Club Passim has been a hub for folk musicians in the center of Harvard Square since the 1950s — providing a community for artists like the Kweskin Jug Band, The Staple Singers, Joan Baez, Chris Smither and more — ushered in by folk music promoter and club manager Betsy Siggins.
Joan Baez and Betsy Siggins joined Boston Public Radio on Thursday to talk about Club Passim, and the role of activism in their music and community.
"It was like we were all drawn into the center of Harvard Square," said Siggins. "It was like a birthday every day. You had no idea who was going to come through the door, who you were going to end up being friends with."
Club Passim, formerly known as Club 47, was where Baez gave her first performance in 1958.
"It's an incredible magnet for music and community and the younger singer-songwriters have made it what it is now. And they've taken the old lessons and they've brought them into their own environment," said Baez.
What are those old lessons? Siggins picked up right where Baez left off: "That there is a family in music, it can support you, you can do more than you think you can do as a musician, and as a protester."
On Nov. 14, Joan Baez will present Betsy Siggins with Club Passim's lifetime achievement award at 8 p.m., at Club Passim's60th Anniversary concertat the Shubert Theater.