Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, trumpeter Chris Botti, country star Lorrie Morgan and rockers Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald and Rick Springfield are among the highlights of the upcoming 2017-18 Center Presents Season sponsored by Allied Solutions at the Center for the Performing Arts.
Patrons can save up to 25 percent by purchasing subscription packages for the Jazz, Country, Songbook and Printing Partners Classical series as well as the new University of Indianapolis Passport Series, which offers the best in world music, dance and other inspiring performances from the likes of Pink Martini, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Celtic Nights, classical guitarist Paul Galbraith and eclectic violin sensation Damien Escobar.
The Create Your Own Series package allows subscribers to save up to 20 percent by selecting four or more shows of their choice from all the scheduled events, including concerts in the St. Vincent Holiday and Drewry Simmons Vornehm Pop/Rock series. Visit http://www.thecenterpresents.org/SubscribeNow for more information on subscription packages and benefits, which include pre-sale opportunities throughout the season as new events are added.
“We’re proud and excited to launch our seventh season of presenting world-class arts and entertainment events,” Jeffrey C. McDermott, the Center’s interim president/CEO, stated. “With each passing year, we listen and learn more about what the community wants, and I think the lineup we’ve assembled offers something special for everyone.”
Most events take place in the Center’s Palladium concert hall and the nearby Tarkington theater. Subscriptions are on sale now. Center subscribers can purchase tickets for all season events in person at the Palladium Box Office, online at TheCenterPresents.org or by phone at (317) 843-3800. Single-event tickets will go on sale in August.
The 2017-18 Center Presents Season sponsored by Allied Solutions includes:
DREWRY SIMMONS VORNEHM POP/ROCK SERIES
Sheryl Crow with Aaron Lee Tasjan
Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m.
After dabbling in country music, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow returns to the Palladium with a new album, “Be Myself,” that recalls her pop-rock roots. Crow has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide since her 1990s breakthrough with hits such as “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun.” Some seating is reserved especially for Center subscribers; limit two per subscription. For details, call the Box Office at 317.843.3800.
Michael McDonald with Marc Cohn
Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
With his songwriting and instantly recognizable voice, five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald has been a force in pop music since the 1970s, when he put his stamp on hits by Steely Dan (“Peg”) and the Doobie Brothers (“Takin’ It to the Streets,” “What A Fool Believes”). Fellow Grammy winner Marc Cohn is best known for his ’90s hit “Walking in Memphis.”
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m.
As seen on YouTube, pianist Scott Bradlee and his group Postmodern Jukebox have become a viral pop sensation by reworking 21st century pop hits in a variety of vintage styles – transforming Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” into a ’50s-style doo wop number, giving Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” a ’20s jazz accent, crossing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” with Irish folk music, and reimagining Ke$ha’s “Die Young” as a classic country tune.
Rick Springfield solo acoustic
Sunday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
Best known for ’80s hits like “Jessie’s Girl,” “I’ve Done Everything for You” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” the Aussie rocker, actor and teen idol has enjoyed a career resurgence with his role in the 2015 film “Ricki and the Flash” and his well-received 2016 album, “Rocket Science.” His intimate, interactive solo performances explore the stories behind the songs.
Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m.
Richard Marx became an instant pop smash when he debuted in the late 1980s, cracking the Billboard Top 5 with his first seven singles, including the rockers “Don’t Mean Nothing” and “Should’ve Known Better” and ballads “Right Here Waiting” and “Hold on to the Nights.” The Chicago-born singer-songwriter also has written hits for artists as diverse as Kenny Rogers, *NSYNC and Luther Vandross. In this solo acoustic performance at the Palladium, he will accompany himself on guitar and piano.
Songbook Academy Finals
Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m.
The Great American Songbook Foundation’s annual Songbook Academy draws the nation’s top high school vocalists for an intensive week of workshops and master classes under the guidance of Michael Feinstein and other industry professionals. In the finals, the students compete for the title of Songbook Youth Ambassador and the opportunity to perform in some of the nation’s most esteemed venues.
Art Garfunkel: In Close-Up
Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Singer Art Garfunkel has made his mark as a solo artist and half of ’60s folk-rock icons Simon & Garfunkel, one of the best-selling duos of all time. Their No. 1 singles included “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Sound of Silence,” “The Boxer” and their biggest hit, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” His own hits include “All I Know” and “(What A) Wonderful World.”
Friday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m.
Eclectic vocalist Storm Large and her band Le Bonheur deliver a sizzling live show that electrifies audiences with a tour through the American songbook, Broadway tear-jerkers, rock goddess anthems, and her own gorgeous original tunes. Their 2014 album “Le Bonheur” is a collection of tortured and titillating love songs the Huffington Post called “compelling, beautiful and enchanting.”
