Saturday, September 10, 2016, 7 p.m.
“Don’t expect dancing animals at Phare, where theater, dance, music, storytelling and circus arts come together in a sophisticated show.” New York Times
Uniquely Cambodian, daringly modern and more than just a circus, Phare uses theater, music, dance and fresh acrobatics to interpret Cambodian history and folk tales. The company evolved from a school founded in 1994 by nine young men returning from a refugee camp, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Harnessing the healing power of arts, Phare beckoned to the poor, displaced and troubled youth in Battambang. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the school free of charge, of which 500 train in the circus arts. The edgy performers astonish audiences with their energy, raw emotion, enthusiasm and talent.
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 8 p.m.
“Mr. Escovedo is a storytelling songwriter upholding the verities of roots-rock: staunch guitar lines, terse lyrics and a sense of muscular sincerity.” New York Times
The legendary Alejandro Escovedo hails from a fiercely talented Mexican-American family that includes staples in Santana and the famed Sheila E. For himself, the Austin, Texas icon has vacillated from punk to rock/alternative to the rugged and yearning singer-songwriter that he is today. Escovedo brings his remarkable stories of life’s struggles, despairs and celebrations with deeply emotional and evocative music. With 14 albums and countless Billboard awards under his belt, Escovedo will take audiences on an intimate and mesmerizing musical journey.
Sunday, October 2, 2016, 7 p.m.
“The dancers neither condescend to the old works by Limón, nor present them as if they were the Holy Grail. They perform with a mixture of honest-to-goodness objectivity and what seems like a certain private pleasure.” New York Times
Revered throughout the world for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive yet nuanced movement, the José Limón Dance Company is the progeny of the Father of Modern Dance. The Limón Company has received a number of Capezio, Bessie and Dance Magazine awards, was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President George Bush and was named one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. The ensemble is an esteemed member of the National Dance Museum’s Hall of Fame, stands as a staple in the Joyce Theater season and has entertained twice at the White House.
Sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 16, 2016, 7 p.m.
“…One of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade.” Time Magazine
Grammy Award-winning, American folk/rock, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn makes a trip to the Mid-South to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his legendary, signature song "Walking in Memphis." He’s a natural storyteller and compelling tunesmith, balancing the exuberant with the poignant, and able to distill universal truth out of his often romantic, drawn-from-life tales. Cohn has the passion of a great soul man and has shared his discography and stage with such esteemed colleagues as Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin.
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 7 p.m.
“Cirque du Soleil meets Giant bubbles.” Latvian Press
From Italy by way of Latvia, the Underwater Bubble Show takes audiences below the surface into a majestic world, where fantasy becomes reality. UBS incorporates drama, pantomime, dance, puppetry, juggling, aerial arts, acrobatics, contortion, sand art and imagery, with the amazing beauty of soap bubbles for a unique audience experience. Participants of all ages will delight in this colorful, magical utopia that merges science, light and imagination, as it makes is maiden American tour.
Sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts and ArtsMemphis.
Friday, February 03, 2017, 7 p.m.
“Mr. Nizer delivers no ordinary tossing and catching of objects, but ‘extreme 3-D juggling’ mixed with lasers, robots and comedy.” New York Times
Mark Nizer is one of the greatest entertainment comedians and jugglers performing today. His wild exploits have landed him on MTV, HBO and Arsenio Hall. He has opened for Jerry Seinfield, Bob Hope, George Burns, Glady Knight, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis and more. Whether throwing laser beams at 1000 rpms, tossing ping pong balls 20 feet in the air using only his mouth or cavalierly juggling a burning propane tank, a running electric carving knife and a 16-pound bowling ball, audiences quickly discover why Mark Nizer is truly "the juggler your mother warned you about."
Sunday, February 12, 2017, 7 p.m.
“Mr. Doucet and BeauSoleil have such a clear identity by now that the material bends toward them rather than the other way around.” New York Times
Since forming in 1975, Grammy winners BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet have claimed their undisputed role as the most esteemed Cajun group in music. The band takes the rich traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical gumbo. From The Grand Ole Opry to Newport Folk Festival, from concert hall to dance floor, the music of BeauSoleil continues to captivate audiences the world over.
Friday, April 07, 2017, 8 p.m.
“… Their vocals seamlessly flowing with the Jazz/Blues reverberations from the drums, guitars and sitar proved particularly transcendental with its captivating riffs and emotion-filled lyrics.” Youlin Magazine
The Pakistani 10-piece super group Sounds of Kolachi (SOK) from Karachi blurs raga and Western harmony, counterpoint and South Asian melodic lines, all without losing the groove. In this instantly listenable ensemble, South Asian classical instruments like the sitar and bowed sarangi are on equal footing with electric guitar and rock rhythm section. Guiding the journey, composer, theorist and singer Ahsan Bari spins outrageous, bluesy, modal riffs, boosted by a quartet of male and female voices.
The presentation of Sounds of Kolachi is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Center Stage Pakistan is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8 p.m.
“The quintessential Wainwright performance is an emotional tour de force of writing, singing, acoustic guitar, acting and mugging in which the singer, alternately mischievous and shamefaced, ruthlessly cracks his own preppy exterior.” New York Times
Buckman is thrilled to bring father/daughter, singer/songwriter legends Loudon Wainwright, III and Lucy Wainwright Roche together. The Grammy award winning and billboard chart-topping Loudon boasts a career that spans 26 albums and countless movie and television roles. The singer, guitarist and banjo player was awarded “Album of the Year” by Entertainment Weekly, scored the music for Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up and composed songs for NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and ABC’s Nightline. Lucy Wainwright Roche is the third of Loudon’s musical progeny. She left teaching in New York City in 2007 to perform full time. She has three albums and in 2009 won the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter. She’s toured with Darr Williams, the Indigo Girls and big brother Rufus. The two together will make for an evening of not-to-be-missed music.
Friday, May 12, 2017, 8 p.m.
“The HillBenders faithfully replicated the songs, but embellished them with banjo, mandolin and dobro to give the music an extra moonshine kick.” Rolling Stone
Forty-five years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full-length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder Louis Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy, while paying total respect to its creators. With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way. Mixed with the band’s fan favorites, some narrative and the toe-tapping, infectious rhythms of the beloved classic, this “Whograss” will leave fans standing in their seats, singing along and screaming for more.