WorldStrings Portfolio
JOHN KAY - After 50 years of performing, Steppenwolf played its final show in October 2018 and John Kay (founder, vocalist and primary songwriter of Steppenwolf) has returned to his early musical days and will perform solo. His first exposure to American music was through the Armed Forces Radio Network in Germany. After moving to North America, he studied the Library of Congress field recordings of John & Alan Lomax and later attended the 1964 & 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, where the topical songs of singer/songwriters had a profound influence on him. Over the years, as leader and singer of Steppenwolf (Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride, The Pusher, Monster, etc.), John recorded a number of solo albums, rooted in Folk Music, Blues and the Singer/Songwriter tradition. His anticipated solo performances will feature select songs from those albums as well as newly written material; showcasing the more private side of his music and songwriting. After five decades as a well-known player in the global music arena, John Kay will now begin an additional chapter and bring his more personal songs and stories to audiences; those familiar with Steppenwolf and John Kay and those who will encounter John Kay and his music for the first time.
Hans-Eckardt Wenzel sings Woody Guthrie - On February 5, 2003, “The Woody Guthrie 90th Year Celebration” took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The concert was the culmination of a month-long series of events celebrating Woody's life and music. Among the artists that performed were Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Jimmy LaFave, Hans-Eckardt Wenzel (Germany), Ellis Paul, Janis Ian and others. This concert was a benefit for the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, located in New York, and was produced in association with Woody's daughter Nora Guthrie and manager/impresario Harold Leventhal, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Folk Alliance in 2002.
RIK PALIERI – Folk troubadour who already performed on stage with Pete Seeger, Rambling Jack Elliot, Bruce Springsteen, Utah Phillips und Jimmy Driftwood. Rik is a multi-talented singer, storyteller and songwriter. He plays various instruments, such as banjo, 12-string guitar and very exotic ones, such as the Polish bagpipe and an Ozark mouth bow. With his music, he crossed America several times, played in more than 1,000 schools and performed at numerous festivals from New York to Alaska. Appearances in TV shows and his show “Song Writers Notebook” in the Public Access TV network complete the picture. His newest album is called “Hobos and Heros”.
TOM GUNDELFINGER O'NEAL - Tom’s photography career was launched at the iconic Monterey International Pop Festival. From there he immersed himself in the intense music scene that exploded in the sixties. He found himself in great demand by several high profile rock and roll stars. He applied both his photographic and graphic design skills in the creation of over 72+ album covers, including the acclaimed Déjà Vu cover used by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Other notable groups were the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Joni Mitchell, Poco, Crazy Horse, the Mamas and the Papas, B.B. King, and The Three Tenors. He developed relationships with entertainers that created opportunities for many years to follow. Two of Tom’s shots are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Today Tom travels worldwide shooting for accounts such as Rolex, The Council, The Pebble Beach Company and giving keynote presentations. Toms photographs and presentations reflect his unbridled approach to life. "Whether a still life or of people, each photograph, represents a burst of excitement," he says. Just like Tom at work. When Tom O’Neal tells his stories about working with some of the greatest music artists, he shares refreshing and surprising perspectives regarding such work that is perfect for any audience. It is more than just taking pictures or designing record album covers. It is about owning, taking charge, connectivity in social settings, and creating your own circumstances. When failures become postponed success, preparation is key, as is looking for alternatives and recognizing that being on the brink of an opportunity, acting on it.
MANFRED MAURENBRECHER – According to many journalists and artists, he is one of the best songwriters in Germany. His art opposes clichés that want to put him in a box and refuses to rely on tacky jokes. Maurenbrecher shows other strengths: He is untamed, spontaneous, filled with intensity, emotions and authenticity. Maurenbrecher is unique because every line he sings, plays, or reads is showing his true beliefs. He has toured with various German national recording artists and writes songs for Herman Van Veen, Ulla Meinecke or Veronika Fischer. In 1991 he received the German Art Award (Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis). Manfred performed at the 2003 German-American Song Festival on Tour (DAFT-Tour) and performed in May 2005 at the German Consulate General and the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts in New York City. In 2005, Manfred received the ‘Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik’ (German Record Critique Award) for his album “Ende der Nacht” (“End of the Night”). His latest 2008 production is called “Glück” (“Luck”).
JUDY GORMAN - Judy Gorman’s songs get their wings from her imagination and their roots from the folk, blues, jazz and gospel music she’s been surrounded by all her life. Being a native from New York City, Judy presents her blues rooted, energizing original songs packed with evocative, soulful and often political lyrics. Her passionate, rich smokey vocals add the inevitable color to passionate performances. Judy has performed in over ten countries on programs with Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Moby, Richie Havens, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Pete Seeger, Suzanne Vega, Odetta, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon and Maya Angelou. In the feature film "In Our Hands" Judy appears along with Meryl Streep, Rita Marley, James Taylor and Carly Simon. Judy’s newest production in progress is “Shine Like Freedom”.
DAFT-Tour - The DAFT-Tour (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Folksänger Treffen) is a roots music and singer/songwriting festival that takes place annually in a rotating pattern in both Germany and the United States. The first DAFT-Tour took place in the summer of 2003 in Germany presenting three song poets from both Germany and the United States respectively. Following an opening concert in Dresden, where all artists performed a representative sampling of their craft, one American and one German artist paired up together to go on separate tours. They performed in schools, at festivals, in pubs and a variety of music venues throughout different German states, such as Brandenburg, Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Berlin and Saxony. Under the motto “Revival of German-American Roots Music and Songwriting Traditions”, the DAFT-Tour 2004 will take place in the United States from November 4 – 15 and feature a new batch of outstanding German and American singers and songwriters. With the endorsement of such folk luminaries as Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton, the first American DAFT-Tour is off to an exiting beginning. The tour has also been endorsed by Bernard Otremba-Blanc, the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Phoenix/AZ as well as by PROFOLK, the German Association for Songs, Folk And World Music.
LARRY PATTIS - Named one of the "Top 10 Best Acoustic Music Artists of the Decade" by the International Acoustic Music Awards, Larry Pattis has been a featured headline performer at such illustrious venues as the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage in Washington DC. The Montreal International Jazz Festival said, "Larry Pattis blends the emotional commitment of folk and the prowess of classical, a harmonious union of beauty, melody, nuance and technique that demand- and reward- serious listening."