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Jessica Brown

Event Preview: Marc Cohn

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In a singularly intimate concert experience, Marc Cohn will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Grammy Award-winning debut album by performing it in its entirety, from the iconic opening track “Walking in Memphis,” to “True Companion,” accompanied by photos and video from his personal archives. Cohn, one of this generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters, is a natural storyteller with the precision of a brilliant tunesmith and the passion of a great soul man. He has the ability to balance the exuberant with the poignant and distill universal truths from real-life tales. Together with his special guests, legendary gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama, Cohn will share songs that have stood the test of time and have remained audience favorites for decades. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to welcome Cohn to the Bankhead Theater in mid-January.

About Marc Cohn

Cohn learned to play guitar and started writing songs when he was in junior high school. He later taught himself to play the piano while attending Oberlin College. After transferring to UCLA and performing in Los Angeles-area coffeehouses, Cohn moved to New York City. He got started demoing songs for writers such as Jimmy Webb, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. In 1987, Cohn performed two songs on the Phil Ramone-produced concept album of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, Music and Songs from Starlight Express.

Cohn served as a backing pianist for Tracy Chapman on her second album, which led him to his debut solo album two years later. Hit song “Walking in Memphis,” which was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal at the Grammy Award, put Cohn on the map. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1992 and certified Platinum in 1996. “True Companion,” a popular lovers song, even became the soundtrack to a marriage proposal aired on US television’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. That year, Cohn won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

In 1993, Cohn released his second studio album, The Rainy Season. It included notables such as David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Bonnie Raitt. The album reached as high as number 63 on the charts. Two years later, Cohn wrote the song “My Great Escape” for the 1995 Peter Horton film The Cure. The song can be heard during the film’s opening sequence. Cohn released his third solo, Burning the Daze, in 1998. He was joined by several popular artists, including country music’s Rosanne Cash.   

Cohn had quite the year in 2005. For one thing, he compiled and self-released a live album called Live 04-05. In August, he was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking in Denver while on tour with Suzanne Vega. Cohn had to be hospitalized for observation but was released after eight hours. Doctors told Cohn he was “the luckiest unlucky guy they had met in a long, long time.” Such adversity, along with the events of Hurricane Katrina, contributed to the emotion that he introduced in the track “Dance Back from the Grave,” in Join the Parade.

From 2006 to 2016, Cohn released three compilations:

    • The Very Best of Marc Cohn (June 2006)
    • Listening Booth: 1970 (2010) – This was a collection of cover songs that were originally released during the titular year. The album peaked at number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart. Cohn crosses genres from rock to soul to folk and pop in this album.
    • Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities (2016) – This was a collection of demos written and recorded more than 25 years before.

The Performance

Together with special guests Blind Boys of Alabama, Cohn will be appearing at the Bankhead Theater Friday, January 19th at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $60 to $110. Our center for performing arts is proud to offer student and active military prices for all performances. Please call or visit the box office to book these tickets.

From theatre performances to live music, the Bankhead provides a truly intimate experience for audiences and artists alike. Get your tickets today for Marc Cohn & Blind Boys of Alabama, as they’re expected to sell out quickly.

Don’t forget to check out our events calendar for other must-see performances in 2018!

Become a Member Today!

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Whether this is your first time here or you’re a regular attendee, you’ll find that the Bankhead Theater is more than just a performance venue. This is the place to gather with friends, enjoy curated art exhibits, discover entertainment from around the globe, and share a love for the arts with others. Our goal is to provide a wealth of varied arts experiences for everyone in the Tri-Valley community and beyond.

The Benefits of Membership

As a member, your donations directly support our efforts in every way. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. We are not owned or operated by the city, so we do not receive ongoing local government support. Many people don’t realize that our ticket sales at the Bankhead cover only a portion of artist fees and production costs.  As a non-profit, we are dependent on the generosity of our members. Your membership not only helps bring quality entertainment to the Bankhead, it also supports arts education outreach to local schools and across our diverse community. Just last year, nearly 11,000 students benefited from more than 30 master classes, concerts, and assemblies provided by our artists and resident companies. Membership also helps provide local artists with affordable classroom and studio space at the Bothwell Arts Center.

With a variety of incredible performances scheduled for the fall and winter, there’s no better time to discover all that we have to offer than right now. In addition to knowing that they have made a difference in the arts, members also receive benefits such as a 10 percent ticket discount to LVPAC Presents shows all year long. Members will enjoy early notification of new shows, priority ticket purchase, as well as exclusive member events and access to the VIP room at higher levels.

