Opera House presents Grammy-winning folk icon

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center presents Grammy winner and folk music icon Tom Paxton, along with Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Don Henry and Jon Vezner in concert on Saturday.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center presents Grammy winner and folk music icon Tom Paxton in concert on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Folk in Fredonia Music Series.

Lifetime Achievement Grammy winner Paxton will appear with the Grammy-winning duo, The DonJuans – singer songwriters Don Henry and Jon Vezner. The three began writing and playing together and, within days of doing so, knew they were on to something special. Now, they’ve taken that something special on the road! The concert will begin with Vezner moderating a brief conversation and Q&A session between the trio and the audience.

Paxton is one of the great songwriters of his generation. He has performed thousands of concerts around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. That fans still enjoy his work is a testament to the quality of his recent output, and to the enduring power of modern standards like “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Ramblin’ Boy,” “Bottle of Wine,” “Whose Garden Was This?,” “Goin’ to the Zoo and “The Marvelous Toy.”

He received a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for “Comedians and Angels,” in 2006 for “Live in the U.K.,” in 2003 for his CD Looking for the Moon, and in 2002 for his children’s CD Your Shoes, My Shoes. He also has received lifetime achievement awards from ASCAP and from the BBC in London.

Paxton’s place in folk music is secured not just by hit records and awards, but by the admiration of three generations of fellow musicians.

“Tom Paxton’s songs are so powerful and lyrical, written from the heart,” says singer Judy Collins. “He writes stirring songs of social protest and gentle songs of love, each woven together with his personal gift for language. His melodies haunt, his lyrics reverberate. I have sung Tom’s songs for three decades and will go on doing so, for they are beautiful and timeless, and meant for every age.”

In 1990, Vezner and Henry received the Grammy “Song of the Year” award for co-writing Kathy Mattea’s critically acclaimed hit, “Where’ve You Been.” The same accolade from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International culminated in “Where’ve You Been” becoming the first song ever to be so honored by all four organizations. In the nearly 25 years since “Where’ve You Been,” Vezner and Henry have performed in venues from The Bottom Line in New York City to The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and shared the stage with such notable artists as Joey Ramone, John Hartford, Michael Johnson and David Crosby. As a duo, The DonJuans bring an impressive array of songs, experience and gifted musicianship.

Collectively, Paxton’s, Henry’s and Vezner’s songs have been covered by such acclaimed recording artists as: Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Miranda Lambert, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Faith Hill, B.J. Thomas, Blake Shelton, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Bob Dylan … just to name a few!

Tickets are $20, $18 (Opera House Members) and $10 (Students), and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4:30 p.m. They also may be purchased anytime online at www.fredopera.org.

The Folk in Fredonia Music Series is sponsored by The Gilman Family. In addition, this engagement of Tom Paxton is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.


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