Mumford and Sons to get ‘Steinbeck Award’ for artistic values of the storied writer

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San Jose State University and Stanford Live will present Mumford & Sons with the John Steinbeck Award in a ceremony and acoustic performance at the Bing Concert Hall on Sept. 18. Tickets will be sold to the event, with proceeds benefiting the Steinbeck Service Fellowship created by Nick Taylor of the San Jose State University Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies and Stanford English professor Gavin Jones. The fellowship will allow students to participate in service projects across the region that infuses Steinbeck’s work and “continue his legacy for compassionate community engagement,” according to the university.

“This fellowship will put the values of the John Steinbeck Award into action through projects that alleviate the social problems experienced by California’s agricultural workers and their families,” Jones said in a news release.

SJSU’s Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies presents the John Steinbeck Award annually to celebrate writers, thinkers, artists and activists who embody the spirit and values of John Steinbeck. Past awardees include Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Joan Baez.



Mumford and Sons received the award for their commitment to social engagement through Gentlemen of the Road, the fund they founded in 2006 to support global and local charities fighting for social justice.

The band is “linked to John Steinbeck through their music, especially songs such as ‘Timshel,’ ‘Dust Bowl Dance’ and ‘Rose of Sharon,’ and through their advocacy of Steinbeck’s writings,” said Ted Cady, chairman of the Steinbeck Award committee, in the news release.  In 2012, the band performed at a John Steinbeck tribute concert in Monterrey.

The award ceremony will include a conversation with the band. Public on-sale begins Friday, Aug. 9. For more Information about the John Steinbeck Award and the award ceremony at Bing Concert Hall, visit steinbeckaward.com and live.stanford.edu.

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