Matching Gifts

Please help us bridge the financial gap not covered by ticket sales with an investment in LVPAC. Thanks to the combination of tax-deductible gifts from foundations, corporations, and individuals like you, we can continue to bring high-quality products and education programs to the entire community. One way to increase the impact of your donation is to have your employer match it. There are plenty of companies out there that will double or triple individual tax-deductible contributions made by their employees. These Matching Gifts programs may also be available to retired employees and to the spouse/widow/widower of employees. Some companies also match volunteer hours with a cash equivalent donation. Click HERE for a partial list of companies that match donations. For additional information about Matching Gifts and how they work, talk with your human resources department.

Legacy Giving

Some donors choose to leave a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center in support of our efforts to share the arts in the community. If you would be interested in making such a gift to benefit future generations, please contact our development office at (925) 583-2305

Our development staff is dedicated to providing members with personal customer service and to help fulfill your charitable goals. Give our development team a call at (925) 583-2305 or join online by clicking HERE.

JOIN NOW

About the Bankhead Theater

The intimate 507-seat venue is an acoustic jewel, located in the center of our downtown arts community. For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of live performance. What makes the Bankhead such a jewel? It offers a rich environment for growth on both sides of the footlights, artists of all genres have commented on its unmatched acoustics and the pleasure of performing within its intimate walls. As a member, enjoy the wonder of the Bankhead on a regular basis.

Upcoming Events

As mentioned above, there isn’t a better time than now to become a LVPAC member. Here are just a few of the upcoming theater and live music performances to look forward to at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center:

December

  • Late Night Catechism “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” – Friday, December 1
  • The Hot Sardines – Monday, December 11
  • An Irish Christmas – Thursday, December 21
  • Olate Dogs – Saturday, December 23
  • New Year’s Eve at the Bankhead – Sunday, January 31

January

  • Dave Coulier – Friday, January 5
  • Richard Glazier “He’s Playing Our Song” with Karen Marguth – Saturday, January 6
  • Marc Cohn & Blind Boys of Alabama – Friday, January 19
  • Five for Fighting with String Quartet – Wednesday, January 24
  • Vicki Lawrence and Mama – Friday, January 26

February

  • Moscow Festival Ballet: Cinderella – Tuesday, February 6
  • Reduced Shakespeare “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” – Friday, February 9
  • DLux Puppets: Alice in Wonderland – Sunday February 11
  • Second City – Friday, February 16
  • Lee Ann Womack – Monday, February 19
  • International Guitar Night – Friday, February 23
  • Jake Shimabukuro – Sunday February 25

See the entire list of upcoming events here and start enjoying the arts the way you’ve always wanted! Become a member today.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with LVPAC

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While some popular U.S. holidays are just around the corner, so too is the Chinese New Year. Also known as the “Spring Festival” in modern China, the day is celebrated at the beginning of Chinese calendar. Maybe you remember that 2017 was the year of the Rooster. In 2018, however, the year of the Dog will be initiated Friday, February 16th. Keep reading to learn more about the Chinese New Year and how you can celebrate with the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

Chinese New Year History

Long ago, the New Year festival served as a time to honor deities and ancestors. Legend has it that things all started with a mythical beast called the Nian. This beast was known for eating villagers, especially children. Then one year, all the villagers except one decided to hide from Nian. It turned out that one was an old man wanting to seek revenge on the beast. So he went out and put red papers out and set off firecrackers. The following day, the villagers came back to see their town had not been destroyed like was usually the case. They came to realize that Nian was afraid of the color red and loud noises. Thanks to the old man, a tradition began. Whenever the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. Not to mention, everyone used firecrackers to frighten away Nian. Never again did the beast wreak havoc in the village. In fact, he was eventually captured by an ancient Taoist monk named Hongjun Laozu.

Preceding Days

Each day of the Chinese New Year brings something different. That said, Chinese families place great importance on the days immediately before the celebration. For example, they usually give their homes a thorough cleaning. It’s believed the cleaning literally sweeps away the bad luck of the previous year and makes their homes ready to receive good luck. Brooms and dustpans are then put away on the first day of the New Year so that newly arrived good luck can’t be swept away by mistake. The days before aren’t just intended for cleaning, though. Purchasing new shoes and clothing symbolize a fresh start. Interestingly, haircuts must be completed beforehand, as cutting hair on New Year is thought to bring bad luck. Lastly, businesses are expected to pay off outstanding debt from the previous year.

