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Kate McGarrigle's Music to Be Celebrated in Two New York City Concerts in May

Kate McGarrigle bw

Two shows will be held in honor of the late Kate McGarrigle at Town Hall on May 12 and 13. A tribute to the singer/songwriter, the shows, curated by Joe Boyd, will showcase performances by Kate's children, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Kate's sister Anna McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Fallon, Antony Hegarty, Krystle Warren, Teddy Thompson, Justin Bond, and more.

From the release of Kate and Anna McGarrigle's eponymous debut album in 1976, their music defined a sophisticated yet traditional branch of North American song. Their rich harmonies, rooted in the Irish and Quebecois music of their upbringing, drew listeners into a personal world of songs about romance, heartbreak, chemistry, solitude, ageing and adventure. This concert will reveal an artist who possessed an extraordinary gift for the craft of composition, showcased in such songs as "Go Leave," "(Talk to Me of) Mendocino," "Kiss and Say Goodbye," and "Tell My Sister," to name a few.

Kate McGarrigle was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare form of cancer known as sarcoma, which affects connective tissue such as bone, muscle, nerves, and cartilage. She lost her battle in January of 2010, age 63, surrounded by a singing group of family and friends at her home in Montreal. All profits from these shows will go toward the creation of the Kate McGarrigle Sarcoma Research Fund in association with the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA).

The performers will be accompanied by a band very familiar with Kate's catalog, including Thomas Bartlett on piano, Jane McGarrigle on piano, Calum MacColl on guitar, Anna McGarrigle on piano and accordion, Brad Albetta on bass, Bryan Devendorf on drums, Michel Pepin on guitar, Chaim Tannenbaum on mandolin and banjo and Joel Zifkin on violin (the last three regular members of Kate & Anna's touring group).

Last June the first Kate McGarrigle celebration was staged at the Royal Festival Hall in London and sold out within hours. Six national British publications reviewed the show with all awarding it five stars. The evening was perhaps best summed up by one journalist calling it "a heartfelt and fitting tribute to a remarkable woman."

Tickets for the New York concerts are on sale now at


Norah Jones will appear on these concerts as well.

I can't exactly reeembmr, but it was late last night, and I had just finished listening to Matapedia, and I was thinking how surprised I was that Kate's death had affected me, and so many of us, as much as it had. Just kept reeembmring those concerts and those songs, and humming, and tearing up. She/they were such a low key, unspectacular, friendly presence in my musical life that it was a shock to realize how much they mattered, just how talented and deep and completely unique they had been. And what a wonderful summation of it all they left behind in "The McGarrigle Hour", and what a legacy in their recordings and the new generation of McGarrigles.

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