Latin Jazz, Gershwin's world, dance for kids and more
Welcome back to Interlude, your weekly sampler platter of tasty arts and cultural opportunities served up by the Center and its friends.
The rise of a great American composer
The United States emerged from World War I not only as a political-military-economic power, but also as a unique cultural wellspring. One figure to arise from the era was composer George Gershwin, a guy who made his own rules, blending jazz, classical and other elements to create music that was thoroughly American.
On Tuesday, the Center’s next Performing Arts Connect presentation will explore such landmark Gershwin works as Porgy and Bess and Rhapsody in Blue in their historical and social context. Buy a ticket for your household and prepare to be edutained, live via Zoom from the Manhattan School of Music.
Kids can still visit Imagination Station
The Center’s monthly Faegre Drinker Peanut Butter & Jam performances offer fun and enriching weekend outings for young ones and their favorite grownups. But what happens when tightening public health orders make it impossible to gather on-site?
The rhythms of Latin America have been spicing up North American music for decades. Dominican-born, Indianapolis-based jazz pianist Pavel Polanco-Safadit and his band Direct Contact promise a savory buffet of Latin jazz, salsa, merengue, bachata and Latin-infused pop when they appear Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Live at the Center webcast concert series sponsored by Allied Solutions.
Let's go back in time and take a walk down Broadway in the 1960s, when theaters were open and shows were reflecting the times. Titles on marquees read The Fantasticks, Cabaret, Hello, Dolly! and Hair! The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Rising talents like Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim, Gower Champion and Bob Fosse created provocative shows with flawed characters facing human challenges. They and others pushed the American musical in new directions that appealed to audiences living through a turbulent decade.
The Great American Songbook Foundation’s newest online exhibit, A Change Is Gonna Come, introduces you to the Broadway shows of the 1960s that changed musical theatre forever.
This week in performing arts history
January 24: On this date in 1941, singer and musician Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers was born in New Orleans. His solo hits have included “Tell It Like It Is,” “Don't Know Much” and “Yellow Moon.” Neville played the Palladium in October 2013 with Dianne Reeves.
January 27: On this date in 1982, the first musical penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, opened on Broadway. Their other collaborations have included Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar. The Center’s resident Civic Theatre has staged productions of Joseph in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
January 27: On this date in 1756, composer and musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart’s works have been performed at the Center numerous times by ensembles including the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Indiana Wind Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.