Let’s look at the rest of the festivities:

  1. New Year’s Eve – The annual Reunion dinner is the biggest part of any Chinese New Year’s Eve. The meal is comparable to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
  2. First day – Those celebrating use the first day to honor one’s elders, while families visit the oldest and most senior members.
  3. Second day – Traditionally, the second day was reserved for married daughters being given a chance to visit their birth parents, relatives, and close friends.
  4. Third day – Day three is considered an unlucky day to host guests or go visiting for that matter. Those celebrating use the third day as a chance to visit the temple of the God of Wealth and have one’s future told.
  5. Fourth day – For those who celebrate Chinese New Year, this is when spring dinners begin and businesses return to normal.

LVPAC’s Chinese New Year Celebration

The Chinese New Year may still be a few months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be excited about it! As with our other cultural arts programs, you can expect the event we hold to include plenty of music, dancing, food, crafts, clothing, and other traditions. Be sure to come back to the website for additional details as we get closer to February 16th.

Performing Arts Education Outreach

Arts education is a big part of what we do at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Our ultimate goal is for every student in the area to experience the arts on a regular basis. It’s why we offer many fun educational activities and free monthly family events. We even put on workshops and master classes with visiting artists. Keep in mind that portions of our activities and cultural arts programs, in particular, are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

Now is the perfect time to become a member of our performing arts center. From theatre performances to live music, we have something the whole family will love.

The Benefits of Arts Education

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Now that school is back in session, it’s a good idea to think about how to help your child get a leg up in the classroom. One way is through a strong arts education. The performing arts not only enrich our lives, culture, and communities, but they are also vital to a young person’s education. Research shows that exposure to art education promotes self-directed learning, improves school attendance, and sharpens critical and creative skills. Those with an interest in the arts also have an easier time in classes such as reading, math, and social studies. In this blog post, we will dive more into the benefits of arts education and the educational outreach programs of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

Why Should Children Take in the Performing Arts?

Some parents believe that since their children are doing well in the classroom, they don’t need to do anything more to stimulate academic development. But that just isn’t the case. The knowledge that stems from the arts can’t be replicated in a normal classroom setting. With that in mind, here are some key benefits of an arts education:

  • Higher scores on achievement tests – Students with high arts involvement tend to perform better on standardized achievement tests in comparison to students with low arts involvement, according to research. Keep in mind that those who branch out to the arts watch fewer hours of television, participate in more community service, and report less boredom in school.
  • Improved cognition skills and attention for learning – Young students who are motivated in the arts develop attention skills and memory retrieval that also apply to other subject areas.
  • Development of skills highly valued by employers – More than ever before, employers are looking for traits of innovation and creativity in job candidates. Organizations value those who can think critically, solve a problem, work as a team, and come up with an out-of-the-box solution when necessary. It’s not surprising that arts education can help build each of these skills.

How the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is Helping

The goal at LVPAC is to ensure that every student in the Tri-Valley is given the chance to experience the arts each year through a variety of educational activities. LVPAC presents performances at schools, as well as the Bankhead Theater. We also provide free monthly family events as well as workshops and master classes with visiting artists. You can feel comfortable knowing that portions of these activities are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.   

How to Contribute

We put a great deal of energy into our educational outreach programs. To learn more about these programs that support school/family performances and students tickets or to donate, please contact our development staff at 925-583-2305.      

Looking for a unique way to contribute to our arts education? We are fortunate to be able to offer a gift box featuring three Gold Medal -winning Livermore Valley wines in the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The wines are perfectly packed in a natural pine wooden box with the Livermore Arts Bankhead Theater logo. The box includes one bottle each of Cuda Ridge Wines 2013 Malbec, 1846 by Nottingham Cellars 2014 Chardonnay, and Mia Nipote 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. The proceeds of this one-of-a-kind gift box support the LVPAC Education Fund. Please note that your purchase must be picked up at the Bankhead lobby between noon and 6 p.m.

