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Folk singer Tom Chapin to play Folk Sessions Anniversary concert Saturday, Feb. 4

Tom Chapin
Courtesy photo

Tom Chapin

Family-friendly folk singer Tom Chapin has quite the musical pedigree.

Over the course of a five-decade, Grammy Award-winning musical career, the brother of the late folk rock singer Harry Chapin has cultivated a reputation as an entertainer equally comfortable on a Broadway stage as in a recording studio; his appeal is one that will earn laughter from children and hearty applause from adults.

He is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has enjoyed parallel careers as a contemporary folk artist and a pioneer in the field of children’s music. He has produced 24 albums, 13 of them for a youthful audience.

In an interview, Chapin said he strives to create “magic” with every word and chord he performs; his songs are dubbed as not only infectious, but affirmations of life that elevate all listeners’ imaginations.

If you want a taste of Chapin’s musical craft and charisma, attend the Saturday, Feb. 4, family show he is scheduled to perform at the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $7.50 for children.

Chapin pledges it will be an afternoon of “delight,” uplifting songs and stories meant to encourage and enliven listeners, possibly even tempt them to think about the world in a new way. One of the songs he will perform is titled, “Puppy at the Pound,” a song that encourages animal rescue. Chapin, too, often sings tunes oriented around the preservation of the planet.

Beyond his music, Chapin is a formidable advocate for a number of charities, including his late brother’s WhyHunger foundation.

For Chapin, music is not a hobby, but a lifestyle.

He is the son of noted jazz drummer and teacher Jim Chapin, and the grandson of author and critic Kenneth Burke and painter James Chapin. He started performing professionally as a teenager in the 1960s, playing in Greenwich Village clubs along with his brothers Harry and Steve as The Chapin Brothers.

Asked if he might perform his brothers’ signature tune, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” Chapin said he determines his song choice based on audience, and so if it seems like it would be appreciated, he just might add that to his own repertoire.

He said he likes to ensure that every one of his concerts is a “moment of delight for everybody.”

Folk Sessions Founder and Producer Tom Agostino calls Chapin a musician with a “very big profile” who knows how to captivate an audience from birth to senior citizens.

“He’s one of those guys who has done a little bit of everything,” Agostino said.

Though well known for his children’s albums, Agostino said his messages resonate with parents and adults of all kinds because they are intelligent and contemporary.

One of Chapin’s most popular songs is titled “This Pretty Planet,” one that the late astronaut John Glenn listened to every morning as he circled the planet for the first time, Agostino said.

Chapin’s latest family album is titled, “The Incredible Flexible You,” a winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, a Family Choice Award, a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and a Creative Child CD.

“He is one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen,” said Agostino of Chapin, who is performing here for the fourth time.

A gregarious sort, Chapin brings to every concert a high energy and “everyone in the audience is in the band,” Agostino said.

“His joy is pretty profound,” he said.

“It’s a blessing to do what I do,” Chapin declared.

Chapin’s concert will be followed by a meet-and-greet reception. To buy tickets before the event, visit the website www.eventbrite.com or contact the church at 928-541-0000.

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