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DAN + CLAUDIA ZANES

Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes and Haitian-American jazz vocalist / music therapist Claudia Zanes have been singing together since Labor Day, 2016 - the day they met.

In the past few years they’ve created a Sensory Friendly Comic Folk Opera called Night Train 57 for the Kennedy Center, collaborated with Donald Saaf on a songbook called Dan Zanes’ House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury, and performed dozens of shows - most of them Sensory Friendly - throughout The United States and Canada.

And along the way they were married!

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PETE SEEGER TURNS 100!

We’ll be helping celebrate Pete’s centennial at The Egg in Albany, NY on May 23rd, and on The National Mall as a part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on June 30th.

It’s no secret that Pete Seeger was a huge inspiration for us and we’re honored to be joining some of today’s greatest folk singers and players including Arlo Guthrie, Toshi Reagon, Amythyst Kiah, Tony Trischka, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sonia de los Santos, Guy Davis, Dar Williams, and many more at these wild parties. LINKS HERE

Thank you to Michael Macioce for this photo. It was taken many years ago at Joe’s Pub here in New York where I, Dan, was a part of a tribute to The Vietnam Songbook featuring Barbara Dane. I’d never met Pete Seeger before but someone had warned me that he didn’t enjoy hearing people go on and on about how much they loved him (which is what I would have done!) so when we were introduced, I asked him about a section from his book How to Play the 5-String Banjo. There was something in the Skip to My Lou tablature that confused me, should I anchor my right hand with the pinky or leave it floating above the head of the banjo? He said “I don’t remember how this should be played, let’s figure it out.”

This picture was taken when Pete Seeger was about to give me a short backstage banjo lesson. The spirit of generosity in action! You can tell by the look on my face that I can’t believe what is happening…

Michael Macioce sent me a second picture from that night. This was the backstage area. If you look closely you can see that Lenny Kaye is there somewhere. So is Thurston Moore. Of course Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber are there, too. And, in the middle of it all, Pete and I are now jamming on 12-string guitar and mandolin.

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THE SONG BOOK IS NOW AN ALBUM

Or record, or whatever it’s called. In any case, our new book Dan Zanes’ House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury is now an official 64 song compilation album released on Festival Five Records. The songs were collected last year in various playlists but they’re now available in this easier-to-find and play format. If you have the book and the record, there’s nothing to stop you from creating an incredible family or neighborhood band. LINK HERE And if you don’t have the book but just want to listen to some handmade modern day social music... here you go.

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