A Fall Lineup of Stories and Music: GPAC Unveils New Shows starting in September

In a lineup that offers great country music, an evening of intimate stories by the piano, some good ol’ musical collisions of rock ‘n’ roll, folk and Americana, and the trademark humor of author and orator David Sedaris, Germantown Performing Arts Center (GPAC) is pleased to announce four exciting additions to the 2022-23 season.

On Friday, September 23, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. Skaggs brings his lively, distinctive music to the ears and hearts of audiences around the world.

Fifteen-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Ricky Skaggs’ career is easily among the most significant in recent country music history. If Skaggs’ burgeoning trophy case full of awards wasn’t already enough evidence of that fact, consider that legendary guitarist Chet Atkins once credited Skaggs with “single-handedly saving country music.” His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact. 

An Evening with Chuck Leavell is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. More than just a concert, the evening will include 30 minutes of footage from the documentary Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man. After a short intermission, Leavell will perform on GPAC’s Steinway grand piano and share incredible stories from his life and career. The evening will be moderated by Memphian Matt Ross-Spang.

Chuck Leavell’s keyboard work has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Blues Traveler, Train, Martina McBride, John Mayer, David Gilmour and many other prominent artists.  His association with the Stones began back in 1982 and is still going strong, having recently toured with the Stones on their 2021 “No Filter” tour of the US and their 2022 “60” tour of Europe celebrating the band’s 60th Anniversary and Chuck’s 40th Anniversary with the Stones. He is heard on their grammy-winning record, Blue and Lonesome, and serves as Musical Director for the band.

Chuck is also an artist in his own right, with several successful solo CDs in circulation, the latest of which is “Chuck Gets Big” on BMG records, with a 17-piece Big Band. And he is the author of four books: Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American ForestBetween Rock and a Home Place (autobiography), The Tree Farmer (a children’s book); and his most recent is Growing A Better America, about “smart” growth. 

Old Crow Medicine Show will perform Friday, October 7, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. to share music from their new album, Paint This Town, afreewheeling collision of Americana, old-time music, folk, and rock & roll.

On their whirlwind new album Paint This Town, Old Crow Medicine Show offer up a riveting glimpse into American mythology and the wildly colorful characters who populate it. The most incisive body of work yet from the Nashville-based roots band—a two-time Grammy Award-winning juggernaut whose triumphs include induction into the Grand Ole Opry and double-platinum certification for their iconic hit single “Wagon Wheel”—the album pays homage to everyone from Elvis Presley to Eudora Welty while shedding a bright light on the darker aspects of the country’s legacy. Fueled by Old Crow’s freewheeling collision of Americana, old-time music, folk, and rock & roll, Paint This Town relentlessly pulls off the rare and essential feat of turning razor-sharp commentary into the kind of songs that inspire rapturous singing along.

Ketch Secor (fiddle, harmonica, guitar, banjo, vocals) – Morgan Jahnig (upright bass) – Cory Younts (mandolin, keyboards, drums, vocals) – Jerry Pentecost (drums, mandolin) – Mike Harris (slide guitar, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, vocals) Mason Via (guitar, gitjo, vocals)

Acclaimed author and speaker David Sedaris brings his trademark humor and insight to guests Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m.

This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist in an intimate setting. As always, Sedaris will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and book signing. Books will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Novel. 

 David Sedaris, author of the previous bestsellers Calypso, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor will be appearing for one night only at GPAC on October 19 at 730PM, following the release of his newest books Happy-Go-Lucky and A Carnival of Snackery. 

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Mr. Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. One of his new books, The Best of Me (Little Brown/ Hachette, Fall 2020), is a collection of 42 previously published stories and essays, about which novelist Andrew Sean Greer wrote in the New York Times: “You must read “The Best of Me.” It will be a new experience, knowing that enough time has passed to find humor in the hardest parts of life. More than ever — we’re allowed to laugh.” 

Tickets for An Evening with Chuck Leavell and David Sedaris will go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 5, at 10:00 a.m. Tickets for Old Crow Medicine Show and Ricky Skaggs are on sale now. Tickets for all four shows can be purchased on the GPAC website here.

GPAC has partnered with Mempho Presents to co-produce certain concerts at GPAC in the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall. This fall the partnership co-presents An Evening with Chuck Leavell and Old Crow Medicine Show.

“We shy away from doing business with concert promoters from outside of the Memphis area. The team at Mempho has great leadership that we know and trust. They want to see the Memphis area thrive with live music, tourism, and a sense of community,” said Paul Chandler, Executive Director of GPAC.

The relationship between the two organizations goes back to the inception of the Mempho Music Festival in 2017. Chandler and Mempho Presents’ Executive Producer/Founder Kevin McEniry share a passion and interest in supporting and growing the Memphis music industry.

About GPAC

Germantown Performing Arts Center serves the greater Memphis metro area and is accessible to all members of the community. GPAC is comprised of the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, The Grove, and the Watkins Studio Theater. GPAC welcomes over 100,000 visitors annually and presents world-renowned performing artists in a variety of genres, year-round educational activities for all ages, rotating visual art exhibits, and many community events. With the goal of enriching the community through educational programs, GPAC offers high-quality arts experiences and hands-on training to all ages. Additionally, GPAC is committed to extending its reach through free artist residencies and master classes in area schools, community centers and universities.

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