Prison Music Project
THE PRISON MUSIC PROJECT
Coming June 5, 2020
In 2010, folk-singer and songwriter Zoe Boekbinder (they/them) visited New Folsom Prison for the first time. What they thought would be one interesting day turned into a decade-long collaborative project. Boekbinder visited the prison often over the next five years; performing and teaching music workshops quickly turned into the beginnings of collaborations with writers and musicians who were incarcerated within New Folsom's walls. This was the seed for the Prison Music Project and the culminating album, Long Time Gone, produced by Ani DiFranco. Releasing June 5, 2020 (Righteous Babe Records), the album features work by nine incarcerated (and formerly incarcerated) writers. The profits of Long Time Gone will benefit communities impacted by mass incarceration and the funds will be administered by the Southern Center for Human Rights.
About Zoe Boekbinder
Nomadic at heart and a creator at their core, Zoe Boekbinder (they/them) was born on a farm into a family of four children. While music wasn't very present in their upbringing, Boekbinder recalls some of their first memories as making up songs. For them, music is as natural and as necessary as breath, and the way they engage as an activist. Boekbinder was raised, in part, by their grandfather — a Holocaust survivor. Having survived the horrific, prejudiced violence of his past, he instilled in Boekbinder a deep belief in justice, equality, and anti-racism. Songwriting has become their resistance language, a way to lift up the voices and stories of people who are marginalized by capitalism.
Using their music as a platform to bring light to stories and voices otherwise unheard, lost or forgotten, Boekbinder continues their empowering work from their hometown in New Orleans, LA, performing both as a solo artist and in collaborations with artists including Ani DiFranco, Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, Neil Gaiman, Mal Blum, and Mirah.