Performing on the 4th of July.
It’s always a welcome challenge to put together a program based on a theme, and I’ve done many themed concerts over the years. This year, for July 4th, I really had to think about how I wanted to celebrate the United States and what Independence Day means in 2022, knowing that while I am so grateful to be an American, there is still an incredible struggle to realize the ideals of freedom and equality that this country strives for, for all of its people. So I reach for the classics like America The Beautiful, and Irving Berlin’s God Bless America, and also songs I carry forward from my childhood, like Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, Neil Diamond’s Coming To America, and Marlo Thomas’ project Free To Be You And Me. All of these songs empower us to see how similar we are while also celebrating our differences, to lift each other up, and to take care of each other, to work together towards creating a “More Perfect Union.” That’s what living in a country, any country, is about. So however you celebrate, I hope it is with good music. Happy 4th!