“To honor the life of another is to honor oneself…The word “honor” simply means to listen.” Songwriter Larry Long, this season’s final TED Talk-PV-Style presenter, on Tuesday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Boutique Theater, will share inspirational examples of how he has embraced that philosophy in his work as a modern-day troubadour, committed to celebrating the lives and struggles of ordinary people in narrative and song. His message, in short, is to be kind to all.
A social advocate, Larry has had the unique experience of living inside the lives of communities at important moments in history and utilizing these experiences as the focal point of his music. As a Midwestern young man he rode with farmers on their tractorcade to Washington DC. On the East Coast he came to know Pete Seeger, who shared his efforts to clean up the Hudson River. This led Larry to go back home to Minnesota and create the Mississippi River Revival to celebrate and help restore that great river. Along the way, he was adopted by the American Indian Movement and traveled with their caravans to affirm their sovereign rights. His great respect for Woody Guthrie led him to Woody’s hometown of Okemah, where after many years of silence, Larry was able to help create their first tribute for Woody.
To share his talent, Larry developed a methodology called “Elders Wisdom, Children’s Song” that is available as a school curriculum. Within it, elders who reflect the diverse racial and cultural identity of the children in the classroom are chosen to share their life stories. The children learn that in their own communities there is a beautiful encyclopedia of world experience with unfathomable lessons to learn.
Now a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, he has sung at major festivals, concerts and events throughout the country, in Europe, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Larry is a recipient of the prestigious Bush Artists Fellowship, the Pope John XXIII Award, Leadership In Neighborhood Fellowship (St. Paul Companies), Sustainability Award, and In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities.
Though he has traveled and performed around the world with many famous artists, his true love is the local people he meets along the way. Here in Vallarta, he has already created songs to celebrate this community. In Tuesday’s presentation, he will share with us his insights and experiences in the past and present.
Tickets for TED TALKS-PV-Style may be purchased for $250 pesos each on-line at BTPV.org or at the Boutique Theater Box Office (044-322-728-6878) at 287 Basilio Badillo prior to or the day of the presentation.