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To commemorate his life and legacy, Gibson Guitar and Baldwin Piano, together with the Woody Guthrie Foundation, are kicking off a month-long celebration of music and film events, art exhibits and other festivities in Nashville. ”The Woody Guthrie 90th Year Celebration” reflects the growing awareness of the singer’s contributions to American music, and will also help raise funds for the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, which exists to keep his legacy alive.

The tribute commences on January 8 with the “Woody Guthrie Film Festival” at The Belcourt Theatre, which runs through February 2. Five feature and documentary films, starting with, “Bound for Glory”, Hal Ashby’s Academy Award-winning film, give an intimate look into Woody’s life, and show how his influence on music came to be. Other visual fanfare, including the paintings of Kathy Jakobsen—an artist who has taken phrases from “This Land Is Your Land” and translated them lushly onto canvas—will be showcased in a 2003 Archives Spotlight Series at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on January 10.

If you’re wondering about the music, don’t worry! Shows will run from January 21 through February 9. One of the highlights is a special benefit concert, “Nashville Sings Woody,” at the Ryman Auditorium on February 5 which promises to be a legendary event in itself. Featured musicians include Woody’s son Arlo Guthrie, artists Marty Stuart, Janis Ian and Peter Rowan, and others who represent the best in genres spanning from folk to punk rock. Making this an even more historic event, Woody’s daughter Nora, Director of The Woody Guthrie Archives, has invited artists to collaborate in creating new music to never-before-heard Guthrie lyrics which will be premiered that evening. / Issue 30 - September 9038
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