All Posts By

Roberta Emerson

Dazzling Displays!

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Walked by the Bankhead Theater lately?

If you come up the walkway from the street or parking garage on Railroad Avenue you can’t miss the three new digital displays running along the side of the building. Hundreds of performances and events are now held at the Bankhead each year — music of all kinds, dance, theater, comedy, and more — we welcome a diverse range of artists that appeal to different audiences. More opportunities were needed to let people know about upcoming shows at the theater.

Having digital screens replace the static print posters inside the glass cases on the side of the building had been on the wish list for some time, but we were only just recently able to complete the project. The bright, colorful displays went up on January 4th and are computer controlled from inside the building so they can be changed easily to reflect new information. More than a dozen upcoming events can be on display at any given time with each of three panels rotating 3-5 different images.

Take a stroll by the Bankhead and see the Displays …
then just walk around the corner to buy your tickets! 

And if you won’t be downtown in the near future, check out upcoming events here

 

 

Don’t Wait to Buy Tickets!

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Bankhead Shows Are Selling Fast!

Everyone has done it … seen an announcement for an interesting concert, show or program but waited to buy tickets.  In the past, many people have assumed they could wait until a few days before the show or even walk up to the window that day and buy a ticket. But this past year they just might have been wrong!

Since the beginning of summer 2017, more than a dozen shows presented by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center have sold out completely. And three more this January and February are already at capacity. From comedian Paula Poundstone’s sold out show on July 7th, through the New Year’s Eve celebration with Crawdad Republic last month, plus performances by resident companies, audiences have been flocking to the Bankhead to enjoy all types of entertainment.

In November, concerts by both viral video pop sensation OK GO and the legendary smooth vocals of Manhattan Transfer completely filled the house.  It was particularly satisfying having those two sell out without 10 days of each other, said Executive Director Scott Kenison. “The two reflect our ability to interest very different audiences, reaching people who attend regularly as well as welcoming new faces.” OK GO attracted audience across a board age range as well as pulled people from Sacramento and even further to see their show.

The shows have also been selling more quickly. OK GO, which went on sale to the public in June, was completely sold out by the end of August, and the single performance by ukulele master, Jake Shimabukuro, sold even faster. A late addition to the 2017-2018 season, Shimabukuro’s February show went on sale in early October and reached capacity in just three weeks. One of the benefits of LVPAC membership is advance ticket purchase and a portion of the tickets were sold to members prior to the public-on-sale date. Nonetheless, according to Kenison, the day tickets were first available to the public marked one of the largest single sales days in the Bankhead’s decade-long history.

“We know not every show will be a sell out,” says Kenison. “Some artists are less well known and some types of shows have more limited appeal, but we’re committed to offering a wide range of musical genres and reaching out to everyone with shows they’ll enjoy.”

So if you hear about a show you think you might want to see, buy your tickets as soon as possible! Five for Fighting with String Quartet (Jan 25) and Vicki Lawrence & Mama (Jan 26) are already sold out. Upcoming shows such as Marc Cohn (Jan 19), Lee Ann Womack (Feb 19), Richard Marx (May 3), and Capitol Steps (May 6) are expected to be fully sold as well.  We’ll be announcing our Summer Series at the Bankhead in just a few weeks. Get on the mailing list at the bottom right side of our homepage and you’ll hear about it in your email.  Better yet, become a member now and you’ll be eligible to buy your tickets before everyone else. You won’t want to miss out!

Check out the list of remaining shows in the 2017-2018 Season here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the Bankhead is Unique

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We know. Sometimes people have questions about the business of running a theater. Why do some tickets cost more than others? Why don’t you book my favorite big name artists? Why is fundraising so important? The answers are both simple and complex.

Classified as an independent non-profit, the Bankhead Theater is, and always has been, a community-funded venue. Unlike some venues, such as the Gallo in Modesto, it was not financed by a single founder’s wealth, or launched by a significant land grant such as Montalvo in the Saratoga foothills. It is not city-owned like the Firehouse in Pleasanton and the Lesher in Walnut Creek, nor city-funded like the Sunset in Carmel.

