(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Call it a match made in heaven – indie singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, who is simply one of the greatest performers alive – will bring her dazzling talent to the stage of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 8pm.
Ani DiFranco’s influence on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over has been huge and far beyond the folk world to which she has always been connected. DiFranco was one of the original DIY (do-it-yourself) artists, beginning her career by selling her own cassette albums out of her car, and slowly building that into her own indie-record label, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based Righteous Babe, even while major labels were competing to sign her for large chunks of cash.
DiFranco’s songs have always been pointed and acute, often highly political or intensely personal. Her music got tagged as “punk-folk” early on, but then over the years she slowly revealed the full breadth of her palette, which embraces soul, funk, jazz, electronic music, spoken word, and New Orleans brass. Over the course of more than 20 albums, including the live double CD “Living in Clip” (1997) and the two-disc career retrospective “Canon” (2007), as well as the latest one, “Which Side are You On?” (2012), DiFranco has never stopped evolving, experimenting, testing the limits of what can be said and sung.
Her lifelong tribe of co-conspirators includes everyone from Pete Seeger and the late Utah Phillips to a new generation of twentysomething singer-songwriters who grew up with her songs and shows – and then there’s the motley crew of folks like Prince, Maceo Parker, Andrew Bird, Dr. John, Arto Lindsay, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gillian Welch, Cyndi Lauper, and even Burmese activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom she has crossed paths in a myriad of ways.
Whether she is performing with a huge funk band or as the “little folksinger” onstage with just a microphone and an acoustic guitar – which she plays with the dynamics of Michael Hedges, the inventiveness of Joni Mitchell, and the ferocity of Pete Townshend – DiFranco is always a stunning performer, never failing to break the wall between artist and audience, and, with her disarmingly self-deprecating and funny banter, turning any venue, no matter how large, into an intimate coffeehouse.
Tickets to Ani DiFranco are $29 to $79. Tickets go on sale to Mahaiwe Members on Wednesday, November 27 at noon and to the public on Friday, November 29 at noon. The box office will be closed on Thursday, November 28 for Thanksgiving, but member tickets are available online 24/7.