Green Music Center at Sonoma State University Announces 2018–19 Season

35 Performances Span Genres from Jazz and Classical to World Music, Folk, Theater, Film, and Dance
May 11, 2018
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The Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, home of the Mastercard Performance Series, announced the 2018–19 Season today. It becomes the first full season where curation was led by new Executive Director Jacob Yarrow. The season spans September 15, 2018–May 9, 2019 and comprises 35 performances representing the finest talent across the genres of classical orchestral, chamber, vocal, and solo recital music; jazz, folk, and popular music; film; theater; and world music and dance. Venues include the traditional 1,400-seat Weill Hall, a new setup in Weill Hall called The Loft which reimagines the concert experience by spinning performers and audiences around to see and hear from a whole new perspective, and the intimate 240-seat Schroeder Hall.

Executive Director Jacob Yarrow said, “On behalf of everyone at the Green Music Center, I am excited to share with you our 2018–19 Season – the first season of programming I have led since moving here last summer. Bringing extraordinary performers, creative educational initiatives, and partnership opportunities to Sonoma County have always been cornerstones of the Green Music Center’s vision. We believe this new season also exemplifies our renewed promise to engage our communities with compelling artists, to investigate the ideas of our time, and to create lasting imprints that linger long after you’ve left the performance.”
Board Chair Henry Hansel stated, “With this new season announcement, it is an increasingly exciting time to be a member of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors. Our primary charge is to provide strategic direction to the Green Music Center, which is a place in our community to hear intimate, enriching, and immersive performances that are unsurpassed, and I’m thrilled to have such esteemed members of our community joining us on the board.”

“The 2018–19 season promises to be moving and inspiring,” said Sonoma State President Judy K. Sakaki. “I look forward to more memorable performances at the Green Music Center under the leadership of Executive Director Jacob Yarrow and the continuing partnerships we have throughout the North Bay.”


Banjos & Bourbon A Benefit for the Green Music Center Celebrating Music Mentors Featuring BUMPER JACKSONS & THE GREEN MUSIC CENTER'S ANNUAL BENEFIT DINNER

Sept. 15 @ Weill Hall

Start the season off with a party that features a great band, cocktails, dancing, and supporting a good cause—all while paying tribute to music teachers! The Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America's story from the seductive sounds of New Orleans to the hollers of Appalachia. Folding together early styles of jazz, blues, and country swing, the Bumper Jacksons strike an elegant balance between paying homage to the traditions and fashioning their own unique sound. Dress to have fun. Dress as you like. Let hot jazz, sweet country, banjos, and bourbon be your inspiration. Packages include premium concert seating, dinner, and access to the After-Party, including cocktails, and dancing. Proceeds support the Green Music Center's mission to present the most compelling artists of our time, investigate ideas, and to provide access to diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect, and inspire Sonoma State University and the whole region.


Las Cafeteras

Sept. 28 @ Weill Hall

Los Angeles-based Las Cafeteras have taken the music scene by storm with their infectious live performances and genre-bending musical fusion. Their Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms, and rhymes deliver inspiring lyrics that document stories of a community seeking love and justice, using music as a vehicle to build bridges among different cultures, creating “a world where many worlds fit.”


Brentano String Quartet

Sept.30 @ Weill Hall

Since 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent and The New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.” The group is named for philanthropist Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession.


Soweto Gospel Choir

Oct. 12 @ Weill Hall

South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir returns to the Green Music Center for an infectiously joyful performance of spirituals and gospel tunes! Singing in many South African languages, as well as English, this Grammy® Awardwinning choir performs to sold-out crowds the world over. With soaring voices and rousing drumbeats, they are sure to have you dancing in your seat.


Julie Fowlis

Oct. 14 @ Weill Hall

Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis is deeply influenced by her early upbringing in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. She will forever be recognized for singing the theme songs to Brave, Disney Pixar’s award-winning animated film, set in the ancient highlands of Scotland. With a career spanning ten years and four studio albums, her ‘crystalline’ and ‘intoxicating’ vocals have enchanted audiences around the world.


SPECIAL EVENT – Scotch tasting with Julie Fowlis and her band Prelude Restaurant Join the artists immediately following the concert for a guided tour of Scotches from their homeland (and maybe a couple of similar items from nearby). Only $30 in addition to your concert ticket.


FREE MOVIES AT THE GREEN – Disney Pixar’s Brave

Oct. 14 @ Weill Hall

Free and open to everyone. Julie Fowlis will introduce Disney Pixar’s Brave, which features her songs. Bring your chairs, blankets, and picnics to Weill Lawn and catch our final outdoor movie of the season.


