Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 2PM
ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE AND DIRECTED BY JUNE PRAGER
Never Forget! Never Again!
In this one-hour poetic drama, a man, an American of German descent, looks back on his ancestral past and tries to make sense of it. He encounters embodiments of the Holocaust: a Nazi soldier, an elderly caretaker, a Jewish survivor, among others. A visitor into the collective unconscious, he takes us to places most of us would like to forget. This play about survival and cruelty is particularly relevant today when quests for power and the ease of prevarication and justification are rampant.
We are experiencing the polarization of America, along with the rise of anti-Semitism across the globe, resulting in an increase of attacks, verbal and physical, against Jews, Muslims, and immigrants. The testimonials for Distant Survivors speak to the power of theatre to deepen our understanding of “the Other” and create a spark towards dialogue and communion.
American Idol Michael Lynche is a new breed of soul singer with completely classic influences. Traces of Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and James Brown all seem to flash in this uniquely talented performer. Undeniable charisma, well crafted song arrangements, and a voice soaked in soul give the big man class all his own. “Big Mike”—as he was known while winning over the hearts of a nation during his stint on American Idol—has talent so versatile, he’s played intimate jazz & blues clubs, 20,000 seat arenas and opera halls with 100 piece orchestras backing him. Through it all “Big Mike” has always had one singular goal to spread a message of love wherever he goes.
A New York City resident for the last 10 years, this Florida native rose from obscurity as a finalist on season 9 of the hit phenomenon American Idol. After wowing millions of fans on American Idol with his comforting and powerful voice and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, Big Mike has released 2 studio albums, toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and Lyfe Jennings and recently took his show overseas for the first time to headline a tour of the Mediterranean.
“Big Mike” comes with an inspirational story and a searing, soulful, one of a kind voice. He leaves you breathless and wanting more when the night is over. This extraordinary vocal talent seamlessly fuses classic R&B, thoroughly modern urban grooves, and swoonworthy vintage soul into a fresh, unique sound. Big, yes—and beautiful, too; Michael Lynche makes music that’s unforgettable.
The Word is in collaboration with The Muse Writers Center, Hampton Roads Writers, and Tidewater Writers.
The Word welcomes diverse voices and fans of poetry, spoken word, and all forms of creative writing. We encourage all ages and backgrounds to come together and share in the mutual adoration of words. The Z provides a platform for writers to share their work while fostering a comfortable, laid-back, and encouraging atmosphere. This is your chance to take the mic! Read your own work or share a favorite.
Admission is a suggested $5 donation.
Those looking to speak/perform may sign up at the door. Limited spots!
The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary.
Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, Rhythm Future Quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.
“[Rhythm Future Quartet] have rocketed the music into the future by incorporating multiple influences…teaming it with their own virtuosity and playing it all with a joyful abandon that is downright infectious” – Huffington Post
One of the most admired, genre-bending artists to breakthrough in the last decade, June’s music blends southern sounds, African rhythms and ambient atmospherics into something altogether futuristic and new. Her 2017 release The Order of Time appeared on numerous ‘best of’ lists and received near universal acclaim from a broad array of international media including: Rolling Stone, New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, Vice Noisey, New Yorker, ELLE, Nylon, Garden & Gun, Okayplayer, MOJO, UNCUT, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Exclaim!, Newsday, Afropunk, CLASH, Glide, Financial Times, American Songwriter, MTV News and many more.
June’s rapturous, one-of-a-kind live shows have also helped her achieve a loyal, world-wide audience and are not to be missed. The solo tour will feature both brand-new songs and fan favorites. She is currently working on her highly anticipated new album.
Opening this evenings concert is American singer-songwriter Thad Cockrell. Cockrell, lead singer of LEAGUES, inspires his audience to dream outside their means through thoughtful interpretation of relatable circumstance. Cockrell NATURALLY displays himself within each of his musical masterpieces, connecting listeners and providing an outlet for self-understanding.
“Lesson Plans to Late Night” is a one-man comedy show about Lucas’ transition from elementary school teacher to national touring comedian. “Lesson Plans to Late Night” is truly a one of a kind comedy experience combining live stand up comedy and visual images. This show has been compared to “Defending the Caveman” and was called “A Comedic Multimedia Masterpiece” and “Hysterical” by Parade Magazine. “Lesson Plans to Late Night” is one of the highest rated main stage shows on Norwegian Cruise Lines and was called “Truly Innovative” and “A total crowd pleaser” by cruise directors and entertainment coordinators. If you’ve ever worked with children or have kids or grandkids, you don’t want to miss this hilarious show.
