Imagine the sound if a D-flawless diamond could sing. Or Baccarat crystal. Or a Colorado blue sky after a cold front has passed through. Or a mountain spring after snow melt. After 50+ years, the crystalline voice has lost none of its legendary clarity: Judy Collins still sings like an angel. Her vocal interpretations continue to inspire millions and her poetry remains timeless.

Like a pearl, Collins seems to improve with age. As with a pearl, the magic comes from the inside.

“It is astounding but true; Judy’s remarkable instrument has lost none of its luster,” said close friend and former music industry executive Bunny Freidus. “Not only is Judy a captivating performer, she does not conduct herself like a diva: in person, she is warm, witty and deeply intelligent. In concert, she is a great all-around entertainer.”

Judy Collins returns to town for an encore performance at the historic Sheridan Opera House on Friday, February 24, 8 p.m. The evening includes music, poetry and storytelling based on her experiences as a girl growing up in Colorado and her long, illustrious career as a folk artist.

Collins’ early musical background was classical piano. By age 10, she was studying with her mentor Antonia Brico, the famed orchestral conductor, whom Collins later immortalized in an Academy Award-nominated documentary.

At 13, Judy Collins made her public debut performing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos, but the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, sparked Collin’s love of lyrics. She soon moved away from the classical piano and began her lifelong love affair with the guitar.

In 1961, at the age of 22, Judy Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, and began a 35- year association with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. She interpreted the songs of fellow artists, particularly the social poets of the 1960s  such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. Collins was instrumental in bringing other singer-songwriters to a wider audience including poet/musician Leonard Cohen, plus Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell. (Her rendition of Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” wound up in the Grammy Hall of Fame.)

Judy’s impressive musical career never lost momentum, with an extensive catalog from every decade throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present.  In 2010, Collectors’ Choice Music reissued (digitally remastered) nine CDs of Collins’ Elektra titles: Fifth Album (1965), In My Life (1966), Whales & Nightingales (1970), True Stories & Other Dreams (1973), Bread & Roses (1976), Running for My Life (1980), Times of Our Lives (1982), Home Again (1984) and Christmas at the Biltmore (1997). Among her latest projects is Paradise, a collection of 10 songs that includes duets with the legendary Stephen Stills  and Joan Baez.

Judy Collins, now 71, is a relentlessly creative spirit, a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, author, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart, playing 80 to 100 dates a year around the country.

To preview the Opera House program, watch this video clip:


Editor’s note: This just in late Thursday. Prior to the concert, Judy Collins is hosting a book-signing at Between the Covers Book Store. The event takes place from 3 – 4 p.m. The new book, “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes,” is a deeply personal, honest, and revealing memoir.  In it, the author talks about her alcoholism, her lasting love affair with Stephen Stills, her friendships with Joan Baez, Richard and Mimi Fariña, David Crosby, and Leonard Cohen and, above all, the music that helped define a decade and a generation’s sound track.

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