Bonnie Lockhart


Bonnie Lockhart is a Northern California singer/songwriter who combines a love of diverse folk traditions, a gift for lyrics both witty and compassionate, and an active commitment to participatory, community-building music. She is a performer, composer, educator, and activist who believes in the transformative power of music in the lives of both individuals and communities.
Bonnie’s first recording, made more than thirty years ago with the anti-war folk rock quartet, The Red Star Singers, is still available through Smithsonian Folkways. Shortly after working as singer and songwriter with the Red Star Singers, Bonnie played piano, sang, and wrote for The Berkeley Women’s Music Collective, a four piece folk rock ensemble. Women’s music pioneers, The Music Collective’s tours and recordings helped blaze a trail for women eager for artistic freedom in their music and control of its production. 
In the 1980’s Bonnie pursued  her love of jazz, founding the combo Swingshift as pianist and vocalist. With  appearances from the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada to an International Jazz Festival in Managua, Nicaragua, this eclectic group performed and recorded standards by Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, as well as their own jazz-influenced originals. During this period, Bonnie also played agogo and tambourine (Brazilian hand percussion) and served as assistant musical director for the forty-piece Sistah Boom, an all-woman Afro-Brazilian percussion group.
Awarded grants from the California Arts Council, The Wolf Trap Institute, and the Oakland Civic Arts Commission, Bonnie began working as musician-in-residence in schools and libraries during the 1990’s. Fascinated by the children’s curiosity and imagination, and moved by the power of music in their lives, Bonnie became a student of child development. She received her masters degree from Pacific Oaks College, where she wrote a thesis on  multicultural folk music in anti-bias education.
Bonnie continues to compose, perform, record, and tour.  Her original songs have appeared in Sing Out! magazine, Rise up Singing, Here’s to the Women, and Holt Rinehart elementary music texts. Among the artists who have recorded her music are Adam Miller, Gary Lapow, Betsy Rose, Sarah Pirtle, Robin Flower, Charlie King, and Lisa Atkinson.
Harvesting  the melodies, rhythms, and harmonies from her involvement with jazz and many folk traditions, Bonnie has created Songs & Music Games from Around the World, her ever-changing show for children. For over thirty years, Bonnie has been giving concerts for children and families at schools, libraries, festivals and community centers.
In addition to performing and recording, Bonnie teaches music for young children in teacher education programs at San Francisco and Hayward State Universities. She is a former president of The Children’s Music Network and served as musical editor of their journal, Pass It On!  
Dreams, Drums, & Green Thumbs, Bonnie’s solo recording, was named Audio of the Week by School Library Journal, which praised “Lockhart’s beautiful composition, poetic imagery, and delightful sense of humor.”  Dreams, Drums, & Green Thumbs is an affirmation of Bonnie’s commitment to young children, to the diverse folk traditions that enliven her music, and to the power of communal, participatory music making.

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