Monday, May 22, 2017

2017-18 season at the Palladium includes new series in alliance with University of Indianapolis

The Center for the Performing Arts on Friday announced visiting shows of music and dance across a range of styles. Besides the Pop/Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Songbook and Holiday series (versions of which have been a staple of Palladium programming), the Center will present Passport, a new series with title sponsorship from the University of Indianapolis.

The miscellaneous international flavor of Passport is indicated by its launch with the National Acrobats and Martial Artists of China (Oct. 29), going on to encompass the Dublin Irish Dancers (Feb. 3); Celtic Nights, a dance-based celebration of Celtic culture (March 16); popular genre-mixing ensemble Pink Martini (March 17), and classical guitarist Paul Galbraith (March 15).

Violinist Damien Escobar has just released his first all original recording.
Another Passport concert can be contrasted with the finale of the Classical Series:  Damien Escobar, an assertive crossover artist with roots in R&B and hip-hop (Dec. 1), could hardly be a more different kind of violinist than Itzhak Perlman, the superstar classical musician who returns to the Palladium (April 28).

Another violinist, Pinchas Zukerman, will double as a conductor when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra makes an appearance Jan. 21. Zukerman will be featured as soloist in a performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major,  K. 219.

The other orchestra on the Classical Series is the Staatskapelle Weimar Orchestra of Germany (March 9), which will bring an all-Beethoven program to the Palladium stage under the baton of its general music director, Kirill Karabits. 

Logo of the long-lived Canadian Brass with a holiday touch.
Among the special events announced at the Tarkington Friday afternoon will be a free concert by the U.S. Army Field Band's Concert Band, with  the Soldiers' Chorus (Nov. 15; tickets will be available in late October). Other special events include the New Year's Eve Extravaganza. Announced Friday but not confirmed in time to be included in the Subscriber Guide handed out at the end of the announcement program was an appearance by the comedian
Cathy Griffin.

Among the year-end concerts grouped in the Holiday Series will be the Canadian Brass (Dec. 23), a long-lived brass quintet
that offers a broad range of arrangements for the combination of two trumpets, trombone, horn, and tuba.

The Classical Series will open Nov. 4 with Red Priest, a theatrical early-music ensemble that was featured years ago in the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.  The one concert in that series not yet mentioned will be the China National Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 9, with artistic director and conductor Tan Dun, whose most famous credit in the West is his score for the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Center artistic director Michael Feinstein.
Other concerts of particular interest to me fall in the Jazz Series: John Beasley's Monk'estra (Jan. 20) should offer refreshing big-band versions of the durable compositions of Thelonious Monk, whose centennial year will have just passed when the ensemble plays the Palladium.  And a justly titled "Summit"  celebration of jazz a cappella will be combined in one program when the Manhattan Transfer meets Take 6 on Feb. 17.

The annual Songbook Academy Finals will cap a week of intensive work by high-school singers working with coaches in the Great American Songbook when the popular workshop-masterclass-competition program goes public again on July 22. The Songbook Celebration Gala (Sept. 30) is another way the Center for the Performing Arts has of pinning down its hold on the golden age of American popular song, including an induction to the Hall of Fame based at the Palladium.  And the guiding force of that part of the Palladium's programming, Michael Feinstein, will again present a concert (April 21), in which he shares the stage with a compatible guest star — this year Betty Buckley.  

Leading of the 2017-18 Pop/Rock series is the previously announced appearance of Sheryl Crow (with Aaron Lee Tasjan) on July 11. Full information (and the opportunity to subscribe) on that series and the Center's other presentations can be obtained at thecenterpresents.org or by calling (317) 843-3800.