Songs of Labor & Love

The St. John’s Center for Labor and Employment Law proudly presents two free concerts on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 featuring Hugh Blumenfeld

 “SONGS OF LABOR AND LOVE” – Celebrating the Centennial of the birth of Woody Guthrie

On: Friday, October 5, 7:45 p.m., Maryhouse Catholic Worker, 55 East 3rd Street, New York City &  Saturday, October 6, 8 p.m., 101 Murray Street, St. John’s Manhattan Campus Auditorium (doors open 6:30 p.m.; Music begins at 8 p.m.) (Please RSVP to Paula Edwards 718-990-6653;

Here’s a sample of Blumenfeld’s music to get you ready to rock…

Hugh Blumenfeld, Ph.D., M.D. is a great friend of St. John’s, first performing at St. John’s on November 13, 1997 to open for New Zealand Trade Federation President Maxine Gay, and on both November 21, 1998 and October 28, 2003 with Richard Shindell.

Blumenfeld is a singer-songwriter who came out of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1980s.  For nearly two decades he performed at top folk clubs and festivals across the U.S. as well as several tours abroad in Europe and Israel. Through the 1990s, Hugh released four critically acclaimed albums on Prime CD, an independent New York label. His most recent CD, Dad, came out on the respected Waterbug label earlier this year.

While in New York, Blumenfeld contributed many songs and articles to the Fast Folk Musical Magazine (now part of the Smithsonian/Folkways collection). He also had songs and articles published in Broadside and Sing Out! Magazines.  His work, which has always born the mark of his literary studies (M.A. University of Chicago; Ph.D. in Poetics from NYU), took on an increasingly political bent, with long-time DJ Ed McKeon calling him “as sharp a political and social satirist as any songwriter writing today.” He found himself at venues like the People’s Voice Café, the Catholic Worker and the tiny but mighty Curbstone Press. He also played to large academic gatherings like the annual conference of the NY State Labor/Religion Coalition in 1997 and St. John’s University’s Labor Law Conferences in 1997, 1998, and, most recently, March 18, 2011,  opening for keynote speaker AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. In October 2003, he spoke and sang on a panel with Hugh Masekela at the 4th annual UNESCO Conference on Human Rights hosted by the University of Connecticut. Over the years, he has opened for Arlo Guthrie and Richie Havens, and performed with Ani DiFranco and poet Martín Espada.

The Connecticut Commission on the Arts named Blumenfeld Connecticut’s official State Troubadour for 1999 and 2000, earning him a spot at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage concert series.

Over the years Blumenfeld found increasing satisfaction from performing for children and adults with illnesses and disabilities. He worked at camps for children with cancer and was a frequent performer at camps, group homes and benefit concerts for the regional Department of Mental Retardation. But it was conducting research on singing to premature babies at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and a stint with Hartford Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Department that finally led him to become a doctor.  He finished both his M.D. and residency training at the University Of Connecticut School of Medicine and became board certified as a Family doctor in 2010.  He currently practices in Hartford, where his interests are patient education and improving access to health care in the nation’s second poorest city.

The St. John’s Center for Labor and Employment Law thanks our friends and co-sponsors, Professor Sam Estreicher and the N.Y.U School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, Vice President Jeff Zaino and the American Arbitration Association, and Jane Sammon and colleagues at the Catholic Worker. Special thanks to the Center’s Honorary Chairman, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of  New York.

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