One quick note from the organizer of this event:
This year I have expanded both the scope and the name of the fest---The Dissident Folk & Arts Festival. This is because I would hope to continue to feature folk/protest music while simultaneously allowing for a wider view of exactly what "Protest Song' is. So, in addition to having powerful sets by the likes of Bev rant and the Dissident Daughters, the MacDougal St Rent Party, Chris Ruhe and the other folk-oriented performers, there will be some Modernist sounds, Jazz and world music. Remember, the Left celebrated Proletarian music expanded by daring harmonies, in the 1920s and early 30s; Hanns Eilser was the hero before Woody Guthrie. So with that in mind, Eisler's music (as well as Kurt Weill's) will be included in the evening salute to Bertolt Brecht. Progressive cabaret duo Jennie Litt and David Alper will offer a set of Brecht and then my own band, The Flames of Discontent, will perform a set of this brilliant music, too. We are excited about the possiblities. Following the Brecht tribute, the fest's finale will be the Gwen Laster Jazz Ensemble. Gwen is a highly acclaimed violinist who's performed and recorded with countless Jazz greats as well as contemporary pop musicians. This year, the fest will open with a couple of workshops (I thak Steve Suffet for this suggestion as well as providing one of the workshops in question), so we expect a very full day. Honestly, I cannot say that "Beacon's favorite banjo player" will be there---Pete maitains a busy schedule, he's tring to complete a book, and told me a few months ago that he cannot commit to this. But who knows, he may surprise us again. For more info you can go to my website www.flamesofdiscontent.org
I hope some of you might be able to join us. Sure, its upstate New York----as an old City boy (up until 3 yrs ago), I recall how far away it all seemed. But Beacon also offers about 2 dozen galleries, an internationally celebrated contemporary art museum, two great coffee houses and wonderful restaurants and shopping. All that and Woodstock is only about 45 min away. Hey, its worth the climb!