Saturday, February 13, 2010

Name change in store for Club Passim?

The word on the street is Club Passim will soon be officially dropping half of its more commonly used name: "Club Passim" (which is a hybrid that honors its predecessors, the original "Club 47" and 1980's "Passim") will become "Passim". (The current official name is "Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center", see its web home page banner, and from its footer:
Copyright © 2010,, LLC.
and Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center. All rights reserved.
As explained to me, the name change is part of a re-branding scheme that will result in the presentation of much more pop, jazz and indy music, at the expense of much less folk.

For anyone who has been watching Club Passim operations over the last year, this change is not a surprise. During that time its music presentations have included tribute nights to 1980's pop icons Madonna and Radiohead, severed its living link with Club 47, and cast adrift its folk archives mission. Reverting to the 1980's name, in that light, makes perfect sense.

Keep you eye on for further developments.

For Boston-area folk fans this may seem like strike three, yer out! ( 2008 we lost "Folk Radio WUMB", replaced with AAA "music mix" WUMB, and in 2009 we lost "Folk on WGBH" and "Blues on WGBH"), but fans of folk music should not despair. The saying is every cloud has a silver lining, in this case that is true. Believe me, this cloud will turn out to have a platinum lining.

Stay tuned for details.

From, copied 2/13/10

Passim History

It's hard to believe that thousands of musicians consider playing in a room no larger than 30' x 40' that intimately seats 125 in a basement in Harvard Square as "making it." But they do, because this brick-floored subterranean locale is Club Passim, one of the nation's legendary cultural icons and epicenter of great folk and acoustic music. A place where musicians like Joan Baez, Tom Rush, Jackie Washington, Peter Wolf, Taj Mahal, Patty Larkin, Goeff & Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, and Suzanne Vega cut their musical teeth before playing larger venues.

Why Legendary?
For more than 50 years, Club Passim has been known as a premier national venue presenting new and established traditional, folk, and acoustic musical performers. In all its incarnations, from the original Club 47 (1958-1968) to Passim (1969-1994) and finally as its present Club Passim, the club has been a special place for both artist and audience member. Probably more than any other single site, Club 47 can claim to have produced a generation of performers, record producers, festival organizers, and managers who remain a great influence on today\'92s music industry. Club 47 may have been the most influential club of its kind during the 1960s folk boom, even more so than clubs in New York and Berkeley. The venue's role in America's musical and cultural history is still being assessed in books, recordings, television documentaries, articles, and autobiographies.
Making History
Club Passim first opened as a jazz venue in 1958 under the name of Club 47. The first few months were rocky as the club was shut down by the Cambridge police. The local blue laws at the time prohibited more than three stringed instruments in a place that served food and beverages. So they got a non-profit educational charter and reopened as a private club, making people members at the door.
It wasn't long before it earned a reputation for good music, coffee, and company. And it was here that a friend of then unknown 17-year-old Joan Baez rented the club out just to get her on stage. Baez quickly built a worshipful following and became a regular feature. Here, she introduced Bob Dylan who played between acts.
The Club was shut down by Cambridge police once again, but the performers rallied and held their own hootenannies to keep the music going. Supporters soon realized that they had built a strong community around the club-a strong, close-knit community that remains to this day. The Club Today-40 More Years When rock-and-roll electrified the music and became "the sound," its influence lessened folk's popularity and broadened the folk spectrum simultaneously. But when the '60s came to a close, so did the era of Club 47, which was reborn into Passim and run by Bob and Rae Anne Donlin, who kept its flavor true to its roots. Best of all, Club Passim remains a small venue, where the audience is close enough to feel reverberation of music, see the sweat of the brow, and be a part of the art. Club Passim remains that community that began 40 years ago. It remains a non-profit organization that relies on members, donors, and volunteers for support.
The key to Club Passim's continued success is its audiences, who support new musicians, take risks, and lend an educated ear. But it's more than the music that brings them back. A notation in the club's Memory Book, written by a fan whose association with the club spans its history, sums up feelings of others who've passed through the room: "...The beauty of this place is that in 30 years, those of you who pass through this sacred room will have equally wonderful memories of performers whose careers were launched here. I hope your memories, felt years from now, will inspire the feelings of kinship with special musical experiences that mine do for me. Come here often. The specialness of this room will grow on you."
Music as a Mission
Plans are well underway to ensure the mission of Club Passim continues. It's more than the sharing of good music. As a non-profit, the club believes it critical to preserve and promote folk and acoustic music by nurturing new artists, offering varied programming, and featuring both new and established talent. The challenge to fulfill this mission is to keep it financially sound by building its membership base and continue strong fundraising efforts through donations, corporate sponsorships and grants. We hope you join us this year in supporting the artists and helping us keep playing the music for another 50 years.

From, copied 2/13/10

Club Passim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Club Passim is a folk music club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was opened by Joyce Kalina (now Chopra) and Paula Kelley in 1958[1], when it was known as Club 47 (based on its then address, 47 Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge; it moved to its present location on Palmer Street in 1963), and changed its name to simply Passim in 1969. "Passim" in the name is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable and as if that were "seem"; it derives from passim (usually pronounced differently), commonly found in footnotes. It adopted the present name in 1994; a combination of the earlier two names. At its inception, it was mainly a jazz and blues club, but soon branched out to include ethnic folk, then singer/songwriter folk.[2]
Artists who have performed there include Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Tom Rush, Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Joni Mitchell and many others.
In the 1960s, the club (when known as Club 47) played a role in the rise of folk-rock music, when it began to book folk/rock bands whose music was unrelated to traditional folk, such as the Lovin' Spoonful.[3] The club's importance to the 1960s Cambridge folk scene is documented extensively in Von Schmidt's Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years[4]. Scott Alarik described Club 47 as being "the hangout of choice for the new folkies" during that time.[2]
Today there is a Passim School of Music and Culture for Kids program. The School of Music offers workshops and classes to both teens and adults. [5] During the day it is a restaurant (Veggie Planet) which also serves food during performances.

[edit] Musicians

In 1961, Bob Dylan was said to have played at the club between sets for free so that he could say he had played at Club 47.[6] Dylan: A Biography gives a detailed account of Dylan's first visit to Club 47, where he saw Carolyn Hester perform and performed between Hester's sets in the hopes of impressing club manager Paula Kelley.[7]
Bonnie Raitt chose to attend Radcliffe College in Cambridge in order to be near Club 47, though the club closed temporarily after her first year as a student (1967).[8]
Bill Staines mentions Club 47 in his autobiography, The Tour: he saw his first coffeehouse performance there in 1962, as a sophomore in high school, and described Club 47 during the 1960s as "one of the premiere folk venues in the country."[9]
During the 1960s, Joan Baez sang regularly at Club 47.[7]
Bruce Springsteen was refused a gig at Club Passim.[10]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Cohen, Ronald (2002). Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970. University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst)
  2. ^ a b Alarik, Scott. "From Club 47 to Club Passim", in Deep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground (2003). Black Wolf (Cambridge, Mass.)
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2002). Turn! Turn! Turn: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution. Backbeat (San Francisco).
  4. ^ Von Schmidt, Eric (1994). Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years, second edition. University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst)
  5. ^ Official Website
  6. ^ White, Timothy (2001). James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away. Omnibus (London)
  7. ^ a b Spitz, Bob (1989). Dylan: A Biography. Norton (New York).
  8. ^ Gaar, Gillian G. (2002). She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll (second edition). Seal (New York)
  9. ^ Staines, Bill (2003). The Tour. Xlibris
  10. ^ Club Passim. (n.d.) "History of Club Passim." Retrieved on 2007-04-02.

[edit] External links

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