yrmusic.comartistsbiosHolly Near

Holly Near (b. 1949)

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Holly is one of those rare performers who is equally at ease singing in a church, at a rally, or from the stage of Carnegie Hall. A skilled stylist,her voice comfortably embraces country, folk, jazz, and musical theater. This versatility has perhaps kept Near from an easily definable commercial career.And yet she is one of our nation's finest performing artists - a consummate entertainer.

Touring worldwide, Holly Near is an ambassador for peace. She sings of the world's tragedies without depressing her audience, invoking advocacy rather than guilt. She sings of humanity at its best but never rests on phony patriotism. As one new fan said, "I have never been to an event where I was so entertained and at the same time learned so much- walked away with so much to think about!". Although people do keep discovering Holly Near, her longstanding audience has known this about Holly for a long time-a talented performer who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, personal and spiritual discovery, and theatricality. (Holly was named Woman of the Year in 1985 by Ms. Magazine for this very quality.)

Holly was born in Ukiah, California. Her parents were ranchers and active participants in political, cultural and social life. From them she learnedthe courage to speak her heart- refusing to separate her passion for peace and human dignity from her art for the sake of fame and fortune. Her audience can not count on her to be "the same" each performance, as she is always trying new things. But they can count on her humanity, her hope, her sense of humor and her immense talent.

Near's love of performing began at age seven when she auditioned for a talent contest put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars singing "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma. After high school, Near attended UCLA. Seen by Hollywood agents, she immediately began to work in film, TV and theater and has been working in the performing arts ever since. Throughout, music remained her major focus. She has participated in creative collaborations with Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Inti Illimani,Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson and most recently, a duet recorded with Mary Travers on the new Peter, Paul and Mary release, Lifelines. Recent film/TV work includes cameos in LA Law, Dog Fight and soon to be released, Heartwood. She was in the classic film Slaughterhouse Five.

This fall, Holly Near joined Ronnie Gilbert for a live recording, THIS TRAIN STILL RUNS!, celebrating Ronnie's 70th birthday. They did a 12 concerts around the US in September and October with special guests joining them each night to wish Ronnie a happy birthday. She also continues to do her annual Wintersong Concert. This year, her guests were Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker (formally of LA Law).

Holly Near has written hundreds of songs, alone and in collaboration. She has recorded 16 albums, most of which are now out of print since the closing of Redwood Records. What is available can be found from Goldenrod Distribution 517-484-1712 or Ladyslipper Catalogue 1-800-634-6044. Also, several of the GALA choruses have recorded her material on their CDs.


Booking agent: Pat Hunt

Holly's website


Music by Holly Near
Words by Holly Near

Holly Near's Website

YR4314 1000 Grandmothers
YR4301 Change of Heart
YR4302 Change of Heart
YR4311 Change of Heart
YR4312 Change of Heart
YR4320 Fired Up
YR4308 Great Peace March...
YR4309 Great Peace March...
YR4315 I Ain't Afraid
YR4319 I Ain't Afraid
YR4323 I Am Willing
YR4322 I Am Willing
YR4303 Icicle Blue
YR4324 Listen to the Voi...
YR4316 Mountain Song/Ken...
YR4305 Mountain Songs
YR4802 My Best Friend
YR4318 New Underground R...
YR4306 Nicolia
YR4300 Our Love is Soari...
YR4307 Perfect Night
YR4310 Simply Love
YR4313 Singing for Our L...
YR4304 Song of the Solst...
YR9503 Sun Won't Stop, ...
YR4317 Uh Huh
YR4321 Why Oh Why

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