19th Mid-Winter Singing Festival Community Sing
February 4, 2022 @ 7:30 pm-
February 4, 2022 @ 10:00 pm
About Lea Gilmore
One of the world’s most respected inspirational vocalists, social justice and human rights advocates, song leader, and writer… Lea Gilmore has been said to command a “rich and passionate voice in all ways . . . a gift from her soul to our ears and our heart.” The jazz, blues, folk and gospel vocalist has lent her voice, literally and figuratively, to advocacy for the under-served around the globe and in her own backyard.
Named by Essence Magazine as one of “25 Women Shaping the World,” Lea is a past winner of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award(the “Grammies of the Blues”) for her historical work on womens’ contributions to the Blues. Lea is the recipient of the 2016 Golden Formstone Award from Baltimore’s Creative Alliance for her efforts with community arts and commitment to social justice. She was also recently hailed by the Jazz Journalists Association as the 2018 Baltimore Jazz Hero for her work in music and social justice.
For the Father Damien Foundation, head-quarted in Brussels, Belgium, Lea lead Gospel concerts across Belgium with Belgian youth, church, classical and community choirs, all performing African American Gospel music to sold out audiences at cathedrals, arenas and cultural centers. She recorded three Gospel CDs and filmed a documentary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, raising funds for the Foundation providing healing and resources for those with leprosy and tuberculosis in Africa, Asia and The Americas.
She has received other recognitions for her dedication to equality and justice, including being named one of the first recipients of the James Baldwin Medal for Civil Rights for her work championing LGBTQ equality. In addition: Lea served four terms on the Maryland Advisory Board for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has worked diligently for reproductive justice for Native American women (indeed, all women), and is a staunch and vocal supporter for justice for all. Lea co-authored and coordinated the publication “Reproductive Justice in Communities of Color” for the National Abortion Federation. She has served as the Deputy Director of the ACLU of Maryland; Policy Director and Director of Community Outreach for Equality Maryland, where she directed the Maryland Black Family Alliance (MBFA) and Pride in Faith. She directed and managed the African-American Philanthropy Initiative while Program Director for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG)
Ms. Gilmore is the founder and director of “Umoja (meaning “Unity” in Swahili) Musica,” an international effort promoting non-violence, peace and human rights, embracing the power and reach of African-American traditional music in union with the traditional music of other cultures. The critically acclaimed first CD, “Umoja Gaelica” featured award winning African American musicians and traditional musicians from Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England, singing songs of freedom and hope. The project will be reprised and recorded in 2020 in Scotland, with a focus on youth participation.
A proud Baltimorean and graduate of Morgan State University with a degree in political science and minor in economics; after the “Uprising” in Baltimore City following the death of Freddie Gray, she organized a series of “Community Sings” to bring various parts of the community together to inspire work for change. This work continues.
Lea is a member of Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society for the Social Sciences.
Lea has performed, lectured and inspired around the world (UK, Europe, Russia, Africa…), heading sold out concerts and workshops for all ages often focused on the intersection of the arts and social justice/activism.
Lea currently serves as the Minister for Racial Justice and Multicultural Engagement and First Service Music Director for Govans Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, where she plans to pursue her calling to ordained ministry.
Lea is known for her bright smile, quick wit, tenacity and infectious sense of humor as well as her exquisite voice. Those qualities are much admired, as is life-long commitment to equality, justice and freedom for all.
About Mark Dvorak
The Chicago Tribune has called Mark Dvorak “masterful,” and the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as “a living archive of song and style.” In 2012 WFMT 98.7 fm Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him “Chicago’s official troubadour.”
Mark has given concerts in nearly all of the United States and has made visits to Finland, Canada and Ireland. To date he has released nineteen albums including 2020’s “Let Love Go On.”
Dvorak’s song writing has been called “wondrous” and “profound.” He has been called a “painter” whose songs express “so many colors and so many moods.” WVPE fm 88.1, South Bend IN says he is “One of the elite ‘who’s who’ of the acoustic music scene and someone not to be missed…”
Dvorak has won awards for journalism, children’s music, and in 2013 received the FARM Lantern Bearer Award from Folk Alliance International. In 2008 he was honored with the the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 he published his second collection of essays and poetry, “Bowling For Christmas & Other Tales from the Road.”
About Joel Mabus
Joel Mabus is a longtime fixture in the American folk music scene as well as a favorite of the Ten Pound Fiddle stage. He’s a songwriter with roots deep in tradition, and a risk-taking multi-instrumentalist with a well-travelled voice. He’s toured the major folk clubs and festivals all over North America but is firmly centered in the Midwest.
Joel was born in 1953 to a family of old-time country music performers, who had worked in the 1930’s in a traveling “Hillbilly” troupe for Chicago’s WLS, home of the famed “National Barn Dance” radio show — his father a champion fiddler, his mom a singer and banjo & accordion player. Widowed when Joel was 2 years old, mom raised her kids in a small Southern Illinois town on meagre social security survivor-benefit checks, plus income from accordion lessons and other odd jobs.
Joel started on the family mandolin at age 9 and played bluegrass with his older brother at home; he learned singing in a store-front Pentecostal church, and the old-time and bluegrass songs at home. Guitar, banjo & fiddle were soon in Joel’s mix. Despite the family’s poverty, he earned a National Merit Scholarship, and attended Michigan State University. Studying cultural anthropology and English Lit by day, he earned his spending money at night as a folk & blues performer in local haunts.
After college, Mabus made Michigan his home, while traveling the folk circuit, playing festivals and smaller concert venues. Beginning a recording career in 1978, Joel has since traveled all over America (and parts of Texas, he adds) performing for all the fabled folk clubs and festivals.
He has played on stage with many of his heroes: Tom Paxton, Doc Watson, Peggy Seeger, Jethro Burns, Sonny Terry, Buffy Saint Marie and many more. He has worked alongside many of his own generation: Greg Brown, John Gorka, Claudia Schmidt, Si Kahn, Christine Lavin, Jack Hardy, Susan Werner…and the list goes on.
He has 27 solo albums to his credit – some featuring songwriting, others focusing on traditional guitar or banjo, and some very eclectic. His latest album is Time & Truth in 2019.
“The dean of singer-songwriters.” -Rich Warren, host of Chicago’s Midnight Special on WFMT-FM
“Joel Mabus is the Joe DiMaggio of the folk music world – a virtuoso who can make the toughest plays appear effortless.”
Ron Olesko of WFDU-FM (Fordham University, New York)