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website for the
Songs of Freedom
television show, and a connection
for activists and artists sharing their vision
and the dignity of human struggle
Coming up the last
weekend of January it's the
PEOPLE'S MUSIC NETWORK winter gathering in New York City.
PMN Winter Gathering
NYC January 25-27, 2019
The People s Music Networkis a diverse community of singers, artists, activists and allies that cultivates music and cultural work as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.
"We use music and culture to promote progressive ideas and values. We re committed to working with and supporting grassroots and community organizations, to explore and present the diversity of people s culture. We learn from our communities and each other and we have fun doing it!"
PMN has been my "tribe", my extended family of friends
and fellow activist/artists, since 1990.
It is always heartening to be associated with good
people who are genuine in their concern for humanity and
fight the good fight in their everyday lives. I invite
you to join us this month in NYC.
There will be a Friday night concert
featuring a diverse array of artists followed by a weekend of songswaps, workshops, mentoring sessions and and Saturday night round robin where everybody is invited to participate all highlighting the role of music in progressive social change.
The Friday night concert promises to be something special.
It will take place at the Community Church of New York. It will feature many great performers and a reunion of the MacDougal Street Rent Party, a group that I was once a part of, along with Steve Suffet, Anne Price and Gina Tlamsa.
We will all be there.
I hope you are too.
It is hard to believe that another year has passed. I hope yours was a good one with health and fun leading your list of memories and achievements. The end of another year is the time to give thanks for all we have in our lives. For me it is easy. I have good friends, good health, and a loving family. I have a job that I like and have some skill at and enough money to pay the bills and have some fun. I enjoy creative artistic pursuits. I get to perform before and with people and make new friends. I don't owe any money to anybody and I have a car that works. I am not in trouble with the law. I eat everyday and I know where I am sleeping tonight. I can take a shower and change into clean clothes whenever I want. My child is healthy and smart and fun to be with.
I am truly blessed. I am grateful for all of this and more everyday.
I wish you blessing and love in the new year and always.
I wish you purpose, clarity, health and happiness,
and next year at this time the chance to count our blessings once again.
Your friend and neighbor,
~ joel ~
Forward into 2019 !!
Looking Back at 2018
On New Years Day 2019
was on the radio, the musical guest of Ken Gale and his Eco-Logic program.
Tune in at 8pm to WBAI-FM, 99.5 on your dial in New York City
every other Tuesday for an hour dedicated to environmental issues and entertainment.
"When the air or water are clean, thank an environmentalist. If not, become one." - Ken Gale
at the Old Stone House was a terrific event and lots of fun.
It was the sixth one we have done in Brooklyn and the 18th annual Woody Guthrie event produced by Steve Suffet. Thank you, Steve. And thank you for including me in each one.
Thanks this year go to the Good Coffee House and the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. for sponsoring the event. Thanks also to the talented artists who put on a great show. This year's crew included Vincent Cross, Emma Graves, Amy Dee, Nancy Moccaldi, Steve Suffet and yours truly. Special thanks to the wonderful audience, many of whom are familiar faces, who once again came to sing and support this special event. Let's do this again next year!
If you were not able to get to the show, or if you want to see it again
you have come to the right place!
Songs of Freedom Television was there to record the entire event. Your humble videographer and editor has put together four Songs of Freedom TV episodes
chronicling the performances. Here they are:
Show 1 (Ensemble, Vincent Cross, Emma Graves, Joel Landy, Nancy Moccaldi, Steve Suffet) Show 2 (Emma Graves, Joel Landy, Steve Suffet, Amy Dee, Vincent Cross) Show 3 (Emma Graves, Joel Landy, Amy Dee, Steve Suffet, Vincent Cross, Ensemble) Show 4 (Joel Landy, Emma Graves, Steve Suffet, Vincent Cross, Ensemble)
The winds whipped and the rains came. It was truly a meteorological event Saturday night, October 27th when I blew into the Peoples' Voice Cafe for an evening of political cabaret along with the talented Aaron Fowler. Those in attendance were treated to an evening of fun and creativity in addition to the warm hospitality provided by the volunteers at New York City's premiere progressive venue. As you can see, I was assisted in my performance by my daughter, Faith, proving politics is a family affair. If you were wondering, my shirt says "Kavanaugh lied."
If you did not make it to my show I think I know what happened. There was another short guy from Long Island named Joel who was playing at some Garden in Manhattan when I was on stage at the PVC. It is obvious to me a simple mistake occurred and you went to the wrong show. Understandable.
