Ronnie Gilbert Public Sing

Ronnie Gilbert Public Sing

“We are at our best when we stand together and sing.” So said Ronnie Gilbert (1926-2015), one of the original members of the Weavers, and a beloved folk singer, songwriter, actor, and political activist. Ronnie passionately believed that people singing together not only builds community, but strengthens heart and and courage to stay the course for political change.
Come sing out in Ronnie’s name with activist singer-songwriter Holly Near & pianist and vocalist Tammy Hall.

Melanie DeMore

Melanie DeMore : Vocal Activist - is one of the most outstanding vocal artists of today helping to preserve the African American Folk Tradition through song and Gullah  stick pounding.  She was the subject of a documentary called 'Stick and Pound which showcases this tradition.She has a career spanning 30 years dedicated to teaching, lecturing, mentoring, conducting, directing and inspiring children and adults about the power of song as social and political change. Melanie is a sought after presenter, conductor and soloist at national and international choral and music festivals, including Festival 500 in NewFoundland, Canada and Chorus America.

She is sought after as a song/ prayer facilitator, creating spontaneous choirs for The Trinity Institute, The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and the Powell Foundation as well as many varied spiritual and faith based organizations.She is adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies, Master teaching artist for CalPerformances at UC Berkeley, a featured presenter for SpeakOut! the Institute for Social and Cultural Change and the Artistic Conductor of The Oakland Children’s Community Choir with Living Jazz.

She was a founding member of the Grammy nominated, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such varied artists as Odetta, Richey Havens, Pete Seeger, the Trinity Choir, MUSE Cincinatti Women's Chorus and many others.

Melanie DeMore is a singer/songwriter, composer ,conductor and vocal activist, who believes in the power of voices raised together.

She says:
'A song can hold you up when there seems to be no ground beneath you".

Holly Near

Holly Near brings to the stage a unique combination of highly trained vocal power, delightful humor and poetic reflection. For over 40 years, Holly has fused cabaret, folk and spoken word in to a sound track for progressive thinking. Her powerful voice has creatively articulated the complexities of social change activism since the early seventies. With critical thinking as a major element in her songwriting, she has been a unifying force connecting the issues that so challenge the lives of activists, educators and community. Holly says, “Now that Pete Seeger, Odetta, Mary Travers, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee and so many other elders have left us, artists of my generation are no longer elders in training. We are the elders.”

Tammy Hall

A frequent and favorite player here at the Freight, Tammy has with worked award-winning cabaret singer and actress, Connie Champagne, the Supreme Mary Wilson, chanteuse and actress Debbie De Coudreaux, The Montclair Women’s Big Band, Houston Person, the late David ‘Fathead Newman’, jazz violinists Regina Carter, Jeremy Cohen, Mads Tolling, orchestra leader and bassist Marcus Shelby, guitarist Terrence Brewer, vocalists Kim Nalley, Denise Perrier, Pamela Rose, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Holly Near, Lynne Asher, Melba Moore, Miki Howard, Rhonda Benin, Darlene Love, Lady Mem’fis, Veronica Klaus, Diane Witherspoon, Queen Esther Marrow, Ernestine Anderson, Derek Lassiter, Frankye Kelley, Nicolas Bearde, Kenny Washington, Lisa Ferraro Erika Luckett, Karen Drucker and the late Etta Jones. She has traveled and performed extensively in Japan, Europe and Mexico, including a 30-city tour with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Other venues and festivals of note include Kennedy Center (Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Sala Filharmonica (Trento, ITALY), Herbst Theatre, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, SFJazz Center, Yoshi's Oakland and San Francisco and Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, CA.

"A musician who has much to offer in the way of originality, fine technique and a rich, emotional quality that is evident on everything she does. Her playing is warm and persuasive and a listener's delight." - Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz

Sólás Burke-Lalgee

Solas B. Lalgee is an Bay Area born singer/songwriter and music educator. A graduate of the School of the Arts San Francisco and Berklee College of Music in Boston, he is now a proud vocal music teacher at the Oakland School of the Arts. In a addition to his solo career, he's a member of both local bands "Elephantine" and "Valerie Troutt's MoonCandy Live House Music Ensemble". His release "Holding Space" with Producer DJ Cecil received international acclaim with some of the house music genre's top tastemakers and is currently working on a new solo album slated for release in 2018 entitled, "Love In The Time of Gentrification".

Francisco Herrera

Francisco Herrera is a cultural worker (singer/songwriter,
community organizer, theologian) who has devoted put
music at the service of community. Following in the tradition
of Jon Fromer, Kate Wolf, Pete Seeger, Victor Jara, his music is
a form of public art, sung in churches, plazas, schools, picket
lines, elementary schools and everywhere his songs will
provide inspiration and hope. His unique voice captures the
essence of "Chicanx Soul" that blends the soulful inspiration
of rhythm and blues with the earthy ranchero crooners of


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