Opera House presents a Grammy-winning folk icon | News, Sports, Jobs


The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center features Grammy-winning folk music icon Tom Paxton, as well as Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Don Henry and Jon Vezner in concert Saturday.

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

Grammy-winning lifetime achievement Paxton will appear with Grammy-winning duo The DonJuans – singer-songwriters Don Henry and Jon Vezner. The three started writing and performing together, and within days they knew they were onto something special. Now they’ve taken that special something 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 given thousands of concerts around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Scotland , Ireland and Canada. That fans still appreciate his work is a testament to the quality of his recent output and the enduring power of modern standards such as “The last thing that comes to mind” “Rambolin Boy” “Bottle of wine,” “Who owned this garden?” “Go to the zoo and”The wonderful toy.

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

Paxton’s place in folk music is secured not only by successes and awards, but also 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 moving songs of social protest and sweet love songs, each woven with his personal gift for language. Its melodies haunt, its words resonate. I have sung Tom’s songs for three decades and will continue to do so because they are beautiful and timeless, and meant for all ages.

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

Collectively the songs of Paxton, Henry and Vezner have been covered by acclaimed artists such 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, BJ Thomas, Blake Shelton, Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan… just to name a few!

Tickets are $20, $18 (Opera members) and $10 (students) and can be purchased in person at the Opera box office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 4:30 p.m. can be purchased anytime online at www.fredopera.org.

The Folk in Fredonia musical series is sponsored by the Gilman family. Additionally, this Tom Paxton engagement is funded by Mid Atlantic Arts’ Mid Atlantic Tours program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center is a member-supported non-profit performing arts center. For a full calendar of events, visit www.fredopera.org.

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