Barbara Dane Documentary Film

The Arhoolie Foundation is proud to sponsor the production of the new documentary film The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane on the life and music of Barbara Dane.

Donate to the Barbara Dane Film.

Filmmakers Maureen Gosling and Jed Riffe have joined forces with Nina Menéndez (Director of the Barbara Dane Legacy Project) to produce and release the feature-length documentary, The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane.

In The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane, American history gets a high-energy shakeup in the story of a blues/jazz/folk singer, activist, feminist, record producer, and committed troublemaker. Dane’s nine-decade journey shreds existing narratives around 1940s communism, 1950s white femininity, the 1960s folk scene, the 1970s GI Anti-War movement, and the 1980s Iran-Contra affair. Her unbending principles guide her through notoriety and obscurity into music legend.

Still going strong in her early 90s, Dane’s dynamic contemporary life offers a jumping off point to recount how she turned many setbacks into opportunities and provides deep inspiration for generations of musicians and activists.

The Chambers Brothers, Pablo Menéndez, Bonnie Raitt, Jane Fonda, Gary Giddens (jazz critic),
Estela Bravo (Cuban filmmaker), as well as archival footage and music of Jessie Fuller, Louis
Armstrong, Pete Seeger, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Tammy Hall and much more.

  • Director/Editor – Maureen Gosling (This Ain’t No Mouse Music!, Burden of Dreams)
  • Producer – Jed Riffe (Ishi, The Last Yahi, Pleistocene Park)
  • Executive Producer – Nina Menéndez (Tropicola); daughter of Barbara Dane
  • Cinematographer – Ashley James
  • Graphic Design & Animation – Sianey Montes de Oca

Your donation will help us pay for the music rights so we can launch the film into the world this fall. Thank you!

Donate to the Barbara Dane Film.9

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.