Ani DiFranco Announces Summer Tour Dates

Funk sax player Maceo Parker to open for singer/songwriter.

Punk-folk singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco has announced an initial round of

nine dates for her summer tour.

The outing, which begins June 14 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., concentrates on

the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, though she also will play shows in

San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio. More dates are expected to be announced


Opening will be saxophonist Maceo Parker, a veteran of James Brown's horn

section who also played in funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic.

DiFranco, whose latest album, Up Up Up Up Up Up, includes


(RealAudio excerpt), will use the same backing band she's now playing

with on a spring tour that continues through May. That ensemble consists

of Julie Wolf on keyboards and accordion, Jason Mercer on bass and Daren

Hahn on drums.

"I played solo and toured solo for a whole bunch of years," DiFranco, 28,

said recently. "And finding other musicians to play with, getting a band

together, that kind of thing, it keeps me interested.

"The melodic possibilities are expanded and the groove is deepened," she

continued. "There's only so long you can sink into an acoustic-guitar groove

before people are like, 'OK, sing or something.' It's nice to just basically

musically interact with other people."

The acoustic trio Drums & Tuba are opening on the spring tour.

Ani DiFranco Summer Tour Dates:

June 14; Vienna, Va., Wolf Trap

June 15; Baltimore, Md., Pier Six Pavilion

June 18; Philadelphia, Pa., Mann Music Center

June 19; Wantagh, N.Y., Jones Beach

June 20; Buffalo, N.Y., Lasalle Park

June 22; Toronto, Ontario, Molson Amphitheatre

June 25; Columbus, Ohio, Brewery Pavilion

July 9; Berkeley, Calif., Greek Theatre

July 24; Hillsdale, N.Y., Falconridge Festival (Ani DiFranco solo)

Remaining Spring Tour Dates:

April 20; Charlottesville, Va., Performing Arts Center (sold out)

April 21; Charlotte, N.C., Grady Cole Center

April 22; Knoxville, Tenn., Tennessee Theatre

April 24; Athens, Ga., Classic Center Theatre (sold out)

April 25; Birmingham, Ala., Alabama Theatre

April 26; New Orleans, La., House of Blues (sold out)

April 29; Norman, Okla., Lloyd Noble Center

April 30; Kansas City, Mo., Midland Theatre

May 1; Normal, Ill., Redbird Arena

May 3; Indianapolis, Ind., Murat Theatre

May 4; Pittsburgh, Pa., A.J. Palumbo Center

May 5; Syracuse, N.Y., Landmark Theatre (sold out)

May 7; Guelph, Ontario, Athletic Centre Gym

May 8; Montreal, Quebec, Metropolis

May 9; Ottawa, Ontario, Ottawa Congress Center