Hali Hammer is an award winning singer-songwriter who is experienced at playing in varied styles and settings. Aside from writing and performing her own music, she is a founding member of Occupella, which plays at political rallies and causes, is the bass player and a vocalist in Jump-In (which performs “folk & oldies” – don’t say it too fast) and is with The ReSisters (a trio performing political parodies). The Hali Hammer Band perform Hali’s originals as well as those of Randy Berge (lead guitar) and Paul Herzoff – a harmonica player and songwriter with a sharp sense of humor and an instinctive style. .
Hali joined her first band in 1968 while she attended Queens College in NY, and went on to play both with other musicians and as a solo act from then on. She was a member of Citizens to Save Minnewaska in upstate New York, and had the inspiration for and helped produce the compilation album “Save the Mountain” in 1981 which aided in funding the legal fight. The property is now Minnewaska Lake State Park.
Moving to the Bay Area from her native New York she joined Freedom Song Network in 1985 and was a member of the chorus that sang onstage behind Nelson Mandela at the Oakland Coliseum. Her song Bottom of the Ninth was aired on KNBR-San Francisco preceding the first game of the 1989 Bay Bridge World Series. She became active in the San Francisco Folk Music Club (she is currently the Vice President) and was the coordinator of the 2003 Berkeley Free Folk Festival. Hali created and produced Sing Out for Earth Day, a video montage of 33 groups across the nation singing This Land Is Your Land on April 22, 2012, in the same key (D) and at the same time (noon Pacific, 1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern). It debuted at a screening in SF that July 14th on the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birthday, and is on You Tube. Hali is on the Save the Berkeley Post Office Committee, and has produced two videos in conjunction with the East Bay Media Center to help the cause (they can be found on YouTube listed as “Mr. Postman, Our Post Office Is Not for Sale“, and “Our Post Office It Shall Not Be Moved!“) She worked with Country Joe McDonald, organizing a Protest Music Festival which was held at the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship for several years. She has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women.
Her musical partner, Randy Berge, accompanies her on lead guitar, was an “instrumental” part of the new CD, and also writes his own material. Aside from Eclectic Circus, her latest CD, Hali has three other CDs: I Refuse To Believe, Gypsy-O, and The Best of Hali Hammer.