Monday, July 3, 2017

NYC Day 11: Happy 30th Jesse Paris Smith!

Far left: Jesse Smith at piano. Far right: Jackson Smith, Lenny K, Michael Stipe,
Patti Smith with back to audience, and other musicians on stage at birthday bash.

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Tuesday 27, June | Expenses $72.50 ($95.30)
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JESSE PARIS SMITH: 30th Birthday Celebration
Jesse Paris Smith celebrated her 30th birthday with a host of fellow musicians and family members. During the evening we were treated to performances Rebecca Foon, Timothy Monger and Gregory Mcintosh (of Great Lakes Myth Society), Alana Amram, Jesse's brother Jackson, and of course her mother, Patti Smith. All proceeds from the night went to Pathways to Paris, an organization she co-founded with Rebecca Foon.
JESSE PARIS SMITH is a composer, instrumentalist, activist, and producer. She has performed globally in many configurations, collaborating with other musicians and artists, including Soundwalk Collective, Tenzin Choegyal, Shyam Nepali, Raju Lama, and her mother Patti and brother Jackson. Her music compositions have been commissioned for short films, commercial work, art installations, fashion shows, audiobooks, and live film score performances. Many of her projects and collaborations  with others focus on the topics of global climate change and the Himalayan region. She is on the Associate Board at Tibet House US, where she has co-curated and hosted events, and has been a regular performer of their annual benefit concert at Carnegie Hall since 2008.
 In September 2014, Jesse and Montreal based cellist, Rebecca Foon, launched Pathway to Paris, a fundraising initiative and multi media event series focused on bringing awareness to climate change and the urgent importance of establishing a legally binding global climate agreement. All of the events also served as fundraisers for 350, a leading climate action organization founded by Bill Mckibben.
In light of the Himalayan earthquake in April 2015, she also founded Everest Awakening, an initiative to bring together musicians, artists, writers, poets, and activists to raise funds and awareness for the Himalaya. Jesse was born in Detroit, and spent her childhood in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She lives between Detroit and NYC. [Source: City Winery gig listing].
In keeping with the birthday party theme, this show was a mix of organized chaos, rollicking music, numerous exclamations of "Happy Birthday, Jesse," an auction that raised an extra $2000 for the cause, a surprise appearance by Michael Stipe of REM fame, and the presence of Lenny K, Patti Smith's longtime collaborator. There was of course a birthday cake, two rounds of Happy Birthday, and much more besides. 

The night really came alive whenever Patti Smith took to the stage, especially when she closed the night with a rousing rendition of People Have The Power. The stage was packed with all the musicians who had performed during the night, and they and the capacity audience joined with Patti to roar out the chorus in a clear statement to Republicans and Democrats alike, that 'we the people' would not give up our power without a fight.

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