CBC Radio interview about Prison Music Project

An interview with Zoe Boekbinder talking about the Prison Music Project aired on CBC’s “As It Happens” on March 3, 2015. Here is a teaser but follow the link at the bottom to hear the whole interview:

Boekbinder got the idea to make an album of songs and poetry written by inmates about five years ago, when she agreed to perform in New Folsom as part of the institution’s art program. She describes the experience of performing there for the first time to As it Happens host Carol Off:

“I played three concerts…by myself, solo. The first concert was around nine in the morning — way earlier than any concert I’ve ever played in my life.” It was in the law library of C-Yard, which houses the prison’s general population. Boekbinder played for about 30 men, who she said listened quietly and attentively.

Stream the interview HERE

Mother Jones features the Prison Music Project

The Prison Music Project was featured on Mother Jones.

These California Maximum-Security Prisoners Are Making an Album

Inmates at California’s New Folsom prison are slowly creating a sequel of sorts to Johnny Cash’s hit record, and if an early preview of one song is any indication, their mix of folk, soul, blues, and hip-hop may be worth the wait.

The Prison Music Project, the brainchild of Canada-born singer-songwriter Zoe Boekbinder, is a collaboration between artists on the outside and at least eight men currently or recently doing time at New Folsom, the maximum-security facility adjacent to the lockup where Cash recorded Live at Folsom Prison back in January 1968.

Read the full interview HERE


Ellen Fondiler interviews Zoe

Zoe was interviewed by Ellen Fondiler for her UNLOCKED blog. Excerpt from the interview:

Some of the most important stories come from people currently behind bars. The fact that people that are suffering that much can still make art is beyond inspiring to me. I want to amplify their voices.

I don’t want their work — and their stories — to go unheard.

I have other motivations for doing this work, too.

For starters: there are studies that show that art and music programs in prisons lower the incidence of violence within the prison as well as significantly lower the recidivism rates for those involved in such programs. This benefits everyone: the prison, the incarcerated people, and the society that these people will eventually re-enter.

Music can provide an outlet, it is humanizing.

I believe that music can help to stop the cycle of incarceration.

Click to read the full interview.