Chapin family to perform ‘Harry Chapin: A Celebration in Song’ concert Nov. 12

In a benefit concert to mark the 35th Anniversary of the Harry Chapin Foundation, the Chapin Family and friends will come together to perform and celebrate the songs and life of singer-songwriter-humanitarian Harry Chapin on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m., at the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University in Fairfield.

In the long rich history of Family Groups in American Roots Music, The Chapin Family has a special place. When these singers, songwriters and extraordinary live performers come together, magic happens. Tom, Steve, Jen, Abigail & Lily Chapin are all powerful musical artists who have active careers and multiple recordings, who just happen to be related, and who love making music together.

Tickets are $60 and $40 and are available at quickcenter.com (then click on the “Buy Tickets” link) or by calling 203-254-4010. A special pre-concert “meet and greet” reception with the performers and other Chapin family members will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Reception tickets are $35 and include wine, cheese, and chocolate.

Event proceeds will support the Harry Chapin Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was started in 1981 after Harry Chapin died in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway at age 38. During his lifetime, Chapin raised millions of dollars for causes he believed in, including fighting hunger and poverty and supporting community arts and environmental programs. The Harry Chapin Foundation has since provided about $2 million in support to grassroots organizations around the country, including the Hartford Food System, Intake Music, and the Naugatuck Valley Project, all based in Connecticut.

The evening will feature many of Happy Chapin’s classic songs, including Cat’s In the Cradle, Taxi, W*O*L*D and more, performed by those who knew him best — brothers Tom and Steve Chapin, the Harry Chapin band, his daughter Jen Chapin, and nieces The Chapin Sisters (Tom’s daughters):

Tom Chapin, the 3 time Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, who has maintained two long and productive parallel musical careers, both as a respected contemporary folk artist and as a pioneer in the field of children’s music.

Steve Chapin, singer/songwriter and Clio award winner, and the multitalented producer, director, pianist, and vocalist who arranged and led Harry’s Band.  The enduring legacy of Harry’s music is alive and well each time Steve and his band, including John Wallace, Howard Fields, Clark Wallace and Jonathan Chapin, take the stage to perform their stunning recreations of Harry’s most well-loved songs as well as Steve’s own beautiful tunes.

The Chapin Sisters, Lily & Abigail Chapin, are singing, songwriting sisters known for pristine harmonies and haunting melodies. They’ve been compared to sister-acts of old and Appalachian family groups, yet their original songs and arrangements have a contemporary feel.

Jen Chapin’s music is urban folk soul — story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk and improvisation of the city. Critics have hailed her work as “brilliant… soulfully poetic.”

“This is the kind of event that only comes around on special occasions,” notes Grammy Award-winning musician Tom Chapin.

Concert attendees also are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit Operation Hope, a Fairfield-based non-profit organization that combats hunger and homelessness through a combination of emergency relief with counseling, case management, affordable housing, and other programs that foster self-reliance.

Fairfield County Man Who Inspired Mr. Tanner to Sing at Benefit Concert

Chapin was best known for his story songs about real-life ordinary people, including the tale of Mr. Tanner based on heart-breaking critical New York Times reviews of singer Martin Tubridy’s 1971 debut performance at Carnegie Recital Hall, and Tubridy’s second New York performance, in 1972, at New York City’s Town Hall.  Mr. Tanner became a Chapin classic and a fan favorite at his concerts.

In a twist-of-fate, Tubridy lives in Fairfield County and only learned of the song Mr. Tanner about 10 years ago. Tubridy will be a special guest and will sing a chorus during the Chapin Family’s concert performance of Mr. Tanner.  

For more information about the Harry Chapin Foundation, visit harrychapinfoundation.org. For more information about Operation Hope, visit www.operationhopect.org.

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