Due to COVID-19, all shows are canceled at Mount Toby concerts for the remainder of 2020. Hopefully, we can meet in person in 2021. Keep your fingers crossed.
This show is canceled as an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is rescheduled for Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Saturday – March 21 – 7:30 pm
Joe Jencks is an 20-year veteran of the international folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist based in Chicago. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit.
Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant Lady of The Harbor, Jencks is also co-founder of the harmony trio, Brother Sun. From Festivals like Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Mariposa, and Old Songs, to venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Jencks has enthralled diverse audiences with his approachable style.
Joe is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel. A Joe Jencks concert is an occasion for singing, a contagious rising up of voices, an act of joy and defiance!
Suggested donation: $15 to $30
Reggie Harris & Pat Wictor
Saturday – February 15 – 7:30 pm
Double trouble: Infinitely creative musicians, REGGIE HARRIS and PAT WICTOR return to share the stage with musical interplay and improvisation.
A songwriter of great depth and insight, Reggie Harris writes from a personal but accessible place that reveals his deep sense of humanity and a uniquely positive worldview. He is a trailblazer who performs for audiences of all ages. His effervescently humorous and hopeful presence has led fans to label him the “Ambassador of Joy, Hope, and Freedom.”
An educator who entertains, Reggie’s songs reveal the subtle truths of issues that touch our lives regardless of color, background, age, or nationality. It’s about the laughter and the tears… the challenges and the joy… the global and the personal. It’s about history and the present day… the sacred and the laugh out loud funny moments that define us. http://reggieharrismusic.com/
Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. Since then he has made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that honor – and subvert – rural blues and gospel traditions. For seven years he toured as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim, two #1 CDs on the Folk DJ charts, and a continent-spanning tour schedule. Wictor’s newest recording is a duo album titled Counterpoise, a collaboration with jazz vocalist Deborah Latz. The two first sang together at a vocal improvisation workshop led by Bobby McFerrin. His most recent solo release, This is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and was nominated for Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards. http://patwictor.com
Suggested donation: $15 to $30
This Show Is Canceled due to Weather
From Mount Toby Peace & Social Concerns Committee
An Evening of Music to Benefit the Restoration of the Meeting House Rest Rooms
(aka Our Potty Party)
Saturday – January 18 – 7:30 pm
ANNE LOUISE WHITE
From folk to jazz, our very talented local musicians will entertain you with song and harmony
Suggested donation: $15 to $30
All proceeds go to the restroom project viewable at the meetinghouse
Listen to Ben at: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/bentousley2
Mount Toby Peace & Social Concerns Committee and the Concert Series presents the 3rd event in our
Quaker/Jewish Relations Study
Saturday – January 11 – 7:30 pm
Yosl Kurland: A Jewish Perspective on Social Justice:
Songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and English
Many Yiddish poets wrote songs calling for social Justice, based on biblical commandments to care for the poor and the stranger because we ourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt, and the Yiddish song repertoire includes much in that vein. In tonight’s program, Yosl will perform songs by these “sweatshop” poets as well as his own compositions that reflect the Jewish experience in calling for justice for both workers and refugees. Yiddish songs will have translations projected for the audience. Aaron Bousel will accompany on Accordion.
Vocalist and educator Yosl Kurland, a founding member of the Wholesale Klezmer Band since 1982, performs and writes Yiddish songs and synagogue music. With his band he performed widely for weddings, bar mitzves nd concerts, including at Carnegie Hall with Pete Seeger, and has taught workshops at elementary, middle and high schools on Yiddish music, dance, literature. He developed a workshop on Yiddish Songs of Cultural Resistance in the Holocaust. He taught history at an inner city alternative high school for 17 years using period songs to engage students and to illustrate events more vividly. He teaches adult ed classes on Yiddish literature and klezmer music and is a cantor for Temple Israel of Greenfield.
Wholesale Klezmer Band accordionist Aaron Bousel began playing the instrument at age ten, though it wasn’t until 1995 that he began to play klezmer. He has participated in workshops at Klez Kanada in Quebec and Yidstock at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. Soon after moving to Amherst, MA in 1997 he became accordionist for the band Hu Tsa Tsa with which he has played at many b’nai mitzvah, weddings, and local synagogue functions. He is also accordionist for the Yiddishkeit Klezmer ensemble and has accompanied Mak’hela, the Jewish chorus of western Mass.
