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Please join us to Celebrate the Life and Times of John Sinclair

This Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m.

Please join us to Celebrate the Life and Times of John Sinclair

Detroit Tonight Live Celebrates the Life & Times of John Sinclair

ML Liebler & The Magic Poetry Band, Bill Harris, Ed Sanders, Peter Werbe, Robin Eichele , Melba Joyce Boyd, Ra Rishikavi Raghudas, Mark James Andrews, Sunfrog aka Andrew Smith

Jun. 13 | 7PM

ML Liebler & The Magic Poetry Band

Bill Harris

Ed Sanders

Peter Werbe

Robin Eichele 

Melba Joyce Boyd

Ra Rishikavi Raghudas

Mark James Andrews

Sunfrog aka Andrew Smith

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John Sinclair Is Free

A Celebration of Life, Poetry, Music and Film May 17, 2024. Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center 6621 St. Claude, Ave., Arabi, LA.

Thanks to James Reuter / Bearcat Cafe, Renee Broussard, Dennis Formento, Carlo Ditta, Bill Lynn, Jerry Brock and the family and friends including Penny, Celia, Sonny, Beyoncé and Leni Sinclair.

Photo Credits – Leni Sinclair, Pat Jolly, Lynn Abbott and others with all rights reserved by photographer. The John Sinclair Foundation

Friday, May 17 @ 7:00 pm


A tribute in poetry, music and film

Free admission

John Sinclair, poet, activist, concert & record producer, bandleader and scholar of the blues.  A celebration in words and music for the poet, bandleader, & performer, record and concert producer who passed away in Detroit on April 2, 2024.   

Poets:  Valentine Pierce, Megan Burns, Timeless***, Bill Lavender, Chuck Perkins, Dennis Formento, David Kunian of WWOZ, etc.

Music by Carlo Ditta and band; Second line with the Treme Brass Band

Video selections from John’s career in New Orleans curated by Rene Broussard

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Memorial Service Program

Tuesday April 9, 2024: 1:00pm to 5:00pm (EDT)  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar

Downtown Library: 1st Floor Lobby

At the request of John Sinclair’s family and friends, the live stream of his funeral will be available for public viewing.
These details were provided by the family:
The venue for the funeral in Downtown Detroit has a very limited capacity. When that capacity is reached, the doors will be locked. John’s family has no control over the doors, and they are very concerned that people will be locked out. They want everybody who knew and loved John to be able to observe his memorial service. Therefore, there will also be a live stream of the memorial on facebook at this link:

The event in the Lobby of the Downtown Library will be a public viewing of the feed from this Facebook page.
For more information about John Sinclair, the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, and the Ann Arbor Sun, visit AADL’s project Freeing John Sinclair.
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Memorial For John Sinclair

To be streamed live by Richard Blondy @

13.00 Hours (Easter Daylight Time) Tuesday 9th April.

“The Hardest Working Poet in Show Business”

“Look on each act as future history”
— John Sinclair

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John Sinclair 1941 – 2024

Big Chief has left the building
let the love flow

Instead, this Saturday’s 53rd annual Hash Bash will partially be a de-facto remembrance event for Sinclair. Event coordinator Jamie Lowell said there was already a portion of the Bash earmarked to pay homage to other legalization activists who have recently died, including Rick Thompson, Brad Lemke, Gersh Avery and Rhory Gould. Several politicians and cannabis activists, including John’s ex-wife, photographer Leni Sinclair, are scheduled to speak Saturday.

