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Remembrance Concert

Remembrance Concert 1

14th Annual Remembrance Concert

Honoring The Victims of Gun Violence & Their Families

Sunday, March 19th 2017 | 5PM
Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion

21st & Chestnut Streets, Phila., PA 19103

Tickets: Mike Tinker - 215-962-0758 / Barbara Montgomery - barbara@bjazz.com
 

Barbara Montgomery has had a multi-faceted career in the entertainment field as a jazz vocalist, music industry executive, music producer and publisher as well as working in production for film and television as a director/producer, film editor, camera operator, lighting director, property master and stage manager.  She began performing as a jazz vocalist but took a detour in her music career by joining the NBC/Westinghouse television station that produced the "Mike Douglas Show", working for that program and others.  She was also the managing director of a major recording studio servicing the music, television, advertising and film businesses.  She has had the great pleasure and honor to be Music Director/Producer for Richard Simmons since the late 1980’s.. This has given her the opportunity to produce the music for over 30 exercise programs ranging from oldies to disco to Broadway to Latin music, working in studios from New York to Los Angeles with hundreds of world class studio musicians.

 

Barbara Montgomery 2After a break to raise her children, she returned to her passion, performing and recording as a jazz musician.  She has performed throughout the US and Europe, and has produced 6 CDs of her own, with original compositions included on each one.  Her relationship with Chick Corea and Neville Potter led to her third CD "Dakini Land" and was a springboard for the original songs on her fourth CD "Little Sunflower."  This endeavor blessed her with the gift of friendship, performance, and collaboration with the great jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.  She has also collaborated with Steve Giordano (“Ask Me Now”), Barry Sames (“Dakini Land” and “Little Sunflower”) and Aaron Graves (“Trinity”).   Both “Little Sunflower” and “Trinity” were honored with the Blue Chip Award for Best Jazz Vocals by Dr. Herb Wong of the International Association of Jazz Educators.  Her holiday CD, “Noel-One From the Heart”, a duet with pianist Tom Lawton, originator of Monkadelphia, was heralded as  “a must for your holiday collection.”

 

Barbara Montgomery was also honored to co-produce the first solo CD for the great jazz bassist Lee Smith—“Sittin’ On A Secret”.  This CD reached #13 on the National jazz charts, as well as making the Jazz Week Top 100 list for 2012.

 

14th Annual Remembrance Concert

Honoring The Victims of Gun Violence & Their Families

Sunday, March 19th 2017 | 5PM
Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion

21st & Chestnut Streets, Phila., PA 19103

Tickets: Mike Tinker - 215-962-0758 / Barbara Montgomery - barbara@bjazz.com


PJP recently spoke with Philadelphia-area, vocalist and educator, Barbara Montgomery about her work and the upcoming project, The 14th  Annual Remembrance Concert honoring the victims of gun violence and their families.


PJP: What have you been up to these days?

 

Among other things…writing new music, recording a CD of eclectic lullabyes, directing retreats at The Farmhouse Retreat Center, just created a grassroots #democracyinaction group in January that meets monthly and takes action daily (a lot of people doing a little bit makes all the difference!), teaching as a Senior Teacher at the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia—we just finished renovating our new home at 954 Marshall St. in Philly, and very excited to be on the production team with PJP for the Voices of the People series of concerts for July 2017!


PJP: What is The Farmhouse Retreat Center and how long have you been engaged in this kind of work/activity?

 

Barbara Montgomery 1Having spent time in South Vietnam in the1960’s, I have had my own experience with PTSD as well as so many friends from that conflict upon returning to the US.  It was brought to the forefront again with the  murder-suicide in January 2002 in Ardmore, Pa. of the family of five that included my daughter's dear friend, 14-year-old Alexandra Wake—her mother and grandparents were shot and killed along with Alex by her step-father, who then killed himself.  Watching an entire class of 9th grade girls try to vote with their trauma, I knew I had to do something—and started by hosting town meetings to address the dilemma of gun accessibility, speaking at press conferences state wide, and lobbied often in the Pennsylvania state capitol and in Congress in Washington, D.C.  Within a year, I became President of The Pennsylvania Million Mom March Chapters of the Brady Campaign and presented gun violence prevention workshops to youth in middle schools, high schools, community organizations, and colleges; produced a state-wide assault weapons ban conference in the spring of 2004; and testified in front of and advised the City Council of Philadelphia and the Pa. State Senate on firearms legislation.

