Tift Merritt brings her talent to UNCW:

Andrea Cavallier

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, Tift Merritt will bring her soulful talent to UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium, on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.

Her performance will be the first event in UNCW Presents’ Arts in Action Performance Series.

Merritt, who attended school at UNC-Chapel Hill, got her start by singing at small clubs in her home state of North Carolina. In 2000 at the MerleFest Music Festival, Merritt won the Chirs Austin Songwriting Contest, which helped her get a contract with major label, Lost Highway.

Her latest album, Tambourine, earned her a 2004 Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year.

Merritt’s style of singing has been compared to Dusty Springfield’s classic Memphis recordings, ’70s-era Linda Ronstadt, alt-country favorite Lucinda Williams and one of her own cited influences, Emmylou Harris.

“We couldn’t have placed Merritt’s performance at a better times,” said Shannon Hooker, Assistant Director for UNCW presents. “This is the half-way point of the semester, right when students need to be rejuvenated-and her soul rocking tunes are sure to do just that.”

Students and the community of Wilmington will not only be able to enjoy Merritt’s show but will also be able to participate in a question and answer session at 4 p.m. on Saturday before the concert, in Kenan Hall 114. This event is free and open to the public. To register, call 962.7972.

“It’s halfway through the semester and it’s nice to have this event to look forward to,” said junior Shannon Fiorentino. “Even though I’ve never really heard Tift Merritt’s music, I’m a big country fan and I hear her music has some rock and soul influence. It should be a good show.”

If soul-rocking tunes are your thing, tickets are available at the Kenan Box Office at 962-3500 or 800-732-3643. Tickets are $6 for University and area students, $14 for UNCW faculty/staff and senior citizens and $18 for all others. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.