22 Rock City Road
Woodstock, NY, 12498
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Jen Chapin: Essential Stories
"With songs delivered in a style that ranges from tender fragility to unexpected steeliness, Chapin brings a jazzy edge to the folk form.
Sometimes she explores a fleeting emotion, sometimes she weaves a solid narrative—not at all surprising from the daughter of Harry Chapin, a master musical storyteller.” The New Yorker
Jen Chapin has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for almost two decades, beginning with her debut, "Open Wide", in 2002. Nurtured in and around NYC by a large family of artists, writers, and musicians, Jen's “observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) songwriting features both her "extraordinary voice” (De krenten uit de pop, The Netherlands) and “astonishing jazz band”
(popmatters), the combination of which has garnered her well-deserved praise, solidified by appearances on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Mountain Stage, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt, Mary Sue Twohy's Folk Village and the Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Satellite.
As much as an artistic legacy, the roots of Jen's upbringing have
inspired her "potent, jazzy, layered folk" (Newsday) songs and a
lifetime of passionate activism, through ongoing work with WhyHunger (founded by her late father Harry Chapin), and teaching civics and history in NYC public schools. She has performed on stage with Bruce Springsteen, on bills with Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, and The Neville Brothers, her rendition of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" was featured in an episode of the SyFy TV series "Defiance." Chapin's latest release
"Reckoning", produced and engineered by five-time GRAMMY© Winner Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush) was named among the best Americana albums of 2013 by Examiner.com and awarded First Prize, Lyrics category by the USA Songwriting Competition (for the song "Go Away"). She is soon releasing a new album with her trio, titled "Desert or Sea".
This evening’s performance is the debut of “Essential Stories” a brand new theatrical show in development, featuring Chapin’s songs sculpted into an intimate musical narrative on themes of family roots, parenting, and politics.
Grenadan-American urban folk-jazz artist. KJ’s performances will move you to laugh, to dance and even to cry. Her special blend of urban folk & jazz has earned her four Independent Music Award nominations and in ’09, she was named as one of Jazz.com’s top female vocalists. She’s appeared at scores of festivals and has residencies at the ’55 Bar’, Smoke in NYC, at the Baz Bar in St. Barth’s, and the prestigious Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Her very latest, “Album No.9”, a collection of 60’s jazz, pop and rock standards is set for release on Motema Music in Europe & the US in the fall 2010. Consistently praised for her pathos, originality and impeccable musicianship, KJ is a one of a kind songwriter, guitarist and performer, not to be missed.
KJ, born Karen Jeannne to parents from the island of Grenada, was the first US citizen born to a small family. Her only brother, born in Aruba, had taken an interest in music and it was on one of his discarded guitars that KJ wrote her first song. “I picked up a guitar when I was ten and immediately I started writing music,” she recalls. “I loved Sergio Mendes’ songs, liked John Hartford on the Glenn Campbell Show and really got into James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, who I still consider my two main influences. I also loved other singer-songwriters of the time including Carole King and Laura Nyro and later fell in love with Steely Dan’s music, and just about wore out my LP of Hubert Laws’ Rite Of Spring. I was completely self-taught, by listening to records and playing them over and over, teaching myself tablature from a great James Taylor book and modal tunings from Joni Mitchell’s For The Roses song book. I didn’t really do much but play guitar through my teenage years.
“ In the 1980s, KJ toured for six years as the lead guitarist and occasional vocalist with an all-female band called Fire, playing rock and top-40 music throughout the US, Canada and Europe. After the group ran its course, she worked at a day job while continuing to write and play music. While working in Cleveland as a financial analyst, she started the Mother Cyclone label and made her first recording. Moving home to New York in 1997, she formed the NY Unit, a group that she still performs with. “I look for players who have an ability to groove and have lots of drama in their playing.
“ In addition to running her own band and Mother Cyclone label, KJ has been named among the six winners of the Kerrville New Folk Song contest in June 2006 for “Private Angel” and won the Mountain Stage New Song contest in August 05 for “Little Mary.” Another Year Gone By, Live won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance.