Ray Allen is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY
Graduate Center. In addition he directs the American Studies Program
and serves as a Senior Associate at the Institute for Studies in
American Music. He teaches courses on American vernacular music with an
emphasis on the music cultures of New York City.
Professor Allen's research focuses on a variety of American folk and
popular music, with a special interest in New York City music cultures.
He is the author of Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred
Quartets in New York City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991) and
co-editor of Island Sounds in the Global City: Caribbean Popular Music
and Identity in New York (University of Illinois Press, 1998) and most
recently Ruth Crawford Seeger's Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in
Twentieth Century American Music (University of Rochester Press, 2007).
He is currently completing a manuscript on the urban folk music revival
of the 1950s and 1960s.
Oscar is a Folk Singer, Recording Artist, Songwriter, Guitarist, Bawdy
Song Balladeer, Sea Chantey Performer, Radio Broadcaster, Television
Program Host, Special Events Director, Emcee, Broadway Musical
Composer, Playwright, Actor, Author, Storyteller, Musicologist,
Historian, Children's Recording Artist, Curator of the Songwriters Hall
of Fame and Honorary Ph.D. He was also on the panel that created Sesame
His programs have been hailed as "Wonderful", "Exciting" and
"Fantastic", but underneath he is a very ordinary and humble great folk
singer. His programs have captivated audiences all over Canada, the
United States, and Staten Island. They could be "Laughing America",
wherein Americans laugh despite hard times, "Revolution through Rap",
wherein we watch our music grow from colonial ballads through rock and
roll, "Ballads and Ballots", American political songs...etc.
Anna is Woody Guthrie's granddaughter, and is Events and Program Director of Woody Guthrie Publications: http://www.woodyguthrie.org
Rochelle, 77 years old, was born and raised in the Bronx. In
1952, she married the well renowned folklorist and record producer,
Kenny Goldstein. Together, they experienced the folk scene in
Washington Square Park in the forties and fifties, as well as the many
venues that produced much of the great folk music of that
era. Kenny pursued a graduate degree in 1958, which relocated
them to Philadelphia. He taught Folklore at the University of
Pennsylvania for 31 years. Their experiences introduced them
to many musicians in the United States and abroad. Rochelle's
other interests include Yiddish folklore and folk dancing.
Born Dorothy Miller in New York City in 1933, she graduated from Music
& Art High School in 1950. In the 1940s and 1950s she
was a regular at the Sunday folksinging sessions in New York’s
Washington Square, and sang with Pete Seeger in the Good Neighbor
Chorus. Now she sings with and writes lyrics for the Solidarity
Singers of the NJ Industrial Union Council.
After 10 years in the evening session at CCNY, she received a BA in
Social Sciences in 1961, then sociology ABD at Southern Illinois
University . She taught sociology at SUNY Cortland and was
active in organizing the faculty union. . Writing and
teaching are important to her. She’s also been
involved with women’s issues and civil rights/civil liberties issues
for most of her life.
Lori HollandLori Holland has been
part of the New York folk music scene since the 1950s. Two of her
albums, Scottish Folk Songs for Women (1958) and Irish Folk Songs for
Women (1960) have recently been reissued as CDs by
Smithsonian-Folkways. The original LPs are now rare collectors' items.
In addition to being a fine traditional singer, Lori is also an
accomplished songwriter whose songs have appeared in Sing Out magazine.
Her signature song, Didn’t I Dance, has been recorded by many artists
throughout the USA and Canada.
Renowned Photographer George Pickow was at Camp Unity in New York in
the early 1940s where he heard Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie
jamming every night in a tiny cabin. He took up a career as a
photographer, but still went to square dances; he met Jean
Ritchie and put her on the front cover of a trucker's magazine. (They
married in 1950.) In 1953 Alan Lomax, George Pickow, and Peter
Kennedy directed the film Oss Oss Wee Oss
showing the May Eve and May Day Festivals at Padstow, Cornwall. George
went to the UK accompanieing Jean on her Fulbright scholarship
collecting trip, photographing Seamus Ennis, the McPeakes, Leo Rowsome, Sarah Makem and others. In 1961 Alan Lomax and George Pickow directed Ballads, Blues, Bluegrass.
