Ray Korona is an American musician, who writes folk and folk rock songs about working, the environment, peace and social justice issues along with songs on the more traditional themes of love and friendship. A founding member of the Travelling Musician's Union, Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians. Korona's songs vary from the satirical and topical to ballads, chorus and story songs. Due to the subject matter of many of these songs, they are often referenced in studies of political and economic issues and used in support of various public causes by their advocates as discussed here.
A number of Korona's songs addressing such diverse subjects as homelessness, downsizing, gay rights and health care policies are included in the directory of some 3,000 songs identified for use in classrooms for teaching purposes maintained by the nonprofit corporation, M.U.S.I.C. In the United States, Teachers' Curriculum Institute has published the lyrics to Korona's "Globalization Blues" song in a classroom text which includes a disc with a recording of the song to promote academic discussions on the subject of globalization. This same song has likewise been published for classroom use in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Another song, "Where Do We Go From Here?" sparked a New York Magazine cover story reporting on the impact of the housing crisis' on the New York City artist community.
Other songs by Korona have been utilized in advocating causes rather than in fostering learning. His health care rights song, "Send Me An Ambulance" was featured on National Public Radio and performed at major Jobs With Justice rallies for national health care reform. "We Will Have Dignity," a song against child labor, has been published around the world in many languages by the UN's International Labor Organization to lend support to its work on this issue.
The Ray Korona Band:
Korona performs both solo and with a unique collective of musical organizers, The Ray Korona Band. The Band is a core group of musicians--Ivice (harmonies & dulcimers), Barry Kornhauser (bass, cello & mandola), Sharon Abreu (harmonies & fiddle), Ellen Davidson (harmonies & piano) & Gina Tlamsa (harmonies, flute, fiddle, mandolin & bouzouki) that works with a wide variety of players who bring racial, cultural and musical diversity to its work. Occasionally, guest musicians like John McCutcheon, Barry Mitterhoff and Perry Robinson sit in with the group and Korona often performs in concert with Pete Seeger. The names of those who have shared the stage with him suggest the orientation of his activist views and musical style, such as Patti Smith, Harry Belafonte, Tom Paxton, Anne Feeney, Richie Havens, Judy Gorman, Leon Rosselson, Suni Paz, Pat Humphries, Lucy Kaplansky, Gary US Bonds. Since many of Korona's songs are topical, he has also shared stages with noted speakers, such as Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Greg Palast, and Jim Hightower. Korona was a regular at the Cornelia Street Cafe's Monday night songwriter workshop in the 1980s.