Music for Change – Tom Neilson Benefit Concert


Music for Change – Tom Neilson Benefit Concert

Sunday, October 9, 2016

5:30 pm optional, reserved dinner (208-263-0846), 7:30 pm concert

Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho

$10+ suggested admission donation

Two north Idaho groups are co-hosting a special benefit concert, offered by singer-songwriter and long-time activist Tom Neilson, in Sandpoint on Sunday, October 9 [1-2]. Dubbed the Jon Stewart of folk music, Tom offers inspiration through his music to effect change [3].  He has performed his award-winning songs of humor and compassion in 21 countries on five continents.  His songs about historical and current events reflect his travels, intertwined with his farm roots and his fervent commitment to social justice.  Audiences celebrate Tom’s lyrics for their political astuteness, sophistication, and wit.

Event co-sponsors 350Sandpoint and Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully welcome everyone to participate in this community event providing a gathering place for people involved in solving the climate crisis and overcoming the regional impacts of global pollution.

350Sandpoint is a chapter of, a global, grassroots, climate movement founded by Bill McKibben. Jean Gerth, who co-founded the local group with Jim Akers, Nancy Gerth, and Gary Payton, states, “We want to see the people of Bonner County come together to address climate change and to support each other in a sometimes overwhelming process.”

As part of an international, volunteer network of activists, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) confronts the root causes of climate change by coordinating direct actions and promoting locally organized solutions. WIRT activist Helen Yost says, “The frontline resistance of indigenous and allied communities peacefully challenging coal, oil, tar sands, and natural gas extraction and transportation projects continues to inspire Idahoans to work together across the region to halt new fossil fuel infrastructure that would pollute the environment and climate.”

For this Sunday, October 9 benefit event, the doors open at 5:30 pm for optional dinner by reservation at Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho. Please call Di Luna’s at 208-263-0846 for your reservation.  Activist musician Tom Neilson begins his performance there at 7:30 pm, for $10 suggested donations supporting 350Sandpoint and WIRT.

For further information, see the enclosed description of Tom Neilson’s background, peruse the websites and facebook pages of Tom, 350Sandpoint, and WIRT, and/or contact and [1-3].

Please print and post the linked, color, letter-sized, PDF version of the Tom Neilson Sandpoint Concert Flyer (tom-neilson-sandpoint-concert-flyer), invite your friends and family through the email messages and website and facebook links about this event, participate in this Music for Change Benefit Concert, and enjoy the rousing music of Tom Neilson!

Tom Neilson

Tom Neilson has performed his powerful, change-effecting, folk music with his voice and guitar in 21 countries on five continents [3]. His first professional work as a musician entailed singing at a funeral home in Lewiston, Idaho.  He has since earned numerous recognitions, winning several folk festivals and the 2012 and 2016 Independent Music Awards People’s Choice for song of the year for social action.  A celebrated veteran of both musical stages and street theater, Tom writes compassionate, humorous songs about historical and current events, intertwining his worldwide travel experiences with his upstate New York dairy farm roots and his fervent commitment to social and environmental justice.

A 1960s anti-Vietnam war organizer, Tom has lived and worked in Colombia, Eritrea, Kenya, Nicaragua, Portugal, Senegal, and Somalia, and has been detained or arrested as a spy in Colombia, Morocco, Sudan, and at the U.S. border to Canada. He studied education and voice as an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Cortland, earned a M.Ed. in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in Boston, and wrote an international education doctoral dissertation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, examining U.S. political/economic hegemony in the Horn of Africa and around the world.  Tom has worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and as a Peace Corps training director, rural development consultant, interpreter, coach, and carpenter’s assistant.  He has taught musical theater, songwriting, English, and physical education, and worked with people with addictions, disabilities, HIV, and other public health issues.

Combining art with activism at countless benefit concerts, this Jon Stewart of folk music has helped frontline communities organizing against fracking, toxic waste, water privatization, mountain top removal, nuclear energy, incinerators, GMOs, and globalization. Tom’s witty, sophisticated, and political astute lyrics tell the stories of struggles for human rights against greed and violence.  Known locally in his current home place of Greenfield, western Massachusetts, as the Bard Insurgent, Tom also enjoys backpacking in the Rockies with his partner Lynn and barnstorming with their son Jacob and ex-Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee.

[1] 350Sandpoint: website, facebook

[2] Wild Idaho Rising Tide: website, facebook

[3] Tom Neilson: website, facebook

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