Club Passim celebrates its 60th anniversary with music stars who are, after all, just folks
Club Passim had a stage filled with some of the biggest stars in music Thursday – Grammy-award winner Patty Griffin, Josh Ritter, Dar Williams and special guests Peter Wolf, Rose Cousins and Sol Y Canto with Alisa Amador – to celebrate its 60th anniversary before a full house at the Shubert Theatre in Boston.
Also singing was Joan Baez, both the biggest name among the Passim alumni and the one with roots at the club stretching back the furthest: She began as a barefoot 17-year-old singing on slow nights at Club 47, which was Passim’s first incarnation at 47 Mount Auburn St.
The groundbreaking singer, songwriter, activist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee presented Betsy Siggins with Club Passim’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Siggins, a founding member of the club, returned to it in 1997, serving as executive director for a dozen years and creating programs such as Culture for Kids, an after-school program for underserved Cambridge students; the Passim School of Music; and the Passim Archives. She continues her lifelong advocacy for folk music as the founder of Folk New England, which is housed at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Club 47 and Passim was also a destination over the decades for musicians such as Jim Kweskin, Bob Dylan and others who would go on to become stars in the world of music, folk and otherwise: Tracy Chapman, Lake Street Dive, Suzanne Vega, Jackson Browne, Nancy Griffith, Greg Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr, among many others.
Passim’s 60th Anniversary Concert was supported by Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame, an initiative of the Shubert’s parent organization, the Boch Center. To be housed in the Wang Theatre, the Hall of Fame will celebrate the history of folk, Americana and roots music through displays, memorabilia, artifacts, multimedia, lectures and concerts.