"Charlie is patient with children and takes the time to listen to them share their connections with the music and tell their own stories. He allows students to see themselves as entertainers by showing and sharing the gift of music with others by using their voice and heart." -- Mr. Terrones, St. Anthony Park Elementary School
Charlie is completely self-taught on guitar and various other folk instruments. He grew up in New York and at the age of 13 started his guitar “lessons” when he purchased a how-to book in a drugstore. After college, he was mentored by Pete Seeger, Lee Hays (“If I had a Hammer”) and Don McLean, who taught him that being a songwriter and musician was not only rewarding, but absolutely possible.
He met Garrison Keillor in 1974 and performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” for nine years. Other rewarding and exciting experiences followed: Centennial Troubadour for Minnesota State Parks; the Singing Ranger for the National Park Service; and appearances on “Good Morning America,” “All Things Considered,” and “As It Happens,” to say nothing of awards ranging from a Bush Fellowship to the New York Film and Television Festival.
Charlie has been honored with multiple grants and awards, including a Bush Artist Fellowship and the New York Film and Television Festival Gold Award. He has been named a “Humanities Scholar” by the Minnesota Humanities Commission. He is also an adjunct professor of Language Arts at Hamline University in Saint Paul, teaching a songwriting course. He has been a writer for the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) and for All Things Considered and Options in Education, both on National Public Radio.
Learn more about Charlie in his January 2016 Artist Spotlight Interview.
Once the topic of the class songwriting activity is chosen, Charlie works with every student to write the new song as a group. Charlie has written over 900 songs with children as part of the COMPAS residency program. Once the topic for the class songwriting activity is chosen, Charlie works with every student to write the new song as a group. When the song is finished (usually in 2-3 class visits) Charlie then helps the class arrange and perform the song on the last day of the residency. Everyone can contribute a word or phrase, and they can bring in instruments to play along on the song from home. Every kind of participation that enhances the song is welcome. It is truly amazing and wonderful to see the song grow and take shape, and to see each and every student having a part in it. What makes Charlie’s approach so special is that he understands what each child is going through as they work hard for just the right word or phrase. He celebrates their creative efforts, and captures exactly what they want to say and project in the writing and performance of their new work.
Lasting memories are created for each student after just a week with Charlie. He has received many messages from former students (who are now adults) thanking him for his time with them. Many, if not all of these messages include the fact that these former students can still remember and sing the lyrics to the song they wrote even after 25 or more years.
"What My Eyes Have Seen" includes the creation of a totally original song (words & music) and the creation of individual works of visual art. Performer/composer Charlie Maguire has worked with seniors, adult day care, and adult memory loss centers since 1976. The Wilder Foundation, Courage Center, and innumerable nursing home and assisted living situations throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois have counted on Charlie’s songs and stories—with guitar, jaw harp and spoons—to bring joy, enrichment and comfort to their clients.
Charlie’s proposed project is in two parts. The first part is the creation of a totally original song (words & music) based on the contributions of the group. The second part is the creation of individual works of art in the form of cardboard eyeglasses (which are colored and then worn) based on what each person wants the world to see about themselves. Photographs are taken of each work being worn, with interesting and exciting results for client and staff members alike. Some photographs are later worked into a montage by Charlie which is suitable for display after the residency is over.
Note: Materials and mileage costs may also apply.
This presentation will include some of Woody Guthrie’s best-loved songs, and also some of his best least-known material! Supplemented with short readings from Woody’s own prose works, audiences will find a new appreciation for the great American balladeer. Inspiration to countless folk musicians, From Oklahoma, Woody Guthrie was a songwriter, poet, graphic artist, novelist, adventurer, and raconteur, his days forged by the highways, and the people and places that he saw.
One of Charlie’s mentors was Woody’s wife Marjorie M. Guthrie, and he was also schooled by mentor and songwriting partner to Guthrie, Lee Hays. Performed as a one-person show, “Hard Traveling” features Charlie Maguire on guitar, jaw harp, harmonica, and spoons. Minneapolis Star-Tribune music critic Jon Bream says of Maguire’s Guthrie lore; “Unless Bob Dylan were to crash the party, you could not find a more apropos Minnesota musician to celebrate Woody Guthrie”.
*Running time: Approximately 75 minutes, BUT we can customize this show just for you!
*An album featuring Charlie Maguire singing Woody Guthrie entitled “Woody Reflected” is available from WagMag Music.
An excellent companion piece to the Woody Guthrie performance! Small, cheap and easily carried, the jaw harp, also known as the “Jew’s Harp,” or, by its ancient name, the “trump,” has been played for centuries and is known throughout the world. Some cultures use the jaw harp to dance, others to entertain, still others in courtship and dating! Through the application of three simple steps, up to 25 students become proficient in 45 minutes and will also learn two songs to entertain their family and friends. The presentation ends with an informal group concert that never fails to gain an audience!
Note: Jaw harps are required and are available for a nominal fee.
ASL interpreters and translators can be requested for COMPAS-led events with two weeks advance notice.
To make arrangements or for further help, please call 651.292.3209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.