Manual Cinema – The End of TV

Oct. 20 @ Weill Hall

A one-of-a-kind movie-going experience! Part shadow puppetry, part cinematic techniques, and part innovative music, Manual Cinema creates an immersive visual story for stage and screen. Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990’s, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the constant barrage of commercial images through a song cycle that accompanies a film that’s handmade in front of you. Stay after to visit the artists on stage to see how they make it all happen!


Steven Lin, piano

Oct. 21 @ Schroeder Hall

Taiwanese American pianist Steven Lin is an immediately engaging and imaginative young artist, applauded by The New York Times for playing that is “…immaculately voiced and enhanced by admirable subtleties of shading and dynamics.” A rising star to watch, his vibrant playing at the 2014 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition was recognized with the Silver Medal as well as with performance engagements around the world.


Venice Baroque Orchestra

Oct. 27 @ Weill Hall

Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the VENICE Baroque Orchestra is recognized as one of the premier ensembles devoted to 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces. The program features Baroque concertos by Vivaldi, the favorite son of Venice.


The Kenny Barron Quintet

Nov. 7 @ Weill Hall

Among jazz musicians, pianist Kenny Barron is considered an institution. He spent years in bands led by legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, and Stan Getz, and brings that wisdom to every note. An NEA Jazz Master, Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms.


FREE LECTURE Notes from a Jazz Master

Nov. 7 @ Weill Hall

Kenny Barron will discuss and demonstrate his approach to making music and how it relates to the history of jazz piano.



November 8 @ Weill Hall

From the Carpathian Mountains, Kurbasy traces contemporary connections to an archaic past. Their folk-based multimedia performances vibrate in tight vocal harmonies, resonant lyrics, unique instruments, and phantasmagoric visual imagery. Conceived and directed by the band’s three actress-singers, Kurbasy’s explorations of Ukraine’s rich trove of song cycles, lullabies, and legends conjure images of the natural world, beliefs, and rituals. Kurbasy’s tour is supported by Center Stage, a cultural exchange program initiated by the U.S. Department of State and produced by the New England Foundation for the Arts.



Nov. 15 @The Loft – Weill Hall

A perfect blend of sound, precision, lightness, and wit. These are the hallmarks of Calmus, now one of the most successful vocal groups in Germany. The wide range of sound colors, the joy in performing the musicians convey, and their varied and imaginative programs are praised by the press time and time again. Program to feature folk songs from around the world, including works from Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Iceland, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, and more.


Peter Serkin, piano

Nov. 9 @ Weill Hall

After fires ripped through the North Bay last fall, pianist Peter Serkin was forced to cancel his appearance in Weill Hall. We are pleased to present him this fall, nearly one year after the originally scheduled concert. Recognized as an artist of passion and integrity, Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Bach’s Goldberg Variations have been one of his specialties throughout his career — first recording them in 1965 at the age of 18.


Joan Baez – Fare Thee Well... Tour 2018

Nov. 11 @ Weill Hall

Legendary artist and activist, and 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Joan Baez, has announced an extensive Fare Thee Well tour in 2018 in conjunction with her new album Whistle Down the Wind. A musical force of nature, she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, marched on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King, Jr., and sang on the first Amnesty International tour.


Navidad Mexicana With Mariachi Reyna De Los Angeles

Dec. 8 @Weill Hall

!Que Vivan Las Mujeres! Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles® brings the spirit of the Holidays through the historic art of mariachi to the Green Music Center. In a musical landscape where songs are often written by men, from male perspectives, Reyna has created its own history as America’s first all-female mariachi ensemble, blazing the trail for female mariachi musicians.


American Bach Soloists – Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 15 @ Weill Hall

San Francisco-based American Bach Soloists are leading performers in the field of Baroque music, dedicated to historically informed performances of Bach and his contemporaries. Under the leadership of Music Director Jeffrey Thomas, the ensemble has achieved its vision of assembling the world’s finest vocalists and period instrument performers to bring this brilliant music to life. They return to Weill Hall to perform Handel’s Messiah – a cherished holiday tradition.


Dave Koz & Friends – Christmas Tour 2018

Dec. 20 @ Weill Hall

In a career that spans more than a quarter-century, nine Grammy® nominations, nine No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, numerous world tours, playing for multiple presidents, and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, saxophonist DAVE KOZ has maintained a commitment to celebrating the magic of the holiday season like few other artists of his genre or generation.


