Welcome to the 2014-15 season!
All performances in Rice Auditorium at 7:30pm except April Verch Band which will be playing in Smith Recital Hall
Pacific Mambo Orchestra
2014 Grammy winner for best Tropical Latin album, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra is a powerhouse of Latin American music. PMO’s sizzling, self-titled debut honors the sounds of the great Latin Big Bands of the 1940s through 1960s, including Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, while infusing them with an intoxicating new energy. Pacific Mambo Orchestra is a dynamic 19-piece Latin Big Band that plays salsa, mambo, Latin jazz and cha cha, and they feature some of Northern California’s finest musicians, including trumpeter Steffen Kuehn and pianist Christian Tumalan, co-bandleaders.
Allen Toussaint and The Western Hemisphere Orchestra
The Smith Fine Arts Series is delighted to announce the return of Allen Toussaint to our stage. The list of those who have benefited in one way or another from the Toussaint’s touch is staggering in its historic and stylistic range, stretching from the late 1950s to the present day, with no end in sight. His catalog of songs has generated hits on the pop, R&B, country and dance charts, and many remain on heavy rotation in various radio formats. His tunes continue to pop up as TV themes and advertising jingles. Toussaint will be joined by the 35-piece Western Hemisphere Orchestra.
Rainbow Dance Theater
Rainbow Dance Theatre’s ensemble of virtuoso dancers brings their new show to Rice Auditorium. iLumiDance is comprised of works that feature the interplay of dance and illumination. The dancers are sure to amaze audiences of all ages with their athletic “pull-out-the-stops celebration of … dancing that pays homage to world-dance and –music influences” (Sheryl Dare, Honolulu Advertiser). The distinctive choreography of artistic directors Darryl Thomas and Valerie Bergman creates “an exotic feast for the senses”. (Isamu Jordan, Spokane Spokesman Review)
Turtle Island String Quartet Birth of the Cool
Its name derived from creation mythology found in Native American Folklore, the Turtle Island Quartet, since its inception in 1985, has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and most recently, the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined. Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be "a unified voice that truly breaks new ground – authentic and passionate – a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today."
April Verch Band
April Verch has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singer-songwriter. The April Verch Band is an energetic, virtuosic, tradition-celebrating outfit, not to mention one that’s not soon forgotten when they depart the stage. It doesn't hurt that the thrilling grand finale involves Verch fiddling and step dancing and often executing two entirely different intricate rhythmic patterns – at once. (Robert Anglin, Time Out Chicago)
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual "Who's Who" of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a "Legend," a "Living Musical Icon," and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!" Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise Dr. Smith's fan-base is truly worldwide.
José James and The American Metropole Orchestra
Singer-songwriter José James has always been on the quest for new musical horizons; constantly evolving and blurring the lines between genres in the process. José adeptly weaves elements of indie rock, folk, funk, blues, hip hop and R&B into an experience journeying from desire to introspection and spiritual epiphany. The American Metropole Orchestra will join Mr. James as they debut a show tailor-made for his exceptional talent.
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