RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello will be among this year's recipients of the Spirit Of John Brown Freedom Award. The award will be presented May 14 at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, located just outside the village of Lake Placid in New York state's Adirondack Mountains. Also set to be honored are choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher and visual artist Karen Davidson Seward.
The Spirit Of John Brown Freedom Award honors women and men whose work invokes the passion and conviction of the 19th-century abolitionist and celebrates leaders and innovators in civil and human rights whose courage, creativity, and commitment are models for others to follow. Established in 2016, the award is given annually at John Brown Day.
"John Brown was not only anti-slavery, he was not only an abolitionist, but he was a true egalitarian," said Martha Swan, executive director of John Brown Lives! "So the spirit of John Brown, that commitment to justice, that commitment to equality and the egalitarian community is something that we really try to lift up with the Spirit Of John Brown Freedom Award."
John Brown Day events at the Historic Site are free and open to the public. They will be followed by a fundraising reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at Smoke Signals restaurant in Lake Placid. Tickets are $100 per person or $160 for two people.
Morello is a founding member and guitarist of the rock bands RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and AUDIOSLAVE. The two bands are responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. Morello has also received critical acclaim as a solo artist known as THE NIGHTWATCHMAN. Widely celebrated for his unique voice as a master electric guitarist, he is recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time (#26)." He was also one of only two guitarists featured as a playable animated character in the overwhelmingly popular Activision video game "Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock".
Tom graduated from Harvard University with honors as a political science major and has been a widely recognized political activist throughout his career. With SYSTEM OF A DOWN's Serj Tankian, Morello formed Axis Of Justice, an organization whose purpose is to bring together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.
Photo credit: Eitan Miskevich