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Keiko Matsui

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A Free Spirit in Contemporary Jazz

Japanese-born pianist and composer Keiko Matsui is a worldwide icon in contemporary smooth jazz, touring relentlessly and bringing her music to virtually every corner of the globe. Known for her original compositions, Matsui’s music transcends boundaries, creating a unique melting pot of musical influences that has earned her a devout and enthusiastic international audience. A consummate artist freely at home in any musical context, she borrows from such diverse idioms as jazz, classical, rock, blues, and traditional world music to create timeless, passionate and emotional melodies that speak a universally appealing language.

Matsui made her US recording debut with “Drop of Water” in 1987 and was twice named Best Female Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year. Of the 20 albums she has released, seven have appeared in the contemporary jazz Top 10 including “Deep Blue,” which reached number one in 2001. Her release, “Soul Quest,” celebrated her 25th anniversary in the music business and was acclaimed by The Washington Post as “one of her most accomplished and appealing.” Over the years, Matsui has collaborated and shared the stage with numerous musical luminaries, including Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis and Bob James.

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David Benoit plays Charlie Brown’s Christmas

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Take a trip down memory lane as Grammy-nominated pianist David Benoit, accompanied by his quartet and Mendenhall Middle School Chorus, brings to life the magical music from the Charlie Brown television specials. Benoit describes this music as “happy jazz” – sophisticated but still filled with fun. His lifelong passion for the work of original Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi is reflected in his own compositions for later specials and both are featured in this delightful return to a happy holiday tradition.

Joining Benoit will be special guest artist Sara Gazarek whose impeccable jazz vocals seamlessly combine the intimacy of singer/songwriter stylings with the musical and improvisational sara-gazarek-8elements of jazz. With three highly acclaimed CD’s before she was 30, Gazarek has been hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “the next important jazz singer.”

“He understands just how music influences a person’s life and brings out all the characteristics of the human experience. David Benoit is a natural treasure.” – Jazz Review 
“Benoit produced music that was bright, frothy, enthusiastic and totally contemporary.” – Los Angeles Times

Monday, December 19 @7:30pm

East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band

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The East Bay Jazz Group is made up of more than 20 exceptionally talented high school musicians from throughout the East Bay, selected through a competitive audition process. The All Stars will perform in two configurations, the Big Band and the smaller Jazz Combo, with a short break between musical sets. Guests will be free to either mingle or sit during the performance, and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Sponsored by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s educational outreach program, East Bay Jazz is the brainchild of local trombonist, composer and teacher Spencer Sussman. Now in its third year, the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band provides students with an invaluable opportunity for real-world performance experience as jazz musicians outside a school setting and fosters appreciation for jazz music as an art form within the community. After auditions each fall, the All Stars rehearse several hours each week and perform throughout the Bay Area. Last year, in addition to providing the pre-show entertainment for LVPAC’s Brilliance at the Bankhead gala in September,the group has performed at the San Jose Jazz Festival and other venues.


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A fascinating interview with singer Storm Large

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“Every piece of art is a step to the next. I almost never sit down with an idea and write consciously, unless I’m writing a song for someone else. I start with a lyric or rhythm that sounds cool to me. I don’t try to draw linear connections.”

Read the rest of Lou Fancher’s fascinating interview in the East Bay Times with singer, songwriter, actress, writer and sheer force of nature Storm Large before she and her band Le Bonheur take the stage at the Bankhead Theater on Friday evening, May 19.  More information and great tickets available here.

The 2017-2018 Season at the Bankhead Theater

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Top: Indigo Girls, Rita Rudner, OK GO, Manhattan Transfer.
Bottom: R. Carlos Nakai, Lisa Loeb, Catapult, Moscow Festival Ballet, Tom Rush
Watch a preview video here or see a list of the entire season here!


Members receive a 10% discount on all LVPAC Presents tickets, all year long. Click HERE to log in and buy tickets now.
NOT A MEMBER? Click HERE to become a member today!  Memberships start at just $125.


The 2017-2018 season at the Bankhead Theater has just been announced! Located at the heart of downtown Livermore, the Bankhead will welcome a range of artists from all musical genres, as well as comedy, dance, theater, and other performing arts. The season officially begins on Saturday evening, September 9, 2017 at the Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala featuring Grammy Award-winning folk rock duo the Indigo Girls. Other notable highlights among the three dozen events scheduled through June 2018 are viral-video pop hit makers OK GO, the smooth harmony vocals of the Manhattan Transfer, and comedian Vicki Lawrence, known for her character “Mama” from The Carol Burnett Show.

Folk balladeer Tom Rush makes a welcome return, as does Marc Cohn touring with The Blind Boys of Alabama. Among artists making their first appearance at the Bankhead will be Los Lonely Boys, Lisa Loeb, and the Irish group Danù in a special St. Patrick’s Day concert.

