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U.S.-based musician Jamie Dunphy will take part again this year in our annual World Wide Music Day initiative. Learn more about Jamie and what inspires his work as a musician.
It’s been a year since we last spoke in preparation for World Wide Music Day 2017. A lot has happened in a year globally. How has your year been?
My year has been great. I’ve reconnected with some musicians I played with years ago, and sort of rediscovered my rock roots. I realized that I missed the intense visceral experience of playing that music, and it’s been interesting to try to infuse that into the early music and jazz I perform now. At the same time, it has been a challenging stretch here in the U.S. There have been some disturbing political developments, multiple school shootings, and the discourse about it all continues to get harsher and more volatile. There is this undercurrent of anxiety, and many of us are on edge a bit. All the more reason to dive head-first into musical projects, to have that release and to try to do something positive.
For the last 2 years you closed your WWMD concerts with “One Great Thing” by the band Big Country. And this year you released an EP, dedicated to this band and singer Stuart Adamson. Can you tell us more about the EP?
Seth Peterson, Greg Passler, Tony D’Anna and I recorded the album under the name Crossgates, which is the name of the mining town in Scotland that Stuart Adamson called home. The record features six of our favorite Big Country songs, including “One Great Thing.” Adamson’s lyrics are a call for social and personal change, and it really seems that for him, the two went hand-in-hand. Big Country was such a good band-thoughtful lyrics, soaring melodies, great musicianship. It was great fun digging into their music, which is quite challenging to play. I’m thrilled with how it came out; Brian Charles, who engineered and co-produced the recording, really helped get strong performances out of us, and created a beautiful sounding record. “One Great Thing: A Tribute to Big Country” is available at cdbaby.com, and on iTunes and Google Play. All proceeds go to Musicians Without Borders.
What are you planning for WWMD this year?
We’ve got an eclectic mix of performers again this year, featuring original and classic rock, folk and jazz. I’ll be playing a short set of new original songs with Seth Peterson and Tod Salmonson (our plan is to record these over the summer for a 2019 release). Fundraising is always my main focus when planning these shows. But it’s also fun to put together these diverse programs, giving audiences a mix of styles they would rarely hear on one concert.
Who are your top 3 social change makers?
Apart from you guys, of course, there are a few that come to mind. Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon are doing some remarkable work with Pathway to Paris and the 1000 CITIES initiative, ensuring that guidelines outlined in the Paris agreement become a reality. I’ve been really impressed with the work Jane Calvin is doing with an organization in my own town. The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust not only educates young people about the importance of conservation, but gives them the opportunity to work in the field, to have that sense of purpose and even possibly get turned on to a new career path. In my own life, I have friends who are doing great things, organizing marches and collecting clothing and supplies for displaced refugees and mentoring at-risk youth. It’s really inspiring to see people I know personally, who have jobs and families and all sorts of other responsibilities, using their very limited free time to fight for something they believe in.
Want to find out how you can get involved in World Wide Music Day this year? Read more here.