Friday, April 26, 2013

The Tenors on Why They Love Chicago [VIDEO]

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Clifton and Remi, two of the four members of The Tenors, personally tell us why the are thrilled to be performing in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre on May 12!

The Tenors: Lead with Your Heart

Venue: Auditorium Theatre Mainstage
Dates: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Times: 7:00 pm
Price: $59.50 and $49.50.

Since their inception only five years ago, The Tenors have been thrilling audiences around the world with their powerful voices and memorable melodies. Their blend of classical music and contemporary pop has garnered them international success. Their music is rich and soulful with powerful anthems and beautiful melodies.

For their live performance The Tenors will draw selections from their new album,Lead With Your Heart, as well as some of their past hits. Lead With Your Heart, their second studio album, stretches the boundaries of classical crossover by combining classic songs, modern tunes and Spanish and French world music. From cover features such as Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” to the inspirational anthem “Amazing Grace” and one of the most recognizable and heroic Tenor arias “Nessun Dorma”, the diverse track list features a mix of pop favourites and classical staples along with new compositions written and co-written by The Tenors.

Over the past two years, The Tenors have performed worldwide and shared the stage with legendary artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion (on the Oprah show) Sting, and Paul McCartney, to name a few. More recently, The Tenors were featured performers on two primetime international broadcasts: The Emmy Awards live from Los Angeles and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations from Windsor Castle in the UK, where The Tenors performed for Her Majesty.

Phone: 800.982.ARTS (2787) | Box Office: 50 E. Congress Pkwy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Musical Inspiration for Havana Blue

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By Orbert Davis, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Photo by Kent Richmond
Creating Havana Blue was a process unlike any other in my life as a musician and composer. Starting with the exploratory trip to Cuba, it was a process of discovery and inspiration, on both a personal and professional level.

 I set out on the trip to Cuba with several goals.  I wanted to explore my African roots through the Cuban culture, where the African heritage is prominent. In my mind, I wanted to “become Cuban” through immersion in the culture and music. I was curious to see where my collaborations with authentic Cuban music would take me as an artist. It was an odyssey of musical self-discovery.

Also, I have always had an interest in tracing the development of African music in the United States and other countries.  I once traveled to Brazil, for example, to see how the African influence shaped that musical tradition, and I was interested in doing the same thing in Cuba.

Photo by Kent Richmond
What I found in Cuba was a wealth of musical expression, and a real passion for learning and sharing.  There’s such a strong connection between American jazz and Cuba that dates from the 1940’s and exists to this day. The local musicians were so excited to play with an American musician. They were especially excited when they heard I was from Chicago.

The musicianship there is of the highest order. I bought CD’s everywhere I could. I was so amazed at the creativity and the talent of the local artists. And what’s more amazing is that there are no jazz schools there, so that the artists have to pick it up on their own.

Wherever I went, I took my horm with me, and the musicians would always welcome me to play with them. My goal was to absorb what was happening in the moment and improvise based on the environment I was in and what was happening around me. I learned something new with every encounter I had, whether it was the house band in the hotel, or a street musician, or the classically-trained performers in the clubs.

I also found out something about my ancestral roots.  One of the percussionists, who could trace his own ancestors back to their village in Africa, told me that I was of Nigerian descent. He knew this from the way I looked, but more importantly by how comfortable I was with polyrhythms. It had nothing to do with my training as a professional musician, he said. It was something innate that can’t be taught.

I created the score for Havana Blue as a series of musical portraits of the people and the places I encountered. I did not want to recreate the music but rather my interpretations of the Cuba I found.  I tried to capture the sense of a people proud of their traditions, intent on honoring the old but eager to embrace the new and move forward. I am excited to bring this project home and share it with the people of Chicago.   


HAVANA BLUE: River North Dance Chicago with Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

Presented by BMO Harris and Co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre
Venue: Auditorium Theatre
Dates: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Times: 8:00 pm
Price: $76-$32
In a momentous collaboration, the Artistic Directors of River North Dance Chicago and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Frank Chaves and Orbert Davis, explore their shared Cuban experiences for a vibrant World Premiere of original live music and dance, bringing the culture’s rich history to life in a contemporary way. Co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre.
Box Office: 50 E. Congress Pkwy. | Phone: 800.982.ARTS (2787) | Groups of 10+ 312.341.2357

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, by Laurie Eisenhower

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Eisenhower Dance Ensemble has performed in Chicago a few times, but this is our first production presented at the Auditorium Theatre....and, of course, we are thrilled to be presented in such a fabulous theatre! The first half of our program will consist of three dances from our current repertory, including a fabulous premiere by Chicago choreographer Ron de Jesus. The second half of the program will be our highly successful Motown in Motion production. Motown is a project that began over ten years ago. As a Detroit-based dance company, I was trying to come up with a project that would celebrate Michigan and the Detroit community. Saluting the glory days of Motown music seemed like the perfect idea. 

We created the Motown production by commissioning nationally known choreographers to set works on the company, including Bill DeYoung, Ginger Thatcher, Gregory Patterson, Lindsay Thomas, Stephanie Pizzo, and Chicago's own Joel Hall. Our goal was not to imitate the original Motown dances, but to use those dances and the music as inspiration for new work. We now have over twenty Motown dances in our repertory and have selected ten to perform in Chicago. This version includes dances to a wonderful array of Motown hits by artists such as The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. The end result is super fun—the kind of show that has you dancing and moving in your seats. We can't wait to share our work with Chicago! 

Cheers, Laurie Eisenhower

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