Pictures and videos, including Joel's most excellent Pennsylvania adventure
The familiy's far out experience started with a trip to the 60s exhibit at the NY City Library (see left) and ventured to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium where Faith and Aunt Nori did the Y-M-C-A dance along with the field crew (below).
The Pennsylvania part of the tour started in Johnstown and the Flood City Music Festival. Highlights included the performance by Andy Fasco and the UN.
It wouldn't be a complete trip to Johnstown without visiting the city's flood museum and a trip up and down the Johnstown Inclined Plane.
The Poconos' Bushkill Falls is a great place to go for a hike. You can get lost and find yourself in the woods.
Back home at the end of August it was time for the annual Benson family bar-b-q. This year we celebrated Richard and sister Gayle's 40th married year and the pending wedding of my awesome niece Liana. (You like my shirt?)
The summer started with the June 30 demonstration for immigrants and children's rights.
Faith made her own signs for the occasion.
June also featured the annual Porch Stomp on Governor's Island. I was honored to be part of this musical event. (see below for more)
IN JULY Songs of Freedom Television was invited to play at the Roast N Co open mic in Kew Gardens, Queens.
It was Roast N Co's first musical event at the Kew Gardens space last known as the Expresso Cafe. Prior to that it was known as Odradeks Coffee House, where Songs of Freedom hosted a series of hoots in 2015 and 2016.
Thanks to Dennis Doyle for producing this gig celebrating local talent.
Thanks also to the owners and staff of Kew Gardens's newest music venue.
It started with the People's Music Network weekend. The workshops and song swaps were both educational and inspirational. It satisfies my soul to spend time and sing with sympatico spirits who fight the good fight in their everyday lives.
I shared a song at the Saturday night Round Robin that questioned male dominated decision making in our society and the damage that it does.
PMN was followed by the June 21 Make Music NY event and the Porch Stomp at the end of the month.
I created a total of eleven half hour Songs of Freedom programs from these events.
You can view them all using the links below. Lots of music to enjoy. I hope you do.
(Click on the words above
or the photo to the left.)
The Red Pipe Cafe and Songs of Freedom TV hosted the solstice scene on Austin Street in Forest Hills, making friends and music well into the dark of the longest day of the year. A cast of strolling thousands and memorable New York characters added flavor to the scene.
I created 5 complete Songs of Freedom episodes from the June 21st event. (29 minutes)
I hope you enjoy them.
Join us next year on Solstice Day!
Rene David Alkalay, Joel Landy Show 2
Rene David Alkalay, Joel Landy, John MacLeod, and Joey on guitar! Show 3
Jason Murden, Rene David Alkalay, Joel Landy, and John MacLeod Show 4
Joel Landy, Rene David Alkalay, Joe Silver,
Lloyd Abrams, and John MacLeod Show 5
Jason Murden, Joel Landy,
Rene David Alkalay, Joe Silver,
Lloyd Abrams, and John MacLeod
Porch Stomp is a free, volunteer run, and community led folk festival held annually on Governors Island.
This year there were more than 100 performances, jams and workshops featuring some of NYC's best bluegrass, old-time, blues, roots, and American music.
Jeremy Aaron organized and hosted a porch stage with performers representing the People's Music Network and Greenwich Village Showcase.
Songs of Freedom Television recorded much of the day at that stage.
I performed a half hour set.
Thank you, Jeremy for lending your organizing talent, your fiddle and your voice.
Let's do this again next year!
I hope you all join us then!
I edited six Songs of Freedom Television episodes from this year's Porch Stomp. Here they are.
I hope you enjoy the performances and sing along!
Joel Landy with Jeremy Aaron Show 2
Hudson Valley Sally, Jeremy Aaron Show 3
Joshua Garcia, Eric Lee Show 4
Sally Campbell and Jeremy Aaron Show 5
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches,
Joel Landy and Jeremy Aaron Show 6
Sally Campbell, Jake Blount, Eric Lee
And then there was this . . .
I see that I finally have your attention. Pay attention, Donald.
I understand that you like to watch television. I have a few videos that you may find entertaining.
The Songs of Freedom Television viewing schedule is listed below.
View Songs of Freedom online !
Catch up with
Songs of Freedom daily at
Joel' Landy's Facebook feed
Alternate Saturdays, 10:30pm, New York Time
Community Channel One Watch Online!
