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=Living Legend

Garth Hudson

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Garth Hudson (born August 2, 1937) is a prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso keyboard player, whose gospel-oriented sound partially came from his use of the Lowrey organ. Hudson provided the lush yet innovative accompaniment on the song “Up on Cripple Creek,” which featured Hudson playing a clavinet through a wah-wah pedal to create a swampy sound reminiscent of a jaw harp or the croak of a frog. (This clavinet/wah pedal configuration was later adapted by many funk musicians.)

Hudson’s orchestral tone sense and dramatic, pitch-bending improvisational style anticipated many of the sonic advances of the polyphonic synthesizer. His other primary instruments are piano, accordion and saxophone.

Hudson’s genius is evident on every Band album as well as his work with Dylan, and the many other albums he contributed to over the years. He will always be the supreme rock ‘n’ roll keyboard player of all time easily outshining those whose names are more well-known and those who beat him out in music polls.

Garth Hudson is a much-in-demand session musician and has contributed to dozens of recordings by other musicians, recently including Leonard Cohen, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Gipsy Kings, Norah Jones, Los Lobos and Wilco.

Hudson released an innovative solo CD in 2001. Featuring vocals by wife Maud Hudson, The Sea to the North melded elements of jazz, blues, country, folk, rock and ethnic styles. In 2005, Garth and Maud Hudson released Live at the Wolf, a piano and vocal CD recorded live at the Wolf Performance Hall in London, Ontario, Garth’s hometown.

Garth was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame (The Band) in 1989 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Band) in 1994. On July 13, 2002, he was honored with the coveted Canada South Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. There are also plans for The Garth Hudson Institute featuring his innovative learning methods.

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