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Performing Arts Center Livermore

Event Preview: The Chieftains

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In a matter of weeks, the Livermore Performing Arts Center in will be hosting The Chieftains, a six-time Grammy Award-winning Irish band. The Chieftains have earned global acclaim for reinventing the traditional Irish sound.

The group formed in Dublin in November of 1962 by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, and Michael Tubridy. Their sound is largely built almost entirely around instrumental and uilleann pipes. The Chieftains are widely regarded as having helped take Irish music across the world to the next level.

At a young age, Moloney had a sense of the sound he wanted to create – a new and unique combination of instruments. The band’s first followers were pure folk music fans, however, the range and variation of their music quickly captured a much broader audience.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the group achieved success in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They started to gain traction in the United States the following year. Then, in 1975, The Chieftains enjoyed more mainstream attention when they worked on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon.

Over the next several decades, The Chieftains continued to release successful records, while their work with Van Morrison in 1988 resulted in the album Irish Heartbeat. They would go on to collaborate with many other well-known musicians and singers, such as Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Ziggy Marley, Elvis Costello, Sting, and Madonna. In addition to their Grammys, The Chieftains were also given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Eight years later, The Chieftains’ music soared out of this world when NASA astronaut Cady Coleman brought their music to the International Space Station. They celebrated their 50th anniversary with the release of their record Voice of Ages.

The Chieftains, who will celebrate 55 years in November, remain loyal to their roots. That being said, they aren’t afraid to shock the purists and stretch boundaries. Not to mention, the group has a unique ability to play in a variety of environments, from spontaneous Irish sessions to headlining a concert at Carnegie Hall.

Notable Performances

The Chieftains played in a concert for Pope John Paul II, before an audience of more than one million people in 1979 in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Four years later, they became the first western musical group to perform with the Chinese Broadcasting Art Group in a concert on the Great Wall of China.

Most recently in 2011, they performed at another concert in Dublin, this one attended by President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II of Britain during her first official trip to Ireland.  

Their original sound is instantly recognizable and remains as fresh and relevant today as when they had their first rehearsals at Moloney’s house.

The Chieftains will be making their appearance at LVPAC Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. It can be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for you and your sweetheart.

For the best live music, buy concert tickets at LVPAC.   

Event Preview: International Guitar Night

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For nearly two decades, guitarist Brian Gore has united some of the world’s foremost acoustic guitarists. The 2017 International Guitar Night will feature legendary gypsy jazz master Lulo Reinhardt, the innovative Italian contemporary guitarist Luca Stricagnoli, the brilliant young Brazilian performer Chrystian Dozza, as well as India’s groundbreaking slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Each of them will present their latest works individually prior to performing as a group. International Guitar Night is all about sharing musical ideas and exploring the diversity of the acoustic guitar world.

Lulo Reinhardt

The grand nephew of Django Reinhardt, Lulo was first taught by his father at the age of five. It didn’t take long for Lulo to co-found the group “Django Reinhardt and the Heartbreakers.” He then founded “I Gitanos” with his father and cousin, touring Europe and establishing a national reputation.

By 2002, Lulo founded the Lulo Reinhardt Project, which allowed him to express his passion for Latin music. Lulo would tap into that Latin music even more so just five years later when he was inspired to compose more Swing material. Now known as the Lulo Reinhardt Latin Swing Project, the group thrives on its international presence, playing in America, China, France, Switzerland, Belgium, England, the Czech Republic, and other spots worldwide. Lulo also performed as a soloist with International Guitar Night troupe in 2009 and 2011.

Luca Stricagnoli

A young, dynamic guitar player from Italy, Stricagnoli taught himself new and original playing styles with the ability to use different instruments. Over the years, he’s developed non-conventional ways to play the guitar that has helped him increase his popularity. Fast forward to today, where Stricagnoli performs all over the world. He will be making his North American debut with this year’s International Guitar Night.

Chrystian Dozza

Dozza highlights a new generation of Brazilian instrumental musicians. Since 2006, he has recorded three CDs made up of his original compositions and creative arrangements of Brazilian classics. Not only is Dozza a solo artist, but he also plays with a chamber music group, as well as a guitar trio. Dozza teaches guitar as well. Similar to Stricagnoli, Dozza will be making his North American debut with International Guitar Night.

Debashish Bhattacharya

Bhattacharya gave his first guitar recital at the age of four. He would soon begin to create his own style of plaything guitar, synthesizing selected features of other instruments such as the Veena, Sitar, Sarod and Kannur. At 21, Bhattacharya was awarded the President of India award. Today, he is arguably the greatest slide guitarist in India. His work offers incredible musical range, physical dexterity, and emotional depth.

International Guitar Night will be held Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater. LVPAC offers student and active military prices for all performances. General admission seating for this event is $30.

If you’ve never been to the Bankhead Theater, you’re in for a treat. Audience members and artists alike appreciate the intimate feel and the unrivaled acoustics. LVPAC is Livermore’s home to incredible live music and performances.

Come Enjoy an Evening with Betty Buckley

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Few on Broadway are more respected than Betty Buckley, who has won fans worldwide for her performances on stage, film, and television.

Buckley fell in love with musical theater as a child and chose to leave for New York once receiving her journalism degree from Texas Christian. The next year, she made her Broadway debut creating the role of Martha Jefferson in the musical 1776. Buckley’s career took off from there. You may remember her from her role as the gym teacher Ms. Collins in the 1976 film Carrie. Buckley received a Tony Award nomination for the 1997 musical Triumph of Love, as well as Grammy Award nominations for The Diaries of Adam and Eve in 1999 and Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar in 2001.

Possibly best known for playing the original glamor cat Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats on Broadway, Buckley is also familiar to audiences as the beloved stepmom Abby on television’s Eight is Enough. Most recently, she completed M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Split.

Over the years, the 69-year-old Buckley has released more than a dozen albums, with the most recent being Ghostlight. This one, which will be the focal point of her appearance at the Bankhead Theater, was titled after the old theatrical tradition of leaving one light bulb in the theater to “keep the ghosts company.” Buckley’s producer and longstanding friend T Bone Burnett described this album’s sound and style as “haunting” and “timeless.” Listeners can tune into Buckley’s take on popular songs such as “Body and Soul” and “Blue Skies,” as well as tunes “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Come to Me, Bend to Me.”

Buckley has received recognition throughout her career. For example, she was named the recipient of the Legend of Cabaret Award in 2004. Buckley was also inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2007 and the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2012.

Even today, many still refer to Buckley as the “Voice of Broadway” because of the luminous nature of her voice. It can be heard in Grizabella’s iconic ballad “Memory.” All of us at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center are excited to welcome Buckley, along with jazz pianist Christian Jacob. Attendees can look forward to a special night of Broadway music and more to the Bankhead stage.

Playbill calls the performance “Moving, funny, thrilling and all-around entertaining …. Each song is treated as if it were a play unto itself, and everything she touched was as powerful vocally as it was emotionally.”

Variety, meanwhile, describes Buckley as “A consummate storyteller, drawing from the landscape of life a broad and captivating perspective of celestial imagery….Buckley sang with persuasive crystalline textures…caressed melody and lyrics with phrasing that was both descriptively telling and braced by subtle allure.

An Evening with Betty Buckley will be held Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. Seating prices range from $80-$100.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy live music or an incredible play, be sure to check out LVPAC.

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