- 19 Mar 19
Patti Smith is among a list of guests scheduled to perform at a tribute concert for Van Morrison in New York this Thursday, March 21.
A tribute concert for Belfast singer Van Morrison is set to take place at Carnegie Hall on March 21. The tribute gig, which promises to be a very special occasion indeed, will feature the likes of Patti Smith, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Josh Ritter, Glen Hansard and Todd Rundgren. The artists will perform songs written by Van Morrison.
The Van Morrison influence in Patti Smith's work is well known. Her 1975 single 'Gloria (In Excelsis Deo)' is a powerful reworking of the original garage rock single by Them - a four-piece r'n'b band, which was fronted by Van Morrison. 'Gloria' was written by Van Morrison and featured originally on the b-side of the successful chart single 'Baby, Please Don't Go'. 'Gloria' is one of the most widely covered songs in the history of rock, with The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty among the artists who performed it – but Smith's version is crucially different in the way it plays with gender. And as anyone who has ever seen her live will attest, she delivers the song with a cathartic power that defies genres.
The tribute concert is being organised by businessman Michael Dorf, who has organised a number of similar events which have honoured artists such as Prince, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones.
All of the proceeds from the concerts – amounting to a reported $1.5m (€1.3m) in total to date – have been donated to charities.
On Friday, Morrison's 1996 album The Healing Game – which includes 'Burning Ground', with Brian Kennedy and John Lee Hooker – is being re-released in a deluxe 3-CD edition including 34 unreleased tracks. Van Morrison is widely considered Ireland's most important contemporary musician, with over 50 years of acclaimed recording to his credit. That he shows no sign of slowing down is perhaps the ultimate tribute. But the upcoming concert certainly represents a unique opportunity to pay respect to his unique genius.