With Zachary Stevenson on board for Woodstock Wednesdays, April 7, 7pm/CDT, we’re in for a special event! On April 7, the Woodstock Folk Festival commemorates the 45th Anniversary of Phil Ochs’ passing (April 9) AND celebrates Sonny Ochs’ birthday.
For Zach’s Woodstock Wednesdays concert, he will sing Phil Ochs’ Changes, There But For Fortune, Power and the Glory, I Ain’t Marching Any More, and When I’m Gone. You’ll hear which of Phil Ochs’ songs galvanized Zach’s admiration and adoration.
Want to explore more Phil Ochs’ music and learn more about his life and legacy? Then read on. We’ll point you to resources.
Performers greatly appreciate your support! Visit their websites, shop in their online stores, donate.
You’ll find Zachary Stevenson at https://zacharystevenson.com/ where you can buy tickets, book Zachary, or become a Patron. Check out his online store, https://zacharystevenson.com/store. Zachary has proudly raised over $10,000 for MSF (Doctors Without Borders) through CD sales. Want to take guitar lessons? Then go to Live Virtual Guitar Lessons with Zach to learn.
Zachary Stevenson: Featured Woodstock Wednesdays Performer
Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, Zachary was coined a “dead ringer for dead singers” by the Victoria Times Colonist for his portrayals of Phil Ochs, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams and roles based on Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. Then in 2018, Zachary won the Jeff Award in Chicago for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Musical) for the Buddy Holly Story. That’s a role he’s honed in more than a dozen productions across Canada and the United States. Other acting highlights include Hair, Urinetown, Assassins, and Company. Zach is currently writing a new one-man show based on the life of Phil Ochs entitled Louder Than the Guns.
“I’m so glad to hear that you’re having Zach. He does a remarkable tribute to Phil. Sounds so much like him that it freaked out Tom Paxton – whom I happened to be standing next to at the time. He turned to me and said, ‘That’s Phil!’” ~ Greg Greenway
“Zachary Stevenson… is the epitome of effortless cool with a gorgeous voice and a star-quality stage presence. ” ~ Mark Robbins, Vancouver Presents
How Zachary deepened his connection to Phil Ochs
Zach mostly played and sang Phil Ochs songs after college. One day someone advised him to get in touch with Sonny Ochs, Phil’s sister. After meeting with Sonny in her home, a lasting friendship began and blossomed. Sonny shared Phil’s recordings, writings, and his FBI file with Zach. Through Phil Ochs Song Nights, her radio show, and other activities, Sonny kept Phil’s music and legacy alive. Over the years, she nurtured many young performers and introduced them to songs about social justice.
Zachary said this about Sonny Ochs . . .
“Sonny is generous, honest, loyal and easy to be around. She is a champion of any musician who wants to use their voice for change, always making me feel welcome and supported. Like instant family. Through her, I’ve met many marvelous musicians that share the spirit of Phil Ochs: John Flynn, Pat Humphries, Greg Greenway, Sonia (Disappear Fear), Reggie Harris, and Carolyn Hester just to name a few. Sonny has had an impact on me that will last my lifetime. And I’m grateful to know her and call her a friend.” ~ Zachary Stevenson
What Reggie Harris says about Sonny Ochs
“Sonny Ochs has been a deeply connective force for good in my life and in the folk music community with her passionate support of artists, her advocacy for the music of her brother Phil, and her selfless and generous spirit for music of social change. Her tireless efforts to host Phil Ochs Song Nights have spread the importance of topical songs around the world, and she has contributed volumes of information through her radio shows and through interviews. Sonny has also been at the forefront of encouraging young writers to focus their efforts on songs that address issues that our world needs to hear. I have been very fortunate to know her as collaborator, concert promoter and friend.
She is the reason that I came to know Phil’s music which has changed both my writing and incited my passion for songs of social change. It’s clear that Phil was one of our most passionate and iconic writers of that. And it’s striking that many of the issues that he addressed are still part of our present world conflict. I am one among many who owe a great thank you to Sonny for bringing that music into my ears and my heart.” ~ Reggie Harris
What Greg Greenway says about Sonny Ochs
“When I first got to know Sonny, it was through Phil Ochs Song Nights. My managers hornswoggled her into including me. At that point, it was clear that Sonny would go far and wide to present a Phil night. She personalized each evening with a reading of a newspaper article, or simply things she remembered. Our gauge has been that if we do our job properly, Sonny will have tears in her eyes after “When I’m Gone.” Her loyalty and admiration for Phil the singer/song-writer is inexhaustible, but as I have come to know her, her love for a brother, both brilliant and troubled, is for me the deeper story. I try to never forget that for us, we are celebrating the work of a prolific and important artist, but for Sonny it is a family story, full of resplendent moments and times of heartbreak. She is giving us a gift with her generosity and openness. I have come to know that Sonny has helped so many in Folk music, me included, in so many different ways. That you are having Zach perform couldn’t be more perfect.
Singing in a Phil Ochs Song Night will make it clear how Phil’s relevancy hasn’t waned. The words to so many of his songs could have been written today. (Phil was one of the first Folk singers to write about race.) He wanted to be in the vanguard, where the action was. And to this day, people all across the country show up, and celebrate every word with us. It is a powerful and fitting tribute.” ~ Greg Greenway
Thank you, Sonny!
The Woodstock Folk Festival wishes Sonny Ochs a Happy Birthday!
Learn more about Phil Ochs – here are some resources
- Sonny Ochs Official Website On Sonny’s website you will find many links, including the link to the celebration of Phil’s 80th birthday with a special Phil Ochs song night. You can also search for Celebrating Phil Ochs 80th Birthday With a Special Phil Ochs Song Night at the Woodie Guthrie Center.
- Washington Post,Why Phil Ochs is the obscure ’60s folk singer America needs in 2017 and why Lady Gaga should sing one of his songs at the Super Bowl. In this interview, the writer spoke with Zachary Stevenson, the featured performer of this tribute to Phil Ochs.
- Washington Post,‘Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune’ to debut on PBS
- “A Turbulent Time Birthed a Turbulent Talent, The Life And Music Of Phil Ochs Continues To Resonate Today” by Dan Robinson, Wisconsin Public Radio (NPR)
- The Allen Ginsberg Project, Remembering Phil Ochs, April 9, 2019
While you’re on the Woodstock Folk Festival website . . .
How about receiving email updates each Monday from us? Just Subscribe in the right column of any page of the Festival site (woodstockfolkfestival.org).
Want to encourage our Annual Woodstock Folk Festival and music online? Great! Then press the Donate Button above the email subscription form.
Love folk music? The Woodstock Folk Festival brings you quality folk music and storytelling through the year.
Enjoy the music of Phil Ochs admiringly performed by Zachary Stevenson!
Views expressed by performers and others who appear at Woodstock Festival events or on the website are solely the views of these individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Festival or its Board members.