In fact, the Bankhead was built brick by brick by dedicated members of the community and continues to be funded by donors and ticket buyers like you. This is why our vision is to be the heart of a vibrant and diverse arts community and why we work so hard to deliver on that promise.

For nearly every show we present at the Bankhead, the money from your ticket barely covers the cost of putting the artists on stage. It does not cover the backstage crew, the costs of keeping the building open and temperature-controlled, the cost of promoting the show, or printing the program. For those things and many more, donations are essential to our efforts.

Our vision is to be the heart
of a vibrant and diverse arts community

 

In addition to welcoming artists from all over the world, the Bankhead is dedicated to supporting artistic talents within the community. Resident companies such as Valley Dance Theatre, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, Del Valle Fine Arts, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the Rae Dorough Speaker Series, all receive discounts on rental, production and marketing fees.

Sharing the excitement of the arts with our young people is a key priority and, in addition to arts outreach in the schools and free cultural arts events, we offer subsidized student ticket prices for nearly every show.

Programs at the Bothwell Arts Center for children, as well as adults, keeps the visual arts alive in our community. The Bothwell also serves as an arts incubator, offering affordable studio, rehearsal and small performance space for local artists.

Maintaining all this is a complex task and requires not only a dedicated staff and hardworking volunteers, but a constant stream of generosity on the part of individuals, businesses and foundations. And every gift counts. In 2015, we met our fundraising target by just under $100. If even one donor had chosen not to give, we’d have missed our goal.

Whatever we have to do behind the scenes, it’s all worthwhile when the curtain rises, the lights come up, and you have a chance to sit back and be thrilled, enchanted and energized by what you see on stage.

Want to help? If you enjoy the arts and appreciate the role we play in the community,
please consider making a donation,
gifting securities,
or leaving a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.
Donate online here or contact the development office at 925-583-2305 for more information.

 

photo by Jennie McGregor

Free Concert – Sold Out

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US NAVY SEA CHANTERS

February 27 at 7:30pm

Throughout the year, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers a range of arts experience to the community through free concerts, art exhibits and cultural events. For the past two years, the Livermore-Amador Symphony and dancers from Valley Dance Theatre have participated in a free holiday concert in early December.  This year, the Bankhead Theater will host the US Navy Sea Chanters in a free concert on Tuesday evening, February 27 at 7:30 pm.  The Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.  Watch the US Navy Sea Chanters in Concert here and don’t miss this opportunity to see them live in Livermore!

CONCERT IS FREE BUT TICKETS ARE REQUIRED
Please arrive early. Open seats will be released to the wait list at 7:15 pm
Event is sold out — to be added to the wait list click here

 

MORE ABOUT THE SEA CHANTERS

Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries. In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band’s assistant leader, organized a group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. An immediate success, Adm. Arleigh Burke, then chief of naval operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the Sea Chanters and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. In 1980, the group added women to their ranks and expanded their repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.

The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of our most important national events, including inauguration day in 2009. They have played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning, including appearances at memorials for the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia and the presidential wreath laying ceremony at the United Airlines flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa. Their performance of “Amazing Grace” for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington after the events of 9/11 inspired all in attendance as well as a national television audience. In 2004, the chorus participated in former President Reagan’s funeral at the National Cathedral, and in 2007 performed in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda as former President Ford was lying in state. The chorus was instrumental in the dedication ceremonies of the World War II memorials in Bedford, Va., and in Washington. In 1994, they provided music at the funeral of former President Nixon in Yorba Linda, Calif., and the interment of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.

They have appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors and with the National Symphony Orchestra for the nationally telecast “National Memorial Day Concerts” at the U.S. Capitol. In addition the group has appeared on “Larry King Live” and “CBS This Morning” as well as at the premier of the movie “Pearl Harbor.” In 2008, the Sea Chanters performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilburg. Noted choral directors Dale Warland, and Donald Neuen have guest conducted the ensemble, and renowned composers Michael McCarthy, Roger Bourland, William MacDuff and Lloyd Pfautsch have written works especially for them. Other notable orchestral appearances include the Kansas City Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The Sea Chanters have enjoyed a great reputation performing with such stars as Perry Como, Marian Anderson, Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie.

Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble.

