Charles Neville (photo by Jeff Kravitz)
(HOUSATONIC, Mass.) – Charles Neville and the New England Neville Brothers, featuring his sons Khalif and Talyn, will bring the sounds of New Orleans to the Guthrie Center on Friday, July 7, at 8pm. Grammy Award-winning folk artist Tom Chapin performs on Saturday, July 8, at 8pm.
The Neville Brothers (as opposed to The New England Neville Brothers) began their journey in 1976 when several of them played for a Margi Gras Indian group led by a family member, and this led to the Neville Brothers’ debut album getting released by Capitol Records in 1978. Since then, the group has released 10 studio albums and five live albums.
Charles Neville has a diverse musical background, using the saxophone to play R&B, blues, funk, jazz, bebop, and other forms of music. His influences include Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Professor Longhair, and Neville channels them into a unique sound of his own, paying homage to artistry and Eastern philosophy on recent albums.
The New England Neville Brothers take this tradition and run with it. Keyboardist Khalif Neville spent his early years in New Orleans, taking in the culture and sounds, and then moved to Western Massachusetts in order to study music with his father. He is an ambassador of the New Orleans sound as a pianist, composer, and lyricist. His trio, Khalif Neville and Co., blends classic New Orleans sounds with funk, hip-hop, and R&B styles. He has also performed with Greg Keorner, Gent Treadly, Avery Sharpe, and others.
Talyn Neville was born in western Massachusetts and attends the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School. He started playing drums at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to his work with the New England Neville Brothers, he’s performed with Andy Wrba, Jon Suters, Hutch Hutchinson, and several ensembles.
Son of jazz drummer Jim Chapin, Tom Chapin grew up in an artistic household, learning music and performing with his brothers Harry and Steve in Greenwich Village folk clubs. After a run as the host for an award-winning children’s series (“Make a Wish”) and some time making a documentary while sailing the Indian Ocean, Chapin launched his solo career in 1976 with “Life Is Like That.” From there, he has built a loyal and dedicated fan base with strong storytelling and an entertaining stage presence.
The New York Times has said, “Warm spirit, infectious humor, and sensitive satiric songs… one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music.” Billboard calls him “the best family artist around.”
On his upcoming album, “Threads,” Chapin sings of love, his family, and working towards a better world.
While music is his focus, Chapin has also performed on Broadway, worked in films and TV, performs regularly with his family, released a children’s book based on a song of his, and has narrated other books. He is also active in a variety of environmental causes and a board member of WhyHunger.
Shows start at 8pm, with doors opening at 6pm.
About the Troubadour Series
The Troubadour Series takes its name from the legendary West Hollywood club founded by long-time Guthrie family friend, the late Doug Weston. In its heyday, the Troubadour helped launch the careers of such musical luminaries as Hoyt Axton, Phil Ochs and the Association. The concert series at the Old Trinity Church has been underway since the spring of 2000 to support the Guthrie Center’s commitment to local and global musical traditions. Many friends of the Center who would not otherwise appear in such a small, intimate venue have graciously headlined Troubadour Series concerts. Younger talents also perform regularly.
About the Guthrie Center
The Guthrie Center is housed in the Old Trinity Church, where Arlo Guthrie’s famous song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” was set and the movie “Alice’s Restaurant” was filmed. Alice’s actual restaurant is long gone, but Old Trinity Church where Alice Brock and her husband Ray once lived, and where the “Alice’s Restaurant” saga opens, has been home to the Guthrie Center and the Guthrie Foundation since Arlo purchased it in 1991.
The Center, an interfaith church, and the Foundation both are dedicated to the belief that an infinite number of ways exist to approach the “one truth.” The Center’s programs have ranged from meditation and prayer to transporting people in need, and from alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture to support for friends and families coping with Huntington’s Disease. The Foundation supports efforts to preserve traditional music, storytelling, medicine, dance and spiritual practices from encroaching globalization.