The Midtown Men
Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m.
Four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys bring your favorite 1960s hits to life with a powerhouse seven-piece band. Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer have released two albums and recorded a 90-minute live concert special for PBS.
Michael Feinstein with Betty Buckley
Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m.
Michael Feinstein, founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation and artistic director for the Center for the Performing Arts, takes the Palladium stage once again for an evening of timeless music. The Ohio native maintains his title as “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” through his performances and his many projects for public radio and television. Joining him will be Tony Award-winning actress and singer Betty Buckley, known for her work on stage, screen and television.
Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Trumpeter Chris Botti’s blend of jazz, classical and pop music has made him one of America’s best-selling instrumental artists, with four albums reaching No. 1 on the jazz charts. His most recent release, “Impressions,” which features contributions from several prominent guest artists, claimed the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m.
Declared “America’s Next Great Jazz Singer” by Esquire and NPR Music, Gregory Porter claimed the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album with his Blue Note debut “Liquid Spirit” and repeated the feat again this year with his latest release, “Take Me To The Alley,” a collection of stirring original compositions that juxtapose the personal and political.
Nat King Cole Tribute with Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli
Friday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m.
Two jazz veterans team up to honor a legendary pop artist with “Straighten Up & Fly Right for the Holidays: The Nat King Cole Tribute” with Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli. Pianist Lewis and his trio are joined by Pizzarelli on guitar and vocals for an evening that includes interpretations of traditional holiday songs from Cole’s Christmas recordings as well as many of his own hits.
John Beasley’s MONK’estra
Saturday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m.
Founded by pianist and composer John Beasley to celebrate Thelonious Monk’s centennial year, this 15-piece big band captures the spirit of the jazz legend and his distinctive and timeless compositions in fresh arrangements flavored with New Orleans spirit, hip-hop and Afro-Cuban rhythms. The 2016 debut album, “MONK’estra, Volume 1,” was lauded by International Review of Music as “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.”
The Summit: Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m.
With 20 Grammy Awards between them, two great vocal ensembles have joined forces for this thrilling musical collaboration. The Manhattan Transfer is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a lineup that includes longtime members Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentyne. Take 6 is marking 25 years of its trademark a cappella approach to gospel, jazz, R&B and pop.
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS PASSPORT SERIES
National Martial Artists and Acrobats of China
Sunday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m.
Established in 1957, the Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin of the People’s Republic of China is one of that nation’s top acrobatic troupes, with more than 100 performers enacting feats of acrobatics, magic and martial arts. Its members also have performed their acts with Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and other leading circus attractions.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this respected company from the American West is on the road with its blend of classical ballet and contemporary dance. ASFB’s mission places highest priority on commissioning new works and nurturing relationships with emerging choreographers, rounding out its repertoire with pieces from such late-20th-century masters as William Forsythe and Twyla Tharp.
Friday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.
Rising-star violinist Damien Escobar first gained national attention in the duo Nuttin’ But Stringz before going solo in 2012 with his crossover mix of classical, jazz, pop, R&B and hip-hop. His current “Heart & Soul Tour” supports the new album “Boundless,” his second solo release and his first to contain all original material.
Dublin Irish Dance
Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m.
Direct from Dublin, this troupe of world-champion Irish step dancers features former members of Riverdance and Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance.” Its current production, “Stepping Out,”
tells the story of Irish immigrants journeying from their homeland to the New World. The troupe performs with an eight-member traditional Irish band and vocalist.
Thursday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Known for his acclaimed recordings of Bach, Haydn and Brahms, Paul Galbraith has shaken the world of classical guitar with his innovative style and use of the “Brahms Guitar,” an eight-stringed instrument he helped to design. Positioned like a cello, with an additional octave beyond the standard guitar range, the revolutionary instrument creates new possibilities in technique and repertoire.
Celtic Nights: Oceans of Hope
Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m.
This co-ed crew of singers, dancers and musicians champions the proud tradition of Celtic music and culture. Celtic Nights’ new production, “Oceans of Hope,” captures the essence of the immigrant experience, telling the epic story – through Irish eyes – of all people who have braved the sea to build lives free from hunger, war, persecution and famine.
Saturday, March 17, at 8 p.m.
For more than two decades, this unique ensemble of more than a dozen musicians and vocalists has delighted audiences around the world with its multilingual mix of jazz, classical and old-school pop music, often performed with leading symphony orchestras. Pink Martini’s ninth and latest studio album, 2016’s “Je dis oui!,” features 15 tracks spanning eight languages.
PRINTING PARTNERS CLASSICAL SERIES
Saturday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m.