In May the Eric Levine Memorial Concert at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in Manhattan was an awesome and heartfelt event. Friends and relatives remembered Eric's life and the contribution he made to so many people and organizations fighting the good fight.
It was a gas hosting the Funny Song Hour once again. Thanks to all of the people who showed up to share their funny songs and participate in an energetic and super fun hour. My favorite part was the frenetic "lightning round" at the end of the session where it was all about jumping in front of a camera and delivering a quick funny one. It was great. Take a look. Here it is.
If you want to see the entire hour of fun here are two complete Songs of Freedom episodes. Each are 29 minutes long. Enjoy! Show 1Show 2
I hope we get to do this again next year.
Note: Linda Leslie (see photo above) welcomed me to to the NEFFA family of performers years ago. She was an amazing and dedicated organizer committed to New England folk events. Linda passed away shortly before this year's festival began. She will be missed. Songs of Freedom remembers Linda Leslie and dedicates this year's performance to her memory.
Throwin' Back 2017 The year in music.
Throwin' it back.
I was blessed to play in some great shows during 2017 and I got to help organize a couple of them.
On December 6th I joined Mike McHugh, Roger Blanc, Curtis Becraft, Paul DeCoster and others to celebrate the life and music of Tom Petty at Wicked Willy's on Bleecker Street in New York's Greenwich Village. The money from the show went to support MusiCares, a philanthropy Petty was honored by for giving his time and energy to. MusiCares helps musicians who have fallen on hard times with financial, medical and housing support.
It was an inspiring evening featuring Tom Petty's music and the talent of many gifted artists. I recorded the event and created two Songs of Freedom Television episodes. Here they are:
And here is part of my musical contribution to the event.
It was the evening's opening number, "End of the Line", a song Petty helped to write and record with the Traveling Wilburys, one of the coolest bands of all time. The three and a half minute video features Roger Blanc on guitar and Curtis Becraft on mandolin and also explains the mission of the MusiCares organization.
The Fifth Annual Woody Guthrie Brooklyn Hoot
at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn was a blast!
The room was packed and the performances were terrific. Thanks to Steve Suffet for again organizing a stellar event. Thanks also to the artists who played:
Vincent Cross, Beth Kotkin, Nancy Moccaldi, Anne Price, Steve Suffet, and yours truly.
If you did not make it to the show, you can watch
full Songs of Freedom episodes of the event here.
Habitat for Humanity
Fund Raising Benefit Concert
for the storm victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma
Sunday Night, October 8 at the Greenhouse Cafe in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
was a terrific evening of talent and community sharing. Thanks to all the artists who participated and played their favorite 1960s songs. Special thanks go to event organizers Mike McHugh, Vanessa Lovestone, William Mayr, and Max Christopher for putting on such a special show. It was cosponsored by Habitat for Humanity. We raised a few hundred dollars to build houses and relieve the suffering of those who lost so much. I hear there will be other Habitat for Humanity benefit shows coming up. Stay tuned for details!
and here is my musical contribution to the evening. Every song was music from the 1960s when nuclear war was a threat, racial politics was in the news and in the streets, communities were organizing and finding their voice, and music of the times was the soundtrack of our lives.
Well, here we are again.
Be generous. Give what you can.
And here are four complete
Songs of Freedom Television
episodes from the hurricane relief event.
If you want to get involved helping to provide housing, shelter, and other basic needs to the people of Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, you can donate by contacting Habitat for Humanity
at 1-800-HABITAT (422-4828) or go to their website, www.habitat.org/donate
with Venessa Lovestone, Joel Landy, and Paul Decoster
with Buddy Grecco, Charley Young, and Leigh Harrison
with Don Turner, Malcolm Hunter,
Daniel Beck and Tucky Parkis
with Mike McHugh, Vanessa Lovestone, Buddy Grecco, Gina Healy, Bill Frei, Judy Livingston, and Peter Pasco
For more about the New York City Friends of Clearwater, go to:
Family, friends, and artists gathered on June 16 in NYC to remember and celebrate the life of Jessica Feinbloom. It was a memorable evening with lots of music and sweet stories.
Thanks to Steve and Marilyn Suffet for engineering this event. Thanks also to others who participated.
Musical artists included Jane Babits, Toby Fagenson, Alison Kelly, Joel Landy, Anne Price, Steve Suffet,
Gina Tlamsa, and Frank Woerner.
