News and Events
Grammy Award-Winning Singer Songwriter Marc Cohn Performs at the Center for the Arts
Marc Cohn, perhaps best known for his Grammy Award-winning classic song “Walking in Memphis,” will sing from the stage of Smothers Theatre, Malibu, on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The evening will begin at 8 p.m., with singer/songwriter/actress Rebecca Pidgeon opening for Cohn.
Cohn combines the precision of a tunesmith with the passion of a soul-man. As a natural storyteller, he balances the exuberant with the poignant, and is able to distill universal truth out of his often romantic, drawn-from-life tales.
Cohn's career took off in 1990 with the recording of his critically acclaimed, self-titled debut disc, which yielded such classics in their own right as "Walking in Memphis," "Silver Thunderbird," and "True Companion." He won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1992.
He has been obsessed with pop music for as long as he can remember. "I was hooked from day one," he says. "My older brother had a band that rehearsed in our basement, so I heard Bacharach, the Beatles, Ray Charles, and Motown coming up through the floorboards from the time I was six years old. By the time I was 11, though, the Beatles were breaking up and singer-songwriters were breaking through, and a lot of that music really resonated for me."
Cohn's 2010 recording, Listening Booth: 1970, represents a continuation of a creative resurgence brought on by one of the strangest and scariest events of his life. In 2005, while driving back to his hotel with his band and tour manager after a show in Denver, Cohn was shot in the head by a would-be carjacker. Although the bullet had to be removed from his left temple, it miraculously missed penetrating his skull by a centimeter, causing no physical damage and allowing him to be released from the hospital the next day.
After working through a bout of post-traumatic stress syndrome, Cohn has been busier than ever. Ending a nearly 10-year absence from the studio, he released one of his most critically acclaimed records, Join the Parade, in 2007 and followed it with over 150 shows across the country.
Listening Booth: 1970 brought Cohn back to where he began—writing songs like "Walking in Memphis" that spoke about the transformative, healing power of music. Like that hit single, Listening Booth: 1970 is really the soundtrack to his life.
He reflects, "It seemed like such a natural progression for me to do a record like this because, if you've been following my records from my first single, I have been paying tribute to musicians through my writing all along; from Al Green to Elvis to Levon Helm to Charlie Christian, it's really been a touchstone for me. Now I'm just repaying a debt of gratitude to the artists who've changed my life and taught me how to do what I do."
Rebecca Pidgeon's roots are in folk-pop (she was the lead singer of the British band Ruby Blue from 1986 to 1990), but she has been branching out steadily since releasing her first solo album, The Raven, in 1994. Her third album, The Four Marys, was a nod to her Celtic-influenced childhood in Scotland.
In her latest album (her sixth), Slingshot, Pidgeon moves easily between jazz, folk, country, and rock as she explores themes of love and yearning with unflinching honesty. Her current single, "I Loved No One," has received supportive airplay and critical acclaim.
Married to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, Pidgeon will be featured alongside Al Pacino and Helen Mirren in the upcoming HBO biopic on Phil Spector.
Limited tickets, priced at $40, $30, or $20 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787.
Visit the Center for the Arts website for more information.