With everything from the Beatles to Riverdance, the Central Lakes College Theatre's Cultural Arts Series will feature artists with national and international reputations this fall.
Director Patrick Spradlin has assembled for his fourth season a lineup of performers that will offer something for just about anyone interested in the performing arts. Kicking off the season Sept. 18 is The Cavern Beat, a Beatles tribute band from Chicago.
"This group was recommended to me by a fellow presenter," Spradlin said. "And when I looked at the band's YouTube clips I was stunned. They live up to their billing: 'No other tribute band comes this close to the real Beatles. You will be amazed!'"
Just returning from a two-week tour of England, The Cavern Beat brings early Beatles music to the stage with solid musicianship and a flair of the theatrical. For a sample, visit the band's Web site at www.thecavernbeat.com.
Grammy-winning guitarist John Jorgenson, a well-known pioneer of the American gypsy jazz movement, will perform Nov. 7 as part of the Central Lakes College Theatre's Cultural Arts Series.
Internationally renowned pianist George Winston will take to the CLC Chalberg stage Oct. 13 for a solo performance.
"I am really thrilled to bring George Winston to Brainerd," Spradlin said. "I've listened to his music for years, especially the recordings on the Windham Hill label, like 'December' and 'Autumn.' Winston's new album, 'Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions - A Hurricane Relief Benefit,' was motivated by his desire to help the Gulf Coast after hurricane devastation. He also will be playing songs from his recent album, 'Montana - a Love Story,' as well as from his seasonally themed albums and his other recordings. Winston's work can be sampled at www.georgewinston.com."
Good Vibrations, the touring company of The North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, will perform Oct. 24.
"I've wanted to bring a dance company to Brainerd since I began the series," Spradlin said. "Bringing Good Vibrations is like bringing four or five different groups at the same time."
Good Vibrations features cutting-edge contemporary choreography and traditional rhythm tap as it was danced in its prime. The percussive dances range from South African Gumboot to sand dancing, buck, a salute to vaudeville, body percussion, jazz and more, danced to music ranging from Blind Boy Fuller to Brubeck to Mozart. The company's work may be previewed at www.ncyte.org.
On Nov. 7, Grammy-winning guitarist John Jorgenson, a well-known pioneer of the American gypsy jazz movement, will perform. An acknowledged master of the Django Reinhardt style of gypsy jazz, Jorgenson also brings his own unique flair to the stage with exciting new compositions, amazing fretwork and searing clarinet playing, supported by distinguished world-class musicians.
"The John Jorgenson Quintet has played the Dakota in the Cities, played with symphony orchestras around the world and been a major force in jazz music," Spradlin said. "This will be a truly unique musical group, unlike anything seen in this area."
Jorgenson's Web site is www.johnjorgenson.com.
An encore presentation of "The Rock and Roll Xmas Extravaganza" is scheduled Dec. 10.
"We had this group last December and they are truly amazing," Spradlin said. "If anyone saw that performance or the Billy Joel/Elton John tribute show last August, you know that this group really puts on a terrific show."
Combining traditional Christmas songs with the rock stylings of artists like Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, Janis Joplin, and Pink Floyd, the Rock and Roll Xmas Extravaganza is a high-octane way to kick off your holiday season. The band's show can be previewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gRRFyu6nvk.
A more traditional Christmas show will conclude the fall season Dec. 19 with The Steeles, a group of five siblings.
"Jearlyn Steele performed here in April as part of a tour promoted by MPR," Spradlin said. "As soon as the concert was over, I began talking to her about returning. Little did I know that the entire family would be coming to Brainerd."
The Steeles have traveled worldwide, and regionally have appeared at numerous Twin Cities venues, including the Fitzgerald Theatre. They have been featured on A Prairie Home Companion and played at New York's Carnegie Hall. For more, go to www.thesteelesmusic.com.
The Rock n Roll Xmas concert starts at 7 p.m. and all other shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for all of the series events are on sale through the CLC Theatre Box Office at 855-8199 or (800) 933-0346, extension 8199. Tickets also may be reserved via e-mail at email@example.com.
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