Theater Etiquette

We love seeing young patrons enjoying our theater and live music performances, especially for the first time! If your child has never been to the arts, here are few rules of etiquette that they must follow:

  • Outside food and beverages are not allowed (including gum).
  • Take care of personal needs in advance so you don’t have to leave your seat until either intermission or the end of the performance.
  • Photography of any kind is prohibited. Please silence any electronic devices prior to the beginning of the show.
  • Please refrain from talking or singing along, except when encouraged to do so by the artist.
  • Please do not put your feet up on the chairs or railing in front of you and do not kick the chair in front of you.
  • Please sit in your assigned seat so you do not cause confusion for other audience members. Should you need further assistance, please consult the nearest usher.

For more information on how you can get your child involved with the arts, feel free to contact LVPAC.

Plan Your Visit to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to be the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community. At the Bankhead Theater, we truly have something for everyone. From incredible musical performances to comedy and everything in between, the events we put on are fun for the whole family. With that in mind, if you’ve never been to a performing arts center, you may have some questions regarding your visit. In this blog post, we hope to provide some clarification so all you have to do is enjoy the performance.

How to Get to the Performing Arts Center

From Interstate 580, take the North Livermore Avenue exit and continue about a mile to downtown Livermore. Then take a left onto Railroad Avenue. LVPAC parking is located one block ahead on your left. Whether you choose the main parking area or street parking surrounding the theater downtown, you don’t have to pay a dime. The Bankhead Theater is located on the block to your right, between First Street, Railroad Avenue, and North Livermore Avenue. For your convenience, there is a drop-off/pick-up area located on Railroad prior to you reaching the stop light to enter the parking garage. Please click here for additional details on public transportation directions.

Accessibility

Please call our Ticket Office in advance for wheelchair accessible seating. Note that these seats cannot be purchased online. There is a wheelchair accessible drop-off/pick-up area located on Railroad Avenue before you reach the stoplight to enter the garage. We do have an elevator in the main lobby, as well as fully accessible restrooms in the main and upper lobby. We also have assistive listening devices available free of charge.

House Rules

LVPAC follows a strict rule of no food or beverages in the auditorium. Patrons who take photos, video, or record sound of the performance will be asked to leave. Prior to all events, the audience will be asked to silence all phones and wireless devices.

Children

We proudly welcome entire families, not just adults, to take in our performances. That said, children under the age of two are not allowed for most LVPAC events. We ask that patrons with small children be courteous to other guests in order for everyone to fully enjoy the performance.

Concessions

We offer a full-service concessions area located in the Garden Courtyard Foyer on the east side of the theater lobby. Enjoy desserts, coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks, beer, and, of course, award-winning Livermore Valley wines. Feel free to sit in the Madden Family Courtyard where patrons can find tables and chairs, in addition to the relaxing water wall and garden paintings.  

What to Do in Livermore

Seeing the arts isn’t the only thing to do in Livermore. Take advantage of incredible shopping, live entertainment, and outdoor activities. The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District offers hiking trails, weekend program, skateboarding, bicycling, dog parks, and much more. Plus, if you haven’t already heard, Livermore Valley is unbelievable wine country. Here are just some of the wineries you can check out during your visit:

  • 3 Steves Winery
  • Bent Creek Winery
  • Crooked Vine
  • Leisure Street Winery
  • Nottingham Cellars
  • The Steven Kent Winery
  • Wood Family Vineyards

When you’re ready to settle down for a nice dinner, you and your family will have quite the selection to choose from. The Livermore Valley attracts visitors from all over the world, so you’ll have plenty of fantastic dining choices. A number of destinations even provide live entertainment and patio seating to ensure the perfect visit.

As far as accommodations are concerned, we encourage you to make a week or weekend of your visit to the Livermore Valley. Visitors can choose from a room nestled in an Olive Orchard or a standard drop-in spot with full service.

With whatever you choose to do, just know that you will have a memorable time in beautiful Livermore Valley!

Book Your Tickets Today

Whether it’s live music, theater, or something completely different, there’s no question that the performances at LVPAC are first-class. As we continue to grow, our mission remains the same: to offer a broad range of arts opportunities and experiences to engage our diverse community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions you may have regarding your visit.

Pitfalls of Buying Performance Tickets from Third Party Vendors

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With a highly anticipated list of events on the calendar this summer, there’s no doubt that folks will be looking to come to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. That, unfortunately, brings plenty of opportunity for third-party ticket vendors. Recently, our staff at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center has seen patrons fall victim to these shady practices. In this blog post, we will dive into the dangers of purchasing from such vendors and how you can avoid them altogether.

