Although she’s been a Nashville resident since 1964 and a Grand Ole Opry member since 1969, Dolly Parton’s live concert appearances in Music City have, of late, been few and far between. But on July 31st, exactly 13 years and 10 days since her last full concert at the Ryman Auditorium, the global icon returns to the historic stage for the Dustin Wells Foundation’s Gift of Music concert to benefit the W.O. Smith School of Music.
“The ‘Gift of Music’ is something that runs deep within my kin folks,” Parton said in a statement. “I love and cherish the Ryman and I am really excited to perform there to help raise money for the Dustin Wells Foundation. This goes to help many young kids that are part of the W.O. Smith School of Music. Through all of us working together we can make a difference in helping a child feel the magic in making music.”
Tickets for the all-new “Dolly Parton: Pure and Simple” concert event, which will feature a more streamlined version of her usual full-band show, are $85 and $55 plus applicable service charges, and will be available starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 20th, online at www.ryman.com. A limited number of VIP packages will be available at the Dustin Wells Gift of Music website.
Although she has embarked on several sold-out tours throughout the world, including playing to a record-setting crowd of more than 100,000 at England’s Glastonbury Music Festival last year, Parton’s last full-length concert in Nashville was during her Halos & Horns Tour in 2002. The pop-country superstar’s most recent trek, the Blue Smoke World Tour in 2014, grossed more than $23 million with 47 stops throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
After Dustin Jack Wells, a music major at Belmont University, lost his life in a car accident in 2005, his family and friends set up a foundation in his honor. All monetary donations to the foundation are used to reach out to others in his memory and to enrich the lives of the young people who attend the W.O. Smith school. Since 2008, the benefit concert has featured performances from Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Dunn, Lee Greenwood, Kellie Pickler, Lady Antebellum, Peter Frampton, Peter Cetera, Gunnar Nelson and many others.
One week after the Gift of Music concert event, on August 8th and 9th, Parton will perform four sold-out shows at her Dollywood theme park in east Tennessee. Proceeds will benefit the singer-philanthropist’s Imagination Library.