On these cold, dark days I’m glad to have the love and light of The Early Mays to look forward to. I treasure our rehearsals and the way that singing together can soothe my soul, but also strengthen my resolve. I value the company of two fearless and immensely talented women who are part of this group with me.
As 2016 comes to a close, we will start our new recording project, and would be grateful for your support. At our Kickstarter site, you can pre-order a CD or opt for some other creative and fun gifts like original art, tote bags and sheet music. It’s really worth a visit because Ellen has creating beautiful artwork just for the occasion (did I mention something about talent?).
We did it! The Early Mays took home the blue ribbon in the Neo-Traditional Band Competition this summer. What a way to wrap up the season: singing your favorite songs with your favorite people on a stage that has held some of the best old-time players of recent times. We can’t wait to go back next year for our showcase concert.
If the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (or “Clifftop” as it’s best known) is new to you, let me share a few things about it. It’s one of the largest gatherings of old-time musicians in the country where folks bring their tents and campers to spend days and nights making music in the mountains of southern West Virginia. It’s like a family reunion for many. For me, it’s a time where I can reconnect with friends from all around the country who I have jammed with over the years, especially from Chicago and Austin. Music is everywhere you turn, all day and all night. It creates a soundtrack that keeps playing in my head for days and weeks after the festival.
Follow these links to read more about the festival, and to see some great pictures of our performance, and join us next August!
I feel an abiding gratitude to the individuals and institutions who make southwest Pennsylvania an inspiring place for artists to live and work. Rounder Songs, my collaborative project with NOW Ensemble and Patrick Burke, was just chosen for a generous grant to support an album recording and release in 2017. The program is called “Investing in Professional Artists” and it is supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.
“This year’s grantees emphatically demonstrate the strength of female artists working in the region,” according to Dr. Germain Williams, senior program officer for Arts and Culture. I’m both proud and humbled to be in good company. Read more about The Pittsburgh Foundation, and fellow grantees here.
Rounder Songs has grown with each passing year, and I’m so happy to finally start the process of recording these five songs for chamber ensemble, banjo and voice based on Appalachian tunes and legends. I’ll send news throughout the year as we move through the recording process!
Thank you for filling the radiosphere with great music, and thanks for taking The Early Mays along for the ride. I’m so thrilled at our number 2 debut, and for staying in the top ten from October through December. Our deep thanks to Kari Estrin Managment and Consulting, for the outstanding promotional work.
The Early Mays are three talented writers, singers, and instrumentalists, coming together on a masterpiece of a debut album. It is clear that the folk trio— Judith Avers, Emily Pinkerton and Ellen Gozion—carefully crafted each other’s songs by adding emotionally stirring harmonies and delicate folk instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, and organ). While playing together for the first time at a late-night Christmas Eve service, they realized the full potential of future collaborations, thus forming The Early Mays. Using crowd funding to source their self-titled debut, the group brings traditional and original material to spectacular life. This is more than a band that writes and performs songs; it’s a group of serious musicologists who have studied the folk genre all their lives. It’s a rare combination of knowledge and talent. (CH).
There are so many deserving artists in this city, and we are proud and humbled for WYEP’s support. Read up on the top 5 artists at the WYEP website!
Donate to the Chilean Red Cross and I will send you a free download or copy of one of my CDs, “Valparaiso” or “Ends of the Earth.”
Here is a direct link to their donation page: http://www.cruzroja.cl/donaciones
You can donate through the website, or at the bottom of the page there is information for depositing/transfering your donation to their bank accounts in Santiago or New York.
If you’ve been to my concerts, you probably have a sense of how deeply I admire Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra. Her songs have shaped my ear from the first moment I heard them in 1996 as an exchange student in Chile. Her artistic energy, her unwavering conviction, and her compassion for her fellow human beings continue to inspire me.
NPR recently aired a story about the release of the movie “Violeta Went to Heaven” (dir. Andrés Wood), and called me to comment about her legacy in Latin America. Betto Arcos put a lovely program together that gives a well-rounded sense of her life and music. What a thrill to be part of it. I hope you enjoy listening!!
What an experience! So many compassionate and committed artists and volunteers created such a beautiful environment at the Panama Jazz Festival with over 20,000 attendees. So happy to be a small part of it. I hope you enjoy these clips from our concert in the Teatro Ateneo. Look for more stories and videos on Facebook…
¡Gracias a todos mis amigos por esta visita maravillosa a Chile! Quiero ofrecer un agradecimiento especial a Rodrigo Invernizzi por su colaboración musical y su espiritú generoso. Estoy tan agradecida de la ayuda de Micaela Navarrete, Soledad Abarca, La Biblioteca Nacional, Claudia Emparán, Colegio Valle del Aconcagua, La Iglesia Ministerio de Fe, Alfonso Rubio, Pepita Muñoz y muchos más. Aquí les regalo una canción favorita de los conciertos que hicimos en Santiago, Quillota y Valparaíso: