On Thursday April 14, 2011, over a thousand supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality from nearly every district in the state are traveling to the Capitol to talk with legislators about their vision of making Minnesota a state where people are not discriminated against based on who they are and who they love.  In their meetings with legislators, Minnesotans will discuss  making our state a more equitable, safe and affirming place for LGBT people.

Gov. Mark Dayton will join community leaders, legislators, and Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt, parents of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, at noon to address the Rally for LGBT Equality. Shortly after noon the crowd will observe a moment of silence for their fallen son and for all Minnesotans who gave their last full measure of devotion to our nation. Larry Long will provide the musical entertainment throughout the rally.

Please join OutFront Minnesota for a celebration to kick off their Lobby Day for LGBT Equality, one of the largest citizen lobbying days in the nation, connecting thousands of pro-equality Minnesotans from around the state with their legislators. With the loss of pro-LGBT majorities in the Legislature and the imminent threat of a constitutional amendment to outlaw marriage — and even domestic partnerships — for same-sex couples, this will be one of the most important in our history.

So join fair-minded Minnesotans on Wednesday, April 13th from 6pm to 9pm at the home of Ann & Brad Swanson, 1873 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, for food, wine, and an opportunity to learn what we must do to defend the rights of all Minnesota families.

There’s a piece in today’s MinnPost on Larry which talks a little about his history as well as the background on some of the songs on Don’t Stand Still. You can read it here.

We are presently producing two film documentaries of the songs “Tibet” and “Be Kind to All That Live”, both written through the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song process, and featured on Don’t Stand Still.

When I was thirteen years of age, my father passed away. My family received help from good neighbors with food and letters of comfort. One of those letters of comfort came from my Little League coach, Mr. Mayeda.

Thirty years after my father’s death I came upon Mr. Mayeda’s letter. I was so moved by his words that I sought him out. He had moved to Oceanside, California. He was terminally ill. I called and thanked him for his letter of comfort to me when my father passed and for his years of volunteering as my Little League coach.

Mr. Mayeda said to me, “Larry, my family was part of the 125,000 Japanese Americans placed into internment camps during World War II. I have one favor to ask. Could you please write a song about the Japanese-American internment camps?” I promised Mr. Mayeda I would. He passed away soon thereafter.

In his honor, I visited the Manzanar Internment Camp in California and read books about the Japanese-American experience with hopes of inspiration. Nothing came in the way of a song, until now.

During one of my residencies, Mrs. Helen Tsuchiya, the grandmother of a child in one of my classrooms, shared her Japanese-American internment story with the chil dren. After she spoke, I discovered that her husband and she were best friends with Mr. Mayeda and his family, and that her husband had coached with Mr. Mayeda in the Babe Ruth League.

About the Documentary Film Videographer

Mr. David McDonald is producing both documentary films.   Before returning to Minnesota to raise his family, David McDonald worked throughout the world as a cameraman for the Reuters News Agency.  Presently, David lives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota with his family and is an independent multimedia producer, as well as instructor of mass communications at Itasca Community College and Leach Lake Tribal College.  David McDonald has been donating his services, but will have shared ownership of the final product with Community Celebration of Place.

Filming Timeline

On March 13, David will be filming and interviewing elder Helen Tsuchiya, who inspired Be Kind To All That Live, about her experiences in the Japanese American Internment Camp in World War II.  Helen was the photographer in the camp and her photographs will be the featured images throughout the audio of her song in this documentary. Featured on the recording of Be Kind To All That Live is Helen’s son, Todd Tsuchiya, a local dentist and leader of Minnesota’s premiere Taiko Drum group.

Documentary Film Release Date: April 9, 2011

We are presently producing two film documentaries of the songs “Tibet” and “Be Kind to All That Live”, both written through the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song process, and featured on Don’t Stand Still.

In 2008 Gyatsho Tshering shared his life story with 3rd grade students at Valley View Elementary School in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, through the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song program. Gyatsho Tshering established with the Dalai Lama the library to hold the archives of the Tibetan people in India.  In December 2010 the sound recording of Tibet was completed.

Artists and community members featured on the sound recording of Tibet include: Venerable Tibetan Monks Gendun Kelsang, Jampa Thupten, and Lobsang Jungnes from the Gyuto Tantric and Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery (Multiphonic chanting) ; Dolma & Yiga Tshering with family and friends from the Tibetan community of Minnesota (choral vocals and prayer), Marc Anderson (world percussionist), Dirk Freymuth (electric guitar),  Billy Peterson (bass), Ricky Peterson (keyboards), JD Steele (harmony vocals) and Larry Long (lead vocal, 12 string guitar).

Film Timeline

David McDonald has been making several trips from Grand Rapids to Minneapolis, Minnesota from January – March 2011 to cover select Tibetan events including:

  1. Gyatsho Tshering’s home
  2. Tibetan Community Cultural Center
  3. Gyuto Tantric and Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery
  4. Tibetan New Year 2011 activities March 5 – 20
  5. March 10 – Tibetan Uprising Day

Documentary Film Release Date: April 9, 2011

The Pioneer Press had a great article on Larry and his work with Community Celebration of Place/Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song:

Ruben Rosario: Classroom troubadour sings to children to honor adults

The man the legendary writer Studs Terkel once called ‘a true American troubadour’ was thick in the middle of his day job the other day — helping a class of fourth-graders compose a song.

‘Like the bullfighter/the brave matador/Like the bull in the arena, together we strive for/A life of balance, to live in harmony,’ the kids sang and swayed while Larry Long played the simple melody on his acoustic guitar.

“I’m excited about this song,” the 60-year-old Twin Cities resident told the class of fellow songwriters at the Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource magnet school in Crystal. “I would like to get a full orchestra.”

The song probably won’t crack Billboard’s Hot 100 anytime soon. But it wasn’t meant to. It was meant to celebrate the rich tapestry of the American experience in a tangible, communal way.

Read the rest

 

Larry will be on the Mary Hanson show on Monday, April 4, at 9PM. The show is on Channel 6 (MCN – The Metro Cable Network).

From the website:

“The Mary Hanson Show” is the longest running cable program in the United States, having been on the air regularly since 1980. The weekly show has also been on public television’s KTCI for the past thirteen years for a season each year. The award-winning show focuses on health and social issues and has provided a forum for area and national experts and leaders. Host and producer Mary Hanson views her role as a conduit between guest and viewer, and the result is in-depth discussions of contemporary issues.

Tonia Hughes, Larry Long and Robert RobinsonOn April 9th, some of Minnesota’s finest musicians will come together at the Loring Theater for the release of the latest CD from Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Larry Long.  Join Larry, Tonia Hughes, Robert Robinson and other special guests for an evening of song and stories.

Proceeds benefit Community Celebration of Place, a non-profit whose program, Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song, works to bring elders and youth together in schools and communities through the creative songwriting process.

For tickets, call the Loring Theater box office at (612) 353-6781 or go online at www.loringtheater.com.

The CD release concert at Loring Theater will feature the showing of two music-film productions, produced by David McDonald of DMcD Productions, which feature songs on the Don’t Stand Still sound recording:

Tibet (Honoring Gyatsho Tshering)

Gyatsho TsheringThe song Tibet was composed by Larry Long with Tara Thukral’s fifth grade class of Valley View Elementary School, Columbia Heights. It was created during an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song residency program in the school (with support from the West Metro Education Program and McKnight Foundation). It was written in honor of Gyatsho Tshering, a Tibetan scholar and author.  (For more about Gyatsho Tshering plus video and audio recordings from the school residency click here.)

Artists and community members featured on the sound recording of Tibet include: Venerable Tibetan Monks Gendun Kelsang, Jampa Thupten, and Lobsang Jungnes from the Gyuto Tantric and Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery (Multiphonic chanting); Dolma & Yiga Tshering with family and friends from the Tibetan community of Minnesota (choral vocals and prayer), Marc Anderson (world percussionist), Dirk Freymuth (electric guitar), Billy Peterson (bass), Ricky Peterson (keyboards), JD Steele (harmony vocals) and Larry Long (lead vocal, 12 string guitar).

You can watch a video clip of Tibet here.

Be Kind To All That Live (Honoring Helen Tsuchiya)

Helen TsuchiyaBe Kind To All That Live was written by Larry Long with students at Prairie View Elementary in Eden Prairie, MN, created during an Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song residency in 2004. It honors community elder Helen Tsuchiya, a Japanese-American internment camp survivor currently living in St. Louis Park, MN.  (For more about Helen Tsuchiya plus video and audio recordings from the school residency click here.)

Featured on the sound recording is Helen’s son, Todd Tsuchiya, on taiko drums, Larry Long on guitar and vocals, JD Steele on harmony vocals, Pete Watercott on violin and Lonnie Knight on backup guitar.

The music-documentary also features photographs that Helen took while  interned at the Gila River Japanese American internment camp in Arizona during World War II.

