WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3
An Evening with Geoff Kaufman: Chronicles of the Chesapeake
Speaker: Geoff Kaufman
6:00 pm, 4th Floor Program Room, Andrew White Student Center
Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and Messina.
About the Event:
Geoff Kaufman is a magical folksinger, story teller, and musical historian for the Mystic Seaport Museum. He will be exploring in song and story the fascinating history of the Chesapeake Bay.
We in Baltimore are embedded in an important ecological system, but one of which we are often unaware. We go down to the Inner Harbor but do not think about what it is a harbor of; the story of sailing and commerce from which Baltimore arose; the ecological richness of the Chesapeake, and how it has played an outsized role in American history. Geoff will fill us in a uniquely entertaining way.
Geoff’s knowledge of musical history, and its connection to social-political and ecological concerns, is breath-taking. (Did you know that boats in the Chesapeake would hire on hands to do their oystering, and then throw them overboard to avoid having to pay them?)
Geoff has a beautiful voice and skills on multiple instruments. The event will feature songs, stories, discussion, even participatory singing. This will be a refreshing break for those tired of the traditional lecture format.
Resources for Attendees:
• Geoff’s website: http://geoffkaufman.com/
• Geoff singing “Old Fid”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShkCUbFNDgs
• Geoff singing “Johnson Girls”: http://geoffkaufman.com/freemp3s/Geoff_Kaufman-Johnson_Girls.mp3
About the Speaker:
Geoff Kaufman, unique in his knowledge and performance skills, is the musical historian of the Mystic Seaport Museum. He has organized, and been featured in, musical festivals around the country. He has also performed and taught at colleges, schools, libraries, sailing ships, and coffee houses. Whether it is work ballads, folk songs, sea shanties, or hymns of struggle, Geoff’s music is both inspiring and informative. He has a special place in his heart for the environmental movement, as he teaches us to value and preserve the Chesapeake.
Questions for further reflection and discussion:
1. In our technologically-based world, does it still matter what place we live in, with its unique ecology and history?
2. How can we better awaken to the natural world, and do our part to preserve it?
3. What is unique about going to college not just in Baltimore, with its urban challenges, but in the wider Chesapeake Region?
4. What is the place of music in our personal and communal lives? Is music still tied to place anymore, telling stories of particular regions?