Two LA exhibitions of paintings inspired by VDP's 1989 song 'Manzanar' from the Tokyo Rose album in July.

"Hello Van Dyke,

I am having an exhibit at the Gallery Western featuring watercolors on Korean Comfort Women. My work in NJ on this subject has resulted in the first memorial in the western world that is in Palisades Park, NJ. I am coming to LA to do two exhibits and some meetings to try to have a memorial placed there too.

I am not sure if you are free, but it would be an honor if you can attend my exhibit. The whole series of paintings began after I heard your song Manzanar on the Tokyo Rose album, and from there I began with work on Japanese Internment Camps... a year or two later I started to work on paintings about Comfort Women of WWII and it developed into the memorial that the NY Times covered as well as CNN.

The 2nd exhibit I am doing in LA will be in Glendale, but it is a group exhibit and one of the former comfort women will come to speak at the exhibit. It is in the Glendale Central Library and, although it is not the ideal place for an art exhibit, the facility is good for the media and for the former comfort women to speak at. That will be on Thursday, July 26. I am not sure of the details yet.

Once again, I would be honored to meet you and for you to see my work.

You have always been an inspiration from Song Cycle to now."

Steven Cavallo

Van Dyke Parks Rough Trade East In-store Appearance on 24 June at 12pm to promote the re-release of his first three classic albums with Q&A plus live Performance.

For fans, those initial three albumsSong Cycle, Discover America and Clang of the Yankee Reaper — are still his most fascinating and satisfying works, slices of American musical history that are of their time and yet truly timeless.

As allmusic.com wrote about Song Cycle, "Nothing escapes Parks' radar, and the sheer eclecticism and individualism of his work is remarkable. The album is both forward-thinking and backward-minded, a collision of bygone musical styles with the progressive sensibilities of the late '60s......a one-of-a-kind record, the product of true inspiration."

Click here for more details on in-store appearance and the albums...

Van Dyke Parks with Britten Sinfonia and special guests Robin Pecknold and Daniel Rossen — a special one-off show to coincide with the long-awaited reissue of three of VDP's most visionary albums, Song Cycle, Discover America and Clang of the Yankee Reaper — on 23 June 2012, Barbican Hall, London.

"Performing a career-retrospective set featuring full orchestral accompaniment from Britten Sinfonia, Van Dyke Parks will be joined by guest vocalists Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) and Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear). If you don’t know Van Dyke Parks, now is the chance to immerse yourself in a uniquely eclectic and daring landscape."

Click here for more details and booking info...

Read a review of the concert on The Arts Desk website...

Reviews just keep on coming: "Van Dyke Parks At The Barbican" by Andrew Hickey...

Read this glowing report on All About Jazz by John Eyles...

"Van Dyke Parks on NPR Mountain Stage"
Mountain Stage Radio Show episode was broadcast on May 4.

On the original Show Date of February 19, 2012, Van Dyke performed 'Jump', 'I'm History', 'The All Golden' and 'Orange Crate Art'. The show has been archived for your repeated enjoyment.

Click here to listen to the show...

'Music Man Murray' premiered on Documentary Channel, NPR
on Record Store Day...

Sarah Silverman and Van Dyke Parks contribute to new project about the actor seen in 'Mad Men' and 'Parks and Recreation'. The world's largest collection of vinyl is worthless. Or is it? The only way to find out is to look inside.

'Music Man Murray' which premiered on television and online on April 21, is a collaborative distribution by the Documentary Channel, NPR's All Songs Considered, and Record Store Day. 'Music Man Murray' is about a man who amassed perhaps the largest private collection of vinyl, anywhere, and his quest to sell it at the end of his life. And it's about that man's son, who is crippled by the idea of losing his dad, and the records.

The movie's subject, Murray Gershenz, 88, has already moved on from his life as LA's rare-record guru—he's now an actor in Hollywood with roles on 'Parks and Recreation', 'Mad Men', and the 'Sarah Silverman Program'.

But Murray still has to figure out what to do with all his records. Though business has never been worse, Murray (a former synagogue cantor and opera buff) still spends most days inside the dusty old warehouse store with his son, the emotional Irv. Irv, 53, clings to the collection and his father — though he must soon say goodbye to both, forever.

The film had its world premier at the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Van Dyke Parks did the score. Van Dyke, who is usually referred to as "legendary", has worked with the Beach Boys, Rufus Wainwright, Joanna Newsom, and many, many others. His most recent project is a series of seven-inch vinyl records with original sleeve art by Charles Ray, Ed Ruscha, Art Spiegelman, Frank Holmes, and Sally Parks.

This is the first film by Richard Parks. Richard is a former newspaper editor who has degrees from McGill University and UC Berkeley and has contributed to McSweeney's, The New York Times, and many other print and online publications. Richard is also co-founder of Societche. He lives in Oakland, California.

Due to the success of the premier, the Doc Channel has two encore airings planned: 3.30pm on April 27 and 10.00pm on May 7.