According to Executive Director Scott Kenison, the programming team focused on balance. “We’re always happy to welcome big name artists and returning favorites, shows we know will meet a receptive audience, but it’s also important to bring artists such as African Guitar Summit and R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman to Livermore,” he said. “It’s particularly exciting to be able to bring to the Bankhead entertainers such as OK GO or Catapult that people may have only seen on television or online. These shows, as well as the return of Olate Dogs, DLux Puppets and others, appeal to all ages. With our student ticket price of just $17, we encourage families to come out and enjoy a show together,” he added.

This season is particularly rich with comedic talent. In addition to Vicki Lawrence and Mama,  Rita Rudner and Dave Coulier will keep audiences laughing with their solo stand-up routines. The San Francisco Comedy Competition, Second City and Capitol Steps all return to the Bankhead and the Reduced Shakespeare Co. will present “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play,” a hilarious mash-up of characters, famous lines, and unexpected plot twists.

The Bankhead stage is not just for professionals. Next May, local celebrities will spend a week practicing with a professional ballroom dance partner before demonstrating their newfound skills in pursuit of the Mirrorball Trophy in “Dancing with the Tri-Valley Stars.” The evening includes a professional dance showcase by national champions, The Utah Ballroom Dance Company.

In addition to LVPAC Presents shows, the Bankhead Resident Companies, including Del Valle Fine Arts, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Rae Dorough Speakers Series, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, and Valley Dance Theatre, offer nearly 50 performances and events of their own during the season.

The 2017-2018 Season at the Bankhead follows the previously announced Summer Series which begins in July with the already sold out evening with Paula Poundstone on July 7th. Six other shows including The Lettermen, Robert Cray, New Christy Minstrels, Derik Nelson and Family, JD Souther and Keiko Matsui run through August.

Be sure to check out the entire 2017-2018 Season!  You can watch a video preview, see the whole list, or flip through the brochure.

The more the merrier!  With such a great line-up,
you’ll want to join us at the Bankhead often.
Buy tickets for any FIVE LVPAC Presents shows
at the same time and receive a 10% discount!*


*Members receive 15%. If you’re not a member consider joining today Memberships start at just $125. In addition to supporting the arts, you’ll be among the first to hear about any new shows and you’ll receive 10% off single tickets for LVPAC Presents shows all year long. Resident Company and Rental Company shows do not qualify. Other benefits are available at higher levels.


Rita Coolidge

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Safe in the Arms of Time Tour

Long credited as one of the most versatile singers of the rock generation, legendary singer Rita Coolidge soared to popularity in the 1970s with a string of chart-topping hits including, “We’re All Alone,” “One Fine Day,” “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher,” and “All Time High” from the James Bond thriller “Octopussy.” A two-time Grammy Award winner, Coolidge has brought her clear, pure voice to every musical genre. In recent years, she has increasingly explored the music of her heritage, involving herself in projects that highlight the Native American Cherokee culture and issues, and she was honored with a “Lifetime of Musical Achievement” award at the First Americans in the Arts Awards. Whatever the musical style, whether country, rock, pop, jazz or folk, Rita Coolidge continues to chart new paths into the hearts of listeners with her sleek and alluring vocals.

Rita Coolidge’s latest album “Safe in the Arms of Time” is due out on May 4, 2018 and features several of her own new songs, as well as the songwriting talents of Graham Nash, Chris Stapleton, Stan Lynch, and Keb’ Mo’.

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Dance for a Difference

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Dance for a Difference brings together the dancers from Raising the Barre, Tiffany’s Dance Academy’s Professional Division and Con Danza in a dance performance to benefit Sunflower Hill. Our evening of professional and student performances will include artistry from every corner of dance.  From Tap to Ballet Variations and Jazz to Contemporary – there will be something for everyone.

Raising the Barre was founded in 2013 by Tiffany Henderson with the goal to provide Middle and High School aged students the opportunity to change their world through dance.  The program is based on 4 pillars of Character and Service – Leadership, Responsibility, Compassion and Confidence. Along with participation in community service projects, the students also attend seminars on etiquette and public speaking.

ConDanza began in Stockholm, Sweden in 2005, officially moving operations to Tucson, Arizona in 2009; and now, expanding their work to Livermore.  Their mission is to advocate for the art form of dance.  In addition, they continue to build on their vision – to enrich the cultural and educational fabric of Livermore – by establishing a semi-professional and professional level dance company.  Here, young, local dancers collaborate with professional dancers, choreographers and dance educators from around the country, to share contemporary and classical dance within our community and beyond.

Tiffany’s Dance Academy Professional Division was established in 2017 and aims to advance students’ artistic development through advanced training in ballet, modern and jazz technique. The program is designed for high school aged students with a strong background in the three disciplines. Our emphasis is on strong technique as a base from which to build expansive movement qualities and confident performance.  All of this takes place in an environment that’s exciting and inspiring to our dancers who improve not only technically but also grow artistically.

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