Showcasing not only Paul Simon’s most durable contributions to pop music, the evening will explore his impact, particularly his influential recognition of world music.
One of the defining musicians of his generation, rhymin’ Simon recently began performing his own Big Gig, performing hits from as early as his Simon & Garfunkel days through his solo records from 1972 to present. Clearly retirement was already on his mind.
Expect the same, minus Paul Simon himself, as area musicians pay tribute to one of the most innovative, mature and literate singer-songwriters of his era. His early music spoke to the concerns and uncertainties of a generation, and later focused on the personal rather than the larger world, but he also vastly expanded his musical palette, and helped introduce many rock and pop fans to world music.
Returning regulars include Sheldon and Kathleen Sands, Erik Bernstein, Beth Gabow, Kevin Dooley, Susan Berman, Michelle Wolf, Leland Rucker and Gil Asakawa. On the list of invited guests: Faye Nepon, Eve Ilsen, and Rabbi Joe Black. Community musicians interested in participating may contact Sheldon Sands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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READ THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY SIMON EXPLAINING HIS REASONS FOR LEAVING THE ROAD:
“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end,” the 76-year-old singer/songwriter said in a statement on his website. “Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.
“I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. Sadly, we lost our lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years, Vincent N’guini, who died last December. His loss is not the only reason I’ve decided to stop touring, but it is a contributing factor. Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing. I’d like to leave with a big Thank You to the many folks around the world who’ve come out to watch me play over the last 50 years.
“Once again, I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”
Simon’s philanthropic work includes the co-founding of the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), which donates and staffs 53 mobile medical units that bring health care to low-income children and their families in urban and rural locations around the United States. Since its inception in 1987, CHF has provided more than 3 million doctor/patient visits.
Simon has released 13 solo albums and five as a member of Simon & Garfunkel; he is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist and bandmember. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has won 16 Grammy Awards.