A prolific and highly acclaimed singer-songwriter, Orit spent eleven years living on the road full-time, touring internationally. She has released eleven albums which have received rave reviews and international radio play. A multi-genre passionate singer, whose dedication to the craft and ability to connect to diverse audiences have won many hearts over. Orit’s Jewish and Israeli background informs much of her work, in particular a passion for humanitarianism and peace advocacy. You can also hear her harmonies on several recordings by other artists.
Ann Zimmerman sings her native prairie into universal language and works magic from songs of life on the windy plains. Her confident Kansas style, compelling stage presence and award-winning songs have taken her across the continent singing a hundred gigs a year. Ann sings for and with children, families and adults. She tells stories and paints pictures with her guitar, her piano or just her voice. She regularly leads songwriting workshops for elementary and middle school students. On occasion, she performs spoken word pieces, plays autoharp and gathers a band. At presenters’ requests, her shows may focus on particular topics – food, gardens, weather, nature, rural life, human conflict, etc. – or historical periods or events – American Revolutionary War, pioneer life, historic Kansas.
Ann is a winner at the Wildflower! Festival, Great American Song and the Just Plain Folks national song contests. She appears annually at The Land Institute’s Prairie Festival and, beginning in recent years, the Walnut Valley Festival. With four independent recordings, Ann is also a lawyer and mediator, she runs a horse boarding stable with her husband near Salina, Kansas, and she is an elected board member of Salina Public Schools.
Musician, painter and educator Natalia Zukerman grew up in New York City, studied art at Oberlin, started her mural business Off The Wall in San Francisco, began her songwriting career in Boston, and now resides, writes, plays, teaches and paints in the Hudson Valley. Having released eight independent albums on Weasel Records and her own label Talisman Records, Zukerman has toured internationally as a solo performer since 2005. Her music can be heard on the soundtrack of several seasons of The L Word and ABC Family’s Chasing Life. She also created the score for The Arch of Titus, an independent film created for Yeshiva University and a Harvard online course called Poetry in America. Alongside her touring career, Zukerman continues to paint private and public murals as well as illustrate children’s books, design and paint sets for plays in New York City and paint private portrait commissions. In February, 2017, Natalia became a Cultural Diplomat for the US Department of State, playing concerts and conducting workshops with her trio, The Northern Lights throughout Africa. Alongside band Raining Jane in 2022, Natalia co-lead workshops virtually with social action musicians in Zimbabwe. Raining Jane and Natalia were selected to lead workshops again through American Music Abroad some time in 2023/24. Natalia teaches private songwriting lessons and has taught at various programs and festivals throughout the US and in Canada. In May 2018, she was the artist in residence at the cell theatre in New York City where she developed her multimedia one woman show, The Women Who Rode Away. In March, 2020, Natalia co-produced an online music festival called Shut In & Sing which ran for 8 weeks and provided immediate financial relief to hundreds of independent musicians at the beginning of the lockdown. Zukerman is also a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and is the artistic director for the conscious global community, SoulCall Global.
“Natalia’s voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth.” –New Yorker
“a strutting brass band one minute, a sighing lover the next.” –The Boston Globe
“a wise mix of rootsy styles from torch blues to country swing. If you’re a fan of Madeleine Peyroux, Bonnie Raitt or even Amy Winehouse, you’ll find stuff to connect with here.” –Philadelphia Daily News
Traditional and contemporary folksinger, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer
Roots based singer songwriter/folk musician.
I am a nationally touring storyteller/singer/songwriter.
And a whistler. I rank in the top dozen in The Global Whistling Championships. (Now, can you guess my placement?)
Chuck is a hubert humphrey democrat sensitive new age guy. He started singing in Detroit folk clubs and saloons back in the 1960’s. In Toronto, on his first out of town gig, he met a bony blonde Canadian songwriter named Joni Anderson. They married, and as a duo Chuck and Joni Mitchell played the coffeehouse circuit and gin rummy until she was 48,760 points and 50 home made songs ahead, and then they divorced.
In 2018, Chuck’s fellow FARM (Folk Alliance Regional Midwest) folk gave him the Lantern Bearer Award for “significant contribution to folk music in the Midwest”. He couldn’t have been more grateful, telling his fellow farmers that after fifty-some years glowing next to a floodlight, it was really nice to be recognized.
In his one man show, Mitchell plays 6 and 12 string guitar and sings cabaret songs, animal songs, story songs, and Mitchell songs. He weaves poetry by Sandburg-Frost-Brecht-Hopkins and others into his shows. He has appeared on the Merv Griffin show (once) and A Prairie Home Companion’ (thrice).
