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Holly Near

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Holly Near (born June 6, 1949 in Ukiah, California) is an American singer-songwriter, teacher and social change activist. During her long career in folk and protest music, Holly Near has worked with a wide array of musicians, including Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Meg (Shambhavi) Christian, Cris Williamson, Linda Tillery, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, and many others, as well as the Chilean exile group, Inti-Illimani.

Holly Near is a unique combination of entertainer, teacher and activist. An immense vocal talent, Near’s career as a singer has been profoundly defined by an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality.

Holly was born to parents from the states of North Dakota and New York. They were political activists, ranchers, and supporters of culture in the rural community of Ukiah, California. Although Holly sang publicly from the time she was eight years old, her professional career began in her early twenties when she worked as an actress in film and television. She also appeared in Hair on Broadway. Eventually music returned to become her major focus, especially that music which articulated the social conditions of the world community.

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