Arts and Entertainment

Singer Lizz Wright to make State College debut in Feb. 5 concert at Schwab

Vocalist Lizz Wright will make her Penn State debut with a performance featuring works by some of the great American songwriters at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Schwab Auditorium. Credit: Attila KlebAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Vocalist Lizz Wright, who brings vibrancy to compositions by some of the greatest American songwriters, will make her Penn State premiere in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Schwab Auditorium.

From her debut album “Salt” to her latest release, “Grace,” Wright earns acclaim as one of the most venerable singers of her generation. The vocalist, who grew up as a minister’s daughter immersed in gospel music, defies categorization with a repertoire ranging from spirituals and Americana to jazz and American songbook classics.

Visit the Center for the Performing Arts online or call 814-863-0255 for more information.

Read a Center for the Performing Arts interview with Wright.

Watch a video of Lizz Wright performing “Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You.” Credit: LizzWrightVevo

On “Grace,” Wright summons her Georgia heritage to explore the web of story and song that bind together the many traditions at the soul of the American South. The album’s landscape brims with Wright’s interpretations of classic and contemporary songs by Ray Charles, Allen Toussaint, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, k.d. lang, Bob Dylan, Frank Perkins, Mitchell Parish, Rose Cousins and Birds of Chicago.

“Wright translates with phenomenal fluency between inner awareness and outward demonstration, individual seeking and conscious communion, ecstasy and empathy,” an NPR reviewer wrote about “Grace.”

Through an inimitable voice that a New York Times reviewer described as “a smooth, dark alto possessed of qualities you might associate with barrel-aged bourbon or butter-soft leather,” Wright sings with a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America.

In concert at Penn State, Wright will be backed by her band, which features pianist/organist Kenny Banks, guitarist Chris Bruce, bassist Ben Zwerin, and drummer Jack DeBoe.

Mimi Barash Coppersmith sponsors the presentation. The Glenn and Nancy Gamble Endowment provides support.

The presentation is part of a Center for the Performing Arts season focus, “The American Experience: Through an African-American Lens.” Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown provide support for engagement programming related to this and other focus events.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Last Updated April 15, 2021