B i o g r a p h y

"I Am An Immigrant" is a truly great song! 

        Si Kahn

"Jesse's music is quite wonderful. He brings artistry & social concern together in a very powerful way!" 

        Parker Palmer

 

 

Azalea City Recordings artist Jesse Palidofsky has been performing his original songs  in folk venues, coffeehouses, and festivals for decades.  "I Am An Immigrant" reached #1  on the International Folk Radio charts and "Dancing Toward the Light " was the #5 CD .   Jesse’s updated “America the Beautiful: 2020” with Bluegrass vocalist Claire Lynch and Blues singer Lea Gilmore has 65,000 hits on YouTube.  He is the recipient of numerous songwriting awards. 

Jesse has shared stages with Pete Seeger, Claudia Schmidt, Kim and Reggie Harris, Brother Sun, Zoe Mulford, Yasmin Williams, Bob Franke, Ken Whiteley, Pat Humphries, Magpie, Erica Wheeler, Sonia disappear fear, Lee Murdock, Ted Ramirez, Hot Soup, The Ronstadt Generations, Jon Carroll, Ruthie & the Wranglers, Karen Collins, Carey Creed, Joe Uehlein, Patty Reese, In Process and many others.

Jesse’s appearances include:  National Theatre, Hugh’s Room (Toronto), Sloop Clearwater “Pumpkin Sail”, Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival, FOCUS Music,  Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Institute of Musical Traditions, Association of Professional Chaplains Annual Conference, Washington Folk Festival, Friends General Conference, Common Ground on the Border, Takoma Park Folk Festival, Pastoral Care Network for Social Responsibility, Tikkun Magazine, Club Sandwich, Folkal Point Coffeehouse

Jesse says, "Since my youngest days music has fed me in the deeps and healed my quirky soul. It is a joy beyond wonder to have become a channel of healing for others through the singing and playing of songs. Bernice Reagon of the black women’s acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock tells us that it was the singing that gave Civil Rights activists of the 1960’s the courage to face the firehoses and the attack dogs. I’ve experienced another form of that profound musical power to en-courage while singing in hospitals and hospices and prisons and on dementia units and with the seekers, the heartbroken and the down and out of all walks of life."

 

OUR BETTER ANGELS

The album title hearkens to Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, as he desperately sought healing for a broken nation. Most of these songs came into being during four of the bleakest years of our collective lifetimes.

 

Healing from such trauma comes in many forms: in the outrageous humor of “Three Guys Standing on Third”; from the paean to hope in the depths of darkness, “Can’t Stop the Rain”; in the ballad of love found later in life, “As the Stars Are Gently Turning”; in the transcendent joy of “Angel Wings”, which tells the story of the 6’ foot 2” Black ballerina as she pirouettes around the dementia unit to the Big Band jazz of her youth. 

 

“Last One Standing” celebrates the resilience of the 94-year-old family matriarch, still dragging her oxygen tank every week to the church choir. “One Candle” foresees Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s stirring words, “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it/If only we’re brave enough to be it.”  “Respect Your Mother” honors the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. “I Am an Immigrant” tells a biographical story that is universal.

A pervading theme of finding the light in the darkest corners of life emerges, which ties together the eclectic musical strands in an unexpected and deeply satisfying way. The overall listening experience is that much more resonant, when we know the “story behind the story”.  

Jesse founded Compared To What! coffeehouse in his native Detroit, which featured legendary blueswoman Sippie Wallace and songwriters Michael Smith ("The Dutchman") and Claudia Schmidt, as well as Motown session musicians, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, the Detroit Blues Club and bluegrass bands.  He co-founded the highly successful Carroll Cafe series in Washington D.C.

Jesse’s blues brought the crowd to its feet...! 

Robert Caldwell, Performing Songwriter Magazine

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Jesse is an inspired tunesmith who never falls back on “tried and true” gimmicks.  I was thoroughly engrossed from the first cut until the end!

        Bluesman James “Sparky” Rucker