Werner to perform March 9 at the Lied Center

Susan Werner
Susan Werner

One of Chicago's most innovative singer-songwriters, Susan Werner, will make her Nebraska debut at 7:30 p.m. March 9 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

Werner's exceptional blend of folk, blues, gospel and jazz has earned her the title "empress of the unexpected" from National Public Radio. Known as one of the nation's best acoustic musicians, Werner will appear in the intimate setting of the Lied's Johnny Carson Theater.

Werner has recorded seven albums, starting in the early 1990s when her sound focused on a folk, acoustic nature reflecting the Northeastern music scene she absorbed. Her recent efforts have shown her ability to meld genres and branch out with jazz and gospel sounds. In 2010, pop singer Tom Jones recorded her song "Did Trouble Me," which appeared on his album, "Praise and Blame."

Werner's latest album, "Kicking the Beehive," confronts social issues including addiction and homelessness, and features guest appearances from Vince Gill, Keb' Mo' and Paul Franklin.

Special guests Natalia Zukerman and Trina Hamlin will join Werner for her performance at the Lied Center. New York native Zukerman's musical capabilities reach beyond the standard acoustic guitar, also performing on unconventional instruments including the slide guitar, lap steel, and the dobro. Hamlin delivers raw passion and rich, powerful vocals. Regarded as one of the best harmonica players in the United States, Hamlin has shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hiatt and Ricki Lee Jones.

In conjunction with Werner's performance, the Lied Center also held a songwriting competition in collaboration with the School of Music. The winners of the competition, Shannon Kelly from Lincoln Pius X High School and Rachel Whelan from the School of Music, will perform their original compositions as an opening for Werner's concert at the Lied.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at http://www.liedcenter.org, 402-472-4747 or the Lied Center box office.