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Strange Fruit

18 Oct

strange-fruit-pageCome and hear me and my fellow Levine School faculty members in a concert featuring the music of the Civil Rights Movement. We’ll be performing traditional spirituals, Jazz, R&B…There are ten of us and the sound — and the spirit — are BIG!  Here are the details:

Sunday, October 30, 7:00 pm

Strange Fruit: Music From ― And Inspired by ― The American Civil Rights Movement
Edlavitch DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC
Doors Open 6:30 pm
All Ages

This program is part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival.  Purchase tickets here.


What Legacy are You Leaving?

10 Jul

global youth village

As some of you probably know, almost every summer for the past two decades I’ve taught at Legacy International’s Global Youth Village in Bedford, VA. This year I’ll be teaching students from Algeria, Egypt and the USA from July 30 to August 7.

I’ve been thrilled to be a part of the Village’s project to bring youths from war zones together and help them learn to resolve conflicts peacefully and cope with the extraordinary challenges they face in their home countries. The Village also gives these kids a place to be kids; a respite from the chaos and fear that has become routine in many trouble-torn parts of the world.

Now Legacy International is taking on a new challenge.

In order for these kids to live stable, productive lives in their home countries, they need jobs.

Legacy International has just begun a job creation project for millennials in Morocco. They hope to expand the pilot project throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a project like this going here at home?

I know from meeting you folks at my concerts and workshops that you are above average when it comes to idealism, expertise and the ability to get things done. Let’s get together and wage peace this summer!

world_house_choir_logo1Speaking of summer, it’s going by too quickly. Tomorrow, (July 10), I travel to New Hampshire to take part in one of my favorite summertime activities, teaching at Summer Acoustic Music Week. Then it’s back home to see my son and his family who have just returned to the States after serving two years at the Consulate General of the US in Sao Paulo Brazil. On July 30, I’m off again to teach at the Global Youth Village. I return on August 6 and have just enough time to do my laundry before I’m off on the road again. On August 7, I head for Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. From Augusta, I go straight to Pittsburgh where I will be coaching several East Coast Threshold Choir Directors. (The Threshold Choir is a group that brings the solace of music to the terminally ill and their families). At the end of August, I go to Dayton, Ohio to visit with my mother, B.B. While I’m in Ohio, I will conduct workshops with the World House Choir at Antioch in Yellow Springs, Ohio and in nearby correctional institutions. You can view my schedule on my website.

It’s another whirlwind summer.  I hope that you will be a part of it and look forward to seeing you soon.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom,


Spring in my Step

3 Apr

Happy Birthday to La Mama! Last month I went to Dayton, Ohio to celebrate my Mom’s 97th birthday. She’s a contrarian curmudgeon, full of energy and she drove me nuts as always. Whenever I start to …

Source: Spring in my Step

Spring in my Step

3 Apr

CharlesRainsmHappy Birthday to La Mama!

Last month I went to Dayton, Ohio to celebrate my Mom’s 97th birthday. She’s a contrarian curmudgeon, full of energy and she drove me nuts as always. Whenever I start to get impatient with her, I remember her courage in leaving the only home she knew, a poor farm community in Louisiana, and taking me on a long bus ride to Detroit so that she could find work and make a better future for me.

If she hadn’t have been so stubborn and so brave, my whole life would have been very different. So here’s a shout-out to my one-and-only, crazy, difficult, courageous and irreplaceable Mom!

Stages: Stories & Song

I’ve just completed the script for my 90-minute, one man show, “Stages: Stories & Song.” Using spoken word, song and dance, it traces my life’s journey from being a barefoot boy in the Pineywoods of North Louisiana to my career as a concert, musical theater, and opera singer and beyond. It’s very much a work in progress, but it’s coming together nicely and I’m excited!

Where I’ll See You This Summer

This summer I have a busy schedule:

July 10-16, I teach Voice and Vocal Health at Summer Acoustic Music Week (SAMW)  on the banks of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. This year’s line-up is amazing and I look forward to meeting up with old friends and hearing amazing music by the likes of Sparky and Rhonda Rucker and Kate Campbell.

July 30th  – August 6: Legacy International’s Global Youth Village in Bedford, VA

August 7-13 – I teach Finding Your Voice at Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Center, Davis & Elkins, WV

August 15-16 – Workshop with the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir

August 19-31 ― I Return to Ohio to visit “La Mama” and other relatives. While there I’ll be doing repeat Workshops with The World House Choir,  students at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, and with men and women in correctional institutions in Southwest Ohio.



23 Nov

Get the spirt e-mail4

Come Out for a Good Cause!

30 Oct

Charles Hon_ChairI’m thrilled to be Honorary Chair for this event which helps young, talented singers realize their dreams.

Come join me on November 7 — I may even be over my jet lag by then!

Please click on the image to see a larger flyer.

Einstein in Gwangju!

13 Sep

charles and Alsm

As you can see from the photo, I’ve developed a certain affinity for Einstein and now, after a two-year tour in Philip Glass’ groundbreaking opera, Einstein on the Beach, I’m getting back on the bus!

Next stop is Gwangju, South Korea!   I’m there from October 14-26 with performances on October 23, 24,and 25.

Wikipedia says that Gwangju is noted for “its rich and diverse cuisine,” so I’m looking forward to some memorable dining experiences!

Feel the Spirit!

13 Sep
My latest CD!

My latest CD!

Get the Spirit!

My newest CD, Every Time I Feel the Spirit, has just been released. On it you will find selections of recordings I made with some of the best choirs in Europe during my twenty-year career in Germany. It’s a compilation of uplifting, high energy arrangements of spiritual music that features favorites such as “Kumbaya,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” as well as less well known songs of soulful celebration.

It’s a natural for a Christmas present!

To order Every Time I Feel the Spirit, please e-mail me for details.  $15/ea; 2 for $25.

Check Out My Brochure!

22 Apr


You can download a pdf here.

“Disgraced” in Vienna

22 Feb
My daughter Lynne

My daughter Lynne

They say the apple never falls too far from the tree.  I’m very happy to let you know that my daughter, Lynne, is proving the truth of this old saying.  Lynne is flourishing as an actress/singer/voice teacher in Europe.  She plays a leading role in The Vienna Theatre Project’s European premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar.

The Vienna Theatre Project is an acting troupe that makes high-quality English-language theatre productions available to the people of Vienna.  In this production, which explores racial and ethnic prejudices that “secretly persist in even the most progressive cultural circles,” Lynne plays an African-American lawyer who is also the wife of a Jewish Art dealer.  The couple’s friendship with a Muslim lawyer and his Christian wife opens up not just the proverbial “can of worms,” but a “combustible powder keg of identity politics.”

You can read more about Disgraced here.


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