Singer-songwriter Amber Norgaard and percussionist Will Clipman will return Tuesday for their third appearance at the Arizona Senior Academy.
The pair have been performing together for five years, and the blending of Norgaard’s singing, songwriting, piano and acoustic guitar with the full spectrum of Clipman’s eclectic percussion create what the two call an intimate musical conversation.
Their Tuesday performance begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Senior Academy Great Room, on the campus of the Academy Village, an active adult community off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East.
Clipman said the duo enjoy playing at the Senior Academy, in part because the hall’s acoustics allow the musicians to express themselves across a wide dynamic range from laid-back ballads to up-tempo folk-rock.
“The interactive question-and-answer session that concludes each concert allows us to connect with the ASA residents in a very up-close and personal way, and to provide insights into our creative process, career background, and instrumentation that would not be possible in a more typical venue,” Clipman added.
Norgaard has been writing new material for her next album, due out in 2013, so there will be new songs for the duo’s returning fans as well as favorites from the repertoire for new folks, mixing in a few select covers with Amber’s classic originals.
Norgaard grew up on an Iowa farm and had a calling to be of service to the world. After graduating Creighton University School of Nursing, she set off to do volunteer work as a community health nurse in the Dominican Republic and Oregon.
Eventually, she settled for six years in southwestern Alaska, working as a nurse with a tribal health corporation. During this time, Amber discovered that music was a source of connection for people – transcending language and cultural barriers, relaying messages, evoking emotions and potentially facilitating healing on a profound level.
In 2004, Amber left Alaska to pursue a musical dream. Since then, the nurse-turned-musician has released three full-length albums and one acoustic EP. She was the 2007 Up & Coming Artist of the Year in the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES), has received several honors from international songwriting competitions and placed second out of nearly 100 bands at the California-based 2007 Winery Music Awards. Tucson Lifestyle magazine comments, “Solo, or with her band, she has proved to be a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with…the petite powerhouse is one part poet, one part social crusader.”
Will’s lifelong exploration of world music began at age 3 when he took it upon himself to start playing his mother’s piano and his father’s drumset in the basement of his family home in Philadelphia. He says he had his “molecular structure permanently rearranged by the vibration of a tom-tom.”
Over 60 recordings, countless live performances, and six Grammy nominations later, Will is still entranced by the pleasures of instruments that are rubbed, shaken and struck to produce sound.
Will is a six-time Grammy nominee, a two-time Native American Music Award Winner, a New Age Reporter Music Award Winner, and a two-time TAMMIE Award Winner; and has been inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum for his contributions to the musical community in his hometown. In addition to his solo work, Will plays percussion in Norgaard’s acoustic trio and drums in her electric band. He also performs and records with R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Gabriel Ayala, among many other internationally-acclaimed artists.
Submitted by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer
IF YOU GO
What: Folk concert with Amber Norgaard and Will Clipman
When: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 2)
Where: Arizona Senior Academy Building at Academy Village, 13715 E. Langtry Lane
Admission: Free; donations accepted
Reservations: Recommended; email firstname.lastname@example.org.