Like dreams, poetry and song enter our lives by way of a mystery—unrecognized and often uninvited. Both represent the speaking of the otherwise unspeakable: the place where real truth is unencumbered by fact, time is made elastic, and narrative emerges from the abstract to tell us something of who we are. Listen in for a special evening of music and conversation with two leading voices as songwriters and authors Rosanne Cash and Joe Henry, both multi-GRAMMY Award winners, reflect on the transcendence of language through poetry and song.
Rosanne Cash is one of the country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters and author of four books, including her best-selling memoir Composed. She has released 15 albums that have earned four GRAMMY Awards and 11 nominations, as well as 21 top-40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. Cash’s landmark 2009 album, The List, won the Americana Music Album of the Year award. She was also the recipient of the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall and hosted four concerts during their 2015/16 season. She was recently inducted into the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford-American, the Nation, and many more print and online publications. In addition to continual touring, Cash has partnered in programming collaborations with the Minnesota Orchestra, Lincoln Center, and San Francisco Jazz.
Joe Henry is a songwriter, artist, and storyteller who has left an indelible and unique imprint on American popular music during his 30-year career. Henry is celebrated for his exploration of the human experience and for working across a broad swath of American musical styles — rock, jazz, and blues—rendering genre modifiers useless. In 2013, Algonquin Press published Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him, a book co-written with his brother, and in 2014, Henry released his thirteenth album Invisible Hour on his own label, Work Song. As a solo artist and producer, Henry has collaborated with many notable American artists, from T Bone Burnett, Daniel Lanois, and Van Dyke Parks on one side of the spectrum to Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau, and Bill Frisell on the other. A three-time-GRAMMY-winning producer, Henry has made records for Bonnie Raitt, Hugh Laurie, Lisa Hannigan, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, and many others. In October 2015, Henry helmed a session for the late Allen Toussaint. That album is due out June 10 on Nonesuch Records.