The music world lost one of its most beloved artists in 2010 when Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle passed away. Matriarch of the ridiculously talented McGarrigle/Wainwright clan—including onetime husband Loudon, son Rufus, daughter Martha and sisters Jane and Anna, her longtime writing and performing partners—Kate charmed discerning listeners with her singular mélange of Québécois folk music, overlooked gems from decades past and idiosyncratic originals such as “Heart Like a Wheel” and “Talk to Me of Mendocino,” all rich in lyrical honesty, naked emotion and heavenly harmonizing. Devastated by their loss, a gaggle of McGarrigle’s musical family and friends gathered at New York’s Town Hall in May 2011 for an evening of song, reminiscence and celebration. Rufus and Martha serve as endearing, if frequently teary-eyed, emcees, welcoming kindred spirits Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Antony Hegarty and Teddy Thompson to the stage along with writer Michael Ondaatje and, in a sweet bit, Jimmy Fallon. Highlights are numerous, but it’s tough to top Rufus eulogizing his mother with his tremulous vibrato on the specially penned “Candles.” Filmmaker Lian Lunson, whose 2005 documentary Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man revealed her flair for intimacy and immediacy, once again favors uninterrupted performances, and alternates between subdued color, luminous black-and-white and family home movies. “My love has no reason, has no rhyme,” Kate sang, yet here the outpouring of unconditional affection for her makes perfect poetic sense.
Co-presenter: Noise Pop