Grammy winner Tom Chapin coming to SpiritFest

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    lafayette-Singer-songwriter Tom Chapin headlines the fifth annual Unity SpiritFest Outdoor Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 11. Chapin is a gifted entertainer whom Billboard Magazine called "one of those natural-born entertainers who, with nothing more than a guitar in hand, can totally captivate." Tom's musicianship, songwriting and personal warmth shine through whether he's performing in a concert hall, an outdoor festival, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse. Tom's concerts span generations and stereotypes. "Mine is not a traditional music, but it comes from a tradition," he said. "My musical heroes are people like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, who wrote and sang real songs for real people, for everyone, old, young, and in between." Tom's adult concerts and recordings are sparked by strong, intelligent songwriting with clear, engaging vocals and the intricate, melodic guitar work that has become his trademark. He is a contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition, creating and performing topical songs poking fun at social and scientific trends in the news. Tom has gained widespread critical and popular acclaim for his recordings aimed at 4- to 11-year-olds and their families. Tom and his collaborators, John Forster, Michael Mark and Jon Cobert, have created a body of songs which are quickly becoming children's classics. SpiritFest will also feature two additional musical artists, LeRoy White and Unami. White's music is in the style of Bob Marley, Lauren Hill and James Brown. The Woodstock Times says, "He commands the stage like a Shakespearean actor while using his body like he's doing Motown Tai Chi." LeRoy plays congas, udo drum, crystal singing bowls, council drums, and an array of percussion instruments that fill the stage. He has been performing for more than 40 years and has appeared with such artists as Peter Frampton, KISS, Ike and Tina Turner, Tim Harden, Herbie Mann and Bonnie Raitt to name a few. Unami is a Native American band that combines contemporary and traditional sounds, such as their rendition of John Lennon's Imagine. Unami features Jim Beer, an accomplished singer, song writer and guitarist of Lenape Indian descent. The festival runs for two days this year, from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday. Tom Chapin, LeRoy White and Unami will all perform on Saturday, while LeRoy and Unami will return for Sunday, after a 9:30 a.m. music meditation service along with the regular 11:00 AM service in the Unity Sanctuary. Tickets purchased will be good for both days. There will be assorted craft and food vendors and a special children's tent. Admission is $10 for adults; children under 12 are free, and family admission is $20. The festival will be held rain or shine on the grounds of Unity Church of Sussex County, at 25 Mudcut Road (directly off Rte. 15) in Lafayette. Those attending may bring lawn chairs or blankets. This is an alcohol-free event. For more information or directions, call 973-383-6277.