Thu June 27, 2024

Natalie Merchant

7 PM
8 PM

Natalie Merchant

Over her 40-year career, Natalie Merchant has attained a place among America’s most respected recording artists. She has earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating stage performer. Merchant has also distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist through her work with a wide-variety of non-profit organizations, performing countless benefit concerts and creating documentary films and large-scale community arts projects.

Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released two platinum and four gold records with the group: The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990) Our Time in Eden & 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1994 and has subsequently released nine albums as a solo artist with combined sales of seven million copies: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), Motherland (2001), The House Carpenter’s Daughter (2004), Leave Your Sleep (2010), Natalie Merchant (2014), Paradise is There (2015), Butterfly (2017). In April 2023, Nonesuch Records released her first album of original material in nine years, Keep Your Courage.

Merchant has collaborated, both on stage and in the studio, with an impressive array of artists including: Philip Glass, Wynton Marsalis, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Mavis Staples, REM, Daniel Lanois, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tracy Chapman, Kronos Quartet, Lokua Kanza, The Klezmatics, Lúnasa, Yungchen Lhamo, Chris Botti, Dan Zanes, Billy Bragg and Wilco.

In 2007, Merchant was appointed by the governor Elliot Spitzer to serve a five-year term on the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In 2013 she spearheaded an effort to stop the advance of hydraulic fracturing in New York State with a concert film, Dear Governor Cuomo. Again, in 2013, she used the same format of concert film to address domestic violence with Shelter. Most recently, she spent two years as Artist-in-Residence with the Head Start Program Troy, NY creating a multi-disciplinary arts curriculum for preschoolers called The Mother Goose Project (2017-2019). In November of 2022, NY Senator and majority leader Chuck Schumer appointed Natalie to a six-year-term on the board of trustees of The American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress.

Merchant’s awards for artistic excellence and philanthropic work include: The Library Lion Award from the New York Public Library (2011), The American Society of Authors Composers & Publishers (ASCAP) Champion Award and The John Lennon Real Love Award.