Newsletter

Water is Life

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in newsletter | 0 comments

“I feel our nation’s turning away from love as intensely as I felt love’s abandonment in my girlhood. Turning away we risk moving into a wilderness of spirit so intense we may never find our way home again. I write of love to bear witness both to the danger in this movement, and to call for a return to love.” 
~Bell Hooks, All About Love
 

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Our compost has hit the fan! Our country’s fear and anger, our generational diseases of racism, sexism, and white supremacy have come out into the light and are challenging us to answer the question of who we are as Americans and as human beings. Our collective consumption and destruction of our Mother Earth is bearing down on us and asking us to reevaluate our priorities in the interest of future generations. Do we choose the accumulation of material wealth, power, money, and control, or do we choose love, community, compassion, and healing?

The Water Protectors who joined together along the shores of the Cannonball River in North Dakota made their priorities clear for all to see, inspiring others around the world to stand beside them in solidarity. Just as the Water Protectors here in Michigan, who have worked on behalf of the water and the people in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Flint, northern Michigan, and throughout the Great Lakes, continue to fight to protect our most sacred resource.

Native American traditions teach us that water is sacred, that it is our original medicine, and that we human beings must take care of it as a physical and spiritual gift. Science tells us that water makes up two-thirds of our bodies, as well as that same proportion of the earth, and that we cannot create new water. Indeed, the wisdom of our Indigenous ancestors is backed up by science in urging us to protect the water.

Yet we as a society continue to abuse water with toxins and pollutants from our farms, factories, power plants, and pipelines. We now bottle and sell water for profit. We deny clean and safe drinking water to the poor and communities of color. What we do to the water, we very literally do to ourselves and each other.

So how do we return to a place of love for one another, for our earth, and for the water? How do we listen to the wisdom of Native people and learn to understand that we are all related?

I am committed to continuing to do my part to turn the compost in myself as well as in our society; to transform the fear into courage, the anger into compassion, and the greed into generosity. We need to work together to turn this mess around and create the fertilizer for new growth. I pray that the music born in my heart may be part of this great turning, this collective awakening and transformation, and that my actions may spring forth from a place of compassion and love.

May our voices join together and bring us towards a vision of wholeness. Let us return to the love that our ancestors have given us and pass it along to future generations. Let us return to the love that lives in our hearts, to the love that we have for our Mother Earth, and for the water that gives us all life.

Love,
Joe

The Circle

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in newsletter | 0 comments

“Come and join the circle, all people hand in hand.”

The Circle is not just a children’s music album. It is an invitation for people of all ages and identities to join together in unity and peace, building diverse communities that support the health and well-being of our children, families, and our Mother Earth.  It is a call to see Beyond Colors and to realize our deep connections and interdependence with one another.

From The Circle we can celebrate and be Thankful for the gifts of life, love, and relationship. We can practice our Core Democratic Values of Diversity, justice, equality, truth, and The Common Good, realizing with joy that we are all One Community.

It has taken many notes, measures, songs, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to bring The Circle into being. I am overflowing with gratitude to the Great Spirit, the ancestors, and to the many talented musicians, engineers, artists, and children that have contributed to the album. I hope that you enjoy and share the music in celebration of the love that is within you and all around you.

Circle_coverCDbaby

Please join my friends and I in celebrating the album’s release at two special concerts October 22nd in Detroit and October 29th in Ann Arbor. CDs will be available for purchase at both concerts or you can order them online or download the album now!

In this moment when so many destructive patterns seem to dominate our collective consciousness, let us allow ourselves to take our rightful place within the circle of healing, family, togetherness, and peace. Let us lift one another up in hope and friendship. Let us sing together in joy.

Yours in the music,

Joe

Legacies of Peace

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in newsletter | 0 comments

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THE CIRCLE AND TO MAKE DONATIONS!

 

“When we take a look at our history, we see some things we don’t like to see, like violence theft and slavery, so we need to protect equality.” 

~The Common Good, From The Circle

We have inherited many legacies of violence, racism, and discrimination in this country. We have also inherited strong and timeless legacies of peace, nonviolence, diversity, healing, and understanding. Which seeds do we water in our daily lives? Which do we cultivate and share with the world? What direction do we choose to follow as individuals, families, communities, and as a country?

The choice is ours to make in each action we take, in each step, in each breath, and in every song we sing. We have the power to create peace in ourselves and our world. Of course this is no easy task. It takes diligent effort, resilience, and community support.

I continue to find a safe and healing refuge in music, creative expression, in nature, and in my work with children and youth. I am fortunate to be working on a new children’s album entitled The Circle, which joyfully integrates all of these healing elements. I hope to release the album in the fall and am so excited to share it with you.

The Circle has been enriched with the talents of many musicians young and old, including students from Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Boggs School in Detroit,Red Tail Ring, the Detroit Children’s ChoirMay Erlewine BernardMax Lockwood,Allison RadellJamie RuslingLori FithianGayelynn McKinney, Marion Hayden, and Mark and Lesley-Anne Stone.

The songs on The Circle water seeds of hope and community through messages of friendship, diversity, common good, healing, and gratitude. This album will be a humble contribution to the garden of humanity in our country and around the world that seeks to cultivate peace and grow inclusive community through love and understanding.

I am asking for support in helping this musical vision to fully manifest. Financial contributions of any amount are very helpful and are greatly appreciated (my budget shortfall and fundraising goal is $1,300). Click the yellow button below to make your donation and/or pre-order The Circle.

I will also need help publicizing the new album and spreading the word to children and families who may appreciate the music. I would love to collaborate with a videographer in producing a new video for the album.

And of course I need your continued spiritual support to keep on the path of music, love, and peace. Truly, this is a team effort and I couldn’t do it without you!

Whatever ways you are able to contribute, I appreciate your willingness to stand together in the circle and bear witness to the peace, compassion, and inclusiveness that we can create together.

Yours in the music,

Joe