Jon PickowAs a composer and arranger,
Jonathan Pickow has contributed to numerous recordings, video sound
tracks, radio programs, and industrials. His arrangements are in
the repertoires of the Robert De Cormier Singers, The Düsing Singers,
and folk singer Oscar Brand, among others. Mr. Pickow began a
professional singing career at a very young age, appearing with his
mother, Appalachian folk singer Jean Ritchie, at concerts and folk
festivals throughout the country, including The Newport Folk Festival,
The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Fox Hollow, and Canada’s Mariposa
Festival. He has since produced and performed on many of Ms.
Ritchie’s albums. As a soloist Mr. Pickow encompasses many
styles, medieval to twentieth-century, to the traditional music of many
cultures. He has toured domestically and internationally with
Harry Belafonte, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Robert De Cormier Singers
and The Norman Luboff Choir, and has performed with such conductors as
Gunther Schuller, Roger Wagner, and André Previn.
An outstanding songwriter, author and folklorist, Jean Ritchie has been
a major figure in American folk music for more than thirty years. Her
songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris,
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Linda Ronstadt, and many more. In
concert, either solo or in tandem with her husband George Pickow's
award-winning photographs, slides and films, Jean opens the door on the
music of the Kentucky mountains.
Miss Ritchie, 85, has been interweaving snippets of her own
Appalachia-rooted compositions with those of centuries-old British and
Celtic folk tunes ever since she picked up her first dulcimer —
snitched her father’s instrument, to be precise — at age 5. She figures
she has 500 songs in the brain bank, 600 if she counts newer ones she
wrote on her own.
Tony SaletanA fine singer and
guitar & Banjo player, Tony has traveled around the world
collecting songs and he is superb at sharing them with you. He
has had several folk Music TV series on public stations, and has
appeared on radio's "Prairie Home Companion", and TV's "Sesame
Street." Tony has been invited to sing American Folk Songs in 24
countries of Asia including 4 repeated Asian tours and was honored by
receiving a grant from the Fund for the Arts recognizing his
contributions to the traditional arts and has many records issued
Roger SprungBorn in Manhattan in 1930, Roger
Sprung is part of a small New York-born fraternity of banjoists, unlike
the horde that frail and hail from the Appalachian area. Sprung's
roots in this music go into the buried depths of the 1940s and ‘50s
folk music scene, playing banjo with the Shanty Boys, Doc Watson, Jean
Ritchie and others. In 1950 he
made his first trip to the mountains of North Carolina, and soon
returned to develop an original style that has become to be known as
His first successful recordings were in a progressive acoustic trio
with Eric Darling and Bob Carey in 1953. His radically versatile
repertoire influenced many banjo players including virtuoso Bela
Fleck. Sprung has taught banjo and related instruments,
invented innovative modifications of the banjo, and continues to
perform, teaming up with Hal Wylie for the last 25 years. Roger's three classic Progressive Bluegrass LPs are now available as CDs from Smithsonian Folkways along with later recordings.
Dr. Anna Lomax Wood
Anna L. Wood has served as Executive
Director of the Association for Cultural Equity since 1996, when she
stepped in to preserve her father’s work. With a doctorate in
anthropology from Columbia University, she has done research on
cultural history and inter-community variation; disaster recovery and
reconstruction; the local impact of NGO disaster aid and rural
industrialization programs; risk factors for children in poverty; and
settings for children’s mental health programs. Wood was awarded
the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1980), and a Grammy as
producer of the Best Historical Recording of 2005: Jelly Roll Morton:
The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax.
The organizational website is: http://www.culturalequity.org/index.jsp