I was introduced to Jessie Kilguss a number of years back when I was writing a story about local Brooklyn songwriters with a country twang. We were strangers then, but I interviewed her and we connected over work she was doing with an organization called Musicambia. The organization brought music to incarcerated people in the hope of helping them define themselves as something far more positive than 'prisoners'. We had coffee a number of times before I figured how to get involved. I threw Musicambia a party, and their alumni from their program at Sing Sing came to my home to perform. It was incredibly moving. We raised money but also, crucially, we raised awareness that these formerly incarcerated people were far more than the crimes they committed. They were beautiful humans, beautiful musicians. I sat down the other day in my kitchen with the founder of Musicambia, Nathan Schram, and with Jessie, soon to be its executive director, and learned more about their important mission and their gala coming up May 16th at the Cutting Room!