Quick Center for the Arts announces its 13th season

Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts promises a 13th season filled with exciting dance, music, theater and family shows. In addition to returning groups such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the season features popular singer/songwriters Shawn Colvin, Arlo Guthrie and Kathy Mattea, as well as the awe-inspiring Momix, the captivating Tango Buenos Aires and the groundbreaking Urban Bush Women.

Tabla player Sandip Burman opens the season with "East Meets Jazz," a fast-paced, joy-filled performance blending Indian and jazz rhythms. The performance, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., also features guitarist/composer Paul Bollenback and saxophonist Dave Pietro of the Tashiko Akioshi Band. The Indian-born Burman, who began playing the tabla, or North Indian drums, at age 6, is a Quick Center artist-in-residence.

Shanghai Ballet graces the stage Saturday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. with a presentation of "Coppelia," the popular three-act ballet about a mesmerizing, life-like doll and a mysterious toymaker. Organized in 1979, the Shanghai Ballet rose to prominence when it staged the 20th-century Chinese ballet, "The White-Haired Girl." HA Muti directs the company through a repertoire of classical and folk ballets.

Shawn Colvin, the celebrated, down-to-earth singer/songwriter who gets to the heart of human emotion and relationships, performs Friday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. "Sunny Came Home," Colvin's irresistible tune about a woman's vengeance, won two Grammy Awards in 1997, for record of the year and song of the year. The New York Post has praised the natural simpatico of Colvin's "breathy voice and folk/rock acoustic guitar work," heard on her albums such as "A Few Small Repairs" and "Whole New You."

Classical piano virtuoso Emanuel Ax performs Friday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. A modest and unassuming presence when he walks on stage, Ax quickly commands his listeners' attention - and admiration - with playing that is graceful, fluid and poetic. An "Art to Heart" discussion with classical music professor Laura Nash precedes the show from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

Arlo Guthrie, the folk singer and social activist, takes the stage Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. Guthrie's career took off in 1967 when he recorded "Alice's Restaurant," an 18-minute-long anthem for the 1960s counterculture that fostered a new sense of social consciousness and activism. A masterful storyteller known for his great sense of humor, Guthrie plays more than a dozen instruments, including piano, harmonica and guitar.

Singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea, whose music is a signature blend of folk, bluegrass, gospel and Celtic traditions, performs Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. The West Virginia-born artist got her start at age 19 - as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Since then, Mattea has won two Grammy Awards, recorded 16 Top 10 Singles, including "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses," and has twice been named the Country Music Association's Top Female Vocalist.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the nation's premier repertory chamber music ensemble, performs at the Quick Center on three occasions this season under the direction of artistic director David Shifrin. On Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., violinist Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Gary Hoffman and pianist Andre-Michel Schub will perform the complete piano trios of Johannes Brahms. A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion with journalist Robert Sherman will be held from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

The CMSLC is comprised of 18 artist members who are joined throughout the season by guest artists, a unique structure that enables Shifrin to present concerts of every instrumentation, style and historical period. The ensemble has commissioned 110 new works over the past three decades, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "The Complete Chamber Works of Claude Debussy" in 2001.

The CMSLC returns Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m. with "Masterpieces of the Russian Underground: From Shostakovich to Schnittke." The concert will feature Gary Hoffman, cello; David Shifrin, clarinet; Ani Kavafian and Oleh Krysa, violin; and Vladimir Feltsman, piano. A third performance - an "Early Romantic Festival" including works from Chopin, Hummel and Beethoven - will be presented Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m. Featured artists will include: Ransom Wilson, flute; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Joseph Silverstein, violin/viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; and Lee Luvisi, piano. Both performances will be preceded by an "Art to Heart" discussion with Sherman.

"High Adventure on the Radio," the first of three radio dramas created by the Quick Center and directed by Daniel Smith, will be presented Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre, also known as the Black Box Theatre. "High Adventure..." is a collection of classic, edge-of-your-seat radio suspense tales, including one about three men trapped in an isolated lighthouse as thousands of rats try to gnaw their way in! "Science Fiction from the Golden Age," will be presented Saturday, March 8 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and "Classic Crime Fighters" follows Saturday, March 29 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The "polished," "passionate" and "bold" St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble performs three concerts at the Quick Center. The first is an All-Bach program, Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m.; and the second, a Mendelssohn program for woods and strings, Friday, February 28 at 8 p.m. St. Luke's new principal conductor, pianist Donald Runnicles, performs in "The Trout," a third program featuring works by Haydn and Schubert, Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. An "Art to Heart" discussion with Howard Kissel, New York Daily News drama critic, takes place before each show from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Krista Bennion Feeney, is the artistic core of the larger Orchestra of St. Luke's. Comprised of 21 virtuoso artists, the group is acclaimed worldwide for its mastery of a diverse repertoire spanning the Baroque to the contemporary.

The Quick Center will present some fun and inspired readings this season. The first, "Holiday Stories," is presented with guest artists, Saturday, December 14 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. As an additional treat, the Quick Center has commissioned orchestral accompaniment for "Storybook Tales," Sunday, March 30 at 3 p.m. Bring the whole family as guest artists read some of the world's most beloved fairy tales.

