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.
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!
Joan Osborne Sings “Songs of Bob Dylan”
at the Bankhead … with Will Champlin
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.
Don’t miss hearing Joan Osborne’s take on such Bob Dylan favorites as
“Tangled Up In Blue,” “Dark Eyes” and more
BUY TICKETS NOW
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!
The 2017-2018 Season at the Bankhead Starts September 9th!
* 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
The 4th Annual Desi Comedy Fest 2017, the largest South Asian comedy festival in America, presents 40+ comedians of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Afghani & Sri Lankan descent, & from various minority groups and the LGBTQ community. The comedians are raw, hilarious, and some of the best in the business. The comedians this year come from all over USA, Canada, South Africa and India.
MUSIC WORKSHOP with DERIK NELSON & FAMILY
For one magical week in early August, nearly a dozen students had a priceless opportunity to expand their musical skills with talented siblings Derik, Riana and Dalten Nelson. Held at the Bankhead Theater, the students, who ranged in age from middle school on up, worked closely with the Nelsons sharing ideas, developing their singing, songwriting and performance techniques, and just having fun making music together. With remarkable musical talents and friendly, approachable personalities, the Nelsons challenged the students to push for new skills, while building their confidence along the way.
At the end of the week, the students showcased their talents on the Bankhead Stage in a performance described by one parent as “awe inspiring.” In just a few days the group had clearly become a team, their musical abilities and creativity fostered inside the fun and supportive environment. Since then, the students have stayed connected, taking part in a GroupMe just two weeks later, and plan to stay in touch with each other as they pursue their musical dreams.
For many artists, performing on stage is often just one aspect of their love for music and the arts. The Nelsons clearly find equal joy in nurturing the musical talents of others. The enthusiasm and energy they brought to the camp mattered every bit as much as their own exceptional musical abilities. While their polished performance as Derik Nelson & Family on August 4th gave Bankhead audiences a memorable evening of jazz and folk-infused sound combined with stunning video displays, it was the personal connections Derik, Riana and Dalten made with these thriving young musicians that truly planted the seeds for a love of music in the future.
ABOUT THE NELSONS
The Nelson siblings have garnered over 3.5 million views on YouTube, toured over 60 locations across the West Coast U.S.A., reached over 15,000 students of all ages with educational music workshops and fundraising assemblies, were invited to perform the National Anthem at a Seattle Seahawks home game, and are proud to tour nationwide with their own headlining concert as a family.
The music workshop offered at the Bankhead aligns with the Nelson’s personal priorities as musicians and entertainers. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, all three attended public schools and, as Riana says, are passionate about giving back so others can have the same opportunities they had to experience choir, band and theater classes. They have raised money for school music programs up and down the West Coast.
Derik, known for his recurring role as the guitarist on the television show “Glee,” began performing at the age of seven and over the next decade appeared in over 60 productions. By the time he was 14 he had learned to play saxophone, guitar and piano and was already composing songs. Derik has said, “I feel most like myself when I’m at the piano or with a guitar in my lap, singing about how I feel to people who feel the same way. Music is one of the deepest expressions of emotion, and writing and performing original music is as personal and honest as you can get.” By the time he graduated from the University of Southern California in 2010, Derik had produced five original albums and helped shape curriculum for USC’s Popular Music program. www.deriknelson.com
Riana graduated from University of Michigan in Musical Theater, where she co-directed the co-ed a cappella group “Amazin’ Blue,” and has appeared on television, film and stage as well as led children’s music programs. www.riananelson.com Dalten has appeared in musical theater productions since the age of four. His skills in lighting design and video production, from concept to editing, contributes to the trio’s mesmerizing and visually immersive concerts.www.daltennelson.com
The music workshop was underwritten in part by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s Education Fund.
To contribute to the fund or for more information, contact the development staff at 925-583-2305 or email
Music, Activities for Children and More!
The magical sound of steel drums will revitalize students and their parents in a free back-to-school event at the Bankhead Theater on August 11th. Held on the last Friday before the 2017-2018 school year begins for students in the Tri-Valley, the final celebration of the summer will feature a performance on the steel drums by Shawn Thwaites inside the Bankhead lobby.
A Trinidadian-American musician and educator from Washington D.C., Thwaites is an innovator in the music of the steel drum creating a distinct sound that intertwines jazz, hip-hop, funk, calypso, reggae and more. He has performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as numerous other prestigious venues and is the founder of the Shawn Thwaites Rebel Quartet.
In addition to Thwaites’ performance, there will be other activities for children and stations with information about local educational programs. Free ice cream treats will be served. The back-to-school event is sponsored by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.
The weekly “Evenings on the Green,” held outside the Bankhead Theater, will take on a “Summer of Lovermore” theme on August 8, 2017 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the plaza, artisans will display their work and a free community “Paint In” will be facilitated by artist Jasmine Partida. Everyone is welcome to participate in the “Paint In” group mural to be painted on site or take part in the creation of giant chalk paintings of “love-in” flowers and other fun activities. “Summer of Lovermore” logo t-shirts provided by Goza Gear will be on sale during the event for $25. A portion of the t-shirt proceeds will go to support the Bothwell Arts Center.
The free concert on the Shea Homes Stage in the plaza will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the return of Lunafish, a popular San Francisco-based band who deliver a lively mix of psychedelic rock and roll from the 1960s, 1970s and beyond.
Smooth Family Harmonies
On genuine, passionate interpretations of original and cover songs, Derik Nelson with his siblings, Riana and Dalton, offer a rare opportunity to hear the perfectly blended harmonies only a family can deliver. Derik appeared regularly as lead guitarist on “Glee” before the three joined together as a group. Now, their acoustic jazz and folk infused sound, combined with stunning video displays, creates an engaging aural and visual journey that appeals to all ages.