Patty Larkin performs Sunday |

Patty Larkin performs Sunday

One of America’s most distinguished guitarists and thoughtful lyricists, Patty Larkin, will play for Grass Valley audiences Sunday during a concert presented by the Center for the Arts.

Larkin has redefined the boundaries of folk-urban pop music with her inventive guitar wizardry and uncompromising vocals and lyrics for more than 25 years.

A background in classical piano and a jazz-guitar education from Berklee College of Music, Larkin grew up in a musical and artistic family in Milwaukee. Descended from a long line of Irish-American singers and taletellers, her mother was a painter, her sisters both musicians. She learned at a young age to appreciate the beauty of the arts, beginning classical piano studies at age 7.

In the 1960s, she was swept up in the sounds of pop and folk, teaching herself the guitar and experimenting with songwriting as a teen. An English major, Larkin started singing in coffeehouses in Oregon and San Francisco, and after graduating from the University of Oregon, she moved to Boston to devote herself to music. She busked on the streets of Cambridge and studied jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music.

“Still Green,” is Larkin’s 13th album — a collection of new songs that chronicle Larkin’s search for solace during a time when she lost both of her parents and witnessed a sister suffer a serious health issue. On the album, Larkin sings and plays guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, octave mandolin, loops, organ and keyboards.

“What I want to walk away with and what I want to leave the listener with is a sense of hope,” she said.

Larkin is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music, where she is now an artist in residence. She has earned 11 Boston Music Awards and has been honored by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with “Patty Larkin Appreciation Day” in recognition of her philanthropic contributions to nonprofit organizations.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $22 for members of the Center, $25 for non-members and are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384, ext. 14, or online at, or at BriarPatch Co-op.

For information, go to

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