JUNE 2 • 7:30PMBuy Tickets
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DOORS 6:30PM • SHOWTIME 7:30PM
Arlo Guthrie has been known to generations as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor and activist. Born in Coney Island, New York in 1947, Arlo is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, and America’s most beloved singer/writer/ philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie. Arlo has become an iconic figure in folk music in his own right with a distinguished and varied career spanning over fifty years.
Growing up Guthrie, Arlo was surrounded by such renowned artists as Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott to name only a few. Not surprisingly, Arlo drew from these influences and he in turn became a delineative artist bridging generations of folk. He and Pete Seeger created a legendary collaboration that was sustained for over forty years. The last Pete & Arlo show was in November 30, 2013 at Carnegie Hall, only a few months before Pete passed away at the age of 94.
In 1965 a teenaged Guthrie performed a “friendly gesture” that proved to be fateful. Arlo was arrested for littering, leading him to be deemed “not moral enough to join the army.” Guthrie attained international attention at age 19 by recounting the true events on the album Alice’s Restaurant in 1967. The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, an 18 minute and 20 second partially sung comic monologue opposing the war and the backward reasoning of authority, has become an anti-establishment anthem and an essential part of Thanksgiving on rock stations receiving worldwide airplay. Alice’s Restaurant achieved platinum status and was made into a movie in 1969, in which Arlo played himself, by the esteemed director Arthur Penn. 1969 also brought Arlo to the rock festival of the ages – Woodstock. His appearance showcased Arlo’s chart-topping Coming Into Los Angeles, which was included on the multi-platinum Woodstock soundtrack and movie.
Beginning the seventies with a number of albums for Warner Bros., Guthrie helped set the standard for the singer-songwriter genre burgeoning at the time. Perhaps the best known is Hobo’s Lullaby (1972) featuring a diverse body of work. Most notable is the definitive version of Steve Goodman’s The City of New Orleans that was a hit on all major charts. Another critically acclaimed album that charted on Billboard was Amigo (1976), which includes Massachusetts, honored in 1981 as the official State Folk Song.
Taking complete creative control, Arlo left the major record label system in 1983 to fulfill his career as a truly independent artist, and established Rising Son Records, one of the first indie labels in existence. Rising Son is still in active operation serving as his record and production company. To date Rising Son Records has released over twenty titles of Arlo’s, both all new material and re-mastered versions of his classic records including the Grammy nominated Woody’s 20 Grow Big Songs (1991) featuring Arlo and his family, and In Times Like These (2007), recorded with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary (2016), a 2 CD set, captures the magic of that historic tour at one of Arlo’s hometown stops at The Colonial Theatre in The Berkshires. The Anniversary show was broadcast nationwide on PBS on Thanksgiving 2015. Released the same year, Arlo Guthrie: The First 50 Years (Exceptin’ Alice) is a limited edition 2 CD set with a full-color hardcover book of personal photographs and reminiscences. The Best Of All Over The World (2016), Guthrie’s latest offering, is a 2 CD set of his best-loved songs, plus an additional track of Arlo with The Guthrie Family.
In addition to his musical career, Guthrie is an accomplished actor with numerous television appearances. Arlo has had recurring roles in two major network television series (The Byrds of Paradise and Relativity), and feature films, the aforementioned Alice’s Restaurant and Roadside Prophets (1992). Arlo is the author of four children’s books and a distinguished photographer, showing his works in selected galleries.
Inspired by his parents’ activism, Arlo bought the old Trinity Church (“the” church) that is now home to The Guthrie Center and The Guthrie Foundation. Named for his parents, The Guthrie Center is a not-for-profit interfaith church foundation dedicated to providing a wide range of local and international services. The Guthrie Foundation is a separate not-for-profit educational organization that addresses issues such as the environment, health care, cultural preservation and educational exchange. In 2009 Arlo was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for making a difference through social action on behalf of worthwhile causes and demonstrating exceptional efforts in humanitarianism.
Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 55-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century.
The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, won “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.
Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hard luck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business.
In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five-year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.
Prolific as ever, Judy recorded a DVD special Judy Collins: A Love Letter To Stephen Sondheim, in her hometown of Denver, CO. Along with the Greely Philharmonic Orchestra, Judy dazzled the audience with Sondheim’s beautiful songs and her lovely, radiant voice. DVD and CD companion will be released in early 2017. Judy also released a collaborative album in June 2016, Silver Skies Blue, with writing partner, Ari Hest. Silver Skies Blue has been GRAMMY nominated for BEST FOLK ALBUM in 2017, this is the first GRAMMY nomination for Collins in over 40 years.
In 2012, she released the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art which aired on PBS. This special television program was nominated for a New York Emmy and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. Based on its success, in 2014 she filmed another spectacular show in Ireland at Dromoland Castle. Live In Ireland was released in 2014. This program also won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards and the program will broadcast on PBS in 2014 and 2015.
Judy’s most recent collaboration with her as a singer-songwriter is the 2019 album Winter Stories, including critically-acclaimed Norwegian folk artist Jonas Fjeld, and masterful bluegrass band Chatham County Line. Winter Stories, is a collection of classics, new tunes, and a few surprises, featuring spirited lead vocal turns, breathtaking duets, and Judy’s stunning harmony singing.
Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy’s genuine desire to share what she’s learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.
In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy’s classical piano teacher when she was young.
Judy Collins is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern-day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.
Presented by Count Basie Center for the Arts