Wheeler Front

Richie Havens

March 12, 2010

Gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music, Richie Havens has a soulful singing style that remains as unique and ageless as when he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. It’s a voice that has inspired and electrified audiences from the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in 1969, to the Clinton Presidential Inauguration in 1993—coming full circle with the 30th Woodstock Anniversary celebration, “A Day in the Garden,” in 1999.

For over three decades, Richie has used his music to convey messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. As he told the Denver Post, “I really sing songs that move me. I’m not in show business; I’m in the communications business. That’s what it’s about for me.” In the summer of 2008 Richie Havens released Nobody Left to Crown.

At an early age, Richie began organizing his neighborhood friends into street corner doo-wop groups and was performing with the McCrea Gospel Singers at 16. At the age of 20, Richie left Brooklyn to seek out the artistic stimulation of Greenwich Village. “I had first gone there during the Beatnik days of the 1950s to perform poetry, then I drew portraits for 2 years and stayed up all night listening to folk music in the clubs. It took a while before I thought of picking up a guitar.”

He improvised a song based on the old spiritual “Motherless Child” that became “Freedom,” a song now considered to be the anthem of a generation. In 1970 came Alarm Clock, which yielded the hit single “Here Comes the Sun,” and became Richie’s first album to reach Billboard’s Top 30 Chart.

Memorable television appearances included performances on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson asked Richie to return the following night. In the show’s long history, the only other guest booked back-to-back nights based on overwhelming audience response was Barbra Streisand.
Even if at times a certain melancholy emerges, Richie Havens is not a man to abandon easily his hopes for a better world. “We are at the dawn of major change,” he declares with a broad smile.

Upcoming Events

The Del McCoury Band

December 6, 20177:30

Co-presented with Wheeler Opera House
For more than 50 years, Del McCoury's music has defined authenticity for hard-core bluegrass fans as well as a growing number of fans among those only vaguely familiar with the genre. He has built a songbook filled with classics such as “High On A Mountain,” “Are You Teasing Me,” “Dark Hollow,” “Bluest Man In Town,” “Rain And Snow,” “Good Man Like Me, “Rain Please Go Away” and more. Learn More »

Bruce Cockburn

Saturday, February 17, 20187:30 pm

Bruce Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical diversity. His journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles while travelling to such far-flung places as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, and Nepal, and writing memorable songs about his ever-expanding world of wonders. “My job,” he explains, “is to try to trap the spirit of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal.”
Learn More »

Los Lobos

Friday, March 2, 20187:30 pm

Co-presented with Wheeler Opera House
Over the past 40 years, they have gone from “just another band from East L.A.” into the premier Mexican-American roots rockers, mixing a traditional sound with a punk attitude, and earning a well-deserved nomination for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Learn More »

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