If you want to know something about the connection between folk music and the struggle for positive change for regular folks in this world, come sit a spell with Si Kahn and learn about his remarkable life.
For around three quarters of his 70 odd years, Si has been both singer-songwriter and a professional civil rights, labour and community organizer. He describes his music-making as “a hobby that got out of hand.” His is a life that’s been dedicated to working and singing for the common good: for the poor, the oppressed, the dispossessed – for better wages, for equal justice for all, for a cleaner and healthier environment. “My songs are very similar to how I organize people,” Kahn says. “I listen and tell stories. People say, ‘You’re a protest singer. I say, ‘No, I’m for stuff.’ ”
His musical body of work includes 17 albums of his own original songs, a collection of traditional labor and civil rights songs recorded with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp, and the songs and scripts for seven musicals. He’s toured the world and written books, including Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice. His tunes such as Aragon Mill, Gone Gonna Rise Again, and Go To Work On Monday are the anthems of demonstrations and picket lines everywhere, part of the oral tradition, and sung in folk clubs and living rooms around the world.
So come visit a spell with Si Kahn at the festival. His is a voice of insight, experience, inspiration, and connection in these interesting times.