One reviewer recently wrote – ‘Daniel Champagne exudes a natural ease on stage, as he sings poignant lyrics and beautifully crafted melodies that invariably whisk the heart up with grand romanticism. Coupled with an exhilarating guitar talent that transcends mere acoustic playing to replicate a whole band, Champagne is just magical’ (themusic.com.au)
The story goes that the young Australian singer, songwriter and one-of-a-kind guitar virtuoso first picked up his instrument of choice as a five-year-old following in the footsteps of a musical father. He began writing songs at 12, training classically throughout his teens and performing solo wherever he could, honing his craft and developing what would become the dynamite live show that he is renowned for today. At 18 he left school, turned professional and hit the road.
The next several years saw him traversing North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and of course, his homeland Australia playing such festivals as California WorldFest, Winnipeg Folk Fest, Vancouver and Mariposa Folk (Canada), Belgium’s Labadoux Festival and Australia’s Woodford, Falls Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and the legendary Byron Bay Bluesfest. He has toured and shared stages with Jake Shimabukuro, Jesse Cook, Roderigo Y Gabriela, Richard Shindell, The Ragbirds, The Waifs, Lucinda Williams, Judy Collins, INXS, John Butler, KT Tunstall and Ani DiFranco.
Come enjoy an evening of musical artistry by Norfolk native, Christopher Kypros, as he performs music across the spectrum, from the serene and sublime, to the sparkling and passionate.His program of solo piano works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Ginastera will bring you solace as well as fire up your senses.
Kypros completed undergraduate studies in piano performance at ODU and graduate studies at The Juilliard School.He’s created a name for himself as a very successful music teacher from the elementary level to the college level, is an award-winning composer, choral conductor, and musical director, is celebrated for his many years of providing original piano accompaniments to silent films at Norfolk’s Naro Cinema, and rounds it all out as a stage and TV actor in Hampton Roads.
Some notable appearances or accomplishments include a concert at the National Gallery of Art, soloist with the Virginia and Jacksonville Symphonies, and composer of Liturgy of Peace, Liturgy of Hope, and Liturgy of Light for the Greek Orthodox Church. He also has a children’s book coming out, Lullaby for Alana, that includes original music of the same name.
Puppets! Adventure! The wildest tales of derring-do ever told in just one hour! Only the boldest puppet adventurers get to become members of the Puppet Adventure Club, and they are here to share their stories with you! Forgotten lands! Lost treasures! Evil villains that must be stopped! And a chance for you – the world’s most adventurous audience – to become members of the Puppet Adventurers Club! Are you brave enough? Are you daring enough? Then come and be part of the stories of the Puppet Adventure Hour!
Occidental Gypsy plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music that enraptures the listener with a complex acoustic sound, burnished by smooth vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing. Their second CD, 44070, presents compositions inspired by social justice, and lyrical songs both catchy and radio-ready. Can a band play timeless music that speaks to your soul and makes you tap your feet? The answer is “yes” and it is Occidental Gypsy’s latest CD, 44070.
Hailing from New England, Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces. They are a nationally touring acoustic act championed by critics and fans. “OG” has played to packed houses at the legendary Nighttown in Cleveland, Green Mill in Chicago, Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis, World Cafe Live, Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Ark in Ann Arbor, the Blue Wisp in Cincinnati and many others.
As a Montreal born Grenadian-Canadian, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to folk music; the other the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in the USA. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression.
“…plaintive, mesmerizing…writes and performs with the skill of a folk-circuit veteran…” – Rolling Stone
This engagement of Kaia Kater is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Valerie David, Writer/Performer of The Pink Hulk: One Woman’s Journey to Find The Superhero Within, Directed by Padraic Lillis
A 1986 First Colonial graduate, Ms. David details her battle with cancer in The Pink Hulk and how she beat the odds by finding her inner super powers.
Award-winning actor, playwright and two-time cancer survivor Valerie David is thrilled to be coming home to Virginia Beach to perform her critically acclaimed, comical one-woman show The Pink Hulk: One Woman’s Journey to Find the Superhero Within at The Z. A 1986 First Colonial graduate Ms. David’s details her battle with cancer in The Pink Hulk and how she beat the odds by finding her inner super powers. Ms. David has been touring the U.S. and Europe with The Pink Hulk for the past two years, garnering many awards and rave reviews along the way, and has been accepted into 25 play festivals in 2 years’ time.