Three full Songs of Freedom TV episodes were composed from the event. (28 minutes, 30 seconds)
Actually, we had two. They were the first since May 2016 in this space when it was known as Odradeks Coffee House[see videos below]. The new owner, Garrick Aminov, bought the bistro last summer and agreed to host the March and April "Songs of Freedom presents" free to the public events. They turned out to be well attended and fun afternoons of music performed by talented neighbors and friends. A real community feeling - exactly what I had hoped for.
Thank you to everyone who came to make it so special. Here are a couple of videos (click on the pics below).
Jerry Korobow Joel Landy
Did you know . . .
Fifty years ago the Expresso Caf in Kew Gardens, Queens, was known as The Interlude Caf and was home to memorable hootenannies where the likes of Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk,
Al Kooper, and Jose Feliciano honed their craft on their way to becoming musical legends?
The New England Folk Festival in April was so much fun this year - as it always is. I got to lead two sessions. The first was a FUNNY SONGS SWAP where I was joined by Steve Suffet and Mike Agranoff. The other was an hour long tribute to Phil Ochs. NEFFA is a special place, run completely by volunteers, and it has been going on for more than 60 years! It is an honor to be involved with them as part of the NEFFA family. Join us next year in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Here is a link for information all about it.
I got to play at the Earth Day event at the Queens Museum sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America, Queens Chapter. The theme this year was Climate Change, the most pressing issue facing our planet right now. The event was both entertaining and educational. There were panels and presentations and an all together positive experience for all who participated. There was even some group singing instigated by an eco-friendly neighborhood folk singer.
Here are some vids from the educational afternoon.
it was celebrating Steve Suffet at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in Manhattan on February 18th. Steve does so much for so many people, including booking acts at the PVC, it was righteous and right that he get a night devoted to him and the celebration of his 70th birthday.
Artists included Anne Price, Sandy Pliskin, Beth Kotkin, Gina Tlamsa, Susan Lippman and myself. I had the honor of organizing the entertainment and MC'ing the event. Here is the opening song, written by Steve, and sung by the ensemble, followed by the official introduction to the evening.
Here is my musical contribution to the evening with help from Andy Borowitz,
and here is the show's finale.
Links to other songs and performances can be found below.
Thanks to all of the volunteers that make the PVC such a special place.
If you don't know about the Peoples' Voice Cafe, New York City's premiere progressive performance venue, click here for information about it and this season's schedule of performances.
on Austin Street in Forest Hills (between Continental and Ascam) hosts a jam session/singaround on Thursday nights. Bring an instrument and songs to share, or come along to sing and enjoy. It is fun and it is free - although it is important that you purchase something to eat or drink.
In late November I assisted Donna Stein raise money for the environmental efforts of the Clearwater organization. I meet the most interesting people, including performers, when I volunteer for movements I believe in.
The 2016 New York City
Friends of Clearwater Water Festival
took place on Sunday, September 11th at the Lower East Side Environmental Center on the East River in Manhattan. It was a beautiful day to be near the water. The panels of speakers organized and moderated by WBAI's Ken Gale were enlightening and educational and the music organized by Jeremy Aaron and
Joel Landy were entertaining and inspiring. Thanks to Donna Stein and the leadership of the New York City Friends of Clearwater for their continuing efforts to protect and preserve our precious waterways. And thanks to the musicians, speakers, and volunteers for making this year's festival a success.
appeared at the Aubergine Cafe in Woodside, NY on Wednesday night,
August 17th. Songs of Freedom Television was there to record the evening of topical music featuring one of topical music's brightest stars. The night was hosted at Aubergine Cafe by Steve Suffet and the Sunnyside Singers Club.
If you missed the event you can watch videos of the concert by clicking on the links below.
Full Songs of Freedom episodes of the evening will be streaming online and cablecast via NYC's public access tv soon. Watch this space for viewing times and channels.
Great music and great times. Here are some videos for you to enjoy.
Odradeks gave us a lot of great music. It is now The Expresso Cafe in Kew Gardens.
The May hootenanny at Odradeks Coffee House was a terrific evening.
Thank you to all the fine performers who came to make music and have a fun time.
Jake Block, Alan Alter, David Butler, Eli, Joel Landy, Jerry Korobow, Lou Michaels,
Marie Moskowitz, Gina Moffet, and Steve Suffet.
And thanks to Jake Block and the staff at Odradeks for inviting us in. We hope you enjoyed too!
