Songwriter, musician, and activist Ani DiFranco brings her unmistakable sounds and stories to Tulsa this spring to raise funds for the Woody Guthrie Center’s education programs.
DiFranco, with special guest Diane Patterson, will perform at 8 p.m. June 1 in the Williams Theater of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. April 12, with pre-sale available for Woody Guthrie Center members and DiFranco fan club members. Tickets are $45 plus fees, with VIP tickets at $75 that include a signed copy of DiFranco’s memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, due out May 7.
“It’s such a thrill for the Woody Guthrie Center to have one our artist advisory board members perform for our Tulsa community,” said Deana McCloud, executive director of the Woody Guthrie Center. “We encourage everyone to be part of Tulsa Pride Parade before the show, and then come enjoy an amazing performance by an activist who follows in Woody’s footsteps. We appreciate Ani, her message, and her continued support for the Center and our education programs.”
About Ani DiFranco
Widely considered a feminist icon, Grammy winner Ani DiFranco is the mother of the DIY movement, being one of the first artists to create her own record label in 1990. While she has been known as the “Little Folksinger,” her music has embraced punk, funk, hip hop, jazz, soul, electronica and even more distant sounds. Her collaborators have included everyone from Utah Phillips to legendary R&B saxophonist Maceo Parker to Prince. She has shared stages with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Greg Brown, Billy Bragg, Michael Franti, Chuck D., and many more. Her most recent album Binary was released in June 2017 on Righteous Babe Records and her memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream will be released on May 7, 2019 by Viking Books.
Rejecting the major label system has given her significant creative freedom. She has referenced her staunchly-held independence in song more than once, including in “The Million You Never Made” (Not a Pretty Girl), which discusses the act of turning down a lucrative contract, “The Next Big Thing” (Not So Soft), which describes an imagined meeting with a label head-hunter who evaluates the singer based on her looks, and “Napoleon” (Dilate), which sympathizes sarcastically with an unnamed friend who did sign with a label. After recording with Ani in 1999, Prince described the effects of her independence. “We jammed for four hours and she danced the whole time. We had to quit because she wore us out. After being with her, it dawned on me why she’s like that – she’s never had a ceiling over her.”
Her lyrics are rhythmic and poetic, often autobiographical, and strongly political. “Trickle Down” discusses racism and gentrification, while “To The Teeth” speaks about the need for gun control, and “In or Out” questions society’s traditional sexuality labels. Most recently, the 2016 single “Play God” has become a battle cry for reproductive rights. Rolling Stone said of her in 2012, “The world needs more radicals like Ani DiFranco: wry, sexy, as committed to beauty and joy as revolution.”