The Pasadena Folk Music Society needs your help to survive!

We need your help to enable the Pasadena Folk Music Society to survive.  Please don’t assume that someone else is going to do this.  At this point, we just don’t know who will answer the call.  We do have a show lined up for the end of October which we will announce later this week (it will be a fine show with a group we’ve had before), but without help, it will be our last one and we want to focus here on a solution for how to keep the series alive. And it isn’t about money.

Here’s the problem:  We need to expand our Board of Directors.  Two of our 4 Board members are stepping down soon, and there is a legal requirement that we must maintain  4 officers, so we need to be fully staffed with a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  We’ve known for years that we needed to recruit some new Board members, but we got away with the four we had (with increasing strain,) until now as we’re facing certain turnover.  We did manage to add one new Board member last month, someone who has been helping us for decades, behind the scenes.  We need 3 new members, and now, we turn to you for help!

The COVID pandemic has placed hardship on every aspect of our society, and for the Pasadena Folk Music Society, the inability to present ongoing concerts has been very frustrating, as it has been for all music venues.  The Pasadena Folk Music Society has been run by a Board of 4 very dedicated people since we were incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2012, with 3 or 4 other volunteers doing other tasks on the night of the show.

Our origins go back to 1982/83, when Caltech student, Brian Toby started a folk venue called the Caltech Folk Music Society as a student organization.  He actually pulled off creating an “inland McCabe’s,” (the legendary folk music haven in Santa Monica.)   He did the lion’s share of the work, realized he was going to be graduating, and he wanted the Society to continue after he left.  He called a meeting (long before Zoom) and asked people who had come to shows to attend and perhaps step up and commit to a job or two.  A couple dozen men and women (most of them from off-campus), who loved the shows did attend the meeting, some committed to jobs, and the series has continued into the present day, the last 37 years.

There were bumps in the road in those transition days, but the Society survived and thrived.  Now, in 2022, our best hope is a similar spirit and public response to keep live acoustic music going in Pasadena.  We’re very proud of the shows and performers we’ve presented over the years, and we could easily go on and on about the excellent musicians and shows we have brought to Pasadena, but we won’t take your time with that now. .

We need to get a good response from our audience to survive.  If you want to get involved, please respond  by Oct. 15.  We must move quickly, and we plan to set up a Zoom meeting shortly after that date to answer questions and get an idea of who might be able to help.  If you think you can help, please click on this link to learn more and to find out just what is involved.  You can respond by sending an email to [email protected], giving us your name, phone number and email address, or from the link on the information page.  It would be great if you can tell us just a bit about your skills and experience.  If you cannot make the Zoom meeting, but are interested in applying, we’ll get in touch with you.  After the meeting, if you are interested in helping, we’ll likely send a brief questionnaire that allows you to introduce yourself so that we know a bit more about you.  Then, we’ll have an informal interview, probably on Zoom.  Thank you for considering getting involved!

Again, please click here for more information

Th continuation of the four-show series of live streamed concerts by 50th-year folkster John McCutcheon will continue Oct. 16, with an all-request show, enriched by McCutcheon’s telling the stories behind the songs. You can request a song  two different ways: in the chat on the show watch page once you’ve purchased a ticket or send it via the Contact section of

The third show in the series will be Nov. 13, and debut several songs co-written with Tom (Last Thing on My Mind) Paxton in the past two years and showcase one that’s already been released to worldwide acclaim: Ukrainian Now. The series finale, on Dec. 11, will be “Winter Solstice: A Holiday Concert with John McCutcheon”.

All online concerts are on Sundays starting at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Ticket-holders get links for watching the shows live and also for replay any time in the 48 hours afterwards. The replay option is handy if 4 p.m. is inconvenient, or you want to enjoy a show a second time, or with pauses to catch the wonderful lyrics better.

For tickets, use the drop-down menu at this link. The regular single-concert ticket price is $20, plus $4.60 in fees. The bundled ticket for the remaining three shows is $50, plus $11.50 in fees. Lower single-ticket prices are available for students and unemployed people. Other options include “family/household” and “music supporter” tickets.

A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Pasadena Folk Music Society, and help cover costs of future in-person concerts.  We are partnering with John for this series as we did for some well-received online shows last spring.  From those live streams, we know we can expect smooth audio-visual logistics and an enjoyable show, almost as if sitting in McCutcheon’s living room with him.

Not familiar with John’s music? Check out The Ride, one of 18 songs on his new album.  It starts the album on a theme about taking risks, matching the exclaimed “Leap!” imperative of the album title. All 18 songs were written during the COVID pandemic. John says, “These are not songs about the pandemic. They are songs because of the pandemic.”

Other Opportunities

While awaiting the return of in-person events with the Pasadena Folk Music Society, please support live music at the Coffee Gallery Backstage and other Los Angeles area locations. bandsintown is a concert discovery website searchable by location, type of music, artist, date, and many other criteria. Follow this link for the October folk music listings.

The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena continues to add shows through October 14th to its calendar of in-person concerts.

Other Streaming Options

BBC Radio has a wide range of Folk, Roots and Acoustic music.  This link will take you to an overview of current programs available for 30 days up to a year or more.