Mother Jones festival begins today!

Members of the committee of Cork Mother Jones Festival and guests with Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mary Shields

Some of the guests at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, along with committee members, being received at Cork City Hall today, by the Lord Mayor Mary Shields.

Cork's Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mary Shields with some  members of the Cork Mother Jones Commitee at City Hall this morning (L-R): James Nolan, Cllr. Ted Tynan, the Lord Mayor, Michael Lally.

Cork’s Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mary Shields with some members of the Cork Mother Jones Commitee at City Hall this morning (L-R): James Nolan, Cllr. Ted Tynan, Lord Mayor Shields, and  Michael Lally.

mj_fanfare

The third annual Spirit of Mother Jones opens tonight, heralding the start of a four-day festival of film, debate, music and more in the historic Shandon area on Cork City’s Northside. The festival is the culmination of months of preparation and effort and puts in place an event which has now become established as one of Cork’s most unique festivals, recalling the life and legacy of Mary Harris / Mother Jones, Cork’s rebel daugthter, America’s venerable campaigner.

Today’s events, under the heading “The Gathering”, are as follows:-

Tuesday, 29th July 2014

5.00pm – Official Festival opening at the Maldron Hotel

6.00pm – “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” – a film by Rosemary Feurer (at the Firkin Crane).

7.30pm – The Cork Mother Jones 2014 Lecture with Professor James Greene of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of Death in the Haymarket and the West Virginia Mine Wars.

9.30pm – Cork Singer’s Club perform at the Maldron Hotel.

Songwriting workshop with Si Kahn tonight

There is an extra feature tonight for all budding songwriters!

Si Kahn

Si Kahn

Monday 28th July: Spirit of Mother Jones festival
Si Kahn song writing workshop at the Maldron Hotel at 8pm. Open to all songwriters, singers and people interested in how to pen songs, all are very welcome to come along and discuss their song ideas with Si.

Spirit of Mother Jones Concert 2014

The Mother Jones Gala Concert will once again be one of the highlights of the music programme of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and will take place at the Firkin Crane theatre in Cork’s historic Shandon area on Wednesday, 30th July 2014, beginning at 9.00pm after a full day of film, lectures and debate. Once again the inimitable Richard T.Cooke will be the MC for the concert and we can expect a few songs and plenty of banter from Richard who is one of the “unsung” heroes of the festival.     The full line-out for the gala concert is as follows:

Richard T. Cooke, singer, song-writer, historian and raconteur

Richard T. Cooke, singer, song-writer, historian and raconteur

Richard T. Cooke, troubadour, radio pressenter, etc, etc. The Cork Rokk Choir will serenade us with songs from the Mother Jones era. Kieran McCarthy, Tenor, will perform contemporary songs accompanied by the Cork Rokk Choir. The Cork Shakespearing Company, who are currently celebrating 90 years of Hollywood stage productions, will perform a Mother Jones monologue. Aoife Delaney, Actor / Singer – will perform a young Mary Harris (Mother Jones). Muddy Lee and the Cork Shawlies – will perform their No.1 Cork song entitled “Up the Coal Quay”. To finish off an exciting evening of music and performance the Mother Jones Ceili Band will give a concert at the nearby Maldron Hotel, commencing at 10.30pm. Our thanks to Richard T. Cooke, William Hammond and all concerned.

American folk / activist legends in concert

Si Kahn & Anne Feeney

Two American folk musicians, union and environmental activists, both legends in their own right, to appear at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, Cork on Thursday, 31st July 2014.

The concert takes place at the Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon on the historic northside of Cork city starts at 8.30pm.  Booking is €15 from tickets.ie, the Maldron Hotel and from Plugd Records @ Triskel Arts Centre.

 

 

 

Si Kahn, whose songs have inspired many

Si Kahn, singer, songwriter, writer, community organiser, union activist and environmental campaigner will play in a joint festival fundraising concert with Anne Feeney at the Firkin Crane Centre on Thursday 31st July at 8.30.

Si Kahn

Si Kahn

 

Tickets for the concert are available through www.tickets.ie or from Plugd Records at the Triskel Arts Centre, the Maldron Hotel or phone 086 1651356.

 

Si will hold a songwriting workshop at the Maldron Hotel on Monday 28th July at 8pm. All singers/songwriters or those interested in songwriting are very welcome to come along and meet Si, where he will hold a practical session.

 

We can confirm that Si will also speak about his life and his current campaign to protect Bristol Bay in Alaska on Friday afternoon 1st August at 2pm.

 

Si’s songs of family, community, love, work and freedom have been recorded and performed by hundreds of artists, including Planxty, Patrick Street, Eleanor Shanley, Dolores Keane, the Fureys, the Dublin City Ramblers, Dick Gaughan, June Tabor and the Oyster Band, Alec Campbell, Brian McNeill, Eddi Reader, Peggy Seeger, Renaud, Kathy Mattea, John McCutcheon, the original Red Clay Ramblers, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Blue Rose, Robin and Linda Williams, Hazel Dickens, Laurie Lewis and to Rozum, the Dry Branch Fire Squad, Charles Sawtelle, and Rosalie Sorrels.

