September 6, 2004
Cajun/New Orleans jazz extravaganza to kick off
new Arts & Lectures season
Tickets now available for all events
By Scott Rappaport
The new UCSC 2004-05 Arts & Lectures season will open with a blast
of pure southern gusto on October 8 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
The Pilobolus Dance Theater will showcase a new commissioned
work, Megawhat, at its UCSC show.
Photo: John Kane
|The Cajun band BeauSoleil will join forces with
Louisianas legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band on opening
Photo: Scott Suchman
The Grammy award-winning sextet, BeauSoleildescribed by Prairie
Home Companions Garrison Keillor as simply the best
Cajun band in the world"will join forces with Louisianas
legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a rollicking opening night
double bill of New Orleans jazz, zydeco, country, and blues.
It should be an incredibly high-energy night, noted Arts
& Lectures director Michelle Witt, with lots of dancing to
some of the finest musicians around. Its really hard to beat a
show that combines the best of New Orleans jazz with the countrys
most popular Cajun ensemble.
But thats only the beginning of a diverse series of 18 events
ranging from classical and world music, to modern dance, spoken word,
and theater. The season runs through May 5 at various venues throughout
Santa Cruz County.
Its very much a mix of fine arts and popular culture,
Witt observed. We also try to combine mediums as much as possible;
we often present a number of different styles in the same program.
Highlights of the 2004-05 season include appearances by three of the
countrys top dance companies. The mind-boggling Pilobolus Dance
Theater will showcase a new commissioned work, Megawhat, along
with the wildly imaginative and extremely athletic repertoire that has
made this modern dance company so popular throughout the world.
Pioneering avant-garde choreographer Trisha Browns dance company
will also perform a newly commissioned work, Present Tense, set
to John Cages Pieces for Prepared Piano, as well as Set
& Reset with sets and score by renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg.
And the always innovative dancer/illusionists of Momix Dance Theater
will offer founder Moses Pendletons Baseballa multimedia
tribute to Americas national pastime featuring music by James
Brown, Loreena McKennitt, and Ali Farka Toureon the weekend prior
to the opening of this years baseball season.
A brilliant new solo show by HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central veteran
Marga Gomez; a lecture by Chuck D, cofounder of the legendary rap group
Public Enemy and now host of a new morning show on Air America Radio;
and a tribute to the late monologist Spalding Gray are just a few of
the more unusual events slated for the coming months.
There is more, however, to UCSCs Arts & Lectures program
than just a multitude of great shows.
Nearly every artist who comes is doing some kind of educational
outreach in the community, Witt noted. This might involve
offering master classes, conducting lecture/demonstrations, or holding
open rehearsals with dance and theater companies.
Witt added that there will also be an opening night postconcert party
for Gold Circle and Arts & Lectures membersincluding food
and wine with members of BeauSoleil and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band--as
well as wine receptions for members during intermission at selected
events throughout the season. In addition, question-and-answer sessions
will be open to the entire audience after almost every show.
We have really wonderful conversations between the performers
and our audiences, she observed. People always stay and
get involved, and the artists love it.
For more information about the new season or to obtain a full-color
brochure, contact UCSCs Arts & Lectures at (831) 459-2159
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