Watch the full version of 'Music Man Murray' online at the 'All Songs Considered' blog...

Listen to the NPR interview with Richard Parks and Murray here...


"Murray's hot sh*t. He can do anything."
—Sarah Silverman (actor, 'The Sarah Silverman Program')

"An irresistible, utterly original and accomplished movie. Unless you see a LOT more films than I do, you won't see a better one!"
—Tony Bill (director, Academy Award winner)

"Journalism doesn't often get told in poetry, which is what makes 'Music Man Murray' such a gem. Witty and yet moving, it's crammed with detail and yet touches on the broadest of themes. More than just a charming story of a feisty old guy with a lot of records, it's an artfully composed meditation on music and mortality."
—Michael Azerrad (author, 'Our Band Could Be Your Life')

This Land Is Your Land — The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert...

VDP played Woody Guthrie's songs at a concert to mark the 100th Anniversary of Woody's birth on April 14, 2012.

The celebrations, which went down a storm, also featured such artists as Jackson Browne, David Crosby & Graham Nash, John Doe, and Kris Kristofferson.

Van Dyke confirmed to headline show in Santa Barbara, Tuesday, January 31...

The show, which will take place at Soho Restaurant & Music Club, follows a screening of a documentary film, 'Music Man Murray'.

The film was scored by Van Dyke, and written and directed by Richard Parks, Van Dyke's son. The screening is part of the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival — sbiff.org

Van Dyke will perform accompanied by an upright bassist. Door/show time tbc.

VDP to perform four concerts in Florida and Georgia in February 2012...

Dates and venues as follows:

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012 @ Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Avenue, St Petersburg, FL

Thursday, 16 February, 2012 @ The Florida Theatre, 128 East Forsyth Street, Jacksonville, FL

Saturday, 18 February, 2012 @ The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Avenue, Atlanta, GA

Sunday, 19 February, 2012 @ Performing Arts Center, 230 River Road, Athens, GA — Mountain Stage presents a Tribute to Vic Chesnutt. www.uga.edu/pac/

VDP's contribution to Note of Hope, a Collaboration in Words and Music
by Woody Guthrie and Rob Wasserman, receives TWO pre-Nominations
for the 2012 Grammys!

The categories are:
Best Instrumental Composition for 'The Note of Hope' — Van Dyke Parks and Rob Wasserman
Best Instrumental Arrangement for 'The Note of Hope' — Van Dyke Parks

"Wow, what a treasure. Jazz bassist/arranger Rob Wasserman has gathered performers with special affinity to Guthrie's political/cultural agenda and set 'em loose to transform free-verse Guthrie musings into coffeehouse-flavored beat poetry/jazz-rock/electronica." — Philadelphia Daily News

"An extraordinary achievement that defies generic pigeonholing." — The Australian

VDP to play LA's Largo on La Cienega Boulevard in the
"School Music Revival" charity on November 20

The concert is to raise funds for Japan's music student programs hit hard by the Tsunami.
Also on the bill (so far) are Sam Phillips and Eric Gorfain's The Section string quartet.

"The project supports the inspection, repair, and maintenance of musical instruments at kindergartens, primary, middle, and high schools damaged by the 2011 Japan Earthquake." Visit the "School Music Revival" charity website at www.schoolmusicrevival.org

Pitchfork name Arrangements, Volume 1 as their "Best New Reissue"

"The roster of collaborators represented here is dizzying — Little Feat, Arlo Guthrie, Sal Valentino, Bonnie Raitt singing calypso — and hearing Parks' unifying hand presiding over this collision of styles makes for a wonderful way to experience the art of his arrangements; their lushness, their invention, how they provide the texture and teeth to a composition."

To read the full review by Jayson Greene, please take a meander over to the Pitchfork website...

Plus Michael Slenske of interviewmagazine.com talks to Van Dyke on the release of his new compilation album, as well as other aspects of his life and work. "Before the release, Parks discussed the new work, the old work, and his upcoming tour with Fleet Foxes. Yes, the hits just keep on coming."

To read Michael's interview, please visit interviewmagazine.com...

Arrangements, Volume 1 will be released on both CD and 180gm Vinyl. For further details including tracklisting, artists, and information on ordering, please go to the Arrangements page...

Klaus Voormann provides sleeve art for VDP's forthcoming
single release, 'The All Golden'

When Van Dyke asked longtime friend Klaus Voormann to illustrate the sleeve art for a new release of one of his classic songs 'The All Golden', Klaus was excited and inspired by the song title to create a wonderful and romantic painting. The release is part of VDP's ongoing series of 7" Singles.

Klaus' sleeve art painting for 'The All Golden' may be viewed on the Singles Gallery page...

VDP will appear at Inara George's "An Invitation"
at LA's Getty Museum on November 5

Van Dyke Parks will conduct a chamber orchestra to accompany Inara George's "An Invitation" at LA's Getty Museum, on November 5th. The show will include choreography and aerial ballet.