 

Music was a regular vehicle  with teens to help them work through the violence in their lives, and I directed weekly workshops coaching them to write poetry, song lyrics, and music, as well as producing performances of their songs in their communities in Philly. Alex’s aunts came with me to perform at the National Million Mom March on Mother’s Day of 2004 in Washington, D.C. on the west lawn of the Capitol honoring her and the many victims of gun violence, and that began the Annual Remembrance Concert.

 

Barbara Montgomery 6Seeing the constant traumatic stress our families were struggling with, I combined my passions for music and mentoring youth by starting The Farmhouse Retreat Center.  It opened in 2008 as an intimate, temporary haven to support all artists—musicians, painters, writers, filmmakers, dancers, photographers, and more—as well as all youth to create, share experiences, and return to their everyday life refreshed and invigorated.  I wanted to create a place where everyone can feel safe, to be able to take a break, to breathe, and allow them to become aware of their creative potential.   That setting continues to the present day.  It has grown to accommodate the need we all have, individually and collectively, for a safe space to heal and to help others.  As such, it is open to individuals, families, community groups of local, national or international scope, school groups, businesses--in essence, to each and every one of us--to use in whatever way is beneficial.  Everyone is welcome, whatever the need.


PJP: Can you briefly describe your direction, your goals, as the creator/producer of the upcoming event? Why is it important?

 

We must never forget that close to 30,000 people of all ages are killed in this country every year by gun violence—suicide is number one and rarely talked about, with homicide and accidental shootings after that.  We are wiping out a generation of young people; guns have become the means of conflict resolution; our elders use a gun for suicide at alarming rates.  On average, 8 children die each day to gun violence.  We seem to only think of the horrific mass shootings, and as tragic as they are, the daily carnage goes unnoticed by too many.  And not reported at all are the survivors of shootings—the physical, emotional, and financial toll on them and their families is unfathomable and forgotten.  Bringing awareness to these things, as well as gathering together to heal, to honor, to remember, to keep the conversation going of what we can do to find the many pieces of the puzzle that lead to this this type violence—and  all forms of violence — to make changes in our hearts, minds, words, and actions….if even a few of these are accomplished then we have made a difference.  Each year I ask a “peacemaker” to come and share the positive things that are being done in different areas of Philadelphia.  This year we are honored to have Dr. William King, Jr., join us and speak — a pediatrician and tireless activist for peace who I met when he was on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility and I was with PA MMM/Brady.

 

Barbara Montgomery 4

PJP: Tell us about the people working with you.

 

The jazz masters, Tom Lawton on piano and Lee Smith on bass have been the backbone since the beginning.  I am awed by their talent, compassion and steadfast commitment.  Last year, Jon Pahl joined on saxophone and will return again this year, and very, very happy to have Dan Monaghan on drums—he is a very special kind of drummer!

PJP: You created this by yourself, correct? You are not an institution. We at PJP know how difficult taking on this important work can be. There's always something else to do. What kinds of support can the community give to help with the effort and its ongoing success?

 

Yes—however guided by angels indeed.  Having the community come out and embrace the families who have lost so much, endured so much will be wonderful.  Donating to the work of The Farmhouse so we can keep the doors open of course! We "pass the hat” for a free will donation during the concert. Using The Farmhouse Retreat Center for their needs, whether they are for family healing, solitary retreat, or community building; coming out and creating music and art, and sharing it with young people to teach them other ways to channel their thoughts and emotions.  Being kinder to each other.  Ultimately, I am hoping to put this series to rest—that will happen when we have an end to gun violence.


PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, Why this music?

 

Hmmm, when I am asked this I have been known to reply, why do we breathe?  Because we have to, because it goes with being alive.  No choice, no thinking,  it just is, present and now!
 

14th Annual Remembrance Concert

Honoring The Victims of Gun Violence & Their Families

Sunday, March 19th 2017 | 5PM
Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion

21st & Chestnut Streets, Phila., PA 19103

Tickets: Mike Tinker - 215-962-0758 / Barbara Montgomery - barbara@bjazz.com
 

 

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.

 

 

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Tags : 14thAnnualRemembranceConcert BarbaraMontgomery VictimsofGunViolence LutheranChurchoftheHolyCommunion MikeDouglasShow RichardSimmons TheFarmhouseRetreatCenter TibetanBuddhistCenterofPhiladelphia PTSD MillionMomMarch BradyCampaign PhysiciansforSocialResponsibility Dr.WilliamKing Jr. TomLawton LeeSmith JonPahl DanMonaghan PhillyJazz

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.