Founded in 1997, Red Priest is the only early music group in the world to draw comparisons to the Rolling Stones, Jackson Pollock, the Marx Brothers and Cirque du Soleil. Recorder player Piers Adams, violinist Adam Summerhayes, cellist Angela East and harpsichordist David Wright create a virtual orchestra through their creative arrangements, swashbuckling virtuosity and compelling stagecraft.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman
Sunday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.
Recently celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Royal Philharmonic has cemented its status as Britain’s national orchestra, embracing every strand of music from the core classical repertoire to the work of leading contemporary composers. Celebrated violinist Pinchas Zukerman will serve as soloist and principal guest conductor as the orchestra presents a program of Mozart, Dvořák and Weber.
China National Symphony Orchestra
Friday, Feb. 9. at 8 p.m.
For half a century, the China National Symphony Orchestra has introduced Chinese audiences to a vast repertoire of classical, romantic, modern and contemporary orchestral works by both Western and Asian composers. Artistic Director and Conductor Tan Dun is best known for scoring the films “Hero” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and composing music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m.
Founded in 1491, the Staatskapelle Weimar is the oldest orchestra in Germany and one of the most illustrious in the world. General Music Director and Principal Conductor Kirill Karabits will lead the orchestra through an all-Beethoven program featuring his Coriolan Overture, Op. 62; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37; and Symphony No. 5, Op. 67.
Saturday, April 28, at 8 p.m.
The reigning virtuoso of the violin brings his remarkable artistry to the Palladium. Israeli-American violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman has been making waves since his 1958 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show at age 13 and remains one of the great ambassadors and popularizers of classical music. His recordings have claimed 15 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and his PBS specials have won four Emmy Awards.
Country Unplugged Tour featuring Mark Chesnutt, Lorrie Morgan and Joe Diffie
Friday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m.
Three of country music’s top talents join together on stage for an evening of the songs that made them stars. Together, Mark Chesnutt (“Too Cold at Home”), Lorrie Morgan (“What Part of No”) and Joe Diffie (“Pickup Man”), share nearly 60 Top 10 hits, 26 No. 1 singles, nine platinum records and a hosts of accolades including Grammy Awards, CMA Awards and Grand Ole Opry memberships.
Oak Ridge Boys Holiday
Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.
Known for their mega-selling hit “Elvira” and more than 30 other Top 10 singles, the Oak Ridge Boys are back on the road with a classic lineup that dates to 1973. For nearly three decades, the country and gospel vocal quartet has mounted an annual Christmas tour featuring traditional and contemporary songs, including tunes from their six bestselling Christmas CDs.
ST. VINCENT HOLIDAY SERIES
Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas
Saturday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m.
America’s best-selling solo pianist marks his 21st year of heartwarming holiday performances with a new program, “A Joyful Christmas,” featuring carols, classics and original songs to escape the hustle and bustle. Brickman’s signature style has taken him from Carnegie Hall to the White House and earned him two Grammy nods, four Gold albums and 30 charted Adult Contemporary radio hits.
Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour
Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
An annual holiday tradition returns as Dave Koz brings his 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour to the Palladium. Special guests David Benoit, Rick Braun and Peter White – the original lineup from Koz’s first holiday package tour – will join the saxophonist to perform their own hits and jam on seasonal favorites in a high-energy show for the entire family.
Celtic Thunder Symphony
Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Performing with a full symphony, Celtic Thunder will deliver highlights from its most popular productions as well as songs from the chart-topping albums “Celtic Thunder Christmas” and “The Classic Christmas Album,” with solo and ensemble numbers featuring the group’s five male vocalists. Frequently seen on PBS, Celtic Thunder has been named Billboard’s Top World Music Album Artist three times.
Canadian Brass Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m.
Since forming in the 1970s, this distinctive chamber quintet has toured the world and released over 100 albums as the leading standard bearer for the role of brass instruments in classical music. In this special holiday performance, the group will perform a broad range of classical, traditional and pop tunes reflecting the spirit of the season.
Songbook Celebration presented by Krieg DeVault
Saturday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m.
Enjoy dinner, an auction, celebrity performances and Great American Songbook Hall of Fame inductions at the Center’s annual gala.
U.S. Army Field Band
Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m.
The U.S. Army Field Band’s 65-member Concert Band and 29-member Soldiers’ Chorus will perform a wide-ranging program of marches, overtures, popular music, patriotic selections, and instrumental and vocal solos. Their mission is to serve and inspire the American people by telling the Army story and honoring our soldiers and veterans at home and abroad. Admission is free; tickets will be available in late October.
New Year’s Eve Extravaganza presented by Taft
Sunday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m.
Tickets for this rockin’ holiday party, which sold out last year, will go on sale in August. Stay tuned for news on the musical guests.
For more, and to read about other events added, visit TheCenterPresents.org.