OK GO (SOLD OUT)

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WHEN MUSIC MEETS MATH

It all started in an arts camp. According to OK GO’s guitarist and lead singer Damian Kulash, he and bandmate Tim Nordwind met when they were just 11 years old. Their favorite teacher in the camp would lay out the day’s activities and say “OK, Go!” The two friends jumped right in and that message of creative freedom – a clarion call to follow the imagination – has not only become their band name, but fueled their work to this day.

As OK GO, Kulash and Nordwind together with Dan Konopka and Andy Ross, have singlehandedly propelled the pop music video from its original scenic and storytelling roots of the 1980s into the 21st century. Ever since “Here It Goes Again“ took their coordinated treadmills viral in 2006 and won the Best Music Video Grammy Award, their mind-blowing videos have ignited the imagination of tens of millions of viewers and won a long list of awards. The release of new OK GO videos now generates buzz well in advance.

Whether they are aware of it or not, what fascinates fans is not just the music, it’s the math. Released last November, OK GO’s latest video “The One Moment” is 4.2 seconds of moving images, flying paint, and exploding guitars – 325 discrete events slowed down 20,000 percent and timed precisely to the lyrics of the song. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Kulash said working on the video was all about the calculations. Breaking the visuals down into increments meant they were subdividing beats into intervals as short as two milliseconds. At that speed he said, “choreography just turns into math…. a lot, a lot, a lot of math.”

Math and science finds its way into everything they do. OK GO was awarded a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in 2016 for their amazing zero-gravity video “Upside Down & Inside Out.” Filmed aboard a jet over Soviet airspace, the band relied on the physics of parabolic flight, shooting a single continuous take of multiple 25-second periods of weightlessness to create 3:20 minutes of film that aligns with the song’s catchy lyrics.

For the band, the music and the math are merged into one and that challenge is what makes it all fun. “We’re always trying to think of something that feels just on the other side of impossible,” Kulash told Rolling Stone. The result is arresting, must-see art powered by irresistible music that engages, entertains, and feeds the imagination, leaving everyone with just one question, “What in the world will they think of doing next?”

Watch OK GO’s amazing video “In One Moment” here.

Then read about the making of “In One Moment” in Rolling Stone here.

OK GO

at the Bankhead Theater

Friday, November 3 at 8 p.m.

SOLD OUT

 

 

 

Lee Ann Womack

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JUST BOOKED

All the Trouble Tour

Feb 19, 2018 at 7:30pm

On Sale Now

Called one of country music’s finest voices, Lee Ann Womack has sung music from across the breadth of the genre. Her self-titled debut album in 1997 led to her being named Top New Female Vocalist at the American Country Music Awards and the soaring success of her cross-over hit single “I Hope You Dance” sent her to the top of the charts. She now returns to the traditional country roots of her East Texas upbringing with her just released album, “The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,” a breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, gospel and blues, that reflects the true power of Womack’s heart, voice and spirit.

In a career-spanning profile of Lee Ann’s work, The New York Times called her “one of her generation’s most acclaimed vocalists,” saying the record embodies “the most delicate and desperate extremes of melancholy inscribing countrypolitan and torchy pop arrangements with sighing silences, and launching into anguished, note-bending runs during the roiling, down-home numbers. The liberal use of reverb, particularly on the steel guitar and her voice, has a haunting effect.” Read the full feature here.

To accompany the new album, Lee Ann has announced over 30 additional full-band headlining dates including one at the Bankhead. She’ll be accompanied by some of Nashville’s best musicians, with Jonathan Trebing (guitar), Lex Price (bass), Dave Dunseath (drums), Justin Schipper (pedal steel) and Luke Bulla (fiddle) rounding out her touring band.

For more on how ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone’ came to life, watch this mini documentary produced by Live Nation’s Homecoming series here.

Produced by her husband Frank Liddell (2017 ACM Album of the Year winning producer for Miranda Lambert’s ‘The Weight of These Wings’) and largely recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios in Houston, TX, ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone’ features more Lee Ann Womack co-writes than all her previous albums combined, making it her most personal collection to date.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see
LEE ANN WOMACK
in the intimate Bankhead Theater!

