Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tom Paxton is the latest artist to sign on to a tribute concert in the Washington, D.C., area for vocalist Grace Griffith.
The July 20 event at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., is a fundraiser as well as an evening celebrating the release of Griffith’s latest album, Passing Through.
Griffith, who has battled the effects of early onset Parkinson’s disease for the past 17 years, will perform. Singing with her will be Cathy Fink, Randy Barrett, Carey Creed, Lynn Hollyfield, Lisa Moscatiello, Christina Muir, Chris Noyes and Debi Smith.
The evening’s lineup also features Griffith’s friend and musical partner Marcy Marxer on guitar, mandolin, tin whistle and percussion, Zan McLeod on guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, guitarist Al Petteway, Lenny Williams on keyboards, Jim Robeson playing bass and fiddler Dave Abe.
“Marcy put together a brilliant approach that allows Grace to do all the singing and performing she can, with all the musical help that she might need,” said Fink, who records and performs with Marxer. “Marcy has chosen some fabulous friends of Grace’s who know the material – the cream of the crop in folk and celtic music.”
Money raised by the concert will go toward paying the cost of Griffith’s speech and physical therapy sessions. Although insured, Griffith’s policy covers a maximum of 30 therapy sessions per year.
“With Parkinson’s there’s no end to what you’ll need, and it changes every day. Special treatments, special voice therapy … it all costs,” Fink said. “Parkinson’s is not a disease that people recover from or get better from, so it’s great to be able to afford additional therapies.”
Currently residing in an assisted-living community outside Washington, D.C., Griffith is optimistic in regards to her life and her music.
“Live is a celebration, and we’re lucky to be here,” Griffith said. “Music has always been a focal point in my life. I get pleasure and peace from music. Since Parkinson’s disease has come to live with me, music has become more important than ever.”
Griffith’s Passing Through album drops July 22 on Blix Street Records. Please click here for more information.