An Evening with Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin
The only thing better than hearing one legend is hearing two. Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin both hail from musical first families, and have carved unique spaces in careers spanning more than five decades.
Livingston Taylor picked up his first guitar when he was 13. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, he is the fourth child in the musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate and Hugh. He made his first recording when he was 18 and has spent 50 years earning respect and legions of fans for his well-crafted, introspective songs. He is known for a repertoire that includes Top 40 hits like “I Will Be in Love with You” and “I’ll Come Running,” to “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman,” the latter two recorded by his brother, James. He is equally at home with a wide range of musical genres, from folk to pop to gospel and jazz, and he can tell an upbeat story and sing a touching ballad without missing a beat.
Taylor has never stopped performing since his early coffeehouse days, and he has shared the stage with Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac and Jimmy Buffett. He maintains a busy concert schedule and is a natural performer, peppering his shows with personal stories, anecdotes, and a warmth that connects him to his audiences. His relaxed on-stage presence belies the depth of his musical knowledge and fans might just as often hear a classic Gershwin song or something from the best of Broadway.
Taylor is a full professor at Berklee College of Music, where he has taught Stage Performance since 1989, with lessons gleaned from a lifetime on the road. The course is consistently voted the most popular at the school and he has written a book, Stage Performance, which is a standard in the field.
Livingston Taylor’s 50th year of making music was celebrated by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, both declaring January 18, 2017, “Livingston Taylor Day.”
Tom Chapin’s creative roots run deep. The son of noted jazz drummer and teacher Jim Chapin and the grandson of author and critic Kenneth Burke and portrait painter James Chapin, he grew up in a family that encouraged artistic pursuits. He began performing professionally as a teen in the 1960s, playing in Greenwich Village folk clubs with his brothers Harry and Steve as The Chapin Brothers. In 1971, he began a five-year run as host of the Emmy and Peabody-award-winning children’s series, Make a Wish. In a career spanning six decades, 26 albums and three Grammy awards, the Hudson Valley troubadour has established himself as a performing and recording artist who has also performed on Broadway, in film, and on television and radio.
Chapin is that rare artist who reaches both adults and children and has maintained long and productive parallel careers as a highly respected folk artist and pioneer in children’s music. In both roles, he has established a reputation for insightful, heartfelt songcraft and charismatic live performances. In either format, his infectious songs, musicianship and warmth come through, whether he's performing on a record, in a concert hall, at an outdoor festival or school or in front of a symphony orchestra.
In addition to his performing and recording careers, Chapin has ventured into other creative areas. He had the lead role in the hit Broadway musical, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and worked off-Broadway as a musical director for Cotton Patch Gospel and Harry Chapin: Lies and Legends. He served as a host of National Geographic Explorer on television and has written and performed satirical topical songs for NPR’s Morning Edition. He even had a cameo role as the candidate for vice president in Jonathan Demme’s remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
Chapin has garnered accolades for his work, with The New York Times calling him “one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music,” and Billboard calling him “the best family artist around” and “totally captivating.”
Come hear two talented singer/songwriters with stories to tell and songs to sing. You’ll be totally captivated.