Buy Tickets Here

Interview: Joan Osborne

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In a compelling new interview with writer Lou Fancher of the East Bay Timessinger/songwriter Joan Osborne explains what inspires her about Bob Dylan’s music and how it expands her perspective and influences her music. 

“When you’re doing any covering of other people’s material, your job is to bring out something that hasn’t been discovered yet. When you have an artist of the depth and richness of Bob Dylan, you tend to go to emotional terrains that you haven’t gone to in your own work,” she said.

Because she “cut her teeth” as a singer in part by performing from early on Dylan’s folk-based, American idiom-filled work, Osborne didn’t actually discover new technical aspects to her voice while working on the project. But with years of singing, the 55-year-old says a deep richness and new textures she calls “seasoning” have appeared.

An exceptional songwriter herself, Osborne’s take on Dylan’s songs become a rich collaboration. 

Because her voice and Dylan’s are worlds apart, Osborne never pursued imitation while adapting the songs. “The point was to take the song, divorce it from Dylan’s interpretation, view it as chord progressions, the melody, the lyrics, and do it again from scratch. In that way, it really was about finding the material I loved and connecting that with my voice in a way that the song and my voice blossom.”

——> Read the rest of Lou Fancher’s interview with Joan Osborne here

Then buy tickets to hear Joan’s take on Dylan’s songs in the intimate setting of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater.

Joan Osborne sings Songs of Bob Dylan

Opening Act: Will Champlin

Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m.

BUY TICKETS NOW

 

 

 

Five for Fighting
with String Quartet

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Backed by a string quartet,
Five for Fighting will be at the Bankhead
Thursday, January 25!

Never has the phrase “he shoots, he scores” been more applicable than when mentioning rabid hockey fan and chart-topping singer/songwriter John Ondrasik. The Los Angeles native, who goes by Five for Fighting (a five-minute penalty for on-the-ice fisticuffs), burst on the scene some 15 years ago with his Grammy Award-nominated hit “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” and has been a mainstay on mainstream radio ever since. While he doesn’t wear tights and fight crime as his breakthrough track “Superman” suggests, his songs could bring any maniacal villain to their knees (and tears) with his poignantly sharp songs that cut deeper than a Ginsu knife.

Ondrasik signed his first deal in 1997 with “Message For Albert,” but it was his follow-up “American Town” that really took flight for Fighting. The aforementioned “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” went Platinum (as did the album), was #1 on Adult Top 40, #2 on Hot AC, and in the Top 40 Top 10. The song actually hit the airwaves, and reached #1 the same week his daughter Olivia was born. Not too shabby as Adam Sandler once said. Adding more fuel to the emotional fire, the mega-hit served as sort of an unofficial anthem following the 9.11 attacks on American soil. Naturally, he performed it at The Concert For New York City.

In his career, Ondrasik has sold over 2.5 million albums including 2004’s “Battle for Everything,” which spawned the 2X platinum “100 Years,” which continues to melt hearts, provide all ages with an instant case of nostalgia. Other hits have included “The Riddle,” “World,” “Chances” and “What If.” His music has been featured in 350 films, TV shows and advertisements ranging from the “The Blind Side” to “Hawaii Five-O.” He has also written tunes for everyone from Josh Groban to The Backstreet Boys.

Yet, there’s more to Ondrasik than the music and it’s far more important to him and countless others. “Music is the great healer as well as being a unique vehicle in raising awareness and funds for important causes,” he explains. Ondrasik has given away a million copies of a five-volume compilation album (featuring himself and other artists) he created for United States troops. He has also performed regularly for the USO.

Additionally, www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com was created off of his song “World,” in which fans uploaded videos showing their respective interpretations of a better world. That initiative raised more than $250,000 for five designated charities: Augie’s Quest, Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children and Operation Homefront.

Ondrasik is a featured speaker from Ted Talks to the Salk Institute. He’s also presented at various private and corporate events. He’s also graced The Kennedy Center stage, performed for world leaders and presidents, and contributed special performance for NASA to commemorate the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Mission.

When not writing killer tunes, Ondrasik is putting pen to paper for his other passion: sports. The avid Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings fan has been a sports commentator for SI.com, the Kings, and a guest on everything from Jim Rome to ESPN SportsCenter, the latter of which he became the first “band” to appear and perform.