Ms. David, who was First Colonial senior class president and voted Most School Spirited, wrote The Pink Hulk after being diagnosed with cancer not once, but twice! “My show is not just about fighting cancer; it has a universal message of hope and empowerment,” Ms. David said.
Synopsis: Now battling breast cancer after fighting off lymphoma, Valerie does something most people facing cancer for the second time in their life probably wouldn’t think of doing. With a fear that she might lose “the girls”, she takes them out for one last hurrah. And does Valerie succeed? Is there a “happy ending”? Come see the show to find out! This sexy, adventurous solo show follows Valerie’s journey to seek her own “hulk-like” strength to find her superhero within. An empowering and true story of inspiration! With plenty of humor—guaranteed!
This is a 60-minute show with mature content and a talkback to follow each performance.
“Valerie David, who has the talent of a Broadway star, decided to write this show to share her experiences and empower those facing adversity in life. The Pink Hulk began touring the country in 2016 and Valerie David began accumulating awards for this extraordinarily moving, candid, and insightful show. The Pink Hulk is a 60-minute experience you will not soon forget.” – Applause! Applause! New York City
“The joy of this performance is in the honesty and the openness and the wonderfully warm and inclusive woman that is Valerie David…Ms. David has the kind of infectious spirit and deeply inspiring story that needs more than a one- woman show…how about a series?” – Los Angeles Review, Noho Arts District
“[Valerie] David’s story, by turns comical and heartbreaking, demonstrates that obstacles can be overcome and that we each have a superhero inside us. I recommend this show to anyone who enjoys authentic, well-performed theater and to anyone needing a reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.” – DC Metro Theater Arts 2016
A four-decade veteran of the Irish/Celtic festival circuit, Seamus Kennedy was first influenced by the legendary Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. From them he learned the importance of not only being a solid musician, but also of being an all-round entertainer.
With a thorough knowledge of the traditional and contemporary songs of Ireland and Scotland, he is equally proficient with American music, be it folk, country, bluegrass or a little Western Swing.
Originally from Belfast, but now based in Annapolis, MD, he has been entertaining audiences all over the United States from Alaska to Florida, from Maryland to California for more than four decades. At home in venues ranging from intimate house-concerts and folk-clubs to large concert halls and festivals, Seamus has been bringing tour groups to Ireland for 30 years to experience the music and culture of his homeland “up close and personal”.
Princess Nelldora doesn’t want to be a princess- at least, not the kind that you’re thinking of.Some day she wants to be an Evil Queen, just like her mom.Surely enrolling in Antagonist Academy will show her what it takes.The school has all types:witches, mad scientists, misunderstood creatures.You would think that Nelldora would feel right at home; except her classmates keep calling her ‘Nell’, and, even worse, ‘Princess’.No matter!Nelldora knows that she has what it takes to become an Evil Queen…or does she?Students from rival school Protagonist Prep are coming to visit to take part in the final exam: The Princess Pitfalls!She will have to study with Princess Aetheria (the kind that you are thinking of) to pass the test.
Can Aetheria and Nell work together?Will Nell pass?Open your textbooks (‘How To Be A Proper Villain’- page one) to find out.
This play is appropriate for audiences of all ages, best enjoyed by those four years and up
Dust off your sheet music, warm up those vocal chords, and step into the spotlight! Join your fellow musical theater enthusiasts for a night of songs from The Great White Way. Come and see the finest of Hampton Roads’ Broadway-worthy talent. Those looking to sing may sign up at the door. Limited spots!
Monologuist and humorist James Judd, headliner of NPR‘s Snap Judgment, has often been compared to David Sedaris and Oscar Wilde. Judd connects with audiences as he shares stories classified as “spectacular public embarrassments and utter failures.” However humiliating, they affirm that part of being human is telling the stories that have happened to us, emphasizing that even in the face of failure, it’s getting up and moving forward that matters.
The Washington Post says, “Judd’s conversation style is loud, lightning fast and nonstop — he doesn’t seem to need to breathe as much as a typical human — and the result is a constantly engaging pileup of quips. It can take a few moments for a joke to register, but by then Judd has unfurled a few more laugh-worthy lines. One of Judd’s biggest assets is his delivery, which rarely feels rehearsed, as if he’s simply recounting these absorbing personal anecdotes over dinner. And his talents extend to physical humor, whether he’s imitating a shark or mimicking an oafish boat captain.”