“You got to/live it not just/say it or/play it that’s what this is/all/about,” Sinclair wrote in a 1965 poem.
Upon the dissolution of the White Panther Party in 1971, Sinclair formed and chaired the Rainbow People’s Party, which embraced Marxism-Leninism and promoted the revolutionary struggle for a “communal, classless, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and anti-sexist … culture of liberation.”
Sinclair proudly and aggressively fought for progressive policies as part of the burgeoning “New Left” movement.
“In those times, we considered ourselves revolutionaries,” he said in 2013. “We wanted equal distribution of wealth. We didn’t want 1 percent of the rich running everything. Of course, we lost.”
Sinclair often kept a toehold in the world of music, managing for a time Mitch Ryder and perhaps most notably MC5, a Detroit-based quintet known for “Kick Out the Jams” and as a hard-rocking forerunner to the punk movement.

“He’s an incredibly persuasive and charismatic person,” Kramer told Rolling Stone. “He’s this great big cat and he’s got all this energy, you know, and he just turns it on you. There is something to John’s father-figure effect on the group. I had just left home, and here was this older cat who could explain all these things that I didn’t understand about the world. And he did have a strong effect on everyone else, philosophically strong spiritual attitudes that he instilled in us.”

John was my mentor in the 70s self-determination music,” says Detroit musician and label operator RJ Spangler, whose Planet D Nonet collaborated with Sinclair on the Viper Madness album in 2008. “John really turned us onto New Orleans music and culture; we had grand times together in the Big Easy. It will not be the same without him.”

Gross — who like many in Sinclair’s circles refers to him as “The Chief” — adds that, “If you could hang out with the guy, it was incredible. To experience his love for jazz and what he could teach you in an hour was amazing.” And, Gross notes, “He never for one second veered of his path of pushing back against The Man. John stood up for the downtrodden, as cliché as that might sound. He would champion black culture and blues and jazz music, and anybody who seemed oppressed, John was in their corner.”

John Lennon read “The Entrapment of John Sinclair,” and decided to do something about Sinclair’s very very unjust sentence, “Ten Years for Two Joints.”–Ed Sanders, The Entrapment of John Sinclair.

Long before social media’s instant impact, Sinclair helped spawn the pointedly politicized alternative newspaper movement as a fast fount of information about the “underground,” as the counterculture was termed at the time, with Detroit publications such as Fifth Estate (which still exists), the Ann Arbor Sun, the Detroit Artists Workshop Press and its offshoot Work Magazine. Later in life, he worked as a spoken-word performer and recording artist with an eye toward what he called “jazz poetry,” recording more than 30 albums with different band names, including the Blues Scholars which included his longtime friend Wayne Kramer, the MC5 guitarist and cofounder who passed away in February this year.

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Episode 1036 is coming once again from Radio Free Amsterdam headquarters at 55 Peterboro Street in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, where I’m thinking about my dear friend, guitarist/singer/composer/bandleader Walter “Wolfman” Washington, who passed away in New Orleans last December following his 77th birthday on Christmas Eve, and his comrade, drummer and bandmate Russell Batiste Jr., who joined the Wolf in the afterlife just this fall at the age of 56. They played in a trio with organist Joe Krown in New Orleans for many years and made several recordings together, of which we’ll feature today the album called Soul Understanding from 2013. This all-star trio played together at the Maple leaf Bar every Sunday night for quite a period of time, worked at the d.b.a. club and Tipitina’s, and traveled extensively during its prime. One of my fondest memories is when Wolfman told me one day that he hadn’t slept much the night before because he was so excited about playing with these guys the next night. Now that’s the kind of music I like!

The John Sinclair Foundation Presents



Cass Corridor, Detroit, November 9, 2023 [23749]

Yusef Lateef: Happyology

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Trio’s Anthem

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Lone Ranger

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Soul Understanding

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Never Ever Let You Go

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Jamir’s Jam

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Another Day in the Life

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Lovely Day

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Simply Milani

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Nothing Left to Be Desired

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Livin’ Large

Walter “Wolfman” Washington-Joe Krown-Russell Batiste Jr.: Amy


Hosted by John Sinclair for Radio Free Amsterdam

Produced, edited & assembled by John Sinclair

Executive Producer: Steve “Fly” Pratt

© 2023 The John Sinclair Foundation