Got Live Entertainment Presents
Got Live Entertainment Presents
The acclaimed San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus returns to the Bankhead for two performances this December with “Home For The Holidays!”– an incredible holiday celebration, full of humor, personality, and gorgeous choral music. The performance features classic holiday favorites, alongside some new works that are sure to warm your heart and get you in the festive mood. Expect over-the-top production numbers mixed with stunning, tender moments – all done up with SFGMC’s trademark flair.
For nearly 40 years, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has courageously served as the international standard bearer for a powerful and accomplished mix of high-caliber performance, human rights, community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBTQ organizations. Founded in 1978, it was the first organization of its kind and is credited with starting the LGBTQ choral movement, galvanizing and changing the course of LGBTQ history. It continues to rally and inspire other arts-based community organizations around the world. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC has in recent seasons established a heightened level of performance standards receiving audience and choral acclaim, increased its touring and recording profile and broadened its impact and reputation in the community while maintaining its signature blend of humor, personality and high-voltage performances.
Last year SFGMC brought their holiday cheer for one sold out holiday. This year there are two performances, one at 3 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. but be sure to get your tickets early so you don’t miss out!
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.
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.
In a compelling new interview with writer Lou Fancher of the East Bay Times, singer/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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
In an interview with RIFF Magazine, Joan Osborne talks about the road that led to her most recent album, “Songs of Bob Dylan” and where that road might lead her next. Osborne has always covered others’ songs, including Dylans’, and has been slowly evolving an interest in singing modern day “standards” starting with his legendary catalog. “I’ve sung his songs in the past and felt a real affinity for them,” Osborne said. “Partly [it’s] because I’ve sung with him a handful of times. And also, because he’s got so many amazing songs that you’re never going to run out of options.” Read the whole article HERE.“Songs of Bob Dylan” was released on September 1st.
Joan Osborne makes a stop at the intimate Bankhead Theater on her “Songs of Bob Dylan” tour on Friday evening, October 27. Opening for her will be singer/songwriter Will Champlin, best known as a top three winner in season five of television’s “The Voice,” whose song co-writer credits include “Wolves” from One Direction’s “Made in the AM” album. For more information on Joan Osborne and Will Champlin, see the event page here.
When people drive down Railroad Avenue now, it will be hard to miss the location of the Bankhead Theater! Thanks to the creativity of graphic designer Andrew Edwards, eight large banners spell out BANKHEAD across the back of the building. Each letter shows one of the many talented artists or groups who have performed on or are coming to the Bankhead stage.* Together the letters make a powerful visual for people passing by.
For years a surprising number of people have told us they didn’t know where the theater was, or even that there WAS a performing arts center in downtown Livermore! It’s hard to miss a three-story, red brick structure, but there has never been a sign on the back of the building with the name … until now.
If you haven’t been at the Bankhead lately, be sure to check out the list of events for the Bankhead’s 2017-2018 season — there’s music of all kinds, comedy, dance and other entertainment — truly something for everyone! Even if you can’t make it to a performance, enjoy free art exhibits in the Gallery in the lobby, drop by on the weekend when Story Coffee sets up in the courtyard, or attend one of the free community events on the lawn. The Bankhead Theater continues to thrive as more and more people visit the area to enjoy the restaurants and bars, to watch movies, meet friends, and enjoy music, or to shop, work or take the train. Come by admire the new letters and join in the fun!
* And in case you were wondering … the eight letters show, in order from left to right: OK GO, Paul Taylor Dance, Taylor Hicks, Storm Large, Richard Marx, Asleep at the Wheel, Tom Papa, and Jake Shimabukuro