Kathy Mattea to perform at Wortham Center in Asheville
ASHEVILLE — The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Asheville continues its 2023-2024 season with legendary Grammy award-winning hitmaker Kathy Mattea, Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. in Diana Wortham Theatre.
Mattea, one of the most respected country stars of her era, brings elements of folk, bluegrass and gospel to her music — with all the intimacy, heartfelt honesty and musical authenticity of a singer-songwriter.
With a voice that is both warm and powerful, Kathy has solidified her place as one of country music’s most cherished and acclaimed artists over her nearly four-decade musical career. Born in South Charleston, West Virginia, Kathy’s musical journey began at an early age, influenced by the Appalachian sounds that surrounded her.
Her career breakthrough came in the 1980s, and she quickly rose to prominence with her soul-stirring ballads and catchy up-tempo tunes. She released her debut album, Kathy Mattea, in 1983, yet it was her second album, From My Heart, that earned her first chart-topping single, “Love at the Five and Dime,” and marked the beginning of a series of remarkable achievements.
Throughout her career, Kathy has garnered countless accolades, including two Grammy Awards. In 1989, her album Willow in the Wind earned her the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the hit single “Where’ve You Been.” The song, co-written by her husband Jon Vezner, touched millions with its poignant story of a couple’s enduring love in the face of Alzheimer’s disease.
Her album, COAL, released in 2008, pays tribute to “my place and my people,” as Kathy’s childhood was steeped in Appalachian culture and mining heritage. Her studio album Calling Me Home (2012) is her second collection of Appalachian and bluegrass music and is further inspired by her native West Virginia. And her 2018 release, Pretty Bird, marked the first album of new material by Kathy after enduring several vocal challenges and exploring new ways to use her singing voice.
Kathy’s distinct voice and vivid storytelling has resonated with fans and critics alike for generations. She possesses a rare ability to connect with her audience on a deeply emotional level, breathing life into each song she sings. Her lyrical authenticity and genuine passion have made her an icon of heartfelt country music, a genre that thrives on sincerity and relatability.
Kathy explores music’s most basic human essence through timeless melodies and uplifting narratives. Her music has spoken to millions of people throughout her career, and in recent years she has found a growing audience for the words and ideas she has to offer on a variety of issues, ranging from arts education to finding your creative path to global climate change. Kathy’s presentations seek to provide her audience with spiritual nourishment: food not only for thought, but also for the soul.
Kathy Mattea is the host of “Mountain Stage,” a weekly two-hour show recorded in front of a live audience that features performances from seasoned legends and emerging stars in genres ranging from folk, blues and country; to indie rock, synth pop, world music, alternative and beyond. “Mountain Stage” has been on air since 1983; it is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed by NPR Music. Kathy has been the show’s host since 2021.
The Kathy Mattea performance on Saturday, Oct. 7 is made possible by performance sponsors Craig Allen & Julie Cowden, Joe & Janice Brumit, Bill & Clarita Burton, Patty & Gary Coleman, John & Marsha Ellis, Bolling Farmer, Jan & John Getz, Richard & Francee Healy, Henry LaBrun, Joe & Mary Linville, Ronna & Rob Resnick, Dianne & David Worley, Epsilon, and Omni Grove Park Inn; with additional support provided by media sponsors The Laurel of Asheville and WNCW 88.7 FM.
Tickets for all performances on sale now at worthamarts.org, as well as in person at the box office or by calling 828-257-4530. Wortham Center offers flexible, multi-show discount packages starting with as few as three performances. Savings range from 10-25% off regular prices, depending on the number of performances; multi-show packages are available only through the box office, either in person or by calling 828-257-4530. Season Subscriptions offer the biggest discount of 25% off ticket prices. Details available by calling the box office.
The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, located at 18 Biltmore Ave. in downtown Asheville, is a three-venue performing arts complex, encompassing the 500-seat Diana Wortham Theatre, with its exceptional acoustics and sightlines, the 100-seat black box theatre, Tina McGuire Theatre, and the multiuse Henry LaBrun Studio, designed for special events and workshops. Each year from fall through spring, the Wortham Center produces a season packed full of world-class, internationally renowned artists — presenting the best of the best in music, dance, theatre, comedy and more. The 2023/2024 season is sponsored by Explore Asheville / Buncombe County TDA, Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Asheville Citizen Times / LOCALiQ, North Carolina Arts Council, 67 Biltmore, Blue Moon Water, John & Marsha Ellis, Hedy Fischer & Randy Shull, Richard & Francee Healy, Henry LaBrun, Ronna & Rob Resnick Charitable Trust, and Dianne & David Worley. To obtain more information on the season or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at 828-257-4530 or visit worthamarts.org.