Musician, actor, author, publisher, and jack-of-all-trades Marshall Crenshaw launches Twenty Summers’ third season with an intimate acoustic solo performance. In a career now spanning four decades, Crenshaw has reached the Billboard Top 40 and been nominated for a Golden Globe Award. As a stage and film actor, he has portrayed other musicians, ranging from Buddy Holly to John Lennon. Since 2011, Crenshaw has served as the host of WFUV’s radio show “Bottomless Pit,” and he is a contributor to Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger’s HBO series “Vinyl.”
Patty Larkin redefines the boundaries of folk-urban pop music with her inventive guitar wizardry and uncompromising vocals and lyrics. Acoustic Guitar hails her “soundscape experiments” while Rolling Stone praises her “evocative and sonic shading.” She has been described as “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly) and a “drop-dead brilliant” performer (Performing Songwriter).
When Ariel, Sarah, and Rose Parkington of the Parkington Sisters pick up their instruments to strike up a song, the air begins to buzz. The chemistry between the three sisters is so present you feel like you can touch it. Hailing from Wellfleet, Massachusetts, the Parkington Sisters cut their teeth on music from the very beginning. Daughters of a prog rock musician and a classically trained guitarist and songwriter, they were raised playing music on picturesque Cape Cod.
An evening of classical music and readings about nautical wanderlust. The musical performance by L’Académie chamber orchestra featured dramatic pieces by Henry Purcell, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Marin Marais, and others. Literary excerpts, ranging from Homer to Robert Browning, were read by National Book Award–winning authors M. T. Anderson and Julia Glass.
Kaki King, named by Rolling Stone in 2006 as one of The New Guitar Gods and hailed as “a genre unto herself,” is a true iconoclast, a visionary musician/artist whose singular work rightly stands out among the easily formatted. Over her decade-long career thus far, the Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer has recorded five extraordinarily diverse and distinctive LPs, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats; contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks (from Golden Globe–nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild to the score of the acclaimed 2007 drama August Rush); and played to ever-growing audiences on innumerable world tours. Beginning with 2002′s Everybody Loves You — to date, her only fully acoustic guitar recording — King has expanded and reconceived the role of the solo instrumental artist, constantly kicking at the boundaries of what’s expected.
Sarah McKenzie is an Australian jazz vocalist and pianist whose album Close Your Eyes won Best Jazz Album at the 2012 ARIA Awards (the Australian Grammys). She has performed throughout Australia and Europe and with the Boston Pops. At Twenty Summers, she showcased material from her new album, produced by Brian Bacchus (who also produces Norah Jones).
“Rich and Strange: A Celebration of the Sea in Music and Words” featured The Broken Consort and The Arneis Quartet performing musical compositions that span two thousand years. Writers M.T. Anderson, Joshua Prager, and Julia Glass read excerpts from immortal works about the sea, from Ovid to Henry Beston. Sponsored by Gregory Maguire; produced by M.T. Anderson; broadcast by NPR.
Jennifer Knapp was at the height of her career when she did what most would consider unthinkable: she took a seven-year hiatus, looking to reclaim a part of herself that felt lost in her success. But that period of soul-searching made her songwriting more honest than ever. After her highly anticipated return Letting Go, she has solidified a loyal fan base through remarkably accessible songwriting that bridges genres. Her transition from Contemporary Christian Music to mainstream folk rock has made her a lightning rod for controversy, but her unique ability to speak gracefully to music lovers from all walks of life fills a void in the unlikely intersection between the faith and LGBT communities. Today we find Jennifer experiencing a personal renaissance with a much broader platform than ever before: recording a new album and becoming one of the foremost advocates for LGBT people of faith. She showcases her new material at Twenty Summers.