Keep in mind that third party sources sell tickets at highly inflated prices, offering no real value to the customer. Plus, they have no ties to the event or venue. These vendors may try selling tickets to events before the event has even been finalized, so there’s no guarantee that you will actually get the tickets you purchased. That said, if the event happens to get canceled, you’d be hardpressed to obtain a refund since you won’t be able to point to who sold you the ticket. In today’s digitized world of entertainment, third party vendors have been forced to create professional looking websites if they want to look legitimate. Believe it or not, it can be challenging at times as you attempt to decipher between verified ticket sites and fake ones. Keep reading for some tips to avoid being tricked into buying from a shady third party vendor.

  1. Do your research – The Better Business Bureau advises that you do your homework ahead of time when purchasing tickets through an online broker. It’s a good idea to look for the BBB seal on their website and check its BBB Business Review. You will also want to assess the company’s policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if the tickets purchased happen to be fake or not as advertised.
  2. Watch for fees – It’s almost become common practice for entertainment venues to have convenience fees that raise the total price. Be sure that you’re aware of any additional charges, shipping, handling, insurance, and taxes prior to making payment. If you have coupons or other discounts, the total price should be deducted accordingly.
  3. Don’t fall for the too-good-to-be-true scam – Let’s say that the box office price for a ticket to an upcoming event is $80. Instead of dealing with the venue directly, you choose to shop around to see if you can find a better deal. You come across a site that advertises tickets to the same event for just $30. This is very likely a classic case where a third party vendor price is too good to be true.
  4. Pay with credit card or PayPal – When it comes to buying tickets, consumers should avoid paying by cash, check, or wiring money to a seller. Scammers absolutely love when buyers pay with cash, as there’s no way to get back your money should the tickets not arrive or be fake. When you use a credit card or PayPal account, you get the additional protection you need and the chance for reimbursement if the seller fails to cooperate or doesn’t follow through with sending the tickets.
  5. Keep a record of your purchase – As you would other major online purchase, seriously consider saving information such as receipts, product description, delivery date, cancellation policies, etc. This information may be required if you wind up disputing the charges.
  6. Ask for proof of purchase – It’s imperative to have some sort of purchase confirmation that lists your seats, the dates of the event, venue, etc. This helps ensure the tickets were purchased from an authorized source. If the third party source does not offer proof of purchase, it’s best to just steer clear at that point.

The Better Way — Purchase Tickets directly from Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

As long as you buy event tickets directly from our venue — our website, by phone or at the box office — there’s no need to worry about third party vendor problems. We recommend that you avoid putting yourself at risk. Our ticket buying process is simple and user-friendly. Plus, you can rest assured knowing that your personal information will be safe and secure.  

We don’t want you to worry about whether or not your tickets will be authentic when you arrive at the door. We encourage you to buy tickets directly from us so you can relax and enjoy the variety of live music, theater, comedy, and other entertainment we offer. The Bankhead Theater is at the center of Livermore with exciting shows and fun for the whole family.

See our event list for upcoming shows.

Why You Should Become an LVPAC Member

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Have you ever considered an annual membership at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center? Maybe you attended a production over the holidays that you just loved, or maybe you enjoyed a concert or opera on date night. In whatever way you fell in love with LVPAC, we want to invite you to become a member. Most folks don’t realize that ticket sales cover just a portion of the cost to run our performing arts center. It’s why we rely on tax-deductible gifts from foundations, corporations, and individuals to help us bridge the gap.

When you invest in LVPAC, you not only invest in the highest quality of entertainment and productions but also in the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community. Not to mention, those gifts enable us to expand our education programs to the entire community. LVPAC is quick to recognize those who provide their support, as we offer a variety of benefits ranging from discounted tickets to exclusive invitations to special events with artists and staff.

LVPAC 2017-18 Season Launch Members Party

Should you become an LVPAC member, be sure to make room on your calendar for the 2017-18 LVPAC Presents Season Announcement Party. The evening consists of a reception in the lobby with light appetizers and wine, followed by a program in the theater. Guests who attend will be the first to receive the full season program and will have the chance to purchase tickets for any of the shows following the conclusion of the program. As a bonus, we will also be giving away several great raffle prizes including passes to LVPAC Presents shows, wine packages, and tickets to see Hamilton in San Francisco.

Please be aware that the party is for members only. Become a member now and join us May 24 at 7 p.m. When you complete your donation information, you will see that the minimum contribution is $125 in order to be eligible for membership benefits. Take some time to consider where exactly you would like your gift to go. You have the option for it to go toward: The Greatest Need, LVPAC Education Fund, Student Ticket Fund, or Bothwell Arts Center.

