiences to sing along, to share in the exhilaration of full-throated vocalization if they wish. In this age of electronic overload and passive media pabulum, Geoff likes to stress the "live" in live performance, promoting participation, be it by voice or heart or mind.
Magpie - Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino
From the beginning Terry and Greg's interests in various musical styles have led them to be eclectic in their repertoire. Rather than confine themselves to a single style, Magpie has always embraced a musical rainbow, and with impressive proficiency in each different genre. From traditional, classic country, swing, and blues of the nineteen twenties and thirties, to contemporary songs written by themselves and others, Terry and Greg cover a lot of musical ground.
Terry is a gifted singer of jazz and blues in the tradition of Connie Boswell and Billie Holiday, but is equally comfortable with the subtle beauty of traditional folk and contemporary songs. Greg is an outstanding guitarist whose fingerstyle approach owes a lot to his heroes, guitar legends such as Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Nick Lucas, Phil Ochs, and Rolly Brown. His playing is the solid basis of Magpie's sound, providing whatever is called for, whether it be a hard-driving rhythm, or a ringing lyrical beauty.
With the power of their delivery, Magpie is well-known for their performances of hard-hitting topical songs and as regular performers on Phil Ochs Song Nights, organized by Phil's sister, Sonny Ochs, since 1984. Politically, their viewpoint has been shaped by their life experiences.
More about Magpie
Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner began to play music together in Kent, Ohio in September of 1973. They chose the name Magpie for their band, a name which grew in personal significance for them as years went by. Terry was a student in her senior year at Kent State University in the fall of '73, and when she graduated the following spring, she and Greg packed Greg's VW bus and moved to the Washington, DC area. In the years since then, they have traveled and toured extensively, performed in concerts, at folk clubs and festivals around the world, and recorded many times.
Greg began to play music in the early sixties as a direct result of the Civil Rights Movement. His father worked for the National Urban League, and members of the family became involved in local action in the Movement. Terry also began singing at that time, and spent many of her childhood summers with her mother's family in the deep south where she witnessed the cruelty of racism and the power of the Movement. She also was a witness to the shootings at Kent State on May 4th, 1970 when National Guard troops fired into a group of students protesting the war in Vietnam. Terry and Greg continue to reflect these experiences in their own work as they frequently raise their voices in support of the ongoing struggles for civil rights, freedom, justice, and peace.
Terry's voice is a truly impressive instrument, not only because of its natural power, but also because of her versatility. Add to this her uncanny ability to find the perfect harmony line, and, in a powerful blend of their two voices, you have a real treat for the ear. As if this weren't enough, Terry is also an excellent player of the harmonica, mandolin, fretted dulcimer, and rhythm guitar.
From a slow Scots air or a plaintive ballad to a rollicking ragtime blues or infectious swing, Greg covers it all. His high baritone voice has equal range and his captivating interpretation gives power and beauty to the full spectrum, from growling blues, to a Chilean lament, to a sweet croon.
Over the years, Terry and Greg have become distinguished for producing programs of music for museums (including the Smithsonian Institution), schools, and other special events. They are master artists with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, and in that capacity have worked in many residency programs and teacher training workshops, demonstrating their methods for utilizing music effectively as a tool for early childhood education.
Terry and Greg are internationally known for their musical work in the environmental movement. Throughout their career, they have devoted a tremendous amount of their time, energy, and music to environmental causes. They are considered to be among the very best in this field of music and their performances are in great demand by environmental action and education organizations. Their musical work has supported the work of such notable groups as National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park Service, and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Earth Day 1998 found them performing at Harpers Ferry National Park where their well-known anthem, "We Belong to the Earth" was a perfect finale to a speech by President Clinton. They have been featured presenters for statewide environmental education associations around the country.
Terry and Greg have been heard on many recordings, including 8 of their own, 2 with Kim & Reggie Harris, and several compilations. The Smithsonian, when it released its monumental collection, Folk Song America: A Twentieth Century Revival in 1991, included Magpie's rendition of "Sacco's Letter to His Son" from If It Ain't Love among selections by 99 of the most eminent folk music artists of our time.
About Friday Night Folk at All Souls: Bringing quality folk music and performers to Southeastern Connecticut, Friday Night Folk concerts began at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation in New London in 1989. After a ten year hiatus, Friday Night Folk came back, and has presented Bill Morrissey, Bill Staines, Richard Shindell, John Gorka, Work 0’ the Weavers, Ida Red, emma’s revolution, and Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, among others. Visit www.fridaynightfolk.org for the complete 2012-13 concert line-up.