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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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Guitar Greats
at a Great Price

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Don’t miss the rich and versatile sounds of the acoustic guitar at the Bankhead Theater this season!  Three separate performances certain to please guitar lovers start in September with the flamenco-inspired style of Ottmar Liebert and runs into 2019 with International Guitar Night in February hosted by Luca Stricagnoli and Wyndham Hill founder Will Ackerman’s “The Gathering 4 Guitars” in March.  Three great nights … nine great  guitarists!

Get your tickets to all three shows before September 15
and save 10% on the purchase.

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra:  Nouveau flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert is renowned worldwide for his innovative contemporary style incorporating musical influences from rock to reggae. He redefined the art form nearly three decades ago with his signature song “Barcelona Nights” off his double platinum debut album Nouveau Flamenco, which remains one of the best-selling guitar albums of all time. Since then his music has continued to evolve as he has explored different styles and rhythms, adding other instrumentation, but always staying centered on his intricate melodies. With 33 albums, half of which have gone Platinum, Liebert is considered one of the most successful instrumental artists in the world. His rich, sensual sound and relaxed, intimate performances continue to find enthusiastic audiences across all musical genres.  Saturday, September 15 at 8pm

“Music that moves the body while it touches the heart.” – Los Angeles Times

International Guitar NightAfter thrilling Bankhead audiences in 2017 with his showmanship, precision performance, and arrangements of heavy-metal songs, Italy’s innovative contemporary guitarist Luca Stricagnoli will return as host for International Guitar Night.  Founded by renowned Bay Area guitarist Brian Gore, IGN is now in its 18th year of touring. This unique and intimate annual event serves as a showcase for remarkable acoustic guitar talent from around the world. Joining Stricagnoli will be French Swing sensation Antoine Boyer, Flamenco master Samuelito, and Turkish fretless guitarist Cenk Erdogan. All four will present their latest works then perform together, sharing musical ideas through creative collaboration and exploring the diversity of the acoustic guitar world. Thursday, February 28 at 7:30pm

“These four talented musicians bring so much diversity and passion to each performance –
a treat for every acoustic guitar fan.” –Arizona Reporter

The Gathering 4 Guitars:  Grammy Award-winning music producer and guitarist Will Ackerman is universally recognized as the preeminent pioneer in new age music. He single-handedly fostered the careers of generations of acoustic guitarists and pianists through his ground-breaking work at Windham Hill Records. In this intimate evening of acoustic music, Ackerman will be joined by kalimbatar/guitarist Trevor Gordon Hall, Imrat guitar/guitarist Todd Mosby and acoustic guitar maestro Vin Downes, each of whom was selected by Ackerman for their superlative skills and creative compositions. The four unite at the end of the evening to create a concert of unrivaled beauty, intrigue, artistry and wonder. Thursday, March 28 at 7:30pm

“Taking the acoustic guitar into new directions, too, exploring deeply felt, richly individualistic paths
that are striking for their warmth, clarity, and vision.” – Acoustic Guitar

Buy Now! Put all three shows in your cart and
use discount code: GUITAR at check out.

Want to SAVE MORE? Become a member now and your benefits will double the discount. Join here and enjoy the discount and more.

Community4Education:
Crawdad Republic, Meredith, Meshach & Friends

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Music-filled, Family-Friendly Event

Community4Education is a music-filled event to benefit the educational outreach programs of both Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Livermore Valley Education Foundation. The event will begin in the afternoon on Saturday, June 16 at 4:00 p.m. with a musical showcase on the plaza outside the Bankhead Theater. Featured will be Element 116 providing jazz and big band tunes, as well as other local music groups. The music moves inside the Bankhead at 7:00 p.m. for the fundraising concert. Two local bands will keep the night alive with music — the upbeat folk and bluegrass sounds of Crawdad Republic as well as Meredith, Meshach & Friends with their engaging mix of jazz, rock, folk and country cross-genre styles. Raffle prize drawings throughout the event will add to the fun and fundraising.

The afternoon music showcase on the plaza is FREE, food will be available for purchase. Tickets to the evening performance are just $20 each.

Lobby of the Bankhead will open at 6:30 p.m. with music and refreshments available for purchase.  The performance on the stage of the Bankhead will begin at 8:00 p.m.

All participating bands have donated their time to perform.

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East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band

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The East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars Band is made up of more than 20 exceptionally talented high school musicians from throughout the East Bay, selected through a competitive audition process. 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 performed at the San Jose Jazz Festival and other venues. For availability and booking, contact Kiran Guleria, LVPAC’s Education Program Manager at 925.583.2312 or kguleria@lvpac.org

 

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New Season – On Sale Now!

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Artists (clockwise from upper left):  Russian National Ballet, BJ Thomas, Melissa Manchester, Branford Marsalis, Nobuntu, The Clairvoyants, Don Felder, The Chinese Acrobats, Tom Papa, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.  

