Michael Smith Concert
One of the most captivating songwriters in the folk arena, celebrated musician Michael Peter Smith has toured the United States and Canada for nearly five decades. He creates new work on a constant basis, and music's finest performers record his songs. His song The Dutchman, a signature piece for the late Liam Clancy, and still recorded by dozens of others, is considered a classic. Wherever he is touring concert venues, clubs, theaters, folk festivals, at house concerts, or teaching songwriting workshops, in powerful songs, award- winning musical scores, and unforgettable recordings musical mastery is in whatever Michael does.Wherever he is touring concert venues, clubs, theaters, folk festivals, at house concerts, or teaching songwriting workshops, in powerful songs, award- winning musical scores, and unforgettable recordings musical mastery is in whatever Michael does.
Michael Smith, the lyricist, composer and performer of renown, is a voracious reader and never at a loss for material. As early as age 16, when he set the words that appeared on the grave of Robert Louis Stevenson, Michael was adapting and setting literature, children's stories, and poetry to music. And the Poet Sang,created for the Poetry Foundation, is available for booking at libraries and cultural venues. Michael's songs set poems by F. Garcia Lorca Five in the Afternoon, Wallace Stevens Blue Guitar, Chilean poets Gabriela Mistral Swallow and Pablo Neruda, Irish poetry Songs of the Kerry Madwoman chamber opera, poems by Patricia Monaghan, and Chinese Tang Dynasty poets Painted Horse. Passages from Robert Cole's The Spiritual Lives of Children were transformed in We Become Birds.
In his theatrical debut, Michael composed and performed the music for the Steppenwolf production of John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath, touring with the cast and director Frank Galati from The Royal George Theater in Chicago to the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, from the National Theater in London to Broadway, where the play won the Antoinette Perry Award for Best Play, 1990. Letters from Michael's sisters contributed to the 1994 production Michael Margaret Pat & Kate at Victory Gardens, which won four Joseph Jefferson awards, for Best Revue, Best Actor In A Review, Best Original Music and Best Production. A 17 year collaboration with Jamie O'Reilly resulted in Pasiones: Songs Of The Spanish Civil War at Chicago's Theater on the Lake and Lunar Cabaret and touring, returning to Victory Gardens with the revue Hello Dali, the ballet The Gift of The Magi, and their newest offering Songs of a Catholic Childhood. Anne Hills commissioned Michael to set mystical child savant Opal Whiteley's diary entries for The Heartsongs Of Opal Whitely. Puppeteer Blair Thomas and Michael co-created the musical based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen for Victory Gardens, Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant for Chicago Children's Theater, and a meditation on Moby Dick, with lyrics adapted from Melville's classic prose.
"Michael Smith stands out as one of the few undisputed geniuses among singer-songwriters." - Sing Out! Magazine
"Hearing the songs of Michael Smith in this day and age is like reading an anthology of Hemingway's short stories after decades of only comic books. It's a realization that songs can hold a whole lot more than they're usually expected to hold, they can possess a genuine sense of place and time as evocative and magical as the finest literature." - Paul Zollo, Song Talk Magazine
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