Newsletter

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

Rain Falls Gently

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in newsletter | 0 comments

Rain falls gently onto the soil, soaking into roots and seeds and helping to generate the mysterious, surprising, and miraculous rebirth that is spring in Michigan. This annual transformation inspires a few questions in me for reflection and contemplation.

What will I work to cultivate during this season of earth awakening? What needs to be weeded and composted into fertilizer for new growth? Who will I ask to be my co-gardeners?

Certainly I will ask the sun, the rain, and the soil to help in these endeavors. I will also ask my fellow musical, spiritual, and community gardeners to lend their hands and hearts.

My gardens this year include both physical manifestations of plants and roots as well as metaphorical gardens of love and creative collaboration. As Allison and I continue to cultivate our “love’s garden,” we will also prepare the soil to grow vegetables and berries. As I turn the compost in my own backyard, I realize the work yet to be completed on my latest musical project.

I am listening to the evolving soundtrack of this new children’s album, Diversity. I hope to grow this collection of songs into a musical orchard that in turn waters seeds of inclusiveness and acceptance within families and in our world. I am so happy to be able to offer songs that help remind us of our interdependence, of the simple fact that we need one another.

In addition to my band the Community Gardeners (Allison, Mark, Lesley-Anne, Marion, and Gayelynn) who have already generously contributed to the making of this album, I am so happy that the Detroit Children’s Choir and Kalamazoo folk music duo Red Tail Ring will also add their voices and instruments to the mix.

I am fortunate to have many garden beds that can benefit from the loads of compost that are created from the fear, loneliness, anger, and misunderstanding that are prevalent all around and within us. And I am so grateful for the help of loved ones and strangers in this life-giving gardening process.

One song, one breath at a time, we work together with our Mother Earth to transform the refuse into food, the garbage into flowers.

With love from your fellow community gardener,

Joe