NPR’s “Empress of the Unexpected” Susan Werner Performs at Carpenter Center

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Susan Werner brings her repertoire of original cabaret, folk and jazz music to the carpenter Center Cabaret on Wednesday and Thursday, April 20 & 21 with pre-show dinner served.

“The music industry loves to pigeonhole recording artists,” Werner has said, “but I like to see myself as having more of a painter’s career, giving myself the freedom to try entirely new things, to incorporate new colors, new language into my songs.”

That ‘freedom to try entirely new things’ is evident in her 2004 release I Can’t Be New, with Werner writing original songs in the style of Gershwin and Cole Porter but from a present-day woman’s point of view. It was for her work on this album that The Chicago Tribune called her “the most innovative songwriter working today.” I Can’t Be New also cultivated her reputation as a daring and innovative songwriter, boldly weaving old and new to create altogether new musical genres. Werner will perform at the Carpenter Center with the help of longtime David Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey and guitarist/harmonica player Trina Hamlin.

Werner—who started playing guitar and singing at church at age five—next turned her attention to gospel music traditions from Folk/Bluegrass to Americana to R&B/Soul/Spiritual, resulting in her 2007 “agnostic gospel” record The Gospel Truth, a collection of original songs that blend both faith and doubt. NPR Weekend Edition’s Susan Stamberg called The Gospel Truth “a musical, lyrical examination of personal, social, and political faith in America… [from] a hip, wry, gifted performer.” The album was named 2007 Top Folk Album of the Year by NPR/Folk Alley, and Susan Werner was named Best Contemporary Folk Artist at the 2008 International Folk Alliance music conference.

Werner continues to be curious and unpredictable with her recent 2011 release, Kicking the Beehive, an 11-song collection of provocative, poignant, lyrical originals that are infused with the rustic roots of American folk, blues and country music. Produced by Rodney Crowell, recorded in Nashville and featuring such all star guests as Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’ and Paul Franklin, Kicking the Beehive is a personal project where Werner intuitively explores the full impact of looking beyond the superficial and delving into soulful honesty.

The Susan Werner Performance at The Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton Street, Long Beach, CA 90815 is Wednesday, April 20, 2011 – Thursday and April 21, 2011.

For the full cabaret experience, enjoy pre-show dinner and drinks from 6 – 6:45PM and then Susan Werner’s stirring performance starting at 7PM, for only $68 ($63 for seniors). Individual tickets for the show only are $45 ($40 for seniors). All tickets can be purchased by calling the Carpenter Center Arts Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000 or by visiting Box Office Hours are Monday-Friday, 11am-6pm; Saturday, noon-4pm.

This presentation is made possible in part by Season Media Partner KPCC 89.3FM.

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