Suggested donation $10 to $30
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee for aid to refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
This concert is canceled – it is not rescheduled
Sharon sends her regrets that she can’t make it on Dec. 14, 2019. There will not be a substitute performer on this date.
Sharon Katz & The Peace Train
Saturday, December 14, 7:30 pm
The multicultural South African band of Sharon Katz & The Peace Train helped Nelson Mandela end Apartheid and they continue spreading their message of peace and reconciliation through music all around the world. Honoring South Africa’s 25th Anniversary, The Peace Train:Transcending Barriers tour features concerts, film screenings and workshops across Africa, Mexico, Cuba and the United States in 2019-2020. Their November 1st, 2019 Cuba tour featured a concert in Santiago de Cuba at the 33rd International Festival of Choirs with a 150 voice children’s choir and 57 piece Symphony Orchestra.
On the Grammy’s “Best World Music Album” ballot, they made history when they formed South Africa’s first, 500-voice multiracial choir & then organized a courageous tour on board a train –The Peace Train – to promote a peaceful transition to democracy.
This year, 2019 saw the band gracing the main stages of Old Songs and Philadelphia Folk Festivals and Sharon also performed her compositions at a concert in a stadium in Tijuana, Mexico with a 1,500 voice children’s choir. Sharon was honored to receive the 2019 Phil Ochs Award in recognition of her music and activism for social and political change.
The versatile group of musicians, singers, dancers and workshop leaders entertain, educate and inspire audiences of all ages and sizes. Melodies from South Africa’s diverse cultures, including Maskanda, Kwasa-Kwasa and Mbaqanga, are fused with rock, folk and funk to tell South Africa’s story – past and present – through music and dance.
WHEN VOICES MEET, a multiple award-winning film, documents The Peace Train’s role in spreading Nelson Mandela’s message and helping youth to heal from the wounds of Apartheid. Selected by over 25 film festivals worldwide, it has shown on TV in 50 countries and is featured on Amazon Prime. Screenings have resulted in numerous diversity & inclusion projects around the world & the Transcending Barriers tours which began with a cross border Peace Train Project in July 2018 with American and Mexican participants marching across the USA border.
Sharon Katz & The Peace Train’s many recordings include “Imbizo” on Billboard’s Highly Recommended list, “Lerato” with South African Jazz diva Dolly Rathebe, “Double Take” with South African songbird Abigail Kubeka, the 2018 release Side-By-Side, and Carnival! alongside Sting, Elton John, Tina Turner, Madonna and Ruben Blades. Sharon is currently working on a new CD recorded in Cuba as well as a second documentary chronicling The Peace Train Transcending Barriers Project which was created as a cross USA Mexico border initiative to counteract the USA administration’s cruel border policies.
Suggested donation: $15 to $30
Tom Juravich & Teresa Healy
Saturday – November 16 – 7:30 pm
Healy & Juravich offer their audiences duets about work, life, struggle and love. Together, they have performed for union and community groups, house concerts and protest rallies in the United States and Canada. They have written songs supporting campaigns for public health care and celebrating activism. Other original songs oppose war and militarism and express solidarity with families facing the ongoing housing crisis.
Teresa Healy is a singer-songwriter well-known in folk and activist circles across Canada. She now calls Brattleboro, Vermont, home. Healy’s first CD, She Pushed from Behind, dealt with the issues of early feminism in Canada. Her work with labour activists in the Ottawa Irish community was featured on CBC, while her peace songs have been heard around the world. As David Francey says of her writing, Teresa shows “a keen eye for the everyday.” This attention to the details of family life is at the heart of Boot Against Nettle; a collection of original songs ready to be turned into Healy’s next recording.
