Grammy winning Kathy Mattea will perform at the Stevens Center on Nov. 16
WINSTON-SALEM – Two-time Grammy Award winner Kathy Mattea, recently featured in the Ken Burns PBS documentary “Country Music,” performs at the Stevens Center for one night only: at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. Her appearance is part of the all-female American Music Series by “UNCSA Presents.”
Hailed by The Washington Post as “one of Nashville’s finest song interpreters,” Mattea has enjoyed the kind of success many artists only dream of. In addition to the Grammys, she’s won four Country Music Association Awards, four No. 1 country singles and five gold albums (plus a platinum collection of her greatest hits). The most poignant album of her career, “Pretty Bird,” was released in September 2018.
A consultant and contributor to the PBS documentary, Mattea performed in September at an all-star concert at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium to celebrate the film’s release. Also featured in the film and performing at the concert was Triad-born Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens, who said Mattea has influenced her career.
“My first obsession with country music was in the ‘90s,” Giddens said in the documentary. “It was Reba (McEntire) and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kathy Mattea. I love strong women telling stories. And I think in country music, especially at that time, if you want to look for super strong women telling really amazing stories, you went to country.”
Mattea’s first No. 1 hit was “Goin’ Gone” in 1987. She’s released 19 albums, including a 1990 collection of greatest hits that found its way back to the country music top 40 for online sales and steams after the Ken Burns documentary aired on PBS this fall.
“With a career that has endured through four decades, Kathy Mattea has sung her way into the hearts of thousands of Americans,” said Wiley Hausam, UNCSA’s managing director of performance facilities, who curates the American Music Series for “UNCSA Presents.”
“Both her music and her personal story as an artist are inspiring. They illustrate the rich and powerful tapestry that we call Americana music,” he added.
“Pretty Bird” is Mattea’s first release since she noticed her voice changing as she entered her 50s, an experience she describes as her “dark night of the soul.” Over a three-year period marked by personal anguish and professional uncertainty, she worked with a vocal coach and re-committed to her music. A collaboration with her old friend and music roots wizard Tom O’Brien, the album is a chronicle of her journey.
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.