The "Remembering Pete Seeger" World Tour by Spook Handy - presented by the Progressive Voices Concert Series
WHEN: Saturday, February 13, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315
TICKETS: $20 in advance / $25 at the door.
You may pick up your pre-paid tickets at the Will Call table after 6:30 p.m. the night of the show.
Seating is general admission, except reserved seating section for season ticket holders. Doors to the auditorium open at 7 p.m.
Primary parking lot located just south of Bell Ave. & Druid Hill Dr., just east of the church. Smaller lot with handicap parking located just south of Bell Ave. & Cassady Dr. Street parking also available on Druid Hill & Cassady Drives.
"Spook really understands how to write a good song that says something important. "Death Came Anyway" is a great song!" ~Pete Seeger
"In each moment of human history, average and amazing people find a way to sing out that is some how nostalgic, optimistic, heart-breaking and empowering at the same time(Spook's) songs embody the same intellectual rattle and simple honesty that have characterized so much of (Pete) Seeger's career." ~Kim Ruehl, About.com
Spook Handy is an internationally-touring folk musician from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has performed in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Europe. He performed alongside Pete Seeger more than 50 times in the last 10 years of Pete's life, learning many of his songs and the stories behind them. "The audience will get to hear plenty of stories, and whether or not you followed his career, everyone will learn something new about one of America's most important and influential musicians of the past 100 years," he says.Beginning the very night after Pete Seeger died in January 2014, tribute concerts were being presented throughout the region. Spook participated in many of these tributes with other musicians, including Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul and Mary), Tom Chapin, David Amram, Holly Near, and Guy Davis. Soon he began presenting his own "Remembering Pete Seeger" tribute concerts both solo and with his band.
Spook says, "I've always felt that an individual can leave a positive mark on the world. I also eventually came to realize that I could make a difference through music. Pete showed me that it's not just the content of a song that makes the difference. It's the humanity and the interaction you have with people through both writing and performing your music. That's what touches people most. Pete knew how to make an audience feel comfortable, get involved in the conversation, and be part of the collective experience."
Spook is currently working on the first of three "Pete, Woody, and Me" CDs featuring his own songs, as well as those of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. Spook says, "Pete told me, and so many other younger musicians, learn the old songs and the different ways they were sung by different groups of people. But change the words to keep them up to date. Write new verses about the issues of today. And write new songs that everybody can sing." All three of these will be represented in these CDs. Volume I is due out by year's end.
Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor's in math and business administration, Spook turned down several lucrative job offers and instead bought a used Yamaha acoustic guitar. Today, he has four full-length CDs to his credit. He has been named "Best Folk Artist" by Upstage Magazine and several other publications. His songs have been used in theater and film. And his original compositions have reached as high as #6 on the international folk radio charts. His song "Vote!" has been sung by dozens of other musicians, including Pete Seeger and has even been parodied by television actress Heidi Swedberg (Susan on the sitcom "Seinfeld"). In addition to performing his "Remembering Pete Seeger" concert, Spook offers "The Works of Woody Guthrie," "America's Story through Folk Songs," the family concert "American Folk Songs for the Whole Family" and dozens of others programs. He also presents workshops on songwriting, stage performance and guitar. You can find him at arts centers, theaters, libraries, colleges, schools and churches.
Spook says, "If Pete and I had one thing in common, it is the belief that within everybody's reach are all the tools we need to shape ourselves and our world into what we wish them to be. For some, these tools are at their fingertips. For others, they are at arm's length. And for some they are just beyond arm's length. But they are all attainable. I hope that through the songs, stories, concerts and workshops, I can share this belief with as many people in as many places as possible. The next step is to grab hold of the tools and put them into action."
First Unitarian Church (Des Moines, Iowa) (View)
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315
|Minimum Age: 6|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|