Tom Juravich is a singer-songwriter with deep roots in Massachusetts. He now shares a home with Teresa in southern Vermont. Tom has been writing and singing about the hopes and dreams of working people all of his life. At the core of Juravich’s music is his voice. As Pete Seeger put it, “I was impressed by your wide variety of material and frankly, jealous of your wonderful voice.” Juravich released Altar of the Bottom Line just after Healy & Juravich’s first collaboration Tangled in Our Dreams came out. Previous CDs, World to Win and Out of Darkness were released by Flying Fish/Rounder Records. Juravich’s songs are included in Rise up Singing and Pete Seeger’s Carry it On. http://tomjuravich.com/
Suggested donation: $15 to $30
Saturday – October 19 – 7:30 pm
Dubbed in her local press as “one of Northern Minnesota’s best kept secrets,” Sara Thomsen is a weaver of song and community singing. With a voice rich as the best mid-west soil, Sara’s songs carry you inward and outward—in, to the particulars of your own life, and out—into the shared humanity of us all. Her performance style is easygoing and full of humor and depth, capturing the audience’s engagement. Sara’s music gently enfolds and unfolds the listener.
At concerts, conferences, classrooms, workshops, retreats, jails, places of prayer, and lines of protest, to be with Sara is to want to sing. Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of her work. Sara’s ability to get people singing magically transforms gatherings into communities empowered with possibility.
Sara is the founder and artistic director of the “Echoes of Peace Choir,” a non-audition community choir in Duluth, Minnesota, with a repertoire of world music and a membership of 70+ voices. Thomsen later founded the Echoes of Peace non-profit to expand and develop the work of examining critical social issues using music and the arts to build and bridge informed, engaged, and caring communities. She is also the artistic director of “Three Altos,” comprised of Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Thomsen, and professor Paula Pedersen. The trio has released two CDs: Camaradas and One Voice.
Sara is a staunch supporter of struggles for human dignity and ecological sustainability. Slowing down enough to see and hear the vibrant wonder of the commonplace is her work and play. All this can be felt in her music. Whether it is a song welcoming a newborn, protesting a policy, depicting night falling or describing a loved one, her music is alive and pulsing.
“Thomsen’s soulful voice, poetic lyrics and unforgettable melodies cut through to the heart and the soul of human experience.”— Minnesota Women’s Press
Recommended donation: $20 to $30
Saturday – September 21 – 7:30 pm
In the current national nightmare, we need to laugh. And we need to hope. Roy Zimmerman’s signature blend of heart and hilarity has never been more necessary, and he rings his satirical songs to Leverett at Mount Toby Friends Meeting on Saturday, September 21.
In a career spanning more than thirty years, Roy’s songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime, and his videos have garnered tens of millions of views on social media. With his satirical folk quartet The Foremen he recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. Roy has shared stages with Bill Maher, Ellen DeGeneres, Holly Near, Robin Williams, Arlo Guthrie, John Oliver, The Roches, Andy Borowitz, The Chambers Brothers, Kate Clinton and George Carlin.
Rize Up is Roy’s tenth album release as a solo artist. It’s a funny and forceful expression of resistance in the age of Trump. “Satire empowers people,” says Roy. “To laugh is to fight back. To hope is to fight back.”
Roy tours the country constantly bringing laughter and encouragement to the “Blue Dots” – the most progressive people in some of the least progressive places in the nation. “I get accused of preaching to the converted,” says Roy, “but that’s not how I think of it. I think of it as entertaining the troops.”
Suggested donation: $10 to $30
Saturday – June 8 – 7:30 pm
Stunningly powerful vocal harmony floods the room as the four Windborne singers present Song on the Times, their project of working class movements for peoples’ rights from the past 400 years, sung for today struggles. The group was catapulted to new heights when clip of them singing in protest outside Trump tower went viral, and their Indiegogo for the project raised 1,600% of its goal from 2,600 people in every State and 22 countries.
Aside from this new project, Windborne has collected and studied polyphonic vocal music for over 15 years from traditional singing masters from cultures around the world, Windborne is able to shift from radically different genres like no band you have ever heard, as comfortable with an improvised Corsican couplet song, as an English ballad.
Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon share a vibrant energy onstage – their connection to each other and to the music clearly evident. They educate as they entertain, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.
“The best musical discovery of the year…Stunningly powerful vocal harmony…Windborne sets a new bar for folk harmony singing today” –Brian O’Donovan WGBH, National Public Radio
Suggested donation: $10 to $30