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August 8, 2005

Arts & Lectures announces new season of internationally acclaimed performers and speakers

By Scott Rappaport

Environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., superstar classical violinist Midori, Grammy-winning mandolinists Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, and Spain’s powerful traditional flamenco troupe Noche Flamenca are just a few of the internationally acclaimed artists and speakers on the 2005-06 UCSC Arts & Lectures season.

Spain's traditional flamenco troupe Noche Flamenca will perform two shows.

Kennedy will headline a new “Outspoken Speakers” series featuring lectures and discussions with renowned thinkers about issues relating to science, nature, and the environment. Harvard physics professor Lisa Randall--a brilliant communicator with infectious enthusiasm who has been described as one of “Einstein’s intellectual heiresses” by MSNBC—and celebrated nature writer and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams will round out the new series.

Arts & Lectures’ ambitious “Global Beat” series will feature Llan de Cubel, an award-winning, Celtic-influenced folk group from the north coast of Spain; the Pablo Ziegler Trio for Nuevo Tango—led by the Argentinean pianist who was a member of the legendary Astor Piazzolla’s New Tango Quintet; Peru Negro, an Afro-Peruvian ensemble blending melodic guitar, passionate singing, sensual dancing, and colorful costumes in a carnival atmosphere; and Malian blues-rockers Tinariwen—a group of exiled nomads from the southern Sahara who mix traditional instruments with electric guitars and the sounds of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

"We're bringing international, leading-edge work that, for the most part, you're not likely to see elsewhere," noted director of Arts & Lectures, Michelle Witt. "There are also more performances this year reflecting interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships."

Witt added that Arts & Lectures has also expanded its arts education program with the coming season. Last year, the program reached approximately 5,000 local students and adults.

“This year we are doing more community-based projects such as a series of free talks at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and a performance series at the new Santa Cruz family shelter,” Witt noted. “Seventy-five percent of the artists we bring this season will go into the community.”

"We will also begin a special pilot project with the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County and the National Endowment for the Arts to create a two-week residency with the David Dorfman Dance Company," Witt added. “The company will be giving lecture/demonstrations at many local high schools, as well as a wide variety of community and campus organizations. Arts & Lectures and the Cultural Council will additionally collaborate to bring several 2005-06 series artists into community schools through the SPECTRA program.

The new season will also include a staging of Amy Tan’s Immortal Heart by the Word for Word theater company, pianist Christopher O’Riley in a program titled “Shostakovich Meets Radiohead”; the So Percussion ensemble, Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY, Tandy Beal’s holiday favorite Mixed Nutz!, and the Turtle Island String Quartet performing “A Love Supreme: The Music of John Coltrane.”

UCSC staff and faculty should be pleased to learn that they may now purchase tickets to the 2005-06 season at the student/senior rate.

For a complete season lineup and ticket information, go to the new Arts & Lectures web site at: or call the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.

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