December 04, 2014

Cool new shows to heat up UAB’s Alys Stephens Center in 2015

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wild rumpusA DanceE Wild Rumpus A new season of shows featuring legendary and rising artists is set for 2015 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 12.

On offer for winter and spring 2015 are Branford Marsalis, The Jung Trio, Arlo Guthrie, Aaron Neville Duo, the Wailers, California and Montreal Guitar Trios, Diana Krall, Australia’s Sway Poles, Steve Winwood, and Dr. John and the Nite Trippers. Young Concert Artists and rising stars Andrew Tyson and Julia Bullock will bookend the season and perform as part of the intimate ArtPlay Parlor Music Series. For tickets, a copy of The Center Magazine or more information, call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

In addition to bringing the world’s most acclaimed performers to Birmingham, the ASC also creates and curates inspired, new arts events for the community.

brandon webBranford Marsalis. Photo credit: Palma Kolansky.The ASC’s own original series, The Essentials, will continue Feb. 3 with Branford Marsalis in a show hosted by UAB Artist-in-Residence Eric Essix. This innovative series honors music’s rich history and sound with a journey through jazz. For the third installment, The Essentials will spotlight bebop music. The first half of the evening will survey bebop’s history, music and artists, led by Essix with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and renowned, award-winning saxophonist Marsalis. Three-time Grammy Award winner Marsalis will lead one of the finest jazz quartets assembled for a performance, during the second half.

Free this season is the exciting and ASC original community festival Cirque Alys II, this time featuring Australia’s Sway Poles. During the group’s three-day residency at the ASC from April 29-May 1, lectures and demonstrations as well as happy hours and a free grand-finale performance will take place. Enjoy food trucks, live music and cash bars as the Sway Poles perform their dazzling, acrobatic work “Swoon.”

ArtPlay, the ASC’s home for arts education, will present two premieres this season: “The Clever George Washington Carver” on Saturday, Feb. 21, and DanceE’s “A DanceE Wild Rumpus” on Sunday, April 26. ArtPlay also will present free Meet the Artist school shows, On the Road school shows and master classes for schoolchildren and teens during the season.

Become an ASC season subscriber and choose three or more shows to create the “It’s Your Choice” package and save 15 percent on the total price. Select performances will feature discounted student tickets. UAB employees get a 10 percent ticket discount to all shows. Online purchases of tickets can be printed at home or delivered to a mobile device. In addition, the ASC has a mobile-friendly website and a new, free app to enhance patrons’ online experience. Simply download the Alys Stephens Center app.

Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center 2015 winter/spring calendar of performances

tysonAndrew Tyson. Photo credit: Christian Steiner.

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015

ArtPlay Parlor Music Series presents Andrew Tyson, piano, 7 p.m., at ArtPlay, 1006 19th St. South. The ArtPlay Parlor Series features Young Concert Artists. A prize winner at the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, Tyson also was awarded the Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Prize, awarded to the pianist chosen by the orchestra and conductor Sir Mark Elder. This prize brought three performances of Rachmaninoff’s “Concerto No. 2” with the Hallé Orchestra, which were so acclaimed he was re-engaged to perform with the orchestra the past two seasons. Tickets are $37.50 and include beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Tyson will present an ArtPlay Meet the Artist On the Road show at an area school at 10 a.m. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

“The Essentials: Bebop” featuring Branford Marsalis, 7 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Hosted by UAB Artist-in-Residence Eric Essix, “The Essentials” is the ASC’s original, innovative series devoted to honoring the rich history of jazz. Join the ASC for the third installment, which will survey the unique history of bebop’s history, music and artists, led by Essix with three-time Grammy Award winner Marsalis during the first half, followed by a performance by Marsalis and his jazz quartet for the second half. This ASC-curated performance is made possible by the support of PNC Bank. Tickets are $39.50. Marsalis will present an ArtPlay master class for students at 3 p.m. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

jung trioJung Trio

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

The Jung Trio, 7 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. One of today’s most notable rising young ensembles, this classical group features sisters Jennie, piano, Ellen, violin, and Julie, cello, each contributing her own warmth and impassioned sensibility to the collaborative force. The first half of the evening will consist of single movements of the piano trio by Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms; the second half by Dvorak, Ravel and Shostakovich. Tickets are $32.50. The Jung Trio will present an ArtPlay Meet the Artist On the Road show at an area school at 10 a.m. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

ArtPlay presents the premiere of “The Clever George Washington Carver,” with two shows at 10 and 11:30 a.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The talented young actors of ArtPlay’s Make It Happen Performing Ensemble will celebrate the life of Alabama’s own George Washington Carver. Written and directed by ArtPlay teaching artist Alicia Johnson-Williams, this entertaining and educational play uses poetry, song and dance to pay tribute to this remarkable man, his life and work, and his contributions to science and agriculture. Tickets are $9 for children and $11 for adults. ArtPlay will present a Meet the Artist school show at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

arlo guthrieArlo Guthrie

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Guthrie has been known to generations as a prolific storyteller, social commentator, actor and activist. His new tour is a unique multimedia show the likes of which his fans have never seen before, and he’s bringing it to the ASC. Tickets are $45.50, $54.50 and $63.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