The event, sponsored by the Getty Foundation, is free admission, with no reserved seating.

"Two Parts Van Dyke Parks" — celebrating the music of VDP

This Special one-off event to celebrate the music of VDP will take place at the Rotary Room at Little Temple, 4519 Santa Monica Boulevard., CA 90029.

Part 1 of the evening, curated by David Piltch, features the talents of Jay Bellerose, Keefus Green, Freddie Koella, Gabe Noel, Tim Young, and many more.

Part 2 is billed as a "Special Engagement with Van Dyke Parks". DJ for the evening will be David Holmes. Click to view poster for full details...... (Opens in new browser window)

Note of Hope is a 12-track collaboration in words and music by Woody Guthrie and Rob Wasserman, set for September 27 release on 429 Records

"[VDP] is musically, philosophically, politically, socially, and historically trustworthy. One of those guys you only dream of working with. Rather than thinking of Woody's legacy, you think, my God, now I'm a part of HIS legacy." — Nora Guthrie

Based on many of Guthrie's unpublished writings, the collection features Rob Wasserman in collaboration with Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Kurt Elling, Michael Franti, Nellie McKay, Tom Morello, Van Dyke Parks, Madeleine Peyroux, Lou Reed, Pete Seeger and more.

The collection kicks off with the evocative Van Dyke Parks instrumental arrangement 'The Note of Hope' and closes with 'You Know the Night', contributed by Jackson Browne. Read more...... (External link)

VDP combines art and music with new 7" single series

The legendary artist, composer and producer Van Dyke Parks played a one-off UK concert on May 16 at the London Islington Union Chapel, to launch a unique series of 7" vinyl singles, each illustrated by some of the most important modern artists of the time.

The iconic musician, who has been at the heart of some of the great albums of the last 50 years including Brian Wilson's 'lost' masterpiece SMiLE, Randy Newman and Ry Cooder's first recordings, and Joanna Newsom's critically acclaimed 2006 album YS, intends to release 6 new 45rpm singles over the course of 2011.

Van Dyke has commissioned some of the top contemporary artists in America to illustrate each single with what he describes as: "a work of art that relates to the music within."

The artists announced include:

Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning artist/author whose award winning graphic novel 'Maus' helped define the way Parks looks at life.

Ed Ruscha, of Los Angeles, like Charles Ray, an 8-figure visual artist dominating the American Art scene.

Frank Holmes, who created the sleeve artwork for the 'lost' Beach Boys album SMiLE over 40 years ago.

Charles Ray, whose 'Boy with Frog' overlooking Venice is the new hot topic over the Grand Canal.

Billy Edd Wheeler, the Alpha songwriter and vernacular artist, of the Appalachian Smokey Mountains.

Sally Parks, Van Dyke Parks' wife, whose Mississippi birthright and ability as a watercolourist has made her the perfect candidate for Parks' new song about Katrina, called 'Missin' Missippi'.

The first singles to be released are 'Dreaming of Paris', with art by Ed Ruscha, and 'Wall Street' illustrated by Art Spiegelman. Of the singles, Van Dyke Parks said: "They are from highly different genres, each of them. They don't cohere. They belong somewhere. But the emphasis on the visual art is a big, big deal. These are the pre-eminent American artists of our time. We're calling it Nouveau Niche." Find out more......

Arrangements, Volume 1 compilation announced

VDP has confirmed the release on Bananastan of a compilation album of some of his greatest arrangements. Van Dyke Parks Arrangements, Volume 1 will contain 15 songs featuring artists including Ry Cooder, Arlo Guthrie, Little Feat, Sal Valentino, Mojo Men, Dino Martin, and Van Dyke himself.

Tentative full release Summer 2011 — 4 VDP tracks available NOW from iTunes. Read more......

2011 Australian Tour has concluded

VDP 'double-billed' with Kinky Friedman this summer at the following Australian venues......

JUNE 2011


Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9
The Clarendon Guesthouse,
Katoomba, New South Wales

Friday 10 and Saturday 11
The Basement, Sydney,
New South Wales

Sunday 12
Lizotte's, Dee Why,
New South Wales

Tuesday 14
Lizotte's, Newcastle,
New South Wales

 

Thursday 16
The Toff In Town, Melbourne,
Victoria

Friday 17
The Prince Of Wales, St Kilda,
Victoria

Saturday 18
The Toff In Town, Melbourne,
Victoria

Monday 20 and Tuesday 21
The Brass Monkey, Cronulla,
New South Wales

Wednesday 22
Lizotte's, Kincumber,
New South Wales

Friday 24 and Saturday 25
The Visy Theatre, New Farm,
Queensland

Sunday 26
Live at Joe's, Eumundi, Queensland

Thursday 30
Artbar, Gallery of Western Australia,
Perth, Western Australia

JULY 2011


Friday 1
The Gov, Adelaide, South Australia