such an honor to hear Sarah Lee Guthrie & Hoping Machine sing my song at the Climate March in DC!

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new CD available on band camp click on cover image below to download tracks

new CD available on band camp          click on cover image below to download tracks
contact: spiesarts@gmail.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gigs

Goddess Loop
Vicki Richards and I have been performing to loops with tabla rhythms
Audience has been playing boomwhackers as Elemental Orchestra


writer and song by j spies

Friday, February 5th at FUEL Coffee Shop
5pm - 7pm
join me with
Electric Violinist Extraordinaire - Vicki Richards
More Elemental Orchestra!

Friday, December 11
FUEL Coffee Shop

Raga-inspired Vicki Richards on fiddle and surprise guests
join me at this acoustically delightful venue.
5pm - 7pm
286 Main ~ Great Barrington, MA
413) 528-5505

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Friday, November 6
Come to FUEL coffee house @5:00 for a few hours of music and song.
The multi-talented Doug Tanner from the Gypsy Wranglers is in town and will be playing fiddle, banjo and chromatic harmonica. I'll be on guitar, accordion and percussion.
Be prepared to multi-task or absolutely do nothing.

5pm - 7pm
FUEL Coffee Shop ~ 286 Main ~ Great Barrington, MA ~ (413) 528-5505
Free Admission


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Shawn Stevens of Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe playing flute at RiverMASS
photo credit: Keith Emerling

This is a special chance to visit beautiful sites honoring the Mohicans right on Main Street. See you there!
Don't forget to visit the historical room on the lower floor of the Stockbridge Library or the small museum at the Mission House that are each full of interesting artifacts from the first people here in the Berkshires.

SOUNDING OUT THE PATHWAYS: Honoring the Mohican Presence with JoAnne Spies

Saturday November 7

10:30am-12noon, rain or shine

The Mission House, 19 Main Street, Stockbridge

413.298.3239 x3000 (weekdays) or www.thetrustees.org

The Trustees of Reservations will host a program to honor the Mohican presence in Stockbridge, led by singer JoAnne Spies and Trustees educator Tammis Coffin. From the Mission House on Main Street, the group will walk former Mohican paths to sites that help tell the tribe’s story: the Housatonic River, burial ground, meeting house, and Friends of our Father’s marker. JoAnne will guide the group on an interactive exploration of these sites with songs, sounds and rhythms to honor the Mohicans, sharing what she has learned as a friend to the tribe. All ages are welcome and the program is free to the public. Afterwards, refreshments will be served.

Monday, November 2, 2009


It was great to be a part of FODfest in three locations this year ~ Great Barrington, MA at the Mahaiwe; Oak Park, Illinois at the Village Players and Norfolk, CT at Infinity Hall.

Bravo to Todd Mack,the fabulous FODsquad and all performers and audience involved.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Bascom Lodge ~ Mt. Greylock, highest point in Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 21
Melville, Music and the Mountain as Inspiration
I'll be reading from authors who've been inspired by Mt. Greylock as well as singing songs from "Me & Melville" with Vicki Richards on fiddle
6:00pm performance with dinner to follow
Call 413-743-1591 for reservations
This performance at Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock is dedicated to Danny Pearl as part of World Music Days. His gift for friendship and ease of playing music wherever he went is inspiring to all.

Learn more about World Music Days:
http://danielpearl.org

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



It was exciting to join 100 people from all over the world in Princeton, NJ for Remo's HealthRHYTHMS facilitator training. Music therapists, musicians, doctors, nurses, health care workers and others learned a protocol for leading people to wellness that is fun and promotes better communication.

Looking forward to leading my first HealthRHYTHMS session this week!

Link to Remo HealthRHYTHMS: http://www.remo.com/portal/hr/index.html

Sunday, September 6, 2009

songs ~ and painting ~ from new CD


lightning song creature and toe ~ oil and collage by j. spies



Snow in Paradise

after reading Howard Zinn's "People's History of the Unites States"

I came to Lowell three years ago
I left my mother’s farm
The work would be so clean, they said
Weavin, spinnin’ yarn

The wages would be good enough
I could buy some silk
Save my money, I’d have time
I could read a book

There will be snow in paradise shining on the ground
Snow so deep and warm and sweet, I’ll lay my body down

But I get up so early, dragged by a factory bell
I work in a close and noisy room, it’s a manufactory hell
I don’t want to pull these threads through the bobbin’s eye
I don’t want this cotton dust, making me cry

Oh here comes my overseer struttin’ by my loom
I don’t want this dirty work in a dirty spinnin’ room

I am going home, I am going home
$1.25 for my room and board, I am going home
I will not stay here, I will not stay here
I won’t rise to the clang of the bell
I will not stay here

There will be snow in paradise shining on the ground
Snow so deep and warm and sweet, I’ll lay my body down
Lay my body down




