The Glee Club organisation- owners of fine venues in Nottingham, Cardiff and our fair city of Birmingham- have long been renowned for their high-quality programming and presentations of several of the world’s finest comedians and musicians. And now, it finally looks as if they’ve excelled themselves in a manner hitherto undreamed of- as they prepare to bring the one and only JUDY COLLINS to their Birmingham stage on the 29th January 2019.
Yes, THE Judy Collins: alongside Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Dobson, one of the last remaining classic female voices of the folk-protest generation of the early-mid 60s, and at 76, still one of the most socially and politically active today. The voice of an angel, wrapped up in the persona of an inspirational, motivational pioneer woman: a writer, singer and interpreter beyond compare. And now she’s coming to the Glee, performing a special selection of her own hits and her favourite songs by a chosen inspiration, Stephen Sondheim. If you miss this, you’re an extremely silly person indeed…
Tickets are available from the promoters (www.glasswerk.co.uk) or the venue directly (https://www.glee.co.uk/performer/judy-collins/) as well as Ticketweb, SeeTickets, Ents24 and all the usual suspects. Prices start at £25.00 plus £1.50 booking fee (from the venue) but may be more depending on the individual website. The Glee Club is located at The Arcadian, 70 Hurst Street, Birmingham B5 4TD: for telephone enquiries, please call 0871 472 0400.
In the meantime, please find below the official biography for the artist (as supplied by her press agency) and an interview concerning what she’s up to today.
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 50-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 hardluck 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.
On September 18, 2015, Judy will release her first studio album in four years, Strangers Again. She invited a cast of icons and young talents to sing with her on this fresh collection, from Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne and Jeff Bridges to Glen Hansard, Ari Hest and Bhi Bhiman. Judy delicately soars over a revitalized “Send In The Clowns” and breathes new life into “Hallelujah.” She puts her indelible touch on songs by Leonard Bernstein, Randy Newman, James Taylor and more.
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 it’s 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 has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace. For her most recent title, the memoir Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music, she reaches deeply inside and, with unflinching candor, recalls her turbulent childhood, extraordinary rise to fame, her romance with Stephen Stills, her epic victories over depression and alcoholism, and her redemption through embracing a healthy and stable lifestyle and finding true love with Louis Nelson, her partner of 30 years. 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, now 76, 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 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.
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Q: How did your newest song, Dreamers, come about and can you elaborate on the inspiration?
JC: I didn’t understand what I had at first, and then I was in Seattle in February and my husband said to me, ‘You know, you should really sing that song.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s not ready. I’m playing it on the piano and I’m trying.’ He said, ‘Just sing it a cappella. Just sing it. You need it. We all need it.’ So that’s what I did, and the results speak for themselves. All of us are immigrants who have come here to escape fascism, religious persecution, crime, dictatorships and in the case of many, starvation. We have been the haven for democracy through our history. Now a tide of hatred, prejudice, name calling and cruelty has infiltrated our nation. The Dreamers and the people seeking asylum in our country have become the canaries in our mine. We must remember who we are and save our democracy.
See DREAMERS video here
Q: You and Stephen Stills share such an amazing history, and have been on tour for the past two years with almost 150 shows under your belt. Are you having a good time out on the road?
JC: We’re having a fabulous time, and he [Stephen] says that it’s the happiest he’s been in a partnership. and we’re both so happy doing it. The band we have with us is so wonderful, and our crew. There’s no reason to stop now. And, you have no idea how much fun it is to be on stage together.
See HOUSES video here
Q: Your collaborative album with Ari Hest, Silver Skies Blue, was nominated for a Grammy in 2017. How did you and Ari connect, and what was it like to receive a nomination after 50 years?
JC: Being nominated for a Grammy was a healthy injection into my career, because then the larger music family notices you and talks about you to promoters, who then get you jobs. But, I discovered Ari Hest about four or five years ago and loved his voice. I’ve never found anyone else I could sing with so comfortably. Writing the songs together for that album was a natural progression. After we worked together on Strangers, Ari and I met up for lunch, and he said he thought we should try to write together. And I said, “Fantastic.” It was very unpressured. We had no thoughts about where it would lead. We just did it for the love of it. He lives in New Jersey, and he would come across the river, so to speak, and we would work in my studio. We’d have lunch, talk about our various friends and families, and then we’d go in and sit around for an hour or two with songs. That allowed me to dig into my writing in a different kind of way.
See STRANGERS AGAIN video here
Q: How are you able to stay so prolific when it comes to music and writing?
JC: I’m always making resolutions about my career, and two years ago, I decided to start a “90 in 90” project, which meant I wrote a new song every day for 90 days. Just to keep the wheels oiled. But then [it was suggested] that I do it for the whole year — that way I’d have a book of poetry/songs by the end of the year. So that’s what I did in 2016.
Q: Your latest book, “Cravings” details your struggles with addictions? How do you think this book will help people who are struggling.
“Cravings” explores my addictions and how I really worked through them and overcame them. I really wrote the book so that I could help people understand there is a solution and they don’t have to go through all the years of struggle that I went through. We are addicted to sugar, grains, flour, wheat and junk, and they will increase the chance of bulimia, obesity and anorexia. Those (foods) contain alcohol and they set up a craving and a compulsion to have more. I don’t have any cravings now, and for years that was the problem.
See CRAVINGS link here