An Intimate Evening With the Aaron Neville Duo, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Backed by piano for this show, New Orleans native Neville returns to the ASC stage for a performance of classic doo-wop hits from his album “My True Story,” which includes classics by such vocal-group legends as Little Anthony and the Imperials (“Tears on My Pillow”), Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (“Work with Me, Annie”) and the Drifters (“Money Honey,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “This Magic Moment”), as well as his most popular tunes. Tickets are $43.50, $52.50 and $61.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

wailersThe WailersFriday, March 20, 2015

The Wailers, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The history of the band during Bob Marley’s lifetime is well-known, but The Wailers have performed with Sting, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and reggae legends Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear, as well as Eve, Jason Mraz, Kenny Chesney and Colbie Caillat. Over their many tours they have performed for more than 24 million people around the world. The anchor of the band is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Marley’s trusted lieutenant, who brings indisputable authenticity to the group’s sound and combines old-school know-how with lead vocals from one of Jamaica’s most exciting singers, Kevin “Yvad” Davy. Tickets are $37.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

california montreal trioCalifornia Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio

Saturday, April 18, 2015

California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The evening will feature six virtuoso guitarists from CGT and MG3 performing arrangements of classical works and innovative takes on rock standards. Their amazing artistry brings together everything from surf music and spaghetti Western themes to Pink Floyd and Bach. Tickets are $34.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

diana krallDiana Krall

Monday, April 20, 2015

Diana Krall, 7 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Krall returns to the ASC to showcase her latest album, “Wallflower,” a refreshing and collaborative effort that reflects Krall in a gorgeous new light. This five-time Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and vocalist has recorded a collection of songs from the 1960s to today, including The Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’,” the Eagles’ “Desperado,” and favorite vintage songs by her musical heroes Bob Dylan and Elton John. Tickets are $71.50, $85.50 and $99.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

ArtPlay presents the premiere of “A DanceE Wild Rumpus,” 2 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Known for her innovative choreography that fuses a multitude of dance disciplines, Elizabeth Ross with DanceE, Birmingham’s contemporary dance company, brings her exciting original work to the ASC stage. Comical and tender, this dance party tells stories of adventure, imagination and the wild terrain of the human heart. This performance is perfect for families. Tickets are $9 for children, $11 for adults. ArtPlay will present Meet the Artist school shows at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, April 27. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

cirque 2Cirque Alys II featuring Australia’s Sway Poles

April 29-May 1, 2015

Cirque Alys II featuring Australia’s Sway Poles, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Celebrate spring with this free event designed especially for families and the community. Sway Poles is a company whose work fuses theater, dance and circus while elevated on poles 16 feet tall. Originally based on the image of a field of wheat swaying in the breeze, the poles’ extreme strength and flexibility allow the performers to bow to impossible angles and sway in a hypnotizing dance. Australia’s Sway Poles will perform their work “Swoon” during their ASC residency. Each day will feature free mini-lectures and demos at 10 a.m. and noon, with happy hour and a mini-performance at 5:30 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30. The free Cirque Alys II grand finale will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, with food trucks, live music and cash bars. ArtPlay will present several master classes and Meet the Artist shows with the Sway Poles for students during the residency. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

winwoodSteve WinwoodSaturday, May 2, 2015

Steve Winwood, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Winwood’s influential musical history reaches back half a century, encompassing such bands as the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith, along with his solo career. With a repertoire that spans decades, this Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer has no shortage of material with which to wow fans. After going solo in the late '70s, he released “Arc of a Diver” in 1980, playing all instruments himself and garnering a hit single with his melodic and uplifting “While You See a Chance.” He released “Nine Lives” in 2008 on Columbia Records and it opened at No. 12 on Billboard’s 200 Album chart. For his inaugural ASC performance, Winwood’s still-forceful high tenor voice will soar all while joined by a loose, funky, four-man band that will stretch his classic tunes into wonderful jams. Tickets are $81.50, $95.50 and $109.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

dr johnDr. John. Photo credit: Bruce WebberThursday, May 7, 2015

ArtPlay Parlor Series presents Julia Bullock, soprano, 7 p.m., at ArtPlay, 1006 19th St. South. The ArtPlay Parlor Series features Young Concert Artists. Winner of the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition and the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Bullock has been hailed by The New York Times as an “impressive, fast-rising soprano … poised for a significant career.” Tickets are $37.50 and include beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Bullock will present an ArtPlay Meet the Artist On the Road show at an area school at 10 a.m. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, 8 p.m., in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Join the ASC for Mardi Gras in May with the incomparable Dr. John, a six-time Grammy Award winner and true icon of American culture. This performance will feature a career retrospective including his biggest hits and music from his most recent release, “The Spirit of the Satch,” his tribute to the late Louis Armstrong. Tickets are $45.50, $54.50 and $63.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

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