Joe Reilly, the young singer, songwriter and environmental educator who enchanted Lopez kids and adults last summer, returns this week for two performances.
On Friday, Feb. 15 he’ll give a folk concert at Isabel’s Espresso, 7-9 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 16 the Friends of the Library sponsor Joe in a fireside performance for kids of all ages at the Lopez Library, 5-6 p.m.
Joe’s fusion of hip-hop, blues, gospel, traditional American Indian and world rhythm brought kids and adults to their feet dancing, playing and singing last summer at the outdoor library concert. “Joe is a ray of sunshine,” says Rosie Sumner, who is coordinating the Saturday concert.”He and kids make magic together. Joe is one of the most enthusiastic, talented performers to hit the island. It’s exciting to have him back.”
Adults enjoy his concerts as much as families. “My music is definitely for everybody’s inner child. It’s folk music with a message,” he says. “Most of my shows are intergenerational and/or multi-cultural. An ecosystem is strongest when it’s most diverse. It’s the same for a community. I really enjoy using music to bring people together across lines of difference — age, race, ethnicity. We’re strongest when we stay open to each other and can be present even with our differences.”
A musician who makes his living writing and performing songs that teach ecological stewardship and environmental science to young people, Joe’s upbeat, interactive music invites listeners to deepen their relationships with themselves, each other, and the environment. His gentle, inspiring, often playful lyrics offer hope and empowerment in a time when the stability of the earth’s ecosystems can feel uncertain.
“I enjoy the Lopez sense of community, such a village feel,” says Joe. “People seem to know each other and care about each other.” The natural beauty of the island made an impact, too. “I connect with the power of the land. Walking out to Iceberg, singing out there, I felt the spirit of the ancestors, the native people.”
Joe, 29, lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he works as an environmental educator at The Leslie Science and Nature Center. The Lopez concerts are part of his 2008 West Coast tour entitled “We Are All Related.”
Admission to the Friday night concert at Isabel’s is by donation. The Saturday performance, sponsored by the Friends of the Lopez Library, is free. For more information, call the library at 468-2265, Isabel’s Espresso at 468-4114 or visit Joe’s website: www.joereilly.org.