Martha Redbone – Bone Hill: The Concert

Jan. 24 @ Weill Hall

A vital voice in American Roots music, Martha Redbone is celebrated for her tasty gumbo of music, reflecting her Appalachian childhood mixed with her teenage years in Brooklyn. Martha brings her gospel-singing father’s voice and the spirit of her Cherokee/Choctaw mother’s culture to BONE HILL – an exciting new work that tells her family’s story through drama and music with styles from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to Bluegrass, Rock & Roll, Rhythm n’ Blues, and more.


Joshua Bell, violin

Feb. 8 @ Weill Hall

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Perhaps the event that helped most to transform Bell’s reputation from “musician’s musician” to “household name” was his incognito performance in a Washington, D.C. subway station in 2007. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader, he maintains a busy schedule of recitals and orchestral performances, and his position as Music Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.


A Far Cry

Feb.16 @ Weill Hall

Grammy®-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry has developed a distinct approach to music-making, with playing and programming that encourage risk-taking and exploration for both player and audience. Known for its high energy, the ensemble “brims with personality or, better, personalities, many and varied” (The New York Times). The self-conducted orchestra is a democracy in which decisions are made collectively which has led to consistently thoughtful, innovative, and unpredictable programming.


Wild Up – We, the People Arts as Activism

Feb. 22 @ Weill Hall

Los Angeles-based chamber orchestra Wild Up is a modern music collective committed to creating visceral, thought-provoking happenings. Empowered by the megaphone of art, We, The People is a concert that celebrates the repertoire created by composers as a reflection of the civic dialogue. The program includes work by John Lennon, Nina Simone, Louis Andriessen, and maybe some future classics created during an accompanying weeklong residency.


The Chieftains

Feb. 23 @ Weill Hall

Since 1962, The Chieftains have been lauded for their contemporary take on traditional Irish music. With six Grammy® Awards, their ability to transcend musical genres has made them one of the most revered Irish bands. Never afraid to shock purists and push boundaries, their music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.


Veronica Swift With The Benny Green Trio

Feb. 24 @ Schroeder Hall

A 2015 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition winner, 23-year old Veronica Swift has been gaining attention throughout the jazz world. She is recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene, with a style that harkens back to Anita O’Day and June Christie. She has recently hit her stride collaborating with pianist Benny Green, who has been hailed as perhaps the most revered hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist.


Banda Magda

Feb. 28 @ The Loft – Weill Hall

Led by Greek-born singer, composer, and accordionist Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, mid-century classics, and world “chansons” sung in 6 languages. Founded in 2010 in New York, this group of close musical friends turns Magda’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot at venues around the world.


We Shall Overcome – A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring Damien Sneed

March 2 @ Weill Hall

Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We Shall Overcome showcases repertoire from across African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. Pianist and Musical Director Damien Sneed ties together a living lineage of music and culture that includes gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway, and spirituals.


Rodger Guenveur Smith – Frederick Douglass Now

March 3 @ Schroeder Hall

Roger Guenveur Smith presents his internationally acclaimed solo performance, Frederick Douglass Now, a work the Los Angeles Times calls “a personal benchmark for this remarkable artist.” Smith delivers a monologue that mixes Douglass' 19th-century editorials, speeches, and letters with his own original writing. Standing in front of an American flag and using poetry, music, and rap, Smith riffs on not only slavery but modern-day racism, blurring the lines between history and right now. Please note: This performance includes mature content.


Jonathan Dimmock, organ

March 24 @ Schroeder Hall

Considered by many to be the best in his field, organist Jonathan Dimmock has distinguished himself through his dazzling and sensitive performances in churches, major concert halls, music festivals, and cathedrals throughout the world. Lauded for his diverse repertoire and his engagement with audiences, his performing is marked by both musical depth and a distinctive intimacy, causing audiences immediately to warm to him. Program to include an arrangement of Copland's Hoe-Down from Rodeo, along with works by Barber, Bach, Mendelssohn, and more.


Monica Bill Barnes & Co. – Happy Hour!

March 28 @ The Loft – Weill Hall

An evening of theater like you’ve never experienced before. A dance show turned into an after-work office party. Come for a drink, stay for the hope of a life-changing experience. “Happy Hour breaks all the rules of theater… it offers not merely terrific entertainment, but more than a measure of poignancy, a sense of loss even amid the funand-games.” – DC Metro


Anne Akiko Meyers, violin & Jason Vieaux, guitar

March 30 @ Weill Hall

Two internationally acclaimed artists join forces. Billboard top selling violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and Grammy® -winning guitarist Jason Vieaux come together for a marvelously adventurous evening of music, featuring works by Paganini, Phillip Glass, and Piazzolla, plus a new work by John Corigliano which has critics raving after the pair’s world premiere performance “completely mesmerized the audience.”


