Sherman has been an environmental activist
through his music since 1987, when he wrote and
started performing: "January's June" -- a song
about the greenhouse effect,
"Butterfly Blue" -- a song about endangered species,
"Cougar Run" -- a song advocating Mountain Lion protection from trophy hunting, and
"Earthdance" -- a song honoring the Earth Mother and the circularity of natural systems.
In 1988, these songs were published on Jon's first cassette, "Phoenix" and included again, with different arrangements, in his second cassette, "Earthdance", published in 1989. Below is the J-card insert for "Earthdance" showing the song titles, publishing date, and Jon's musical intent:
"The compositions on this tape are an expression of the love and concern I feel for the Earth Mother and our fellow creatures struggling for their survival. It is my hope that these songs will help to nurture a more balanced relationship between the Earth and Man."
Performing his song "January's June" motivated Jon to "walk his talk" and in 1991 he and his brother Mike built a portable solar generator to power his sound system. Jon has been pioneering the use of solar for sound systems ever since, sharing it with many environmental events over the years. On April 20th, 1991, Jon brought his solar powered sound system (through his production company Dreamtime Productions) along with the portable stage he had built at Descanso Gardens, over to the Arroyo Seco Earth Festival in Pasadena, CA. That concert was publicly promoted as "The First Ever Solar Powered Concert". Here is the mailer for that event:
Below is a 1991 article from Roland Users Group magazine
about Jon's pioneering use of solar to power his keyboards and sound system.
"Sherman's solar powered musical innovation is truly on the cutting edge
of ecologically conscious adaptations that will become increasingly necessary
if we hope to safeguard our fragile planet into the next century."
In 2006 Jon brought his solar sound system (and flutes) to the steps of
Los Angeles City Hall for Earth Day LA's "Rally to Stop Global Warming".
May 23-24, 2006, Jon brought out his solar sound system to help Save the South Central Farm in Los Angeles.
Pictured are his solar generator under the big walnut tree there. And Julia Butterfly
tree sitting in that walnut tree, speaking through Jon's solar powered microphone.
Julia Butterfly Hill speaking through Jon Sherman's
solar powered microphone.
Jon playing under the oaks at Descanso Gardens
(on the wooden stage he built there)
for the release of his CD "Under The Oaks".
When Sabine Kurz contacted Jon in 2014 about making a branch flute for her they recognized in each other a mutual love and concern for their natural community and have since merged their kindred spirits, talents and lives together through their marriage and musical partnership.
At Cabrillo Marine Aquarium's Earth Day Celebration:
For the past 15 years, Jon has shared his solar powered sound system with
the Native American Celebration of Protection and Preservation at Panhe.
In March of 2018, Jon and Sabine provided their solar powered sound system
for the People's Climate March that occurred in Oceanside, CA.
After 35 years, Jon is still singing his song about the greenhouse effect,
now woven into the Dryad show written and performed with
his beautiful and talented wife, Sabine.
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