After fans and critics raved about their three individual knock-out and sold-out performances on the Old Town School stage last year, we are proud to welcome two American music luminaries—consummate singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash and iconic guitarist, groundbreaking visionary artist and producer Ry Cooder to the historic Chicago Theatre on June 18th. Performing their extraordinary collaboration, CASH AND COODER ON CASH: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, a sublime tribute to Johnny Cash featuring heartfelt, personal interpretations of gems from his treasure-filled songbook.
This Chicago performance is part of a limited run of one-night performances in landmark venues will take place in five U.S. cities this year. Making up the exceptional band playing alongside Cash and Cooder will be esteemed guitarist and music director John Leventhal, pianist Glenn Patscha, bassist Mark Fain, and drummer Joachim Cooder.
The seed was planted for these two incomparable artists to partner when SFJAZZ selected Cash as a Resident Artistic Director for their 2017 & 2018 seasons. "When I was planning my residency in San Francisco, I couldn't stop thinking about Ry," she says. "He and I had only performed together a few times over the years, just a song or two and it always left me wanting more. We stayed connected by e-mail, sending old songs to each other and talking about music and politics. Knowing his general reticence to perform just for the sake of getting on stage and his impeccably high standards, I held back. I was nervous. Finally, I got up my courage and asked him if he wanted to make up a show – anything at all – and I offered a few ideas. He brushed off my initial thoughts, and said, 'What springs to mind is a show of your dad's songs. What else can I say?' When Ry suggested it, oddly, I didn't even hesitate. I said 'Okay, let's do Johnny.' I told him that he was the only person on the planet I would do a show of Johnny Cash songs with. When I said that, I felt quite overcome with feeling. I knew I had waited for the right person, the right reason and the right place."
Cooder recalls, "I was in the 4th grade and things were not looking up. Then one day they played 'Hey Porter' on the aircraft worker's radio station. In those days you heard Bob Wills and Webb Pierce, which was good, but Johnny was something different. It was like a hand reached out from my little Sears radio and grabbed me by the shirt and said, 'you're coming with me now.' That was 63 years ago. So when Rosanne said, 'Okay, let's do Johnny,' I said, 'I think I'm ready.'"
About Rosanne Cash
One of the country's pre-eminent singer-songwriters,s released 15 albums of extraordinary so Composed, which the Chicago Tribune called "one of the best accounts of an American life you'll likely ever read." Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford-American, The Nation and many more print and online publications. A new book, Bird On A Blade, blending the images of acclaimed artist Dan Rizzie with strands of lyrics from a variety of Cash's songs has just been published by UT Press. In addition to regular touring, Cash has partnered in programming collaborations with Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, SFJAZZ, Minnesota Orchestra and The Library of Congress.
She was awarded the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall for the 2015-16 season, and curated a series of American roots music, including her own performance. She continues her association with Carnegie Hall as a Creative Partner for the 2018-19 season. She also served as 2015 Artist-in-Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame that same year. In 2018, Cash was awarded with the Spirit of Americana: Free Speech Award by the Americana Music Association and received an honorary doctorate degree from the Berklee College of Music. Her latest album released in November 2018 is She Remembers Everything (Blue Note), a poetic, lush and soulful collection of songs that reckon with a flawed and complex world, as she elucidates in this short film about the album. She Remembers Everything followed Rosanne's triple-GRAMMY winning 2014 album The River & The Thread.
About Ry Cooder
Ry Cooder is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and film score composer best known for his unparalleled skill on the slide guitar. Cooder has been the recipient of six GRAMMY Awards including Best World Music Album, Best Pop Instrumental Album, and the 1997 Best Tropical Latin Performance GRAMMY for his work producing the classic album Buena Vista Social Club. His wide-ranging discography includes over 20 classic albums, such as Boomer's Story (1972), Chicken Skin Music (1976), Bop till You Drop (1979), Get Rhythm (1987), Borderline (1980), My Name is Buddy (2007), Election Special (2012), and Live in San Francisco (2013), which was recorded during a two night stint at the famous Great American Music Hall and featured Joachim Cooder, Arnold McCuller, and Flaco Jimenez. His collaborations with fellow musicians over the years have produced quintessential albums such as Little Village (1992), The Long Black Veil with The Chieftains (1995), Mambo Sinuendo with Manuel Galban (2003), and the aforementioned award-winning Buena Vista Social Club, which saw the reunion of some of the greatest surviving musicians of the 20th century Cuban music scene. Cooder's skill as a musician and composer has translated into his scoring multiple film soundtracks for films such as Paris, Texas, The Long Riders, Southern Comfort, Streets of Fire, Last Man Standing, and Crossroads. An in-demand session musician, over the years Cooder has performed on albums by The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Nancy Sinatra, Kim Carnes, Randy Newman, John Hiatt, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, The Beach Boys, and Mavis Staples. His latest album, The Prodigal Son (Fantasy), released worldwide in May 2018.