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Garth Hudson Of The Band Gives Rare Public Performance At House Concert

He took part in Flower Hill House Concert No.6, hosted by the musician Sarah Perrotta.

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Garth Hudson at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008. Photo: Rick Diamond/WireImage
Garth Hudson at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008. Photo: Rick Diamond/WireImage

Garth Hudson, the revered pianist, accordion player and multi-instrumentalist with The Band, made a rare public appearance on Sunday evening (16), performing at a house concert in upstate New York.

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Now aged 85, Hudson and Robbie Robertson are the last surviving members of the hugely influential American-Canadian band. Hudson had not performed in public for six years, but took part this weekend in Flower Hill House Concert No.6, hosted by the musician Sarah Perrotta. She posted a clip of him at the piano, in a wheelchair, playing Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” and more photographs on her Instagram account, as, on his Instagram, did drummer Jerry Marotta.

The clip shows Hudson’s deft skills at the piano undiminished, despite his frailty that has reportedly had him living in an assisted care facility since his wife Maud died in 2022. He was last seen performing in 2018, and had also played to mark the 50th anniversary of The Band’s famous 1976 farewell concert and film, The Last Waltz. Hudson and Robertson had reunited in 2014, when the group was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. The Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2008.

‘Rock and roll history in my living room’

Singer-songwriter Perrotta wrote: “What a gift to not only have Cindy Cashdollar, Jerry Marotta and Happy Traum play with SuperFolk but also a surprise set from Garth Hudson of The Band who has not played a concert in years! Making rock and roll history in my living room. Thank you to the amazing musicians and audience who made this truly a night to remember.”

Hudson’s recordings in his own name have been few and far between. In 1980, he released the cassette-only Music for Our Lady Queen of the Angels, then 2001 brought The Sea To The North. In 2005 came the live set Live At The Wolf, from a performance with his wife Maud at the new London Public Library’s Wolf Performance Hall in London, Ontario, Canada. Then in 2010, Curve Music/Sony Music issued Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of the Band.

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