Tret Fure began her career at the age of 16, singing in coffeehouses and campuses in the Midwest. At 19, she moved to LA in hopes of obtaining a record deal. Within a year she was performing as guitarist and vocalist for Spencer Davis, touring with him and penning the single for his album “Mousetrap”. She went on to record her own album in 1973 on MCA/UNI Records, with the late Lowell George of Little Feat as her producer. With the success of that release, she opened for such bands as Yes, Poco, and the J Geils Band.
A prolific artists in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Tret Fure has released 16 albums and CDs over the course of her 48 year career. In addition to being a gifted songwriter, Fure has engineered and produced countless recordings by a variety of artists, including her own work.
The Queen’s Cartoonists are a group of musicians from New York City that play music from cartoons. Their concerts include virtuosic performances, projections of cartoons with note-for-note live score recreation, multi-instrumental mayhem, and comedy.
TQC’s concert repertoire features music from the Golden Age of animation, cult cartoon classics, modern animation, and other unusual sources that will leave audiences surprised! Featured composers include Raymond Scott, Carl Stalling, John Kirby, Danny Elfman, Alf Clausen, John Williams, and adaptations from the classical repertoire.
Tying this diverse and challenging concert together are stories and anecdotes involving the cartoons and their composers. The band is on a musical mission of equal parts education, preservation, and performance.
Since their inception in 2015, The Queen’s Cartoonists have brought their unique sound to performing arts centers in over 20 states, and have even opened for the New York Philharmonic. The 6 members, all currently living in Queens, New York, are world-class professional musicians. The band has been featured in over 20 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and on NPR.
The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame will officially welcome the Class of 2019, as 8 new members will be inducted, Saturday April 6 at 7 p.m. at Zeiders American Dream Theater. Join the Hall of Fame and past inductees as we celebrate these deserving honorees;
Ruben Brown, 3-time All-American, and 9-time NFL Pro Bowler
Jeff Burton, 22-time winner in NASCAR
Wendy Larry, Old Dominion University Women’s Basketball record setting head coach
Mark Lenzi, Olympic diving gold-medalist
Heath Miller, All-American at UVA, and 2-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers
William “Buster” O’Brien, University of Richmond record setting quarterback
Debbie White, first female sportswriter in Virginia, ODU Athletics Administrator
Tom Yeager, served 31 years as the Commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Conference
Tickets are $50.00 each for this celebratory event.More information regarding Induction weekend festivities, VIP ticket packages, and sponsorship/advertising opportunities can be found at the Hall of Fame’s website, www. VaSportsHOF.com
Please join us as we celebrate athletic excellence in the Commonwealth! (doors opne at 6 p.m.)
Ted Yoder’s hammered dulcimer cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” became one of the most-watched Facebook Live posts in 2016 when the song received more than 101 million views from music fans around the world. It’s no wonder the video went viral; when a barefooted Yoder performed the hit on his hammered dulcimer in his Indiana family’s backyard with his wife, kids, and a pet raccoon named Gidget in the audience, he immediately became an internet sensation known as the lovable “Dulcimer Dad.”
What’s most remarkable about Yoder (besides the magic he brings to the mallets) is how his career has flourished at a time when the traditional corporate music industry is in decline. With his wife Donna, Yoder has created a family culture of creativity and teamwork that puts his music making at the center of its activities. From website and social media to music distribution and touring, Yoder’s family has helped him build an authentic life as a working musician and a blueprint for the lives of young musicians who want to learn what it means to play an instrument for a living in the second millennium.
Co-conceived by Bart Kuebler (Musical Director) and Lindsay Eure (Director)
Performances are April 12 -13 & April 18-19 at 7:30pm
This deliciously dark production is back for a second incarnation at The Z. Set in a 19th century lunatic asylum, a cast of “mentally deranged” characters lend new interpretation to the music and lyrics of Sting as depicted through the foggy lens of psychotropic drugs, “therapies” and imprisonment.
Soul Street concerts consist of high-energy movement that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The music is an eclectic mix ranging from hip-hop to classical. It’s a show that will make you laugh and keep audiences of all ages entertained.