Larry Long Talks About Be Kind to All That Live (written in 2004):

“When I was thirteen years of age, my father passed away. My family received help from good neighbors with food and letters of comfort. One of those letters of comfort came from my Little League coach, Mr. Mayeda.

Thirty years after my father’s death I came upon Mr. Mayeda’s letter. I was so moved by his words that I sought him out. He had moved to Oceanside, California. He was terminally ill. I called and thanked him for his letter of comfort to me when my father passed and for his years of volunteering as my Little League coach.

Mr. Mayeda said to me, “Larry, my family was part of the 125,000 Japanese Americans placed into internment camps during World War II. I have one favor to ask. Could you please write a song about the Japanese-American internment camps” I promised Mr. Mayeda I would. He passed away soon thereafter.

In his honor, I visited the Manzanar Internment Camp in California and read books about the Japanese-American experience with hopes of inspiration. Nothing came in the way of a song, until now.

During one of my residencies at Prairie View Elementary, Mrs. Helen Tsuchiya, the grandmother of a child in one of my classrooms, shared her Japanese-American internment story with the children. After she spoke, I discovered that her husband and she were best friends with Mr. Mayeda and his family. Not only that, but her husband had coached with Mr. Mayeda in the Babe Ruth League.

Through Mrs. Tsuchiya, I was able to fulfill the promise made to my Little League coach, Mr. Mayeda. Forever grateful.

About David McDonald, producer of Don’t Stand Still music/film production

Before returning to Minnesota to raise his family, David McDonald worked throughout the world as a cameraman for the Reuters News Agency. Presently, David lives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota with his family and is an independent multimedia producer, as well as instructor of mass communications at Itasca Community College and Leach Lake Tribal College.

About Community Celebration of Place and Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song

Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song is a program of the nonprofit organization, Community Celebration of Place. Larry Long serves as the Executive Director. For more information about their work in schools and communities across the U.S., visit their website at www.communitycelebration.org.

We’re starting the festivities early on CD Release Day! Join us for a pre-show party at 6pm at The Local. Enjoy hearty appetizers and a drink (and maybe even a surprise visit from some of the performers) while mingling with your fellow concert-goers. The reception will last approximately an hour and half.

Tickets are $30 per person, but you get two for $50, so grab a friend (or a random stranger if necessary) and come on down!

Big news for the New Year! Larry’s new album, Don’t Stand Still, will be coming out in early April. There will be a big CD release party on April 9 at the Loring Theater, and many of the musicians that appear on Don’t Stand Still will be joining Larry on stage.

Larry will be touring in support of the album later this Spring. Check back for Tour updates or visit Larry on Facebook.

Larry will be doing a small house concert this month. It’ll be a great chance to hear songs from the upcoming album (as well as plenty of old favorites).

There is a suggested donation of $15 per person. You can bring a snack to share with the group. The hosts (Ron and Becky) will have non-alcoholic drinks available (punch, apple cider, hot tea, etc). You are welcome to bring your own drinks, especially if you want to have wine or beer. Kids are welcome. No RSVP necessary. Lots of fun.

Larry will be working with filmmaker David McDonald in the coming months on a new documentary featuring Larry’s song, Tibet (Peace, Lovingkindness, Compassion), written in honor of Gyatsho Tshering and the Tibetan people.

The film project, which will feature members of the Tibetan community in Minnesota, is in preparation for the upcoming visit by the Dalai Lama to Minnesota.

Join us Sunday, October 3rd as some of the Twin Cities finest musicians and singers come together to support VEAP, the largest food shelf in Minnesota. It’s an exciting musical event you won’t want to miss!

Included in the line-up are Members of Minnesota’s First Family of Jazz; Patty Peterson and the Peterson Family, R&B singer Mick Sterling, jazz singer Arne Fogel, Larry Long, pianist Mary Beth Carlson, Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson from the Wolverines, vocalist Julie Esterley, 40’s jazz group “First Things First”, and the “Emmaus Praise Band” along with other celebrity musicians from the Twin Cities area.

Tickets are: $20.00 First Tier and $15.00 2nd Tier. Purchase tickets on-line at: www.veapvolunteers.org / Special Events or at the door.

VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People) is a non-profit agency serving low-income families, individuals, elderly and disabled persons in the communities of Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, and South Minneapolis. VEAP offers emergency food to over 7,500 low-income monthly, over half of which are children. VEAP also provides transportation to the elderly and disabled, along with back-to-school & holiday toys to thousands of low-income children in the metro area. Visit their website at www.veapvolunteers.org.

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