Web site: http://www.davidlamotte.com
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For eighteen years David LaMotte didn't have a ‘real job’ or a real haircut. In that time he was on the road as a singer/songwriter, recording 10 albums and performing over 2000 shows in 47 states and on four continents, and developing a large following around the world.
His music has been described by the Washington Times as "...guitar spanking open-tuning grooves as well as gentle folk-tinged pop.” They continue, “His lyrics range from insightful image-driven stories to equally insightful humor."
David is also the author of a successful children's book, the S.S. Bathtub, based on his award-winning song of the same name.
LaMotte's music has been honored with numerous awards and grants as well as artist sponsorships from Taylor Guitars and John Pearse Strings. His song Dark and Deep was included on Songs Inspired By Literature, Chapter One, a benefit CD to raise money for adult literacy. Other artists on that CD include Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann and Suzanne Vega.
In 2004, while on his honeymoon in Guatemala, LaMotte and his wife Deanna conceived a plan to raise money at David's concert for a school there that was badly in need of funds. Schools in Guatemala, it turned out, are basically unfunded by the government except the teachers' salaries. Money to build the buildings, pay the power bill, etc. must be raised from the families of students. Even textbooks are unfunded, which is why many Guatemalan schools operate entirely without them.
Their plan grew into PEG Partners (www.pegpartners.org), a non-profit organization to work with schools and libraries in Guatemala. PEG is an all-volunteer organization and puts every penny of donations toward projects in Guatemala rather than administration, unless donors specify that a portion of their gift may be used to help with plane tickets and printing, which make up the bulk of administrative expenses for PEG.
PEG declines to seek large grants from corporations and foundations, preferring to emphasize the efficacy of small efforts and small donations. In spite of that orientation, they had raised over $75,000 by the end of 2008, working with nine schools and three libraries and having an impact on thousands of Guatemalan children. Most of that money was collected at David's concerts.
Among the projects funded by PEG is the construction of an elementary school in Tzanchaj, near Santiago, Atitlán. At the conclusion of the building project, the school leaders surprised LaMotte by naming the school after him.
LaMotte’s social consciousness is also evident in his work with at-risk high school students, and because of his strong commitment to peacemaking he has traveled internationally for many years promoting intercultural understanding through music, taking in Bosnia, Belfast and Bethlehem on the way.
David has presented keynotes and classes at schools, churches and conferences and served as faculty at writing workshops such as Augusta State University’s Sand Hills Writers Conference and the Swannanoa Gathering, as well as the Auckland Folk Festival in New Zealand and the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. His keynotes have included the National General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA and a peace rally in Berlin.
LaMotte has won numerous songwriting awards, but the awards he’s been proudest of recently have to do with other passions: humanitarian work and peacemaking. As a result of his work with schools in Guatemala, he was recently nominated as a “Hero of Humanity” in the Heifer Project’s magazine World Ark and a “Madison World Changer” by his alma mater, James Madison University.
The largest honor, though, is that he has been named a 2008 Rotary World Peace Fellow by Rotary International, one of only sixty worldwide. Because of that he has suspended his musical career at its peak, and has relocated to Brisbane, Australia to pursue a Masters of International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution.