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Opening pops event features songs of Carole King, James Taylor
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Opening pops event features songs of Carole King, James Taylor

Kirsti Manna and Jonathan Birchfield star in “You’ve Got a Friend: The Music of Carole King & James Taylor.”

The music of two pop icons from the 1970s will be featured when Rockefeller Arts Center presents “You’ve Got A Friend: The Music of Carole King and James Taylor” on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall.

“You’ve Got a Friend” is a described as a “genuinely moving, nostalgic concert performance” highlighting the music and legacy of Carole King and James Taylor. Two long-time friends and collaborators ̶  hit songwriter Kirsti Manna and national recording artist Jonathan Birchfield ̶  capture the essence of friendship through music with their dynamic performances.

King and Taylor ruled the airwaves and concert halls in the 1970s heyday of the singer/songwriter with hits like “How Sweet It Is,” “Carolina in My Mind,” “Fire and Rain,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Sweet Baby James” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”

In 2010, King and Taylor reunited for the “Live at the Troubadour” performance. Manna and Birchfield were so inspired by that concert that it compelled them to create a show based on this timeless music.

Manna and Birchfield have many years of touring, performing, and writing between them.

They have shared the stage with such artists as Brooks and Dunn, Ray Charles, Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill and have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Now they are sharing the stage with each other to perform songs of their mentors.

“‘You’ve Got a Friend’ isn’t just a song title to us,” Manna said. “It’s our opportunity to pay homage to the music, the lyrics, and the melodies that moved us to become songwriters and performers.”

Manna is a Nashville-based songwriter, publisher, and producer whose six-week Billboard #1 hit, “Austin” introduced Blake Shelton to country radio. She’s also the co-writer/co-publisher for Big & Rich’s hit, “Loud,” which is the theme song for Country Music Television’s “Gone Country.” Artists such as Gretchen Wilson, Colt Prather, Cowboy Crush, and many others have recorded Kirsti’s songs. They have been heard on ESPN, “The Tonight Show,” “The David Letterman Show,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Dance Wars.”

Birchfield, a North Carolina native, is a guitarist, professional entertainer and songwriter. For more than 25 years, he has toured throughout the Southeast. After meeting Buffet through a mutual friend, Birchfield became a featured performer at Buffet’s “Meeting of the Minds” Parrot Head Conventions. He has also shared the stage with Brooks and Dunn, Edwin McCain, Mac McAnally, and Allison Krauss, to name a few.

“You’ve Got a Friend” is a DFT Communications Pops Series event sponsored by WDOE and 96 KIX Country as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

Tickets are available through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501, and online.

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