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Nationally Known Local Musicians Launch 'Community Sing' In Peekskill

Lisa Gutkin, of The Klezmatics, will be leading a "Community Sing" and performing in concert with Fred Gillan Jr. at The Beanrunner Café in Peekskill this Thursday. Photo Credit: Provided
Fred Gillen Jr., well-known local musician, will be leading a "Community Sing" and performing in concert with Lisa Gutkin at The Beanrunner Café in Peekskill this Thursday. Photo Credit: Provided

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Songs of “perserverance and protest” will be bursting forth from many lips at a free “Community Sing” at a Peekskill café this week.

Leading the singers at the Beanrunner Café will be Lisa Gutkin, a violinist and vocalist for the Grammy-winning klezmer band, The Klezmatics, and well-known local musician Fred Gillen Jr.

Gutkin and Gillen, both compatriots of the late folksinger, environmental champion and activist Pete Seeger, just started performing as a duo this fall.

After the hour-long “Community Sing,” set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, they will perform at a concert designed to raise funds for ResistSpectra, which bills itself as a “group of neighbors, parents, advocates and concerned human beings” who are opposed Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Pipeline Expansion.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $15.

Gutkin co-wrote “Gonna Get Through This World” with Woody Guthrie. (Seeger dubbed the song a “piece of genius.”)

She is also known for her cameo appearance on the TV show “Sex and the City,” and for her work with Sting in “The Last Ship.”

She recently released “From Here On In,” a CD of original songs, and is also a co-composer of, and on-stage musician in, “Indecent,” a play by Paula Vogel, which is set to open on Broadway in April.

Gillen, the recipient of a grant from the New York Foundation For The Arts, has nine full-length albums under his belt.

Having toured all over the U.S. and Europe, Gillen’s songs have been featured on ABC’s “All My Children,” NPR’s “Car Talk,” and CMJ’s New Music Marathon Sampler.

In 2012, Gillen's version of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" was featured on “Pete Remembers Woody,” a collection of Seeger's spoken stories about Woody Guthrie.

Like his hero, Gillen’s songs are said to reflect the struggles of the marginalized and forgotten.

The Beanrunner is located at 201 South Division St. (where it intersects with Esther Street, near the Paramount Center for the Arts) in downtown Peekskill.

For more information about the café and its programs, click here.

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