Remember My Name
~ written for Danny Pearl

Yes, I am a sailor in a midnight squall
Yes, I am a racehorse in a burning stall
Sometimes I feel my heartbeat like a bird in flight
Then I can feel the shining of the morning light


Sometimes my name is sunny like a day in July
I know my name will carry me like a boat till I die
I cannot know the time or place or wonder why
The truth will always lead me one step at a time


I know my love is endless
Beyond right or wrong
I know I believe in everyone’s song
I know that my tune will carry me along
When you remember my name
When you remember my name



About Crying


I have learned to leave my hands alone
the feelings falling from the bone
not touching others as they cry
let them know their own good-bye

I've seen it happen in a room
before I came to sing a tune
hardening back to the earth
a person goes from heart to hearth
in one breath

seen it like a sail filling
eyes and windows
running, spilling water
I am following a river

anger
both the fire and the fireman
burning out the depths it takes
to love again

felt it as a listening
gratitude in every seam
who’s the player, what’s the chord
happiness is the lord
of crying
I am following a river

c 2009 words and music by JoAnne Spies
from "North Avenue Honey" CD

Thursday, July 9, 2009

listen here: Where the Prairie Begins

from new CD "North Avenue Honey"












e-mail spieski@gmail.com to order CD
* * * ** * * * *** * * * * ** * * **** ** * * **-
Thanks to All the CD Release Revelers at Club Helsinki!
and special guest
Doug Tanner of the Gypsy Wranglers
on fiddle, chromatic harmonica and banjo

http://clubhelsinkiweb.com/

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North Avenue Beach photo by ginjen














Listen to sound of North Avenue Beach:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



Red, Red Robin
This 9-minute film about my work
is my directorial debut.

Thanks to fabulous crew:
CTSB and Nick Ring,
Steve Borns and Leo Mahoney;
community television at its best.
Rod
elinde Albrecht, editor
and videographer;
Erica Spizz, videographer;
Keith Emerling, lighting;
Will Curtiss, sound engineer
at Youth Alive setting;
producers Emily Rechnitz
and John Paladino,
CATA and Chelsea DeSantis
for uploading video to Vimeo.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Upcoming Gigs Summer/ Fall 2009










Saturday, July 25

The Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Road
Sandisfield, MA / 413-258-4100
http://www.sandisfieldartscenter.org/
In Words Out Words Variety Show
8:00pm

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Word x Word Festival

http://www.missionbarandtapas.com/
438 North Street
Pittsfield, MA

Mission Bar is celebrating the power of the word in their newly launched Word X Word Festival August 17 - August 22.

JoAnne Spies Two Different Nights:
at
Mission Bar & Tapas: Thursday, August 20, 7pm - Folk Showcase w/ Roger Salloom, Bernice Lewis and Cliff Eberhardt
at Lichtenstein Center, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, August 22, 7pm - spoken word w/ CT Funkhouser, and George Watsky

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Wednesday, October 21 Mt. Greylock: Source of Inspiration
JoAnne Spies at Bascom Lodge with Vicky Richards on fiddle

Melville, Emerson, Ahab Rap and songs about the check-out line
Performance begins at 6:00pm
Dinner @ 7:00pm
Call 413-743-1591 for dinner reservations.
http://bascomlodge.net/
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Wednesday, October 28

Village Players
Oak Park, Illinois
FODfest
http://www.fodfest.org/
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SOUNDING OUT THE PATHWAYS: Honoring the Mohican Presence with JoAnne Spies

Saturday November 7

10:30am-12noon, rain or shine

The Mission House, 19 Main Street, Stockbridge

413.298.3239 x3000 (weekdays) or www.thetrustees.org

The Trustees of Reservations will host a program to honor the Mohican presence in Stockbridge, led by singer and educator JoAnne Spies and Trustees educator Tammis Coffin. From the Mission House on Main Street, the group will walk former Mohican paths to sites that help tell the tribe’s story: the Housatonic River, burial ground, meeting house, and Friends of our Father’s marker. JoAnne will guide the group on an interactive exploration of these sites with songs, sounds and rhythms to honor the Mohicans, sharing what she has learned as a friend to the tribe. All ages are welcome and the program is free to the public. Afterwards, refreshments will be served.

Friday, June 12, 2009

By Water I Am Led

A global experiment for harmony and peace utilizing the tremendous power of water and music taking place June 19- 21:

http://www.liveh2o.org/

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

438 North Street Pittsfield, MA
missionbarandtapas@gmail
Poetry Slam
It was an honor to win last night's slam and be in the company of so many fine poetic voices.
You can hear a lot of different voices from the community all in one night in a poetry slam. You can hear your own work in a new way as you speed up or slow down the rhythm of the spoken word.
Thank you to Mission Bar and Tapas on North Street in Pittsfield for keeping the word alive.

