Musician, activist Erin McKeown to give free concert at Sweet Briar

Erin McKeown
Erin McKeown. Photo by Jo Chattman

Singer-songwriter, producer and activist Erin McKeown, currently a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, will give a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Memorial Chapel at Sweet Briar College. The event is open to the public.

Known internationally for her “prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries,” McKeown has played such venues as Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Royal Festival Hall, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Later with Jools Holland, as well as NPR and the BBC. Her “brash and clever” electric guitar playing is “something to see,” according to her website, and her singing voice is “truly unique — clear, cool and collected.” McKeown’s songs have appeared on numerous television shows and commercials. She has spent the last decade-and-a-half playing nearly 200 shows a year while releasing nine studio albums and refining a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles.

PosterMcKeown’s first original musical, “Miss You Like Hell,” co-written with Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegria Hudes, had its world premiere in the fall of 2016 at the La Jolla Playhouse. It opened off-Broadway at The Public Theater in spring 2018 and was nominated for three Outer Critics Circle Awards (Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Score) and five Drama Desk Awards (including Best Music, Best Lyrics, Best Orchestrations).

While a student at Brown University, McKeown spent three years as an artist-in-residence at Providence, R.I.’s revolutionary community arts organization AS220. An active voice on social justice issues and culture, McKeown was a 2011-12 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and she has blogged and hosted for WNYC New York Public Radio. A former board member of the Future of Music Coalition, McKeown has also worked closely with a range of nonprofits focusing on her core concerns of media justice and immigration reform.

For more information, email Joshua Harris at jkharris@sbc.edu.