(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) — Two-time Grammy Award-winning pop-country vocalist Rita Coolidge will perform in a special concert featuring a mix of her greatest hits, jazz standards, and Christmas songs as part of Williamstown’s annual Holiday Walk weekend at The Clark on Friday, November 30, 2012, at 8pm. The Williams College Gospel Choir will join Coolidge for several songs.
“A Rita Coolidge Christmas,” as her holiday concerts are called, are traditionally performed with her full band and often incorporate local singers. “Everyone who knows me or has seen me perform knows I love Christmas and the music of the season,” said Coolidge.
Coolidge’s most recent album, A Rita Coolidge Christmas, was released October 30, 2012. Working with her stalwart band, featuring John McDuffie (guitar), John Thomas (keyboards), Lynn Coulter (drums), and Randy Landas (bass), the former wife and duet partner of Kris Kristofferson has put together a twelve-track set of standards and several originals that seamlessly blend all the styles that have defined her solo career since the 1970s: pop, blues, jazz, country, and, notably, the Native American music of her Cherokee heritage.
Memorable Coolidge chart-toppers include “Fever,” “We’re All Alone,” “One Fine Day,” “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “All Time High,” and “Superstar.” Perhaps due to the 67-year-old’s pop and rock pedigree, many of her fans are unaware of her longstanding affection for jazz. Her debut release for Concord Records, And So Is Love, is a collection of well-loved jazz songs.
Early in her career, Coolidge was known as “the Delta Lady,” and she is said to inspire the hit song of that name by Leon Russell. Coolidge’s serial romances with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash are also said to have caused the initial breakup of the Crosby, Stills and Nash supergroup in 1970.
The Williams College Gospel choir, which is newly affiliated with and sponsored by the Williams College music department, has been performing at Williams for more than 25 years. The goal of the choir is “to foster love and compassion among the members of the choir through worship.”
Tickets are $40 ($35 members and students) and may be purchased online at The Clark or by calling 413 458 0524.