Delphi Trio – Among Friends

March 31@ Schroeder Hall

Praised for “…rich, committed string tone, dazzling pianism, rhythmic flexibility, and risky tempi…” (Sarasota Herald Tribune) the Delphi Trio has become a powerfully eloquent voice in the world of chamber music. Grounded in the immensely rich classical repertoire, the trio believes firmly in the music of our time and contributes to expanding the repertoire through its commissioning projects. With the program Among Friends, the Delphi Trio focuses on the intimacy of conversation. The three works on the program demonstrate the dynamic nature of emotional dialogue and the rich meaning that it brings to music.


Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 60th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Christian Sands, Yasushi Nakamura, and Jamison Ross

April 4 @ Weill Hall

The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 60th Anniversary Celebration features a top roster of diverse and international millennial talent, the leaders of jazz’s future. In addition to having three unique and talented vocalists on the tour, and an equal balance of men and women, the show will feature renditions of classic jazz standards, along with originals penned by the members. Each musician is an outstanding representative of the next generation, with a close relationship with Monterey that represents both its musical excellence and jazz education activities — core components of Monterey Jazz Festival’s mission statement.


Tallis Scholars

April 5 @ Weill Hall

Dubbed “the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music” by The New York Times, the Tallis Scholars are bona fide choral music royalty. Over four decades of performance and a catalog of award-winning recordings, Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music. Featuring works by Palestrina, Morales, Josquin, Allegri, and others.


Taikoproject – Surrounding Suns

April 13 @ Weill Hall

Taikoproject was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles by a group of young, emerging Taiko drummers seeking to create a truly American style of Taiko by blending the traditional forms in which they were raised with an innovative and fresh aesthetic approach to the Japanese drum. Since that time the musicians have garnered critical acclaim from all over the world and amassed an impressive resume.


Villalobos Brothers

April 20 @ Weill Hall

Contemporary high-octane Mexican fiddling! The Villalobos Brothers (Ernesto, Alberto, and Luis) use their violins and voices to redefine contemporary Mexican music. Their original compositions masterfully blend elements of jazz, rock, classical, and Mexican folk to deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood, and social justice. Artistic Director and guitarist Humberto Flores, drummer Rosa Avila, and bassist Leo Sherman complete the line-up.


Gil Shaham, violin & Akira Eguchi, piano

April 26 @ Weill Hall

Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has critics fawning over the “special kind of humanism” with which his performances are imbued. The Internationally celebrated violinist appears in recital with pianist Akira Eguchi in an enchanting program featuring Avner Dorman’s Nigunim, a work commissioned in 2011 by Gil, his sister pianist Orli Shaham, and the 92nd Street Y for their Hebrew Melodies project.


Kronos Quartet with Mahsa Vahdat Music for Change: The Banned Countries

May 9 @ Weill Hall

For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet has embodied a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. As a direct protest to the 2017 Executive Orders limiting travel to the United States, Music for Change highlights the rich diversity of artistic voices from Muslim majority countries. Joined by Persian singer Mahsa Vahdat, the Grammy® Award-winning ensemble performs a new program featuring music from the original seven "banned countries" – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.


About The Green Music Center

The Green Music Center is the performing arts presenter at Sonoma State University. The mission of the Green Music Center to present the most compelling artists of our time, to investigate ideas, and to provide access to diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect, and inspire Sonoma State University and neighboring North Bay communities. Surrounded by the foothills of Sonoma County, the Green Music Center includes the 1,400-seat Weill Hall, with a rear wall that opens to lawn seating for a unique summertime experience, and the intimate 240-seat Schroeder Hall. As a focal point for the arts and education in the region, the Green Music Center presents artists year-round, serving as home to the Santa Rosa Symphony, Sonoma Bach, and the Sonoma State University Department of Music.


About Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University is a public liberal arts college located in California's premier wine country, one hour north of San Francisco. Nestled at the base of the idyllic Sonoma Mountains, the campus is home to more than 9,000 undergraduate students and is among the most popular campuses in the California State University system. Named a "Best Regional University" by U.S. News & World Report, SSU was first in the country to offer an undergraduate degree in Wine Business.

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