Houston based Soul Street Dance is one of the most dynamic premier dance companies in existence. Their technical and artistic skills, stage presence and wit allow them to push the performance envelope to an amazing standard of excellence.
You could be forgiven for asking yourself: “Now where have I seen that face before?” Truth is, if you have been floating around Europe for the past 15 years or so, you might well have seen Maurice Dickson, if it was Monday, it must have been Germany …or was it Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, France, North Africa …or the Canary Islands. As they say in Scotland, a stone’s throw from Maurice’s native Northern Ireland, he has “earned his spurs.” The long journey began in 1975 when he started playing, singing and writing. A year later, aged 16 he put together his first band, which belted out his own material and cover versions of the day until 1979 when he traded his engineer’s overalls for the insecurity of a life on the road. Setting off with a guitar, a sleeping bag and £75, he spent four-and-a-half years slogging it round Europe and North Africa, learning the tricks that only that kind of experience can give an artist – how to judge an audience, how to hook it, how to play it, how to reel it in and put it in the bag.
The exceptional talents of critically-acclaimed teen music prodigy, EMISUNSHINE have captured the nation’s attention. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has been hailed by outlets such as No Depression,Billboardand Rolling Stone:“Sounds like the spunky, intense little sister to artistsIris DeMent, Natalie Maines, NanciGriffith and Janis Joplin.”
EmiSunshine has already graced some of the most-prestigious stages–from the “Today Show,” to the Grand Ole Opry (over a dozen times) and most recently, “Little Big Shots starring Steve Harvey” last April. Additionally, EmiSunshine stars in and performs three songs in her latest film appearance on “The King,” alongside such celebrities as Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Alec Baldwin and more. The film featured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and premiered at Cannes Film Festival, where Emi performed.
A well-crafted storyteller, Emi’s music has been described as an “old-timey,” unique blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country, with a sprinkle of Blues.
“A very talented young lady, …EmiSunshine is taking the nation by storm, and if you ever get the chance to see them, by all means…you must.”—No Depression
VIP Premium Seating- $75 includes show ticket, CD, autographed laminate and photo with EmiSunshine!
Many years ago, in the not-too-distant past, in a world almost exactly like our own, something else roams the land. Something rough. Something tough. Something rootin’ tootin’, cattle drivin’, yee-hawin’, and ready to bust some bucking broncos. Something… kind of smelly.
Greetings, fellow science fanatics! Welcome to SciTech Industries. Step into our lab and join us for an experiment or two! Worried about explosions? Don’t be! We’ve taken every precaution to ensure our students have a safe and educational experience. In case of emergencies that say, teleport one of us back to the Old West, we’ll just rebuild our time machine and get them back to the present lickety-split! A little bit of frontier frolicking never hurt a fly… we think! Of course, the last time our scientists traveled through time there were a few- minor- glitches… but, nothing to worry about! After all, surely they’ve worked out all the kinks by now. How many times can time travel go wrong?
Come along, little doggies, and join your favorite scientists for another unforgettable adventure through time and space: “Wild West!”, the final installment in CTHR’s Trilogy!series. For buckaroos of all ages (best enjoyed by cowpokes 4 and up).
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]
May 07, 2019 to May 12, 2019
Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday at 3pm
The “bad boys of abridgement” return! Longtime Festival favorites, Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that takes long, serious subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies. In this 2019 engagement, these madmen in tights bring back their original hit, an irreverent, fast-paced romp through all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 maniacal minutes. “A madcap condensation that features non-stop laughs. Done at a whirlwind pace and with great delight, they are sure to win over even the most skeptical. And there is no doubt that William Shakespeare himself…would approve” (Variety).
“Rollicking, fast-moving and hilarious!” -The Guardian, London
“If you like Shakespeare, you’ll like this show. If you hate Shakespeare, you’ll love this show!” -The Today Show
Written by Jessica Brooke Pinsky, Directed by Scott Quirk
The venerable poet Mother Goose currently presides over a library that houses every piece of literature in existence. Day and night she does her best to keep order and ensure peace among the shelves. But even under her no-nonsense watch, the books have a tendency to get out of hand. On a seemingly quiet night, the mad Hatter from Wonderland shows up, and when a copy of Moby Dick is returned with pages missing, Captain Ahab also arrives – to wreak vengeance on the creature that took his leg!