“I recognize the immature shallowness of the adult sports fan obsession, but I’ve always had it. Lakers as a kid, UCLA, Kings etc…Many folks use music as their escape, I imagine sports as mine. Writing is a kick as I’ve always had a fantasy to be a sports reporter/writer,” he says gleefully.

As he explores the possibility of a Broadway show featuring his tunes, he’s currently on the road (not literally) performing songs as a quartet (Five for Fighting literally) and with symphonies around the country. “The symphony and quartet shows have been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve had the honor of working with some world class arrangers in my career. To present the more ambitious songs, as well as the popular tunes, in this format has refueled my passion for performing.”

…And making new music. Ondrasik’s “What If” hit the Hot AC charts and was chosen by Richard Branson (sorry, Sir Richard Branson) as the soundtrack for his non-profit Virgin Unite. And his most recent song “All for One” was penned for the 100th episode of Hawaii Five-O. Ondrasik is currently working on the follow-up to his sixth album, “Bookmarks.”

Looking ahead while looking back, the one-man Fighting army, said, “I have been blessed to have loving and supportive parents, an amazing wife and partner, and two great kids. Family is crucial to any career, keeps the ups and downs, down and up.”

Don’t miss this unique performance in the intimate Bankhead Theater!

Buy Tickets Now

Celebrate Native American Culture

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In 1968, the fourth Friday in September was designated Native American Day in California by Governor Ronald Reagan. This year it will be celebrated at the Bankhead with two events.

September 21

Widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute, R. Carlos Nakai will offer a single performance at the Bankhead Theater on Thursday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. Nakai’s music showcases the wood flute’s lovely, sophisticated sound and shows its versatility across the spectrum of musical genres. Combined with the vibrant tones of William Eaton’s ambient, lyraharp guitar, and the subtle pulse of Will Clipman’s world beat percussion, Nakai offers music that has been described as “a vast panorama of moods, from plaintive laments to soaring joy.” Tickets are just $30 with $17 tickets for students and active military personnel.

Earlier in the day, Nakai will also offer an educational outreach workshop for students in fourth grade and up from the Livermore Valley Unified School District sharing his passion for the instruments, music and traditions of the Native American culture.

September 22

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center with support from the Western States Arts Federation will host its second annual Native American Day on the plaza outside the Bankhead theater from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  The family friendly event for all ages, offered in collaboration with Livermore’s American Indian Center led by director Mary Puthoff, will include demonstrations of tipi building, dancing and singing, as well as artifacts, crafts and food.

READ about Mary Puthoff and Livermore’s American Indian Center in the East Bay Times.
HEAR R. Carlos Nakai’s hauntingly beautiful wood flute music.
 BUY TICKETS to see R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman on September 21st at 7:30 pm.

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING NATIVE AMERICAN DAY!

 

A Brilliant Night!

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The Bankhead Theater launched the 11th Season of the LVPAC Presents series with the second annual “Brilliance at the Bankhead” Gala featuring the Grammy Award-Winning Indigo Girls accompanied by our own resident company, the Livermore-Amador Symphony conducted by Music Director Lara Webber.

The festive night began with a sumptuous reception on the plaza with delicious food and wine catered by Wente and filled with the music of the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars. A raffle for a lovely pair of 14K white gold halo design diamond earrings crafted by Lance Cavalieri Jewelers, live and silent auctions for items from unique dining and travel experiences to sports and concert tickets, energized the crowd before the Indigo Girls and the symphony filled the night with unforgettable music.

The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the Gala event raised more than $300,000 to help support the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center, including $37,000 for the Arts in Education Fund.

Every year, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center presents and produces over 250 arts events and activities, and engages with more than 10,000 students and adult learners through the Arts in Education programs.  We are so thankful for the support and generosity from our “Brilliant” community who help make it all possible!

Did you miss the event?  Watch the video shown at the event and see how the “Arts are Amplified” in the Tri Valley here.  Check out the photos from the evening taken by photographer Robert Suguitan here.  And read about the Gala in the East Bay Times here.

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR 2017 GALA SPONSORS!

 

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