Our Performing Arts Center Facilities

We are fortunate to have two incredible facilities for live music, entertainment shows, and more. See below for more on the Bothwell Arts Center and Bankhead Theater.

Bothwell

For more than a decade, the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore has been an arts incubator, providing affordable and rentable classroom, rehearsal, performance, event, and studio rental space for artists, musicians, and other groups with a focus on the arts. From Sycamore Strings Academy and Livermore Amador Symphony to others, the Bothwell remains a popular spot for frequent renters. Check out the Bothwell for upcoming events and classes, or for information on rental space.

Bankhead

The Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised this venue for its “perfect” acoustics, making it the ideal place for artists wanting a transformation of their own. An intimate setting for the audience and artist alike, it’s easy to see what makes a production at the Bankhead a truly exceptional experience.

Start enjoying the benefits of an annual membership today. Sign up now.

Event Preview: Asleep at the Wheel

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Since 1970, the country music group Asleep at the Wheel has filled one venue after the next. The legendary kings of western swing continue in their quest to keep western swing music alive and kicking. Fans of the group appreciate the fun, toe-tapping music and rich harmonies that set Asleep at the Wheel apart from other groups. Read on to learn more about this iconic group and how you can see Asleep at the Wheel in person soon.

Frontman Ray Benson and Lucky Oceans got things started as the two opened for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, D.C. In 1973, Asleep at the Wheel released their first album called Comin’ Right At Ya. The group’s upward trend continued the next handful of years with singles including “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “Bump, Bounce, Boogie,” “Nothin’ Takes the Place of You” and others. Along their journey, Asleep at the Wheel has earned nine Grammy awards from more than 25 albums. Benson refers to western swing as “jazz with a cowboy hat,” a musical melting pot from fiddle tunes and country bluegrass, to blues and big band.

In 2007, the group was recognized by the Austin Chronicle as the Band of the Year, Best Country Band, and was consequently elected into their Hall of Fame.

More About Benson

Throughout the group’s history, Benson has remained the integral cog. In 2002, Benson was elected into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, was given the Texas Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, and was recognized as an Outstanding Producer by the National Academy of Recording Arts in 1988. Not to mention, Benson has also been given numerous Citations of Achievement by Broadcast Music, Inc. It’s no wonder why Benson and Asleep at the Wheel remain some of the strongest, most recognizable names in country music.

What others are saying

“The finest Western swing band in existence today.” – Country Music

“The wheel just keeps rollin’ along with a steady eye and a keen sense of swing.” – Dallas Morning News

The Venue

Have you ever been to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore? At LVPAC, our mission is to offer a variety of performing arts opportunities and experiences to engage our diverse communities. Whether that’s symphony, ballet performances, opera shows, or upcoming concerts, the Bankhead is the premier choice. We are thrilled that the Bankhead continues to present a fun, rich environment for all those involved. Our performing arts center also strives to keep performances affordable. For example, nearly all LVPAC Presents events are priced at just $16. Come and see Asleep at the Wheel for yourself and take in the intimate setting and perfect acoustics found only at the Bankhead. Together with the Bothwell Arts Center and Downtown Art Studios, it’s easy to see what makes LVPAC the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community.

The Performance

Asleep at the Wheel makes its appearance at the Bankhead Theater Friday, June 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the event range from $35 – $60. Be sure to call or visit the box office


Event Preview: The Doo Wop Project

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Are you ready for the chance to see the stars of Broadway’s smash hits Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical live? You will have the opportunity when The Doo Wop Project comes to town for an appearance at the Livermore Valley Performing Center. Tracing the evolution of the doo wop sound from classic street corner harmonies to the top of the radio charts, The Doo Wop Project continues to be a favorite across all ages. Their authenticity of sound and vocal excellence recreate and reimagine favorite melodies of the era, as well as doo wop-inspired renditions of contemporary songs. The power and charisma of these gifted young performers of The Doo Wop Project bring the energy and magic of doo wop to a whole generation of fans.

Throughout the show, DWP takes audiences on a breathtaking journey from foundational tunes of the Crests, Belmonts, and Flamingos through influences on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and the Four Seasons on through the likes of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Jason Mraz. Without a doubt, DWP uses their one-of-a-kind sound and vocal excellence to recreate and reimagine some of the greatest music in American rock and pop history.