Mother Goose and the Hatter have no choice but to comb the other books for Ahab’s missing pages and put him back together before the library opens in the morning, all the while fleeing the amnesic Ahab on his misguided mission! This hilariously creative play, rich with audience interaction, literary celebrities, and touching moments, will delight audiences of all ages.
This play is appropriate for audiences of all ages, best enjoyed by those four years and up
See the Mai Tai, Martini, Manhattan and more spring off the menu and onto the stage in this electrifying production from New York City. Cocktail Hour: The Show reinvents the glamour and excitement of classic entertainment with a 21st-century flair, capturing the timeless American spirit in a series of dazzling vignettes. This sparkling mix of original choreography, music and design is high-style fun for all ages to enjoy.
“Blasting the boundaries between high art and entertainment.” — The Huffington Post
Creole Stomp has captured the ears and the feet of Louisiana music fans across North America. Led by French-speaking Creole fiddler and accordionist Dennis Stroughmatt, Creole Stomp keeps listeners enthralled and dancers moving on the floor with a rollicking mix of contemporary blues, swamp pop, and traditional Cajun and zydeco dance tunes.
Creole Stomp shows have become legendary for the heart and passion conveyed from the stage—music with emotion and energy that literally jumps from the band. In fact, over the years the band has become informally known as “The Grateful Dead of Creole Music,” for their well-oiled, dancer-driven, crowd-pleasing marathon jams and improvisation. Traditional Louisiana Cajun two-steps, reels, and waltzes sizzle in the stew along with Creole blues and mazurkas.
A favorite on the Cajun-zydeco dance circuit, the band has also become a celebrated fixture at venues around the United States, ranging from park concerts and theaters to folk and blues festivals. No matter the venue, wherever they come from, and wherever they go, Creole Stomp is a band that knows how to throw a Louisiana party!
Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20th, 2017. By December of that year, the group had been been profiled on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and their album soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, I-Tunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts.
“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit this Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.
South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the low-country’s most celebrated vocalists Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.
Zoe Speaks is a trio from the mountains of Kentucky with something to say, and a unique way of saying it. Mitch Barrett, Owen Reynolds, and Carla Gover are all respected musicians in their own rights on the Kentucky music scene, but their musical synergy when they play together prompts fans to use words like “magical” and “mighty”! Their music is rooted in the Appalachian sounds they grew up playing, but freely draws on a variety of rhythms and styles from smooth folk-pop to blues and calypso. (Think The Duhks or Tim O’Brien). In fact, they have more than an eclectic style in common with Tim O’Brien: collaboration with musician/producer Dirk Powell, with whom they recorded their most recent album Drop In The Bucket.
Known for both their originals and their unique spins on the mountain tunes that they cut their musical teeth on, their songs are socially conscious and spiritual, with themes ranging from the environment to family to addiction to interracial relationships, and populated by tricksters, angels, addicts, truck-stop waitresses, fools, mules, heroes, and werewolves. The band toured for a decade and appeared all over the United States before taking a hiatus to work on solo careers. Their fans were overjoyed to hear last year that they’d be reuniting, and their voices and songwriting chops are stronger than ever.
The Bagels & Fraylox Klezmer Band is a favorite of klezmer fans throughout southeastern Virginia and of countless music lovers who never heard (or heard of) klezmer before encountering this “band with the strange name.” Two simple ingredients make Bagels & Fraylox irresistible: A repertoire of exciting party music from a Jewish tradition that has wide influences and universal appeal, and an infectious performance style full of energy and zest.
Klezmer is a lively mixture of wedding and party music of 19th century Eastern Europe with strains of Yiddish theater and American dance band music of the early 1900s. But it borrows freely from gypsy tunes, Middle Eastern music and other sources as diverse as American folk music and rock ‘n roll. All of those influences come out in Bagels & Fraylox concerts. A traditional wedding march from one hundred years ago in Russia or a schmaltzy tune from Yiddish theater – even Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” – may lead into a rock-flavored Middle Eastern rave-up that has audience members dancing in the aisles.
The Williamsburg-based band performs often at community cultural events and coffeehouses as well as weddings, bar mitzvahs and other parties. The ensemble features two clarinets, tenor saxophone, accordion, bass, drums and other percussion.
The name “Bagels & Fraylox” is a play on bagels and lox, the bread-and-smoked-salmon delicacy that has a place of honor in Jewish cuisine. The name also plays with the Yiddish word “frailach,” which is a merry tune for a happy time, or the happy time itself.