Thank you to Matt McFadden, poet extraordinaire, for his hosting of the event.

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Ahab Rap
After doing my "Me & Melville " show awhile, I taught music improvisation to teachers (How to Make Herman Melville Come Alive in the Classroom.) When I spoke to the then-head of curriculum in Pittsfield, MA about teaching Melville he said:
'He's a dead white male, with a dead white whale." And he liked Melville! So I wrote an Ahab Rap and give credit to Bill Irwin for the first few lines.


Ahab Rap
He's a dead white male, with a dead white whale
Why should I care? Why should I care?
I never saw a whale, I never saw a ship
I never saw a spirit spout, what's so hip
about a guy with a headhunter for a friend
who builds his own coffin for a watery end
what's it to me, if there's a guy named Ahab
He should have been doin' his meds in rehab
Ahab, rehab, Ahab, rehab
It's a guy thing, revenge and such
Get off of it, Ahab, get a new crutch
Get a job at a desk, get a job sellin' blubber
Get off of that ocean, you be a landlubber
You made them die with your crazy obsession
Forget about it, man, learn your lesson
Ishmail, bishmail, tish-mo-ya
Melville and the classics, rah, rah, rah

c 2009 JoAnne Spies

Another song from 'Me & Melville' called 'Check-Out Line' has become a favorite in my work with Alzheimers groups. Originally the song was about what I might say to Herman if I met him in the Big Y supermarket (Le Grande Porque.) Now it's an invitation to make a shopping list for your favorite dinner and then remember what everybody ordered. Using boomwhackers and shakers, we have a lot of fun with this song.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Mission: Imagination - Annual Performance & Gala

The Founders' Theater, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA

Community Access to the Arts presents “Mission Imagination” at the Founders’ Theatre in Lenox on Saturday, May 2nd at 6pm and Sunday, May 3rd at 1pm. From uproarious improv and cheeky modern dance, to joyful jazz and techno-tap, the show will amaze, inspire and celebrate the creativity of people with disabilities.

The show includes a music video produced by singer, JoAnne Spies featuring residents of six Berkshire Health Systems facilities, Youth Alive, and Berkshire County students, “Perpetual Dialects,” a collaboration between Tap artist, Stefanie Weber, and James Daher using technology to turn a dance floor into a multi-faceted canvas, scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale” directed by Barby Cardillo and Diane Prusha, and “you who,” a new work by award-winning choreographer, Dawn Lane. Juggler and mime artist, Roger Reed, performs with CATA participant, Pam Tuliebitz, in a duet of improvisational foolery with a cast of props. Singer, Vikki True, collaborates with longtime accompanist, Peter Schneider, and guitarist, Sam Rosen, in a new arrangement of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s ‘Pure Imagination.’”

For information, please call CATA at 413-528-5485.

reflections on making the 'red red robin' video:
Video means 'I see' and the medium allowed me to look with new sight at people I've been visiting for years.

By focusing frame by frame, connections between people are re-framed and become larger.

What is going on in any particular moment defies capture.

I learned patience and the malleability of time.


I appreciate more the beauty in a face.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

International Women's Day

Kristin Jones' work with rivers and light and community is large in scope and inspiring:
http://www.tevereterno.it/index2.html

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The First Annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts

The First Annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts http://www.thewomenstimes.com./
which will kick off March 1, 2009 and run throughout the entire month, now boasts more than 60 events at 30-plus venues throughout Berkshire County. Presented by The Women’s Times, the festival will feature exhibits, film, music, performance, talk and more, and will include diverse programming that ranges from historical to contemporary, traditional to radical, political to apolitical. Venues run the spectrum from the Berkshires’ most established cultural organizations to new and improvised locations. There are opportunities for festival-goers to examine the role of women in the arts, celebrate the achievements of women artists or simply enjoy a diverse cross-section of artistic work. Two signature events will mark the Festival: The Power of Women in the Arts, the Eighth Annual International Women’s Day conference will be held on March 6-7 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock College; and She’s Got Moxie!, the First Annual Festival Awards to be presented at a March 13 gala at Shakespeare & Company

The Women's Interfaith Institute in the Berkshires http://wiiberkshires.blogspot.com/
is a co-sponsor of "Power of Women in the Arts" March 6-7 at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

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JoAnne Spies performing at Berkshire Art Kitchen Thursday, March 5, 7:30pm
JoAnne Spies at Norman Rockwell March 10 at 1:30pm
I'm honored to be a part of the celebration and will be presenting a performance and talk at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Tuesday, March 10 at 1:30pm
http://www.thewomenstimes.com/events-detail.php?record=55

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

pictures for upcoming cd "North Avenue Honey"

"father" collage j. spies
writer and song by j. spies
or song and writer (imagine arrow above heads)


" motorboat" monotype by j. spies





greed mask / Earthdance performance


in Storefront Artists Project window