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James Taylor condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling for a 'universal rejection of the war'

James Taylor holding guitar in front of American flag

In a post on his website, James Taylor has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “beyond outrage.”

Berkshire-based troubadour James Taylor has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “beyond outrage,” declaring that people must unite in “universal rejection of the war” and that “civilization itself is at stake.”

In a statement posted on his website, jamestaylor.com, the singer-songwriter who lives in the town of Washington wrote that “Putin’s war is the categorical and polar opposite of what the world needs now.” Taylor described the Russian leader as “a bully who takes what he wants by force.”

“That one individual, with his own army and his own nuclear arsenal should decide, unilaterally and without provocation, to mount an attack on his neighbor, ignoring another nation’s sovereignty and threatening the peace and progress of the entire world is beyond outrage,” Taylor wrote. “That one man’s whim and will should result in such uncalled for chaos and suffering, such a threat to all of our hopes for the future, is something we can simply no longer afford.”

In his statement, Taylor said: “We must be united in our universal rejection of this travesty. The world must insist that this abomination cannot stand.”

He called for global cooperation on pressing issues — climate change, pandemic response, humanitarian crises and sharing of the Earth’s resources.

This summer, as part of his return to concert touring, Taylor and his band will appear in two sold-out shows at Tanglewood, on July 3 and 4, his first appearances at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home since July 3-4, 2019. The upcoming July 4 performance had been sold out because of carryover sales by ticket holders for his 2020 and 2021 dates that were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also is among the guest performers who will salute composer-conductor John Williams at a 90th birthday celebration concert Aug. 20. Remaining tickets for that BSO concert, also featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Branford Marsalis, go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Thursday, on the Tanglewood website.

A U.S. summer tour is set to be announced March 18.

Additional touring plans for this year include 12 dates in Canada from April 21 through May 12. A European tour from mid-September to mid-November has 29 appearances booked in Spain, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Italy.

Last year, Taylor and guest artist Jackson Browne toured the U.S. from late July through mid-December, performing at 48 venues from coast to coast, including the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York. The bookings had been rescheduled from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com and on Twitter @BE_cfanto.

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