Judy Collins is coming to Kauai.
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter will kick off her Hawaii tour next Thursday, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. Tickets start at $50, and can be purchased in advance from bluesbearhawaii.com. Doors open at 6 p.m.
“I always love coming to Kauai,” Collins said in an interview last week. She said she has had the opportunity to perform on the island several times throughout her career and always enjoys it.
This time around, Collins is fresh off a November tour with Stephen Stills, of legendary supergroup Crosby, Stills &Nash. The two spent last month touring in support of their latest collaboration, “Everybody Knows.” The album, released last September, was financed through a crowdfunding campaign and peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Next Thursday is a chance to see Collins on a stage all by herself, and that may be when she’s at her best.
Collins began her music career as a child prodigy on the piano, performing for the first time at age 13, and started playing clubs in New York’s Greenwich Village as a young woman. In 1961, she released her debut album, “A Maid of Constant Sorrow,” which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton.
She gained international prominence in 1967 with the lead single from her album Wildflowers, entitled “Both Sides, Now,” written by Joni Mitchell. The single hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and won Collins her first Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance.
Collins had success throughout the 1970s with a number of popular singles and the release of her best-selling album, Judith, in 1975, featuring “Send in the Clowns,” which was written by Stephen Sondheim and went on to spend 27 weeks on the chart.
Collins has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity &Grace. For her most recent title, the memoir Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music, she recalls her turbulent childhood, rise to fame, a romance with Stephen Stills and her battles with depression and alcoholism.
She remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is also the co-director with, Jill Godmillow, of an academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico, the first women to conduct major symphonies around the world-and Judy’s classical piano teacher when she was young.
Judy Collins, now 78, is as creatively prolific as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. After performing on Kauai, she hops to Maui the next day, followed by the Big Island on Jan. 5. The she heads off on a tour with stops in Europe, California and Canada.
“I don’t know what city I’m going to be playing in until my manager tells me when I wake up in the morning,” she said.