Suzanne Vega

Friday, April 27


Event Description

Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s. A masterful storyteller who “observes the world with a clinically poetic eye,” Suzanne writes songs that are notably succinct and understated, often cerebral but also streetwise, inviting multiple interpretations. In performances that convey deep emotion, Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that has been described as “a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper” and as “plaintive but disarmingly powerful.”

Over the years Vega has produced nine critically acclaimed albums including the GRAMMY winning Days Of Open Hand (1999), has collaborated with a who’s who of rock and folk artists including Bob Dylan and Sarah McLachlan on her Lilith Fair tour, published a volume of poems, lyrics, essays and journalistic pieces, premiered her own play, and contributed to multiple film and radio projects, including hosting the public radio series “American Mavericks,” which won the Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.

Raised in Spanish Harlem and the Upper West Side of New York City, there was a heady mix of multicultural music playing at home: Motown, bossa nova, jazz and folk. At age 11 she picked up a guitar and as a teenager she started to write songs. After attending a concert by Lou Reed in 1979, Suzanne began to find her true artistic voice and distinctive vision for contemporary folk. Hanging out at the Greenwich Village Songwriter’s Exchange, she was soon playing iconic venues like The Bottom Line and Folk City. The word was out and audiences were catching on. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1985 and sold 1,000,000 records. It was clear that Suzanne’s voice was resonating around the world. Her second album, Solitude Standing elevated her to star status and features “Luka,” a song that has entered the cultural vernacular. The album was nominated for three Grammys including Record of the Year, and went platinum.

Suzanne’s neo-folk style ushered in a new female, acoustic, folk-pop singer-songwriter movement that would include the likes of Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, and Indigo Girls. A pioneer among singer-songwriters Suzanne Vega is an artist that continues to surprise.




“One of the most talented songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk-music world in recent years, Suzanne Vega observes the world with a clinically poetic eye.”  The New York Times 1987

“Suzanne Vega Burns Bright Singing McCullers Songs at Cafe Carlyle.” – Broadway World


“A resounding success.  The music here is a testament to the power of the art from both women. For her part, more than 30 years after her first album’s release, Suzanne Vega continues to offer up surprises.” – ABC News

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