PASA presents an evening with music legend Vince Gill

LAFAYETTE - The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana (PASA) will present mega music star Vince Gill in an intimate one-night only concert at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette.

One of the most popular and most recorded singers of the past quarter-century, Vince Gill has become the measure of excellence in country music. His vocal performances are spellbinding, his song writing, emotionally powerful and his guitar-playing world-class. Gill complements these stellar talents with a quick and easy wit and a generosity of spirit that is legendary. To those who know him best, though, he’s “just Vince,” a nice, regular guy who’s always up for a good laugh and another round of golf.

“Vince Gill is quite simply a living prism refracting all that is good in country music. He uses the crystal planes of his song writing, his playing, and his singing to give us a musical rainbow that embraces all men and spans all seasons,” said Kyle Young of the Country Music Foundation on Vince’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12, 1957 in Norman, Okla. His mother and father encouraged him to learn to play guitar and banjo, which he did, eventually adding bass, mandolin, dobro and fiddle to his instrumental array. While in high school, he performed in the bluegrass band “Mountain Smoke,” which built a strong local following and opened a concert for “Pure Prairie League.”

After graduating high school in 1975, Gill moved to Louisville, KY and joined the band “Bluegrass Alliance.” After a brief time in “Ricky Skaggs’s Boone Creek Band,” Gill moved to Los Angeles and joined “Sundance,” a bluegrass group fronted by fiddler Byron Berline. In 1979, he joined “Pure Prairie League” as lead singer and recorded three albums with the band, the first of which yielded the top ten pop hit “Let Me Love You Tonight” in 1980. Departing the group in 1981, Gill joined Rodney Crowell’s backing band the “Cherry Bombs,” where he met and worked with Tony Brown and Emory Gordy Jr., both of whom would later produce many of his future solo albums.

In 1983, Gill signed with RCA Records and moved to Nashville, Tenn. to pursue his dream of being a country music artist. His debut mini-album “Turn Me Loose” (produced by Gordy) was released the following year, featuring his first charting solo single, “Victim of Life’s Circumstance.”

“The Things That Matter,” his first full album was released later that year, featuring two top ten hits including a duet with Rosanne Cash. In addition to performing as a solo artist, Gill frequently worked as a studio musician, wrote songs for other artists and toured with fellow music superstar Emmylou Harris.

In 1989, Gill signed with MCA Records reuniting with Brown as a producer, and released the album “When I Call Your Name.”

Gill achieved his big breakthrough in 1990 with “When I Call Your Name.” That heart-rending lament won both the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year Award and a Grammy for Best Country Male Vocal Performance. In 1992, Gill was tapped to cohost the nationally telecast CMA Awards, also known as “Country Music’s Biggest Night™.”

He was so popular that he continued for 12 consecutive years, ending his run in 2003. Gill not only set a record for the most times anyone has consecutively hosted a televised award show, but also raised the bar for other television awards emcees via his deft ad libs and gentle humor and his evident respect for his peers and the audience.

In 2006, Gill released “These Days,” a ground breaking, four-CD set featuring 43 new recordings of diverse musical stylings. Each album in the set explored a different musical mood, including traditional country; ballads; contemporary, up-tempo and acoustic/bluegrass music. The set features a variety of guest performers including John Anderson, Guy Clark, Sheryl Crow, Phil Everly, daughter Jenny Gill, wife Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt, Leann Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood and more

Over the course of his professional career, Vince Gill has sold more than 26 million albums, earned 18 CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and 1994. He has received 20 Grammy Awards to date, the most of any male Country artist. He ties with fellow country music star George Strait for having won five, the most ever, CMA Male Vocalist Awards.

Gill is currently second only to Brooks and Dunn for accumulating the most CMA Awards in history. He is also a member of the historic American icon, the Grand Ole Opry.

An avid golfer, he helped create the annual Vince Gill Pro-Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, “The Vinny,” in 1993 in order to help support junior golf programs throughout TN.

Besides being known for his talent as a performer, musician and songwriter, he is regarded as one of country music’s best known humanitarians, participating in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career. In 2006, the Academy of Country Music honored him as its Humanitarian of The Year. In August of 2007, the Country Music Association inducted Gill as the newest member of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame. Gill is the third artist inducted in the “Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present” category, which was created in 2005.

“We are very excited about presenting Vince Gill as a special event at PASA,” says PASA Executive Director, Shanna Higginbotham. “Vince’s ability to weave a story through his song writing and his incredible musicianship is nothing less than amazing. Whether you are a country music fan or just a music fan, you are going to love this show.”

Tickets for Vince Gill in concert are available through TicketMaster by calling 1(800) 745-3000, online at pasaonline.org or by visiting any TicketMaster box office, including the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette.

For more information about the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana visit www.pasaonline.org or call (337) 237-2787.

Founded in 1988, the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana is a non-profit organization that presents live entertainment at the Heymann Performing Arts Center and other local venues, creates in-school arts activities, offers daytime performances for students and initiates outreach programs such as “PASA Plus” and “Play It Again, Lafayette.” PASA presents annual performances of opera, dance, drama and a variety of musical acts.

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