NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 6, 2020) – With two chart-topping studio albums, and a newly-named Country Music Association Awards Album of the Year all under her belt, Grammy-winning superstar Maren Morris is set to add another unique milestone to her resume—on February 29, 2020, Morris will perform alongside Nashville Ballet’s professional Company as a musical guest for the organization’s annual fundraising gala. The award-winning GIRL artist and member of The Highwomen will perform a setlist of her hits.
Heralded by Relix as “modern, American rock music at its finest,” singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter will also bring his talents to the Ballet Ball stage. With three full-length albums and 2 EPs all highly lauded upon release, Baxter’s inventive arrangements and infectious hooks will inspire new choreography from Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. The two musical guests will highlight the impressive scope of artistic talent that exists within the Nashville community, a nod to Nashville Ballet’s commitment to inspiring and fostering a greater sense of creativity in Music City through its Community Engagement programming.
Ballet Ball, which raises funds to present educational dance programming to over 30,000 youth and families in underserved communities throughout Middle Tennessee each year, brings together over 600 of Nashville’s most prominent philanthropists and patrons of the arts for an elaborate black-tie affair. The year’s Versailles-inspired ball is chaired by Allison Cotton and Emily Humphreys along with Honorary Chair Suann Davis.
Tickets for Ballet Ball are by invitation only, but the general public is invited to purchase tickets to the Ballet Ball Late Party, which features a cocktail hour and seat for the gala performance. Late Party CoChairs Ann Ralls Brown, Camille Barrett, and Hank Ingram have programmed an evening of dancing to Sing a Song band to follow the gala performance. Late Party tickets are $175 per person.
For more information on Ballet Ball, or to purchase Late Party tickets, visit nashvilleballet.com/late-party.
About Maren Morris
Maren Morris is one of the leading voices in country music today—armed with incredible vocal stylings that reflect her country, folk and pop influences, sheer talent, honest lyrics and a strong presence. Morris’ latest album GIRL, released in March 2019 via Columbia Nashville, was recently named Album of the Year at the 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards, where Morris was the most nominated artist. The album shattered the record for the largest ever debut streaming week for a country album by a woman with 23.96 million streams and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200. It features history-making title track “GIRL” which had the highest debut on Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs chart by a female artist and the highest weekly streams by a female country artist ever. GIRL comes three years after Morris’ breakout, Gold-certified debut album Hero and explores how her life has changed since then—a skyrocketing career, falling in love, becoming engaged and then married—and the highs and lows in between. She won a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards, was named New Artist of the Year at the 50th Annual CMA Awards, Top Country Female Artist at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards and New Female Vocalist of the Year at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards. Morris was also the most-played female artist on country radio in 2017 and 2018. The 29-year-old from Arlington, Texas got her start playing in bars around her hometown and quickly made a name for herself with Hero and its Platinumselling “My Church,” Gold-selling “80s Mercedes” and “I Could Use A Love Song.” Hero and its singles topped charts nationwide, set Country radio records, and were some of the most critically-acclaimed works of 2016.
About Rayland Baxter
Rayland Baxter has built a career on capturing timeless, deeply human sentiments, bringing colorful characters to vivid life with equal parts humor and pathos. Marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements to deliver cutting, insightful tales that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, his music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks.
His most recent album ‘Wide Awake’ received glowing acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Paste, American Songwriter and GQ; was described by NPR Music as “perfection” and heralded by Relix as “modern, American rock music at its finest”.
Recent years have seen the Nashville-native on tour with artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell, The Lumineers and Grace Potter, as well as playing sets at Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festival. The three albums and two EPs he has released to date to rack up over 100 Million plays on Spotify alone. In addition to his own releases, Baxter also wrote and performed on Shakey Graves’ last album, going on to perform alongside them on a number of tour stops including at a headline show at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Rayland’s father, Bucky Baxter, the famed multi-instrumentalist who played pedal steel for Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and REM, also contributed his skills to Wide Awake, as did producer Butch Walker (Weezer, Pink, Pete Yorn) and Cage the Elephant’s Nick Bockrath on guitar.
Rayland is currently bunkered down in his homemade Camp 49 writing his upcoming record, expected in 2020. He will be playing a headlining show during the opening week of Nashville’s newest live venue, Brooklyn Bowl, on March 21st as part of their celebrations.
About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a preprofessional training company), provide more than 55,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70. To learn more about the Nashville Ballet, please visit nashvilleballet.com.
Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from local, regional and national institutional funders and community partners, as well as hundreds of generous individuals, provide ongoing support of Nashville Ballet’s mission-critical programs.
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