Concert in tribute to Anne Feeney a big success

NEW YORK – The auditorium at Local 1199/SEIU here on May 13 was filled with enthusiastic folk music lovers, political activists, trade unionists, family and friends, all gathered to pay tribute to an extraordinary working-class folk singer and song writer Anne Feeney.

Over 300 people came out to express their thanks and appreciation to a wonderful artist and a friend who for years has given so much of herself to the causes that progressive folks hold so dear. The concert was organized to help raise funds for Ms. Feeney’s mounting medical expenses.

Feeney despite her battle with cancer was present and upbeat and energetic as ever.

She spoke and sang beautifully several times throughout the evening.   

Feeney, a political activist, is a talented composer and singer. Known for her militant fighting songs she has been a popular cultural figure in the working-class, trade union, and peace and freedom movements both in the U.S. and abroad for many years.  

Performers included an all-star line up of some of folk music’s top artists starting with the legendary Pete Seeger and Peter Yarrow.

Bev Grant and George Mann organized the event and put together an unforgettable evening.

In addition to Seeger and Yarrow, the line up included Dave Lippman, Bev Grant & the Dissident Daughters, Chris Owens, Judy Gorman, George Mann, The Brooklyn Women’s Chorus, working-class rapper and professor Louie and of course the guest of honor.

The New York City Labor Chorus under the direction of Jana Ballard kicked off the evening. The night ended with a real hootenanny finale as everyone joining in on a jazzed up version of the tune “Solidarity Forever” and a spirited rendition of Feeney’s “There’s a War on the Workers.”

Elise Bryant, who is a well-known singer and leader in the labor song movement, emceed the concert. She is also a professor at the AFL-CIO’s Labor College.   

If you would like to contribute to Ann Feeney’s health fund or just get in touch visit her website.

Photo: Julie Leonardsson, via Feeney’s MySpace page.



Jarvis Tyner
Jarvis Tyner

Jarvis Tyner is executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board.. He was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress and served on its national coordinating committee for five years.

Tyner was born in the Mill Creek community of West Philadelphia in 1941 and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He joined the Communist Party USA at the age of 20. After several years working in various industrial jobs in the Philadelphia area, where he was a member of the Amalgamated Lithographers and the Teamsters union, he moved to New York in 1967 to become the national chair of the DuBois Clubs of America, and later founding chair of the Young Workers Liberation League. He was the Communist Party USA candidate for vice president of the U.S. in 1972 and 1976, running with party leader Gus Hall.

As a leader of the CPUSA Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appears on the media, campuses and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality and the socialist alternative. He currently resides in the Inwood section of Manhattan, N.Y., is married and the father of four adult children and one grandchild.