Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Jesse Palidofsky

jesse palidofsky

Over the years, pianist, guitarist and vocalist and songwriter Jesse Palidofsky has shared his music at the National Theatre, on the Hudson River sloop Clearwater with Pete Seeger, at festivals like Common Ground on the Hill and the Washington Folk Festival, and at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation.

He has sung one-on-one with hundreds of terminally ill patients in hospices and hospitals, and also led singing for groups of a thousand people or more, performed for conferences of clinical psychologists, as well as for inmates at the Detroit House of Correction and at the maximum security prison in Salem, Oregon. Jesse has received numerous Visiting Artists and Scholars Grants from the Arts and Humanities Council in Montgomery County, and has offered some 700 multi-cultural musical performances for highly diverse audiences in the DC area in his work with Arts For The Aging.

Jesse's CD of original compositions Food For the Long Haul reflects the rich diversity of his Detroit musical heritage, moving seamlessly from the harmonica-driven "Crossing the Poison River," to the Appalachian-style political broadside, "Ballad of Sammie Abbott," to the jazzy sax and hilarious verbal juxtapositions of "I Need Mercy (A Million Times a Day)," to the sublime, Sweet Honey in the Rock-style spiritual, "Send Down Your Healing Water." This is mature, inspired music, lyrically and harmonically.

"Jesse's music is quite wonderful . . . He brings artistry and social concern together in a very powerful way!" - Parker Palmer, Author of A Hidden Wholeness and Let Your Life Speak

Jesse uses his music to transport people to a profound level of self and soul, which creates openings for people's deeper experience . . ." - Margaret Kornfeld, American Association of Pastoral Counselors

In the mid 1970s, Jesse founded the COMPARED TO WHAT! Coffeehouse in Detroit, showcasing an amazing array of Detroit-based talent from legendary blueswoman Sippie Wallace to songwriter Michael Smith ("The Dutchman," "Spoon River"), from Motown session musicians like saxophonist Norma Jean Bell and bassist Ralph Armstrong (who both moved on to Jean Luc Ponty's band), to future Prairie Home Companion regular Claudia Schmidt and Ray Charles' lead trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.

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