John Pietaro

Picture of John Pietaro

John Pietaro

John Pietaro is a writer, musician, cultural organizer and publicist from Brooklyn NY. His essays, reviews and fiction have appeared in Z, the Nation, CounterPunch, the NYC Jazz Record, Political Affairs, the People's World, AllABoutJazz, Struggle, and many other publications as well as his own blog The Cultural Worker ( ). He wrote a chapter in the Harvey Pekar/Paul Buhle book SDS: A GRAPHIC HISTORY (Hill & Wang 2008) and self-published a book of proletarian short stories, NIGHT PEOPLE & OTHER TALES OF WORKING NEW YORK (2013). He is currently working on both a definitive history of revolutionary culture and a novel. As a musician performing on the free jazz and new music scene in NYC, Pietaro--a vibraphonist/percussionist--regularly works with Ras Moshe, Karl Berger, Harmolodic Monk, the Red Microphone, the 12 Houses and others. Over the years he has performed with Alan Ginsberg, Fred Ho, Amina Baraka, Roy Campbell, Will Connell, Steve Dalachinsky and many more. Pietaro is the founder and organizer of the annual Dissident Arts Festival and has established many other concerts connected to progressive and radical topics in both NYC and the Hudson Valley area of New York. In 2014 he created New Masses Media Relations, a publicity service for creative artists on the Left and in the underground.

The song “Strange Fruit” lives on as legendary poetry and music that makes perhaps the strongest argument against race hatred of any artwork. Though it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday, the piece’s relevance calls for it to be renewed and relived, over the course of generations and, likewise, struggles.

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