Ani DiFranco with special guest Haley Heynderickx

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 7:30PM
Power Center

Ani DiFranco with special guest Haley Heynderickx
Ticket sales for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival begin
Monday, April 16 at 9 am.

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"Passionate, provocative, and charming, the iconic singer/songwriter, activist, poet, and auteur Ani DiFranco returns to the territory that brought her to the world’s attention backed by a full band. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, hers is a brash elegance intending to push society to a better place.

Ani DiFranco was born a gifted songwriter. By age 19, she had written over 100 original songs on her acoustic guitar. Compelled by a ethos that her music and her performance had to remain personal, she founded Righteous Babe Records to distribute her demos. Touring an average of 200 shows a year, she set out to prove that a strong, feminist artist could be very visible outside of the mainstream and pioneered a movement. Rising to icon status for the young women and men who looked to her for honest culture and queer validation, her punk, folk look and sound became emblematic of alternative. Righteous Babe has released nearly an album a year of her music, encompassing a layered and sonically rich body of work that moves between the heights of her pleas for acceptance and reckoning and the sweet folksiness and humor that has endeared her to generations of fans.

DiFranco joins the festival in support of her new album, Binary. She said the title track is key to her intention on this project. “An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy—nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that’s only a surface story,” she expressed. Technology, connections to nature, capital “p” Politics, and studies of the power dynamics between people are binaries woven into her compositions. The backbone of Binary’s sound is DiFranco’s long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests, including producer Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Pearl Jam), violinist Jenny Scheinman, keyboard wizard Ivan Neville, the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of tracks. “Their souls are of this place,” she says. “The feel they bring is something they got in utero.”"