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Friday, January 13, 2023 – Pamela Means in Concert

Pamela Means Concert

On the Friday of Martin Luther King Day Weekend, we were thrilled to be joined by veteran singer-songwriter and resident Massachusetts badass Pamela Means for a version of her program “The Power of the Protest Song.”

Pamela is an out(spoken), biracial, independent artist whose “kamikaze” guitar style and punchy provocative songs have worn a hole in two of her acoustic guitars. Armed with the razor wit of a stand-up comic, an engaging presence, and elegant poetry, Pamela’s “stark, defiant songs” (The New York Times) set both the status quo and stage afire. Ani DiFranco says, “You groove so deep, I can’t get out. And I wouldn’t want to.”

Means’ commitment to interrogating social ills was fostered by her unique childhood. “As the adopted daughter of a white mother and black father, I learned about dismantling systems of oppression from the inside out.” Pamela received her first guitar at the age of fourteen, just after her mother died of cancer, and it soon became Pamela’s primary vehicle for expression. It would also serve as a passport out of a life that consisted of poverty, foster homes, and the inner city life of hyper-segregated Milwaukee WI.

Pamela relocated to Boston, busked in the city subway, founded her own record label, and began touring. She has since performed on three continents and across America, gaining fans and rave reviews wherever she goes. She has shared the stage with Pete Seeger, Neil Young, Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Gil Scott-Heron, Adrian Belew, Violent Femmes, Holly Near, and many more. With truth as ammunition, she brings the fight for social justice and human dignity to the forefront of a new generation.

Made Possible by:

Iguana Music Fund        Melrose Coop Foundation logo       Messina Fund logo      Melrose UU Church       Filmmakers Collaborative

Pamela Means Show

Photography by Paul Locke

Saturday, June 11, 2022 – The Opening Doors Festival

Opening Doors Graphic

Our first large-scale live music event aimed to make the cultural scene of Melrose, Massachusetts more diverse and inclusive by elevating voices of color within the community and beyond.

The festival featured a musical conversation by veteran musicians and storytelling troubadours Reggie Harris and Alastair Moock; music and drumming by the Dorchester-based teenage Tour Choir of Boston City Singers; and a community art project facilitated by Boston-based Artists for Humanity and Melrose-based Follow Your Art Community Studios, in collaboration with Melrose teen artists.

The afternoon was a huge success, with about 200 attendees and a completed mural which will live forever in Melrose at Follow Your Art Community Studios.

Opening Doors Festival

Photography by Paul Locke

Opening Doors Festival

Made Possible by:

         Melrose Coop Foundation logo       

Messina Fund logo       Melrose UU Church        Foundation Trust    

        Filmmakers Collaborative

Friday, May 6, 2022 – Kemp Harris in Concert

Kemp Harris Concert

Our first live performance and interview was with Boston-based musician Kemp Harris.

Kemp is an artist who defies categorization. Singer-songwriter, actor, activist, author, storyteller, and educator, his music spans and transcends the genres of soul, blues, jazz, and musical theater.

Born in segregated North Carolina in 1953, Kemp moved to the Boston area to pursue a career in education. He was a beloved, award-winning kindergarten teacher in Newton, Massachusetts for more than 40 years. 

Throughout this time, he pursued his artistic career on the side – albeit at a very high level. 

But, for Kemp, it was all part of the same pursuit. “I’ve incorporated my life experiences into what has become me and the music I create,” he says. “At the end of the day, I’m an old black man telling stories and spreading the love.” 

Made Possible by:

      Melrose UU Church 

Kemp Concert

Photography by Paul Locke

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