Tickets for some shows are already moving fast … Don’t miss this chance to get the best seats!

SEE THE ENTIRE LIST, THEN BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

MEMBERS receive 10% off single tickets or 15% off five or more shows.
Membership starts at just $125. Click HERE to become a member today!

The 2018-2019 season at the Bankhead Theater are now on sale! 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 8, 2018 at the Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala featuring Grammy Hall of Fame legend BJ Thomas accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony. The festive fundraising event begins on the plaza with a dinner reception and full bar, and continues inside before the concert with live and silent auctions.

Other notable highlights among the nearly 40 events scheduled through May 2019 are acclaimed artists such as jazz great Branford Marsalis, rock guitarist Don Felder, and singer/songwriters Jim Messina and Melissa Manchester, all of whom will make their first appearance in Livermore.

BJ Thomas on Sep 8

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy on Feb 27

Returning favorites include comedian Tom Papa, fiddle master Natalie MacMaster, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with their infectious feel-good swing sound. Music of all genres as well as comedy, theater and dance are well represented, including a first visit to the Bankhead by renowned all-male comic ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

 

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on Jan 31

In addition, the Bankhead will take the opportunity this season to present some excitingly different performances including The Clairvoyants, whose mind-blowing, mind-reading talents stunned the audience on “America’s Got Talent” in 2016, Cirque Éloize “Saloon”, a musical acrobatic adventure of the wild, wild West, and the visually-spectacular combination of dance moves, compelling rhythms, and lighting effects that tell the story of “Currents” by Mayumana. Chicago’s remarkable Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, the first youth mariachi band ever nominated for a Latin Grammy, will appear in October on their first national tour.

Mariachi Herencia de Mexico on Oct 27

Cirque Eloize “Saloon” on Mar 21

Executive Director Scott Kenison emphasized Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s commitment to making entertainment accessible to all audiences. Starting this summer and extending through the upcoming season, a new $20 seating level has been introduced for every single Bankhead Presents show. While quantities are limited, Kenison hopes the opportunity to enjoy great artists at an affordable price will allow everyone in the community to be touched by the performing arts. Tickets also priced at $20 for students and active military personnel are available year round.

Family-friendly events bring the arts to all ages from the dazzlingly athletic feats of The New Chinese Acrobats to Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, the original “all-dogs, all-fun” show. Family Films, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” are being screened at the Bankhead this summer, and the popular Classic Film Musicals, complete with newsreel and cartoons of the era, will return in the fall with “On The Town,” “Showboat” and “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

The Bankhead has established itself as a popular venue for comedy and a number of events will keep audiences laughing. This season a comic approach to nearly every holiday is offered from The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged),” and Second City’s Valentine-themed “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” to Late Nite Catechism’s “Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?”  Comedy and drama will merge in a single performance of L.A. Theatre Works powerful production of “Steel Magnolias” in October.

In addition to Bankhead Presents shows, the Resident Companies of the Bankhead – 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 2018-2019 Season at the Bankhead opens at the end of the previously announced Summer Series which features more than a dozen shows including country music legend Lee Greenwood, blues-rock band Indigenous with Chris Duarte, and the return of western swing greats Asleep at the Wheel.

Be sure to check out the entire 2018-2019 Season list! Or flip through the online 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 shows
at the same time and receive a 10% discount.*

 * Members receive a 15% discount on five or more shows. If you’re a member login here. If you’re not a member, consider joining today — there’s never been a better time!   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 Bankhead Presents shows all year (Resident Company and Rental Company shows are not eligible.) Other benefits are available at higher levels. New members under the age of 35 can join at the new 35MM level for just $50.

 

Interview: Rita Coolidge

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In a wide ranging interview with writer Lou Fancher at the East Bay Times, pop icon Rita Coolidge talks about her early days in the music industry when men held all the power and the impact that had on women, how she see things changing now, and why it matters. She also discusses the many people who have had an influence on her life and her music — from her grandmother and her Cherokee heritage, to fellow musicians and leaders of the modern day blues era.

Coolidge has put her whole heart into her recently released album “Safe in the Arms of Love” She co-wrote three of the 12 songs on the album and the entire album reflects the pain, uplifting recovery and strength she has found in her life.

“It’s about the wonderful possibilities we have to experience love, embrace the tragedies, to keep going. The record is about that joy.
I want for women and men to realize love is always around, you just have to open your eyes and heart.”

Read the whole article HERE and then buy tickets to see Rita Coolidge in the intimate 500 seat Bankhead Theater. For more about Rita, visit the event page.

RITA COOLIDGE

Saturday, July 7 at 8pm

BUY TICKETS NOW!

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Joan Osborne Interview

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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

 

 

Upcoming Events

Sat 21

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Sat, July 21 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
925.462.2121
Wed 25
Fri 27
Aug 03

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