This month’s While Rome Burns has a dual purpose: First, we want to welcome and support the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, a wonderful group working on issues close to our hearts. Second, we want to pay our respects to one of Portland’s most unique and loving musicians. A year after his passing, Jaime Leopold’s fine band, The Short Stories, will take the stage to play a set of Jaime’s one-of-a-kind songs, one more time.
We hope you’ll consider joining us and help us to support an amazing organization, and to remember Jaime at this anniversary.
The Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice is a a vibrant and growing community of diverse faith communities, faith leaders, and individuals, led by love and committed to advancing immigrant justice. Founded in 2006, IMIrJ is in relationship to over 140 congregations throughout the state of Oregon.
IMIrJ accompanies and equips communities and people of faith to advance immigrant justice through:
Advocacy: IMIrJ advances policies and laws that defend and uphold the rights of immigrants and refugees at local, state and national levels.
Action: Through prophetic action and public witness, IMIrJ amplifies the voices and priorities of immigrant and refugee communities.
Accompaniment: IMIrJ accompanies immigrants facing detention and deportation, providing direct accompaniment to ICE check-ins and courthouse appearances, writing letters of support, and providing physical sanctuary.
Learn more at imirj.org
The Shorter Stories
Many will remember Jaime Leopold as the bass-playing powerhouse in the original Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, and for the last several years of his life Jaime had been working the local scene, plying his unique songs and natural raconteur tendencies to win friends, followers and admirers in the Portland music scene. Just a year and a month ago, Jaime made his last public appearance on our stage. True to form, he chose to spend his time playing a couple of his newest songs.
This time around, Jaime’s band, The Short Stories, will perform a selection of favorites from Jaime’s “book”. Jennifer Smieja, Jaime’s longtime singing partner, will be handling Jaime’s vocals, and the rest of the band will be reprised, including Aaron Lowe (harmonica) J. Michael Kearsey (bass), Fred Ingram (drums) and Clark Salisbury (guitar).
Jaime’s songs are inspired by his early years in the Haight-Ashbury as a part of the youth culture of the day, where he hung out with many legends of those times–Allen Ginsburg, Neal Cassady, Jerry Garcia, to name a few. Jaime, totting his upright bass from his hometown of Portland to San Francisco, played in The Orkustra, a psychedelic electrified orchestra, before becoming the original and longtime bass player for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. His approach to art and life was strongly influenced by those freewheeling times.
If you want to read about some of Jaime’s Haight-Ashbury adventures click here: http://jaimeleopold.com/scribblings/
“Americana folk, embellished with a touch of country, then seasoned with a slice of blues-tinged longing. This is music that breathes life.”
– Tom Franks, Folk Words (UK)
“An album of literary slice-of-life gems.”
– Steve Murray, Oregon Music News
“I love these songs.”
– Fiona Apple
“The man’s a poet”
– Dan Hicks