Happy Birthday, Toshi Reagon!

A NYC tradition enters its 26th year as Toshi Reagon kicks off her birthday celebration weekend.

Photo: JOMOTO/Molly Rubin and Tony DiPietro


Y’all know Toshi, right? Not only is she the daughter of Sweet Honey In The Rock founder, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon but, like her mother, she’s a musical force in her own right.

Today’s her birthday and, as she’s done for the past 26 years, she’s going to celebrate it with a birthday concert at Joe’s Pub. More accurately, she’s doing four (4) nights at the venue, three of which are, unfortunately, already sold out. Sorry folks, but this is a NYC tradition. According to the Joe’s Pub Website:

Toshi Reagon has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana–from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody). “She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief.” Toshi has had the pleasure of working with Lenny Kravitz, Lizz Wright, Ani DiFranco, Carl Hancock Rux, Nona Hendryx, Pete Seeger, Chocolate Genius and many other amazing artists, including her favorite collaborator, her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon. Yaa Asantewaa writes, “Toshi knows the power of song to focus, unite and mobilize people. If you’ve been lucky enough to be in Toshi’s presence, you know you can’t walk away from her without feeling better about yourself as a human being. She aims for nothing less.”

So, those of you with tickets will be checking out Toshi, along with Catherine Russell, Judith Casselberry, Marcelle D. Lashley, Fred Cash, Bobby B. Burke, Adam Widoff, and live drawing by Joe’s Pub archivist Michael Arthur.

Tix are still available for Sunday’s show, which will be a program of sacred music, and will feature a guest appearance by her mother.

If you don’t have tix, here’s a taste of the Big Lovely vibe:

Toshi Reagon “One More Today” from Karen B. Song on Vimeo.

Some of you may resort to begging, borrowing or stealing to get into one of these shows. Just don’t hurt nobody.

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