Walter Parks, the longtime lead guitarist for Woodstock legend Richie Havens, presents Swamp By Chandelier, a new solo show that’s both entertaining and historically informative. Underneath a stunningly gorgeous stage canopy of Spanish moss and glamorous illumination, Parks uses compelling and comedic stories to weave his own compositions with Richie Havens’ classics, favorite covers and arrangements of original Okefenokee swamp hollers that Parks discovered in the American Folklife Collection at the Library of Congress.
Swamp By Chandelier is a one-person show - Parks alone onstage with three electric guitars, three acoustic guitars and a few amps. He travels with a few props - a chandelier or two and a cloth sculpture designed by The Experience Collective in Savannah, Georgia that represents Spanish moss. In addition to the re-imagined swamp hollers, for this project he's composed two instrumental pieces that combine classical, blues, country and jazz elements in a unique way. To give the show lift, Parks plays some up-tempo favorites from his band Swamp Cabbage and, to honor Richie Havens, his former mentor and employer, he'll share a few songs that they used to perform together.
In 1793 William Bartram described the swamp as “a most blissful spot on the earth.” Hopefully in 2016, Swamp By Chandelier will guide the audience’s imagination to see, hear and feel that this is still so.
Of Parks, folk legend Judy Collins said, “Walter Parks is an extraordinary singer whose songs can break your heart as well as get you dancing. Lyrical and political, personal and otherworldly at the same time, transcendent as well as down to earth, Walter is a musical treasure, an artist of the highest caliber. To hear him is to be lifted into a mystical sphere. I adore him.”
A sample of Parks’ music can be heard online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opT192AJ1-w.
The Huffington Post recently featured a blog on Parks’ recent trip to Cuba, which can be viewed at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cubaglory-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder_us_57267f22e4b011b9c3f9394b.
Photograph of Walter Parks can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/gainesville/sets/72157661472097719.
The Jewel Box Concert season lineup can be viewed online at http://www.gvlculturalaffairs.org/website/programs_events/misc_events/jewelbox_concerts.html.
Guests are welcome to bring their favorite beer or wine, and an attendant will tend their bottle. Plastic glasses will be provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own glassware as well. Organic, vegan, gluten-free cuisine is available for purchase for $5 per dinner from Sarah's Seasonings.
In its second season, the Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are a series of multi-genre musical events staged in the Historic Thomas Center’s Spanish Court. They feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass, with special holiday shows and surprise guests.
The Historic Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville, Florida. For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-393-8532, or contact Joseph Saccocci, vice president of Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., at email@example.com.