The Message

Thursday, February 22, 2018 @7:30

The Message is truly an all-star band. Its five members, Donald Harrison (alto saxophone), Billy Pierce, (tenor and soprano saxophones) Brian Lynch (trumpet), Sullivan Fortner (piano), Carl Allen (drums), and Essiet Essiet (bass), collectively have decades’ worth of experience delivering top-tier jazz performances live and on recordings. Four of the five members of The Message—all but Sullivan Fortner, born in 1986—are alumni of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the iconic jazz band that played in various iterations from the fifties to 1990. All come together to revisit the Messengers’ swingin’, hard-bop tradition, with a focus on arrangements of Jazz Messenger pieces by such esteemed composers as Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard, but also always playing original compositions that respect the band’s roots. Taken altogether, The Message’s musical message is one that only gets better with age.

Pre-show talk in Bowker Auditorium at 6:30pm

Ticket Prices: $35, $25; Students $10

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Jessica Lang Dance

Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 7:30 PM

Jessica Lang seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary work packed with stunning movement. This promises to be one of the hottest shows of the winter. Among the pieces to be performed are Tesseracts of Time, created in collaboration with internationally recognized architect Steven Holl, and Thousand Yard Stare, honoring wounded veterans and all of those affected by war.

Pre-show talk in the lobby at 6:30 pm with Jessica Lang on her work “The Thousand Yard Stare”
Post-show discussion with members of the company immediately following the performance.

Ticket Prices: $45, $35, $20; Students $15, $12, $10

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The Underwater Bubble Show

Thursday, November 30, 2017 @7:30 PM

Plunge into a glistening blend of laser technology, snow cannons, soap-bubble tornadoes, and optical illusions as the effervescent Mr. B is transported to Bubblelandia, a blissful ocean utopia where colors explode and dreams take flight. Inspired by the artistry of Cirque du Soleil, this lavish Latvian production uses drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, sand art, and theatrical magic to whisk families to an imaginary bubble world bursting with possibilities.

Family Fun Fest in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:00pm 

Ticket Prices: $25, $20, $15; Students $10; Family Pack (2 adult, 2 youth) $50; Lap Seats $5

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Slavic Soul Party

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 8:00PM
Bowker Auditorium

SSP! pumps a strong Balkan brass sound through the filter of life in New York’s outer boroughs, making new music out of the unplanned results of immigration, proximity, and globalization. Over the past 15 years, the band has released seven full-length albums and toured in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. From pashas’ palaces to dive bars, Carnegie Hall to Serbian schoolyards, festival stages to prison courtyards, the band has built an international following, and their tunes have been covered by Serbian brass stars, New Orleans funk stalwarts, and legendary street bands.

Ticket Prices
General Admission $15; Students $7; Under40TIX  $15

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Theo Croker Quintet (Billy Taylor)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 7:30

Theo Croker is a young trumpeter, singer, and bandleader who has earned the attention of top musicians. Produced by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Croker’s most recent recording, Escape Velocity, is a sprawling, genre-bending journey through bop, soul, funk, R&B, and beyond. He brings his quintet to the FAC for an evening of inspired music.

Ticket Prices: $35, $25; Students $10

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Jorge Caballero (Guitarra)

Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

Widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, Jorge Caballero is the youngest musician and the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition Award, an honor comparable to the Pulitzer Prize for musicians. He is known for his dazzling virtuosity, his intense musicality, and his spellbinding performances.

Ticket Prices: GA $15

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Tango Buenos Aires: “The Spirit of Argentina”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

Tango Buenos Aires is known around the world for their fiery, uncompromising performances of the dramatic South American dance form known as tango. The Spirit of Argentina pays loving tribute to the dashing French-Argentine singer, composer, and actor Carlos Gardel—tango’s first superstar. You’ll discover his passion for futbol, boxing, and gauchos and get glimpses into his life in Paris, his appearance on Broadway, and his friendship with the young Astor Piazzola, another tango legend.

Pre-show talk in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:15 pm
Pre-show Tango Demonstration in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:45 pm.

Ticket Prices: $35, $30, $20; Students $10

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Brooklyn Rider

Sunday, October 29, 7 p.m.

UMass Old Chapel

The adventurous, genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider combines a wildly eclectic repertoire with a gripping performance style that is attracting legions of fans and drawing critical acclaim from classical, world and rock music critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.” Through creative programming and global collaborations, including those with the Silk Road Ensemble, Brooklyn Rider illuminates music for its audiences in ways that are “stunningly imaginative,” according to Lucid Culture.

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Kiran Ahluwalia Ensemble

Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

Kiran Ahluwalia’s seductive singing draws on her Indian-Punjabi heritage, fusing its hypnotic grooves with passionate Saharan blues and innovative western jazz. Her compositions and arrangements embody the essence of ghazal, ancient poetry influenced by Sufi mysticism, about illicit, unattainable love. Accompanied by her band, including New York jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi and master tabla player Nitin Mitta, Ahluwalia invites us to explore the human condition and lose ourselves in love.

On Wednesday, October 25 at 7pm at Hampshire Dining Commons. Grab your meal and come join the stimulating conversations with this cool and jazzy vocal artist from South Asia and maybe she will recite a verse of her poetry or sing a bar or two of music. It promises to a fun-filled Meet and Greet with Kiran and her Band.
(General Public UMass Dining Common Dinner cost: $15.50)

Ticket Prices: $25; Students $10

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Festival of South African Dance: “Stimela the Musical”

Tuesday October 17, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

With precise and technical footwork, often to the accompaniment of house music, Pantsula is rooted in street culture and used to respond to cultural and political issues. Stimela the Musical, featuring an ensemble of 20 men, is a unique South African story that tells a tale of rural African men who come by train from all walks of life in search of greener pastures in the city of gold, Johannesburg.

Pre-show talk in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:15 pm.
Pre-show Hip-Hop/Pantsula Demonstration in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:45pm. Join JOHNNIE CRUISE MERCER, the artistic director of Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC, a choreographer, educator, and freelance performer in the New York City area and CRAZEFAZE, the local all female hip hop crew from Western Mass directed by Rebecca Bustillos for high energy, interactive dance demos before the show!

Ticket Prices: $35, $30, $20; Students $10

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