(FALLS VILLAGE, Conn.) – Critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Dan Bern leads a two-day songwriting workshop for songwriters of all levels of experience and ability at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center on Wednesday and Thursday, August 17-18, 2011. The workshop is suitable for everyone from veterans who have already recorded several CDs to novices interested in working on their first song. The ability to play a musical instrument is not required, but helpful.
Bern performs at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday, August 19.
Often compared to and obviously influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello, Dan Bern is best known for his prolific songwriting and electric live persona. He has released a dozen albums while spending well over a decade performing everywhere from coffee shops to Carnegie Hall.
Since releasing his first album in 1997, Bern has built a strong underground following based on prodigious touring and output of songs in all forms. Since 2007, Bern has focused much of his talent and sharp wit on writing songs for movies and other projects. He composed over a dozen songs for the Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow spoof-biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and wrote the title song for Jonathan Demme’s documentary, Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains.
Bern also composed songs that are included in the Judd Apatow film Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. He has also contributed original songs for the off-Broadway production Family Week, directed by Jonathan Demme, including a duet with Emmylou Harris.
The child of Holocaust survivors and the brother of a cantor, Bern is one of the most outspoken Jewish artists qua Jew. His work often deals with his Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, as in such songs as “Lithuania.” For a period of time, Bern performed under the single name, Bernstein, a tribute to this ancestry; on a trip to Lithuania, he learned it was his family’s name before immigration to the United States.
Many of his tours and recordings between 1997 and 2003 featured a regular cast of backup musicians which he began calling the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy or IJBC. New American Language, The Swastika EP, Fleeting Days and My Country II were all released under the “Dan Bern & the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy” name.
Call 800.398.2630 x4 to register for Dan Bern’s songwriting workshop.
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
116 Johnson Road
Falls Village, Conn.