Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Griffin, Watkins and Mitchell Use Your Voice Tour coming to Eisenhower March 16

In anticipation of this year’s presidential election, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin will team with Americana recording artists Sara Watkins and Anaïs Mitchell for the Use Your Voice 2016 Tour. The three will perform together on stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $42 for an adult, $19 for a University Park student, and $32 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

Election Day is months away, but Griffin wants the tour to inspire people—especially women—to participate in November’s general election. To help achieve that, she sought a partnership with the League of Women Voters, whose mission is to urge participation among all voters, regardless of political affiliation.

“I am hoping with this tour to bang the drum about our democracy, about our communities and even about our neighbors down the street,” she said.

Griffin has recorded 10 albums. Her 2010 release “Downtown Church” won a Grammy for best traditional gospel album, and 2015’s “Servant of Love” earned a Grammy nomination for best folk album. While recognized as a gifted singer, she’s also penned songs for a variety of performers, including Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, The Dixie Chicks and Bette Midler. She also has performed with Dierks Bentley, Mavis Staples and Robert Plant.

Watch Griffin performing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

Watkins made her debut, at age 8, with the Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek. The multi-instrumentalist recorded two solo albums during the band’s 2007–14 hiatus. A third is scheduled for release this year. Widely praised for her fiddling, Watkins has appeared on the Nerdist podcast and on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” She and her brother Sean, also a founding member of Nickel Creek, work with a rotating variety of musicians and actors in the Los Angeles-based Watkins Family Hour. She played fiddle and percussion for The Decemberists during the band’s 2011 tour and has collaborated with John Mayer, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, and others.

See Watkins’ music video of “Take Up Your Spade.”

Listen to a Center for the Performing Arts podcast conversation with Watkins.

Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature article about Watkins, the Use Your Voice Tour and Watkins other projects.

Often described the “Queen of Modern Folk,” Mitchell won the new folk award at the 2003 Kerrville Folk Festival with a sound and style that has drawn comparisons to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Shawn Colvin and Ani DiFranco. Mitchell debuted her folk opera “Hadestown” in 2006, staged it in 2007 and saw it resurrected by the New York Theatre Workshop for its 2015–16 season. In 2010, Mitchell released “Hadestown” on DiFranco’s label Righteous Babe Records. She also has supported tours for Richard Thompson, Bon Iver, Punch Brothers and Josh Ritter.

Watch a music video of Mitchell’s “Coming Down.”

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Use Your Voice 2016 Tour Manager Carolyn Rosenfeld, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Radio station 98.7 The FREQ is the concert media sponsor.

In conjunction with the tour, a free Feb. 29 Centre County Use Your Voice event will tackle the problem of voters’ underrepresentation and how people can engage in decision-making in the community. Find more information about Centre Country Use Your Voice.

Find more information about the concert.