Meet DWP

  • Dominic Nolfi – Dominic is a founding member of DWP and currently performs on Broadway in A Bronx Tale – The Musical. He’s also performed in both of the World Premiere productions of A Bronx Tale and Jersey Boys at the Paper Mill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse.
  • Charl – He was recently nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical on Broadway. Charl is also featured on the Grammy Nominated Original Broadway Cast recording. You may have recognized Charl in Madam Secretary, Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent and recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades.
  • Fischer – At 5-foot-6, he boasts a tenor voice and falsetto range. He made his Broadway debut on his 22nd birthday in the role of Joe Pesci in Jersey Boys. Similar to Charl, Fischer is no stranger to TV appearance, as he’s been a part of the 2009 Tony Awards, several sports for 60 Second Sitcoms, and more.
  • Dominic Scaglione Jr. – He was most recently seen in the role of Frankie Valli on Broadway. He holds the distinct honor of being personally asked by Valli to sing at his NJ Hall of Fame induction. In his earlier performing days, Dominic toured with acts including Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, and Boyz 2 Men.
  • Dwayne Cooper – The South Carolina native began his singing days with a Christian a cappella group called “The Cunningham Singers.” Dwayne is often referred to as a “triple threat” in that he’s reminiscent of the great Sammy Davis Jr. and Barry White. Dwayne has performed in the Broadways casts of Motown, Hairspray, and several national tours of Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Showboat.

The Performance

DWP is set to make its appearance at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center Sunday, June 11 at 3 p.m. The production will be held at the Bankhead Theater, with ticket prices ranging from $35 to $60.

You won’t want to miss this performance, so be sure to get your tickets early.


Event Preview: Spy Pilot Chronicles

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United States Air Force fighter pilot Brian Shul’s aircraft was shot down during the Vietnam War. Unable to eject, he sustained major injuries and barely survived. After extensive surgeries, Shul miraculously returned to active duty and was later selected to pilot the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, the fastest aircraft ever built! To this day, Shul remains the only SR-71 pilot to fly three missions on three consecutive days. Now retired, he continues to share his breathtaking airborne images and his inspiring comeback story filled with an unforgettable message of achieving triumph over tragedy.

Get to Know Brian Shul

After graduating from East Carolina in 1970 with a history degree, Shul joined the Air Force. Following his crash landing into the jungle near the Cambodian border, he was forced to crawl from the burning wreckage before being found by a Special Forces team. He was not expected to live. Shul spent the next year in the operating room 15 times, during which he was told he’d never fly again and was just lucky to be alive. But Shul persisted and underwent physical therapy, enabling him to pass a flight physical and return to active flying duty.

Shul more than took advantage of his incredible road back. He flew the A-7D, was an airshow demonstration pilot in the A-10, was a TOPGUN instructor, and ended his career with a selection to pilot the Top Secret SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Shul was the pilot who provided key reconnaissance photos to President Reagan during the Libyan Crisis in 1986 when he became the only SR-71 pilot in history to fly three mission on three consecutive days. A Spirit of Freedom Award winner and recipient of the prestigious Crystal Eagle Award, Shul has been designated one of the Top Five Most Notable SR-71 pilots ever to fly that plane and was the first to write about his experiences. Today, “Sled Driver: Flying the World’s Fastest Jet” is the single most popular book on the Blackbird worldwide.

Now retired, Shul is an accomplished author, speaker, and photographer whose remarkable comeback story and breathtaking images offer an inspiring message of triumph over tragedy in an unforgettable way. In “Spy Pilot Chronicles,” Shul shows how, even in the face of struggle, success on a grand scale can be achieved through a positive attitude and maintaining a healthy sense of humor.

The Venue

The Bankhead Theater continues to bring speakers, artists, and audiences together for incredible performances at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Our team at LVPAC knows that exposure to the performing arts has the potential to transform lives in a variety of ways. That’s why we do whatever possible to ensure that folks of all ages can enjoy our performances. Not to mention, we offer plenty of family-friendly shows. From live music and entertainment shows to musical shows and theater, see what makes the Bankhead Theater a truly one-of-a-kind experience for all those involved.

The Performance

USAF Blackbird Pilot Brian Shul makes his appearance Tuesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. For just $20, you can get to know him and learn about his amazing story.  Tickets for students or active military personnel are just $16 at the box office or by phone.


Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information