Join us in NYC and Long Island for two emotionally-charged concerts that shares gripping stories about youth incarceration — first as personal narratives presented by people directly affected by the issue, and then as potent original songs adapted from the stories themselves. This is a special collaboration between the talented The Songwriter’s Orchestra and Herstory Writers Workshop, an organization that helps incarcerated people write down their stories. Poignant but ultimately empowering, Chains Don’t Rattle Themselves seeks to break through barriers of judgment and mobilize audiences to take direct action supporting the Raise The Age NY campaign for youth criminal justice reform in New York State.
Songwriters and performers participating:
Rapper Latasha “LA” Alcindor
Brinae Ali (Shuffle Along)
Singer/songwriter Olivia Harris
Zhailon Levingston (iLLA)
John-Michael Lyles (Barrow Street’s Sweeney Todd)
Taylor Simone (of Jazze Belle)
Britton Smith (Shuffle Along)
Allison Strong (Mamma Mia).
Title derived from Dathonie Pinto’s forthcoming book Chains Don’t Rattle Themselves. The event will feature stories developed by Herstory Writers Workshop, read by Pinto, Anjelique Wadlington, and more.
The concert is conceived by Alex Hare and Solomon Hoffman, with direction by Hare and arrangements by Hoffman. Co-produced by Olivia Harris.
May not be suitable for children under 10. The concert will be performed at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah on Monday night March 13th at 7:30pm, and on the previous afternoon in Port Washington, Long Island, at Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St. Tickets for both concerts are available at the songwritersorchestra.com.
The Raise the Age campaign began in 2012 as an effort to stop New York state from prosecuting and incarcerating 16- and 17- year olds as adults. With strong momentum around the cause and support from Governor Cuomo, 2017 may be a tipping point for this vital criminal justice reform campaign. The concert will include key action steps that New Yorkers can take to contribute to this campaign. New York is one of only two states in the country that prosecutes 16- and 17- year olds as adults.
The Songwriter’s Orchestra is a one-of-a-kind ensemble of twelve musicians that collaborates with singer/songwriters of diverse musical backgrounds to present arrangements of original songs. The group has performed its unique concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Le Poisson Rouge, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Miller Theatre and The Dolphin Café. Its members have trained at top music schools including The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the Eastman School of Music.
Herstory Writers Workshop brings unheard voices into the public arena, transforming lived experiences into written memoirs powerful enough to change hearts, minds and policy. For over two decades, in English and Spanish, in the jails, in schools and in the community, Herstory writers have been writing to be heard. Empowered by the techniques that turn their private experiences into gripping narratives meant to waken a stranger into caring, with each word, with each scene they create there is an intensity and passion that startles visitors to our public presentations and events.
The concert is co-sponsored by the New York Chapter of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Bend the Arc has been engaged on increasing public awareness and action on Raise the Age campaign as part of their broader mission to achieve meaningful criminal justice reform at the local and state level.