Here are links to 3 complete Songs of Freedom Television episodes edited from the evening: Show 1: featuring Jerry Korobow and Joel Landy Show 2: featuring Jake Block, Lou Michaels, Marie Moskowitz, Eli, and Steve Suffet Show 3: featuring Marie Moskowitz, Alan Alter, David Butler, Gina Moffet,
and the ensemble finale, "This Land Is Your Land"
Ultra cool things that happened this night included players showing up and while tuning their instruments in different parts of the room they started playing together. The whole building was filled with a jam before the evening started. So, I changed the format of the show. No formal introductions. Introduce yourself and play, accompanied by whomever you choose. The other ultra cool thing that happened was I started talking to a coffeehouse customer when I arrived.
I asked him if he played an instrument. He said he played fiddle. I asked him if he lived nearby. He said yes. I told him to get his fiddle. He did and he played. He was excellent and then he sang too. Thank you, David Butler. The entire evening was magical like that.
Ray Korona was a writer, producer, promoter, musician, an articulate advocate for artists and those fighting for justice and dignity, and a good friend. Many of us still cannot believe he is gone. On Saturday night April 16 at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in NYC friends and artists gathered to sing his songs and remember Ray. It was a heartfelt evening with inspired performances. Here is the finale to the show. Enjoy!
"Funny Song Swap" at the New England Folk Festival
Mansfield High School in Mansfield, MA
And what a funny song swap it was!
Thank you to Steve Suffet, Ben Grosscup and Jackson Gilman for joining me for the great session.
It was a great evening with a wonderful audience and memorable performances. Thanks to the folks at the Jalopy for making it so special.
I want to personally thank my fellow musicians:
Steve Suffet, Vincent Cross, Beth Kotkin, and Mike Glick for a special and fun time.
Here are 3 videos from that show recently seen on Songs of Freedom TV.
The Phil Ochs 75th birthday concert I produced at Odradeks Coffee House in
Kew Gardens, Queens (see below) in December of 2015 was so successful I was invited to produce a monthly music event there.
Unfortunately, Odradeks closed a the end of July in 2016. My goal is still to create a music scene in Queens similar to the one I did on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village nine years ago, where souls conspired and played together. So, stay tuned folksingers, bards, and free spirits. We still have a world of music to make.
For more about the Phil Ochs 75th birthday celebration at Odradeks Coffee House, including videos of the evening's performances, click here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PHIL OCHS !
It was a joyous night for both the audience and the artists who performed at Odradeks Coffee House in Kew Gardens, NY on Thursday night, December 17, celebrating Phil's life and music.
Click on the photo links for more about that evening and video performances by David Massengill, Joel Landy, Steve Suffet, Anne Price, Lydia Adams Davis, Steve Vitoff, and Richard Benson.
The 3rd Annual
Woody Guthrie Brooklyn Hoot
on April 12
at the Jalopy Theater and School of Music was an awesome show!
We will be doing it again on April 3, 2016.
I had the pleasure of participating
at the MLK open mic
at my favorite progressive coffeehouse,
the Peoples' Voice Cafe in NYC. I thought it would be most appropriate to sing a song written by Matt Jones.
December 12, 2014 at the
STARK REALITY OPEN MIC in Manhattan
I was featured at this showcase in NYC. The night before the House of Representatives voted for the bill that will fund and keep our government running. Republicans stuck goodies for the banking industry in there at the 11th hour written by their friends at CitiGroup. Enough Democrats voted for it to pass. There was other stuff in that bill too that the Senate passed and the President signed in the days that followed.
I am still livid. I took my energy about it and my attitude to the stage and began my set with the video to the right. -->
[click pic for You Tube link]
December 15, 2014 at the
UTES Got Talent at New Utrecht High School
song: "When I Was Young" by Matt Jones
Matt Jones devoted his life to the struggle of social justice in this country. Some time after the 1960s he articulated what we all now know - that the fight for freedom and equality has not ended at all. His song frames this stark perception vividly.
"Joel's engaging performance style has been nurtured through real experience in the TV studio and on the demonstration stage.
He draws you in with the opening song and you're with him right through the encores!"
~ Ray Korona ~
"Joel is a dynamic performer who is able to connect with kids with special needs and adults alike. We consider Joel a Dream Team sponsor for his theme song and all of his voluntary efforts."
To be notified about upcoming concerts and TV episodes, join the SOF mailing list.
You can also inquire about purchasing CDs and DVDs of stage performances.
Contact Joel directly