Legendary Recording Artist & Activist
Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. It is certainly no wonder that this artist was the muse for the classic rock song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”
Awards and Accolades
The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music,won “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.
Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hardluck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business.
In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community, and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.
Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy’s genuine desire to share what she’s learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.
In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy’s classical piano teacher when she was young.
Judy Collins, now 77, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.
The Healing Power of Art & Music
This is an intimate program that will take the viewer on Collins' own personal journey into creativity as she explores the healing power of art and music. It is about bringing creativity into your daily life in order to enhance the quality of life, even for those who do not consider themselves to be "artistic." Collins will discuss how anyone can bring this natural healing power into his own life, and how to gain access to your body's healing wisdom through music and art. Art and music can "move" painful, stress-producing emotions outside of your body, can help heal the pain in your life. Art and music, called "the medicine of the future" can help improve immune system function, alleviate depression and relieve pain. She leaves you with the inspiration and the tools to tap into your own deep well of creativity.
Morning, Noon, & Night: My Approach to the Creative Process
Everyone has some innate creativity, but have you ever wondered how creative genius is nurtured and maintained? Even the most gifted artist has to work. Hard. Collins gives an enthralling glimpse into the creative mind of a woman known for her songs, books, and watercolors. By carefully describing her approach to the creative process and breaks down each day of that process into morning, noon, and night, she offers insight into how to stay creative throughout the entire day. A charming storyteller, Collins engaging anecdotes about her life and the struggles she faced reveal not only her creative life, but also about her personal journey.
Women In Business
Sanity & Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival & Strength
Singing Lessons: Judy Collins Looks Back & Ahead
Wonderful!!! Ms. Collins was delightful as a speaker and an individual! She was so supportive of mental health issues overall and personalized it to Galveston as well! Additionally, at the VIP reception, she took time with individuals and listened to their stories and shared different things. She was just delightful!
- | Family Service Center Galveston, TX
The event was WONDERFUL, OUTSTANDING!! Ms. Collins was great. She is delightful, gracious and her talk on Saturday evening was unforgettable. I hope Ms. Collins feels the same about her experience in Winston-Salem, NC!
- | MHA of Forsythe County
A GREAT SUCCESS! She was truly amazing and inspirational -- our guests were all thrilled.
- | Yeshiva University
She is such a pro, and yet so very down to earth and approachable. It truly was a great event, and everyone left very inspired.
- | The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston