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.
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