Sarah McLachlan has spent more than two decades at the top of the recording industry and sold over 40 million albums to date. The Canadian-born singer, songwriter and pianist earned a gold record for her sophomore release, Solace, and from her early rise to stardom until today, she has attracted multiple Grammy and Juno Awards and legions of loyal fans. Her latest recording, Shine On, was released in 2014 and inspired by the death of her father; it won a Juno Award earlier this year for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. Expect to be deeply moved by McLachlan’s poignant original ballads, lovely piano-playing and stunning vocal range when she appears on Sunday, November 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston.
McLachlan channeled her frustration with radio stations and concert promoters who didn’t feature women musicians enough into founding the Lilith Fair. It attracted two million concertgoers from 1997 to 1999 and was the most successful all-female music festival in history, raising $7 million for charities.
Her passion for philanthropy and high-quality music education has led her to support many worthy causes since the 1990s. She founded the Sarah McLachlan School of Music to serve at-risk and underserved youth (grades four to 12) in Vancouver. The school offers a wide variety of music programs, ranging from instrumental instruction to music/video production, deejaying and electronic music.
“I don’t know what I would have done without music in my life when I was growing up,” she writes. “I was unpopular and picked on, but for me, music was my refuge and solace – the one thing I knew I was good at; it fed me and kept me going.” And of course, she and her music are the heartrending stars of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals television advertisements that have helped to raise $30 million since they began to air nearly a decade ago.
Sarah McLachlan, Sunday, November 29, 7:30 p.m., $80-$100, Ulster Performing Arts Center, 601 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 339.6088, www.bardavon.org.