The Woodstock Folk Festival will present "The Woody Guthrie Invitational," a celebration of the Centennial of Woody Guthrie's birth on Earth Day, at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at the Unity Spiritual Center of Woodstock, 225 W. Calhoun St., Woodstock
Woody Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Okla. Over the years, his songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well-oiled track. They have become the folk song standards of the nation, known and performed in many languages throughout the world.
"Even four decades after his death, the influence of my father's music is still felt worldwide," said Nora Guthrie, president of Woody Guthrie Publications.
This afternoon celebration of Woody Guthrie's life and music will feature performances by musicians from Illinois and beyond, including Tricia Alexander, Sandy Andina, Stephen Lee Rich, Amy Beth, Dave Hawkins, Mark Hobbs, Amy Dixon-Kolar, Jeff Justman, Lia McCoo, Dean Milano, and Claudia Nygaard.
Funds raised at this event will benefit the 27th annual Woodstock Folk Festival, which be Sunday, July 15, on the historic Square in Woodstock. The festival will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Tom Paxton, who wrote modern standards such as "The Last Thing On My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy" and "Bottle of Wine."
Born in Chicago, Paxton has been an integral part of the songwriting and folk music community since the early 1960s and continues to be a primary influence on today's "New Folk" performers.
Paxton also will perform in concert at the Woodstock Opera House Saturday night, July 14, the eve of the festival.
The Main Stage of the festival will also feature RJ Cowdery, Tim Grimm, Anne Hills, Joe Jencks, Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston, and Small Potatoes. The featured performer at the open mic stage will be the Georgia Rae Family Band.
Mark Lyons and Jean Adaskavich will perform in the Children's Area, and Lil' Rev will lead a Ukelele Workshop. Chuck Vandervennet and Rich Warren will co-host the festival, which is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Admission to the Woody Guthrie Invitational special fundraising concert is a suggested donation of $10. Reservations are not required, but are encouraged. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (815) 479-9WFF (9933), or visit www.woodstockfolkfestival.org.
Join the group before the concert at the Old Court House Arts Center from 1 to 2 p.m., where some of the musicians from the Woody Guthrie Invitational will perform in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Women's Works, a juried selection of international artwork.
The Arts Center, on Woodstock Square, 101 N. Johnson, will also offer organic chocolate as part of the celebration. For details, visit www.womensworks.net.
The Unity Spiritual Center of Woodstock is at 225 W. Calhoun St., corner of Calhoun and Tryon, near the Woodstock Square.