His acting credits include ‘The World of Carl Sandburg’ (in the USA and the UK), Harold Hill in ‘The Music Man’, Woody in ‘Woody Guthrie’s American Song’, and Stephen Foster in ‘Mr. Foster & Mr. Twain’. Ask Siri and Alexa and the other streamers to play Chuck’s music. On YouTube, enter “Chuck Mitchell Sings”.
Hey, you say, is Chuck a Renaissance Man? Well, he’s old enough.
Singer songwriter and band leader. Side electric guitar player in rock bands, and back up for traditional Celtic acts. Touring throughout the USA.
Singer. Songwriter. Music Educator. Choir director. I am especially passionate about music that gets ordinary people singing along.
In 1983, while living in Seattle, John O’Connor sent a batch of his songs off to Flying Fish Records cold and–almost unheard of in the music business at that time–landed a contract to make an album of his powerful original songs. Songs For Our Times came out in 1984 and was named one of the best albums of the year by the Washington Post and several folk publications and radio stations.
Geoffrey Himes, in his Washington Post review said of John’s songs, “Mister, Slow It Down,” … is the best hitchhiking song since Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGree.” O’Connor’s “Missy and Me” is the best song about old age since John Prine’s “Hello in There.” “A Cold November,” an a cappella ballad about a poor man harassed by a Chicago cop, echoes Woody Guthrie’s hobo songs.
Almost 40 years later, having traveled the country, touring and working as a union organizer, John has gathered a treasure-trove of songs, stories and poems about the working class, war and peace, love and loss. Craig Harris has said, “…O’Connor has shaped his own acute observations of the working class into songs that beg to be sung along to…” Si Kahn calls his songs “wonderful: direct, simple, singable, powerful.” “Songwriting… right out of the same well that slaked Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger,” commented the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch.
John’s music has always been inseparable from his involvement in working class politics. He began his involvement in the labor movement right out of high school when he went to work in the factories of Waterloo, Iowa. His passion for American folk music led to a career as a folk singer and a cultural educator, performing in concerts, festivals, coffeehouses, schools and colleges, union education programs and political action events.
John recorded three albums with Flying Fish, one of them with the political quartet, ‘Shays Rebellion’, and a CD on the Chroma label. He also recorded a CD produced in conjunction with Collector Records called “We Ain’t Gonna Give It Back”, which is regarded by many as one of the best collections of original songs on the American labor movement. The late Joe Glazer said of John, “He writes the best songs about labor you are likely to hear.” Britain’s Southern Rag has said that “John O’Connor deserves to be numbered with the all-time greats of contemporary folk music.”
In 2017 John released his first CD in more than 20 years. Upon release, Rare Songs was ranked for several weeks in the top 50 albums on the US folk charts. John McCutcheon wrote, “John O’Connor’s wonderful new album, Rare Songs… is a welcome return of one of our best and most humane songwriters.”
Some 50 years after walking through the gates of his first factory job, John is still stalwart in his focus of fighting for the working class and inspiring them with his music and their music. John’s songs have been recorded by numerous singers from around the world. In 2009, the French topical singer, Renaud, adapted and recorded O’Connor’s song of deindustrialization, North by North, which went to number one on the French charts.
Also an accomplished poet, John has seen his poems published in dozens of literary magazines. He has won the Associated Writer’s Program’s Prague Prize and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. His book of poems, Half the Truth, won the Violet Reed Haas Poetry Award in 2015.
For fifty years John McCutcheon has been a stalwart of the American folk music scene, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, storyteller, author, activist, union man. He was introduced to folk music as an 11-year-old watching the March on Washington on television. The wedding of art and activism captured him then and he’s spent the many years since exploring that union.
Besides being considered one of the world masters of the hammer dulcimer, John also plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, piano, Jew’s harp, mountain dulcimer, and a host of other instruments he’s wise enough not to play in public. His songwriting has been internationally praised, his classic “Christmas in the Trenches” was mentioned as one of the One Hundred Essential Folksongs by Folk Alley.
He has toured internationally for decades with a unique blend of storytelling and music. “Folk music’s rustic renaissance man” is how the Washington Post described him. “Calling John McCutcheon a folksinger is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player,” heralded the Dallas Morning News. But perhaps the most insightful description comes from John’s mentor and friend, Pete Seeger, “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”
A lifelong unionist, he is one of the co-founders of Local 1000 and served as president 1997-2012. He currently serves as the chair of the Fair Trade Music committee and also is on the executive board of the Atlanta Musicians Union (AFM 148-462).
He is the recipient of the Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation and the Utah Phillips Lifetime Service to Labor Award from Local 1000.