The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets will go on sale on Feb. 1 for a concert starring singer-songwriter, guitarist and poet Ani DiFranco next season in the Pollak Theatre on November 8, 2013. Scheduled to take place inside the Pollak Theatre, the 8 p.m. show represents the first event to be announced in the upcoming 2013-2014.
The prolific recording artist from Buffalo, NY has accrued an enviable following of devotees, regularly playing to packed theater-size houses of fans who appreciate the emotional honesty, and passionately unflinching point of view, that infuses both her music and her public persona.
What’s more, she’s maintained her long-playing career by working completely outside the music-industry mainstream – having established her own successful record imprint (Righteous Babe) as early as her debut release in 1989. At the same time, she’s built her fanbase via college appearances, social media, and even good old word-of-mouth, long before the major-label suits were blindsided by the twenty-first century.
Even if this multiple Grammy nominee’s one trophy was awarded for “Best Album Package,” it still speaks to Ani DiFranco’s multi-faceted standing as musician, author, promoter of talent, award-winning feminist, mom, social activist, and crafter of smart, incisive, often funny perspectives on human intimacy, big-picture issues, and that always uneasy crossroads of Art and Commerce.
It’s a set of qualities that are very much in evidence on DiFranco’s seventeenth and most recent Righteous Babe release Which Side Are You On?, a collection that finds the artist (who’s made intriguing music with everyone from Dar Williams and Cyndi Lauper to funkmaster Maceo Parker and Prince) joining the legendary Pete Seeger for an electrified take on his titular folk anthem – while addressing themes of life, death, innocence, and “Promiscuity” with her signature love of language, and a stripped-down alt-punk energy that delightfully defies any and all attempt at pigeonholing this Icon of Indie.
As to the question of what to expect when you’re expecting a concert by Ani DiFranco – suffice to say that “the expected” has seldom been part of the toolbox for this artist that continues to run circles around the arbitrary categories and cliché formats of an increasingly fragmented music scene. When Ani comes to Monmouth, she’s sure to find happy harbor at this place that’s embraced appearances by Robert Pinsky and many more of the world’s leading poetic voices – and a sea of happy listeners here in what’s become one of the region’s top theater venues for intimate music events.
The current Performing Arts series at Monmouth University continues into 2013 with concerts by Shawn Mullins and Mindy Smith (March 3), Tommy Sands (March 4), Justin Townes Earle (March 9), Red Horse (March 23), John Hammond (April 5), and Roger McGuinn (April 19). For additional information on these and other events, or to purchase tickets, please contact the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at http://www.monmouth.edu/events/arts.aspx. To schedule an interview, please contact Eileen Chapman at 732-571-3512.