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Linda Ronstadt Tribute Film to Raise Funds for Parkinson’s Research

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February 9, 2021

by Brad Ogden—

Common Ground Concerts and Irvington Theater are once again collaborating to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research with a special on-demand streaming February 26-28th of The Music of Linda Ronstadt.

With ten Grammys, two dozen studio albums, and a career spanning five decades, Linda Ronstadt is an internationally beloved musical legend. Irvington Theater will celebrate the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer with The Music of Linda Ronstadt, a benefit concert film, streaming on demand Friday through Sunday, February 26-28th.  All proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

This virtual premiere of Common Ground Concerts’ sold-out 2016 tribute to Ronstadt features mega-hits like “It’s So Easy,” “You’re No Good,” and “Different Drum” alongside lesser-known gems from her expansive, expressive catalogue, including “El Lago Azul,” the Spanish-language version of “Blue Bayou,” and “High Sierra,” one of her collaborations with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

Ronstadt has long been a champion of emerging singer-songwriters. Her renditions of once little-known songs by The Eagles, Warren Zevon, and Lowell George brought their music to listeners worldwide.

Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012 and has since retired from singing; she now uses her global platform to promote Parkinson’s awareness and research. For Common Ground’s Carter Smith, the cause is close to home. “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013,” Smith explained. “I struggle with things I used to take for granted; but while I’m living with Parkinson’s, the emphasis is on living. PD is not something to hide.”

Smith hopes this streaming event will bring audiences joy, connection, and healing, especially as the pandemic continues to keep us physically apart: “In over two decades of producing, no concert has meant more to me than the evening of Linda Ronstadt’s music we held at Irvington Theater to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. That’s because music, especially when boosted by a big shot of community, is a kind of melodic medicine.”

Abby Hollander, Sara Milonovich and Andrea Asprelli (Photo: Jim Metzger)

Ronstadt’s music will be brought to vivid life by a stellar lineup of folk and Americana musicians that includes Steve Addabbo, Andrea Asprelli, Arlon Bennett, Bobtown, Spuyten Duyvil, Ana Egge, Abbie Gardner, Jim Gaudet, Vance Gilbert, Abby Hollander, Sara Milonovich, and Matt Nakoa.

“Parkinson’s isn’t fun, but it isn’t fatal,” said Smith. “It’s taught me that maybe instead of distracting myself from myself, I can exist with the idea that I have today, right now, and have no need to fear tomorrow. Staying present also means not being afraid to ask for help. And more important, asking how I can be of help — how I can be kinder and of better service to others.”

Vance Gilbert and Abbie Gardner (Photo: Jim Metzger)

The Music of Linda Ronstadt  will be available to stream on demand from Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm EST through Sunday, February 28 at 11:59 pm EST.  Patrons can purchase one-per-household tickets to receive the viewing link and password at

All proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda, and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.

Common Ground Concerts features an eclectic range of music, from folk, blues, Americana, and jazz to rock, pop, cajun-zydeco, and music that can’t otherwise be classified. Their work has raised over $30,000 for charities, environmental groups, social service agencies, and economic justice organizations around the world.

Irvington Theater “The Music of Linda Ronstadt,” 2016

Irvington Theater is home to a diverse range of innovative programming that entertains, enlightens, and inspires, establishing itself over its 118-year history as the “cultural heart of the Rivertowns.” The theater continues its tradition with unprecedented reach though its all-virtual season, #IrvingtonAnywhere.


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