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Woody Guthrie tribute concert includes Holly Near, Toshi Reagon
From a news release

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The non-profit arts organization portoluz has produced a once-in-a-lifetime concert honoring the legendary American Folk hero Woody Guthrie. On Saturday, May 19, 2012 portoluz will present: This Land Is Our Land, a centennial concert celebration of the legendary Woody Guthrie. The concert will take place at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street Chicago.

This Land Is Our Land a centennial concert celebration of the legendary Woody Guthrie is part of the year- long series WPA 2.0, a brand new deal - a festival about art and work organized by portoluz. portoluz has organized a mini-festival of cultural events taking place around the city during May and this concert will be the closing highlight of the festival.

Featured on this extraordinary program are a roster of nationally renowned and stylistically diverse artists who will pay homage to the godfather of folk music in this three hour songfest. Headlining the all-star cast is Tom Morello, one of the nation's most vaunted guitar players and among the prestigious coterie of contemporary folk heroes. From the Eastern European influenced renditions of Woody Guthrie classics as voiced by the Klezmatics to the gut-bucket blues of Toshi Reagon, to the Spanish language versions of Deportee as played by Chicago's own Son del Viento, to the 1970's era anthems of Holly Near and the indie-rock phrasings of Jon Langford and friends, this evening promises to celebrate the wide range of influences and enduring legacy of our national troubadour, Woody Guthrie. The Illinois Labor History Society is a primary co-sponsor of this event.


portoluz presents:

This land is our land, a centennial concert celebration of the legendary Woody Guthrie

Saturday May 19th

Metro 3730 North Clark Street Chicago, IL Metro telephone: ( 773 ) 549-4140

Doors 7pm

Concert 8pm

Tickets $26-$56

open to ages 18+

Metro web-site and advanced tickets: www.

portoluz website:


Tom Morello

The Klezmatics

Holly Near

Toshi Reagon

Son del Viento

Jon Langford

Bucky Halker

Kevin Coval

The B.S. Brass Band

plus additional guest artists

The artists will perform their own material and selections from the Guthrie cannon and perform as their individual ensembles as well as in combinations unique to this concert.

portoluz organized this event to take place during the planned G8/NATO summit in order to celebrate the joyful expression of protest as voiced through the power of participatory culture. Like many enduring heroes of the twentieth century, Woody Guthrie is emblematic of our country's coming of age. A hobo, a union organizer, a friend of the down and out, Guthrie wrote and sang the stories of the 99%. This Land is Your Land, is one of this country's national anthems- expressing not only the beauty and glory of America's abundant natural wonders but asserting our right to be its stewards and ramblers.


Woody Guthrie, born on July 14th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, is widely regarded as America's greatest folksinger. He wrote over 3,000 songs in his lifetime, including "This Land Is Your Land," which became America's unofficial national anthem, and such standards as "Pretty Boy Floyd," "Pastures of Plenty," "Going Down The Road," "Hard Travelin'," "Jesus Christ," "I Ain't Got No Home," "Deportee," "Roll On Columbia," "Vigilante Man," "Do Re Mi," "Tom Joad," "Union Maid," "1913 Massacre," "This Train Is Bound For Glory," "Oklahoma Hills" and "Riding In My Car."

Read more about Woody Guthrie:


In 2011, the ten-member program committee chose WPA 2.0, "A Brand New Deal" as an overarching theme for multi-disciplinary programs. As we recognized that the entire paradigm that was developed in the last century as a response to industrialization and the Great Depression was under varying degrees of attack- from arts education in public schools to collective bargaining, we thought it might be a good time to look at the conditions that gave rise to The New Deal reforms and explore what parallels might be relevant today. portoluz developed this instigation as a kinetic and contemporary 'take' on a meme by utilizing a variety of cultural production to explore the Great Depression of 1929, the WPA and role of the "cultural worker", and the current recession. By riffing on history, re-mixing archival ephemera, commissioning and curating a wide range of voices, portoluz seeks primarily to emphasize and inspire solutions that respond to today's worldwide economic and social crisis.

The members of portoluz are not per se, historians or academics but lay volunteers toiling in a variety of disciplines, and who believe in maintaining and expanding the public sphere. We believe that the power of art and the radical creative imagination must be at the center of any civilized society — not as an afterthought ( or from the crumbs of corporate profits ) . We are passionate about intellectual inquiry, and contribute our resources to building a sustainable, inclusive, enfranchised society. It is our intention to produce cultural programs that empower, that provoke and instigate more involvement, more awareness, more participatory democracy and result in a just distribution of resources.

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