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By Indiana Reed
Special to The PREVIEW
Tickets for confirmed shows for the 2013-2014 performing arts series at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College are now on sale online at www.durangoconcerts.com, and by phone at 247-7657.
The lineup of confirmed shows for 2013-2014, including brief show descriptions, follows below. This lineup is subject to change.
• Los Lonely Boys, with special guest Thom Chacon
Friday, Aug. 2.
Readily recognized for the No. 1 chart topper “Heaven,” Los Lonely Boys is an Austin-based, Grammy-winning group of brothers — Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza. The band is noted for a unique style of music that combines elements of blues, soul, country and Tejano, which the brothers have dubbed as Texican rock ‘n’ roll. The band’s most recent release, “Rockpango” is a spirit and sound coined by Los Lonely Boys that takes the next step from fandango (a beat of loving celebration) and then huapango (another infectious Latin rhythm that gets the fiesta cooking) to a full-scale Tex-Mex American roots rock party.
• Asleep at the Wheel.
Sunday, Aug. 11.
Asleep at the Wheel, the Grammy-winning band revered for sustaining Texas-based Western Swing, once again returns to Durango by popular demand. Since the early ’70s, Asleep at the Wheel has been the most important force in Western swing — a mix of big band, country and dance music popularized in the 1930s and 1940s by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Now included in the tour repertoire is music from the Wheel’s critically-acclaimed musical play, “A Ride With Bob,” which starred the band’s larger-than-life founder and lead vocalist Ray Benson encountering the ghost of Bob Wills on a tour bus.
• Jazz on the Hill, featuring Joyce Lyons and friends.
A fund-raiser for the Russ and Bette Serzen Endowment Fund for Concert Hall operations.
Saturday, Sept. 14.
Jazz on the Hill features an evening of fine food and music in support of the Community Concert Hall. Guests dine on the Concert Hall stage, and, this year, a performance from Joyce Lyons. Lyons’ rich alto has been compared to Dianne Reeves and Oleta Adams as she digs into the lyrics and meaning of a song, whether it’s classic Broadway, the Great American Songbook or hard-swinging Jazz. Elaine Stritch, Bobby Short and Jonathan Schwartz all have highly praised Lyons’ talent, and according to Tony-winning composer Stephen Flaherty, “Joyce Lyons makes each and every song truly her own. Her performances are both timeless and timely. Joyce is a true original.” Seating is limited.
• Arrival from Sweden: The Music of ABBA.
Thursday, Sept. 26.
Founded in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden, Arrival from Sweden is celebrated as the “best” and most authentic ABBA tribute show in the world. Since 2007 Arrival from Sweden has been touring in the United States to sold-out shows, receiving reviews that laud the accuracy — down to the clothing — of the group. Hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “Take a Chance,” “Waterloo” and more ABBA hits leave audiences amazed that it is not the original ABBA on stage.
• Canadian Brass.
Five tremendous brass musicians — each a virtuoso in his own right — form the legendary Canadian Brass. With a vast repertoire from Baroque masters to marches, holiday favorites to Dixieland, and jazz to Broadway, Canadian Brass has proven itself an important pioneer in bringing brass music to mass audiences everywhere. Noted Tom Huizenga of NPR: Tiny Desk Concert, “After four decades, it’s great to see Canadian Brass – practically an institution at this point — still sounding fresh, still attracting young virtuosos and, above all, still having fun with the music.”
• Jim Breuer
Saturday, Oct. 26.
Named as one of Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time,” comedian Jim Breuer wins over audiences with his off-the-wall humor and loveable personality. Currently touring with his “Heavy Metal Family Man” show, Breuer can also be heard on his weekly Sirius/XM radio show, “Fridays with Breuer.” A veteran of Saturday Night Live, Breuer was a fan-favorite for his original character Goat Boy and his dead-on impressions of actor Joe Pesci. Patrons are advised, this show does include mature content and may not be appropriate for all audiences.
• John Denver: “The Tribute.”
The John Adams Band.
Saturday, Nov. 2.
Since John Denver’s untimely death in 1997, vocalist John Adams has been committed to keeping Denver’s music alive, performing the iconic artist’s songs true to their original intent and sound to encore-demanding audiences throughout the world. The Tribute, returning to Durango by popular demand, is a two-plus hour memorable, magical and poignant journey featuring the classic songs and Adam’s personal stories of his time with John Denver. After Adams performed with John Denver, Denver is reported to have said, “He sounds exactly like me.”
• Robin and Linda Williams.
Thursday, Nov. 7.
Virginia-based Robin and Linda Williams are known for their rich harmonies and original songwriting rooted in the country/bluegrass/gospel tradition. Enjoying widespread national prominence on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion (including performing in the Robert Altman film of the same name), Robin and Linda Williams are said to create music that is both comfortable and thoughtful, which has enabled them to keep an even keel while musical trends come and go.
• Maura O’Connell.
Friday, Nov. 15.
A singer known for blending Celtic and folk sounds from her formative years in Ireland, and filtering them through contemporary American country and bluegrass music, Maura O’Connell is called a captivating stylist, introspective chanteuse, musical explorer and songwriter’s singer. O’Connell’s multi-decade career has earned her international acclaim, plus two Grammy nominations — including one in 2010 for her most recent release Naked With Friends.
• Robert Mirabal presents: Blue Corn, The Journey.
Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Two-time Grammy award-winning Native American flutist and composer Robert Mirabal lives at the foot of the sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico and maintains a traditional life, keeping the centuries-old customs of the Taos Pueblo people. Mirabal has been described as a Native American Renaissance man — musician, composer, painter, master craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman and farmer — and he travels extensively playing his music throughout the world. Offering “exquisitely nuanced flute playing,” according to the New York Times, Mirabal creates music from his soul that honors the spirits of the earth.
• State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara: “Nutcracker.”
Friday, Dec. 13-Sunday, Dec. 15.
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
As has become tradition at the Community Concert Hall, the magical holiday ballet, “Nutcracker,” performed by the highly-acclaimed State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, will usher in the holidays with two matinee and two evening performances.
Artistic director Rodney Gustafson holds true to the original classical ballet in this Tchaikovsky masterpiece, creating a traditional “Nutcracker” set in Victorian times and suited for all ages.
• Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee 2013.
Thursday, Dec. 19.
Durango’s much-beloved cowboy crooners come off the Bar D and return to the Community Concert Hall stage for their traditional cowboy Christmas show. Founded by Cy Scarborough in 1969, the Bar D Wranglers offer their own unique style of Western music, cowboy poetry and humor. The Christmas Jubilee is a warm-hearted and fun-filled show that inspires the entire family to remember the true meaning of the holidays.
• Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles
Wednesday, Feb. 12.
A live and spirited journey of the revolutionary sounds introducing the first wave of British rock music to the American audience, Yesterday performs the Beatles original hits and covers they loved to perform with spot on accuracy. Complete with vintage video, authentic accents, costumes and instruments, Yesterday takes its audience on a rousing tour to Liverpool’s Cavern Club, the Ed Sullivan show, the historic Hollywood Bowl and Shea Stadium performances, into the Sgt. Pepper era with “Walrus,” “Come Together,” “Revolution” and beyond.
• The Duhks.
Thursday, Feb. 20.
A Canadian folk music group formed in 2002, the Duhks (pronounced “ducks”) offers a blend of Canadian soul, gospel, North American folk, old-time country string band, zydeco, and Irish dance music, while successfully integrating Latin-music-influenced percussion. The Duhks’ innovative approach to modern bluegrass music is reminiscent of other great young grassrock bands such as Nickel Creek and Yonder Mountain String Band. The Duhks’ band name comes from banjo player Leonard Podolak’s former band, Scruj MacDuhk —a tribute to a Scottish warrior who fought alongside William Wallace.
• TAO: Phoenix Rising.
Sunday, Feb. 23.
Powerful, dynamic and unique, TAO offers a new production,
“Phoenix Rising,” which combines explosive Taiko drumming and innovative choreography. The stars of TAO live and train in the mountains of Japan, achieving the highest level of virtuosity only after years of intensive study. The performers each bring nontraditional flair to the troupe by drawing on their diverse backgrounds, including a hard rock musician, gymnast, classical composer and more. With hundreds of sold-out shows and more than a million spectators, TAO has proven that modern entertainment based on the traditional art of Japanese drumming has massive international appeal.
• Christian McBride Trio.
Wednesday, March 5.
Bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and administrator, Christian McBride has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. McBride consistently combines his musical virtuosity with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience — a warm showmanship that transforms his passion into infectious joy. Wrote Miamiartzine of a performance last fall, “If the Olympics had a category for jazz trios, the Christian McBride Trio took the Gold Medal.”
• Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo.
Wednesday, March 12.
Founded in 1974 by a group of ballet enthusiasts for the purpose of presenting a playful, entertaining view of traditional, classical ballet in parody form and en travesti, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, has become a major dance phenomenon throughout the world. The Trocks, as affectionately referenced, are now known for the dancers’ inspired blend of their loving knowledge of dance, their comic approach and the astounding fact that men can, indeed, dance’en pointe without falling flat on their faces. The show is a unique performance not to be missed.
• Masters of Tradition.
Wednesday, April 2.
As Artistic Director of Masters of Tradition, Martin Hayes has brought together seven of the most compelling artists in Irish music today for a unique show celebrating the art form. With performances of solos, duets, trios and full group collaborations, the show’s format provides insight into the musical journeys that these musicians, and the masterful music they play, have taken over the years. As noted by The New Yorker, “Masters of Tradition lives up to its name … not to be missed.”
• Kathleen Madigan: “Gone Madigan.”
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Called by Jay Leno, “One of America’s funniest female comics,” stand-up comedienne Kathleen Madigan offers exceptional comedic timing, the right amount of irreverence and an hilarious perspective on life’s everyday occurrences. The only comedian ever to go unchallenged on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Madigan also defeated the ever-popular Larry the Cable Guy and other notable comics to win the 2007 Sirius Radio Comedy Cup. Patrons are advised, this show does include mature content and may not be appropriate for all audiences.
• California Guitar Trio.
Wednesday, April 16.
With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music, progressive as well as the quintessential California “surf” music, the California Guitar Trio offers stunning virtuosity and a sly sense of humor that has earned the trio an enthusiastic following and wide notoriety that spans a variety of musical scenes. According to Acoustic Musician magazine, “A California Guitar Trio performance is like a night at the theater: Drama, passion, humor, joy, pathos. It’s all there.”
• Golden Dragon Acrobats.
Wednesday, April 23.
Returning once again by popular demand, the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats will astound and amaze as the troupe delivers, as the New York Post reported, “… beautifully choreographed routines showcasing their amazing skills and physicality, accompanied by a musical score of traditional Chinese music filtered through a New Age sensibility… Juggling everything from umbrellas to soccer balls — and with props as varied as ladders and giant spinning wheels — the performers show just why they’re world-famous.”