Grammy-Winning Folk Icon Judy Collins Comes to The Suffolk - 27 East

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Grammy-Winning Folk Icon Judy Collins Comes to The Suffolk

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Judy Collins. BRAD TRENT

Judy Collins. BRAD TRENT

authorStaff Writer on Jun 17, 2024

The Suffolk presents Grammy-winning folk icon Judy Collins on Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m.

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. Collins’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-10 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.”

Collins began her impressive music career at age 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 35 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. Since the 1960s, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.

Judy Collins, now 77, 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.

Tickets range from $89 to $129 and are available online along with more information at thesuffolk.org. The Suffolk is at 118 East Main Street, Riverhead.

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