Audience members will be whistling "White Christmas" after attending the New Haven Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert, scheduled for Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. This festive event, with associate conductor Gerald Steichen, will include traditional carols, as well as ethnic and cultural holiday songs. The evening wraps up with a sing-a-long! The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is the oldest symphony orchestra in the country. It combines the talents of resident players with world-renowned guest soloists and conductors.

The dance-illusionist troupe Momix performs "Opus Cactus," an awe-inspiring program of physical grace and mastery, Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. The program, inspired by gila monsters, saguaro cacti and other sights and sounds of the Southwest, was created by Momix artistic director Moses Pendleton. When it premiered in February 2001, Newsday wrote, "with its wit, beauty and sheer physical daring, ["Opus Cactus"] typifies Momix at its inspired best." A post-show "Art to Heart" question-and-answer session with the company will follow.

The world's foremost acoustic and jazz guitarists swap musical ideas and share their latest compositions during "International Guitar Night," Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. Host Brian Gore, a self-taught acoustic guitar player from the San Francisco Bay area, is joined by the legendary Ralph Towner, who now lives in Italy; Martin Taylor, the brilliant jazz innovator from England; and Marco Pereira, the dynamic Brazilian guitarist.

With her stunning looks and silken voice, 24-year-old Jane Monheit has been called "jazz's next sultry sweety," by People magazine. When Monheit appears at the Quick Center, Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m., she's likely to wrap her rich, textured voice around selections from her top albums, "Come Dream With Me," and "Never Never Land," and add her own touch to great American songs by Joni Mitchell, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Monheit has performed at Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall, as well as jazz festivals, clubs and theaters around the world.

The stage will be sizzling Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. with the boldly suggestive choreography of the Argentinean dance troupe, Tango Buenos Aires. Under the direction of pianist and bandoneon player, Cristian Zarate, Tango Buenos Aires presents the tango as it originated in the slums and bordellos of Buenos Aires. Calling upon the skill, speed and carriage of six dancing couples, "The Golden Age of Tango," will trace the 100-year history of this richly cultural dance form, which has sometimes been called the soul of Argentina.

Urban Bush Women and the National Company of Song and Dance of Mozambique perform "Shadow's Child," Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. "Shadow's Child" is a mix of dance, song and storytelling interwoven with the spiritual traditions, culture and history of Africans and African-Americans. UBW's Jawole Willa Jo Zollar will direct this tale of a young girl's journey of self-discovery and identity. A post-show "Art to Heart" question-and-answer session with the company will follow. A special performance for young people will be staged Sunday, March 9 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. as part of the Quick Center's Young Audience series.

Join electrifying Celtic accordionist John Whelan and the fiddle-playing trio, Halali, for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, Saturday, March 15 at 8 p.m. Raised on the fiddle and pipe music of Ireland, Whelan calls Milford, Conn., home. He has recorded more than half-a-dozen albums and, in 1998, was named Traditionalist of the Year by Irish Echo magazine.

Lila Downs, a multilingual vocalist who has created her own unique blend of Mexican folk music and American jazz, performs Friday, March 21 at 8 p.m. A mezzo-soprano with exceptional range, Downs is the daughter of an American biologist and a Miztec Indian, an exotic background she drew upon heavily in her debut album, "Tree of Life."

On Friday, March 28 at 8 p.m., Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer Mark O'Connor pays tribute to Steacute;phane Grappelli, the legendary French jazz violinist who helped influence his crossover from country to classical music. The Mark O'Connor Trio's "Tribute to Steacute;phane Grappelli," will also feature bassist John Burr and guitarist Frank Vignola.

With playing that is intense at one moment and tender at the next, cellist Maya Beiser and pianist Anthony de Mare perform in an evening of sensual, tango-infused music, Saturday, April 5 at 8 p.m. "Oblivion" is an interpretation of the works of Latin composer Astor Piazzolla, father of the modern tango, and Cuban-born composer Joaquin Nin (father of the feminist writer, Anais Nin). An "Art to Heart" discussion will precede the show from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

Quartetto Gelato, a boisterous Canadian foursome that mixes classical melodies with foot-stomping fun, performs Saturday, May 3 at 8 p.m. The group's repertoire - ranging from operatic arias to gypsy fiddling - goes hand-in-hand with its name, according to The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.); while quartetto sounds like a serious classical ensemble, gelato means ice cream in Italian! A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion with classical music professor Laura Nash will take place from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

Finally, exhibitions scheduled this season at the Quick Center's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery are: Sale Sirugo, "From the Intimate to the Infinite," Sept. 19 through Dec. 8; "Images from the 1960s - Photographs by James Hinton," Jan. 23 through March 23; "2003 Studio Art Student Exhibition," April 2 through May 4; and "Crescendo Works by Rosalyn A. Engleman," June 15 through Aug. 10.

The Quick Center for the Arts offers free parking in well-lit lots on a campus patrolled by security guards. Concessions are open one hour prior to each performance, and patrons may await the curtain's opening in the Quick Center's spacious lobby. Audience members are also encouraged to tour exhibits in the Walsh Art Gallery.

Discounts for Quick Center events are available to subscribers and groups. For ticket information or a copy of the Quick Center's 2002-03 calendar of events, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website at www.quickcenter.com. Look for Quick Center tickets online beginning Fall 2002.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 13, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 221

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