 

 

Children of Mother Jones – a new song by Pete Duffy

Children of Mother Jones. (c) Pete Duffy

A new ballad by Cork musician Pete Duffy, which will be performed publicly for the first time at 1pm on Thursday 31st July 2014 during “Music at the Maldron” session at the Maldron Hotel, Shandon for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival with Muddy Lee. All are welcome to attend and sing along at this first performance of Children of Mother Jones for Cork’s famous rebel daughter. A Douglas Writers commemorative project for the Spirit of Mother Jones festival 2014.

Music in the Garden

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival committee is very happy to report that the Lion Youth Brass Band from Cheshire will play at the Garden party in Shandon on Mother Jones Day (August 1st) starting at 4.45.

 

Lion Youth Band

The Lion Youth Brass Band

This 40 member community youth band formed in 1989 is on their first trip to the South of Ireland and is taking in the Limerick City of Culture, the Waterford Spraoi Festival and has now confirmed that it will also play at the historic Butter Market in Shandon.

 

“This Brass Band recital will be a lovely way to finish off the four day long festival of film, talks, discussions and music” stated Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

 

He continued “we are organising a party for all our guests from America, the UK, Greece and elsewhere to round off the festival and we are really delighted that the Lions Brass band have selected the Shandon event as a place to show off their musical ability and of course we will show off our Shandon Bells to our visitors”

 

“Of course later that evening we will have the famous Butter Exchange band, which will also provide music for a recital on John Redmond Street at the Mother Jones Plaque, where Professor Jim Green and Rosemary Feurer will give an account of her life” declared Jim. “It promises to be a wonderful day of music in and around Shandon to crown a fantastic week of activity about Mother Jones”

 

The Band currently has over a hundred members, who come from schools in the South Cheshire area and in 2014 it received a gold award in the Championship section at the National Youth brass Band Championships of Great Britain. They have competed local, national and international competitions winning many including The National Youth Championships of Great Britain twice.

Anne Feeney for Cork Mother Jones Festival

AnneFeeney

Anne Feeney

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is proud to announce that renowned labour and union activist, folk musician and singer is also on her way to the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. Each year Anne organises a tour of Ireland and this year for the first time she will include the festival in Cork as part of her itinery.

Anne was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania in 1951; she was deeply influenced by the Civil Rights movement and the anti Vietnam War movement. Her grandfather, William Patrick Feeney, was a mineworkers’ organizer who played his violin at labour and union rallies, and was also a key role model.

Her first public concert was at an anti-war rally in November 1969. Anne graduated from the Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978, and worked as a trial attorney for 12 years. She served as president of the Pittsburgh Musicians Union in 1997 and 1998.

She is a member of the IWW (Mother Jones was among the founders) and the American Federation of Musicians.

Since 1991, Anne has toured North America and many other countries to participate in labour rallies.

Her solo albums:

Look to the Left (1992)

Heartland (1994)

Have you been to jail for justice? (2001)

Union Maid (2003)

If I can’t dance (2006)

Dump the Bosses off your back (2008)

Enchanted Way (2010)

The track Union Maid on the 2003 Union Maid CD which was written by Woody Guthrie and sung by Anne was recorded at the grave of Mother Jones at Mount Olive, Illinois on October 9th 1994. She has recorded songs written by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger, Si Kahn, Tom Paxton as well as many of her own compositions.

Many consider that her rendering of the famous union song written by Florence Reese, Which Side Are You On? to be the definitive version!

Anne was once described by Utah Philips as “the best labour Singer in North America”. while her music has been recorded by many artists including Peter, Paul & Mary.

“Few women have taken Woody Guthrie’s path……but Anne Feeney has made a career of it.” Labour History Foundation.

Her business card proclaims her hell-raising activities and lists her business as folksinger and agitator.

Anne paid a visit to the Mother Jones plaque in Cork last year.

Anne paid a visit to the Mother Jones plaque in Cork last year.

Anne was diagnosed in August 2010 with small cell lung cancer, yet Anne has continued to tour and travel. She visited Cork briefly in 2013 to see the Mother Jones plaque and will now return for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival from 29th July till 1st August.

Anne will play a joint concert with Si Kahn at 8.30 at the Firkin Crane Centre in Shandon on Thursday evening 31st July.

She is leading a Labour History Tour to Ireland which will take in the Spirit of Mother Jones festival in Cork.

For details of how to join the tour contact Innisfree Tours or anne@annefeeney.com or visit Anne’s website on http://www.annefeeney.com.