On Friday, November 4 at 8 pm, jazz saxophonist Grace Kelly returns to the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Grace Kelly has been wowing audiences since a pre-teen, and this year, she has been named Downbeat Critics Poll for Rising Star Alto Saxophone and NYC Jazz Fans Alto Saxophone of the Year. She also recently finished a five-month stint on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She has now released ten records since her debut in 2005, all critically-acclaimed efforts that have explored different facets of her expanding artistry. In more recent years, Kelly has begun singing more in performances and on her records, adding another layer to her already beguiling mix of jazz and pop. Earlier this year, she released her record Trying to Figure It Out, which Downbeat magazine proclaimed “charismatic and immensely talented…all the chops in the world.” Tickets: $35-$49
On Saturday, November 5 at 8 pm, folk singer and storyteller Cheryl Wheeler returns to the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Known as much for her comic sensibility and storytelling as her potent, emotional songs and rich voice, Cheryl Wheeler has created a stridently devoted fanbase over a lengthy, highly successful folk career. Her self-titled folk-rock debut in 1986 made some waves and included “Addicted,” which went on to become a #1 country hit for Dan Seals. The more country-inflected follow-up, Bows and Arrows, raised her profile considerably, especially in Nashville, as country singers like Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea and Garth Brooks mined Wheeler’s songs for hits. Her latest album, 2012’s Greetings From, perfectly captures a typical Cheryl Wheeler live performance; powerful character portrait songs, warm, easy melodies, and of course, hilarious between-song banter. Tickets: $19-$36
On Friday, November 11 at 8 pm, the Takács Quartet performs an all-Beethoven program at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet—Edward Dusinberre, violin, Károly Schranz, violin, Geraldine Walther, viola, and András Fejér, cello—plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. The Takács Quartet received international attention when they won First Prize and Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition, which they followed with winning the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeau Competitions among many others. The Takács have traveled to esteemed halls throughout North and South America and across Europe. The Quartet’s award-winning recordings include 16 on the Decca label, one of the most critically acclaimed being the complete Beethoven Cycle. In 2005 the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award, Album of the Year at the Brit Awards and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy. The ensemble’s recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and, in 1999, was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to being in residence at the University of Colorado for thirty-two years, the Quartet holds an annual Wigmore Hall series in London, where they are Associate Artists.
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 “Serioso”
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
A Pre-Concert talk with Dr. Andrew Shryock will be held at 7 pm for all ticketholders. Tickets: $42-$59
On Sunday, November 13 at 5 pm, Capitol Steps returns to the Shalin Liu Performance Center for a timely performance. As the granddaddy of political satire, The Capitol Steps have been poking fun at the D.C. establishment for over 35 years. The veteran troupe have become masters at skewering both sides of the aisle, their repurposed covers of pop songs loaded with puns and outrageous one-liners. No one is safe! The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. Born in 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. They dug into the headlines of the day and created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor. Not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, however, as a whole, the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 30 albums, including their latest, What to Expect When You’re Electing. They’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials.
On Friday, November 18 at 8 pm, the gifted young mandolin player Sierra Hull performs for the first time at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Hull is already considered one of the leading lights of roots music, and her recently released Weighted Mind only confirms her tremendous talent and appeal. Hull took to the mandolin quickly as a child growing up in Tennessee, the preternaturally skilled youngster entering high profile bluegrass competitions and releasing her debut record at age ten. At 11, she had come to the attention of Alison Krauss, who brought her onto the Grand Ole Opry stage to perform. Record labels took notice and after some time spent developing her gifts, both as an instrumentalist and a singer, she signed with roots music warhorse Rounder Records. In 2008 she released her Rounder debut, Secrets and it shot to #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts. Hull penned more than half of the songs on her follow up record, Daybreak, which was produced by Krauss, moved freely between traditional bluegrass, progressive newgrass, Western Swing and pop. Bela Fleck produced Hull’s most recent release came out this year—Weighted Mind—with guests like Rhiannon Giddens, Abigail Washburn and Allison Krauss singing harmony and prominently featuring Hull’s crystal clear vocals. Tickets: $29-$39
On Saturday, November 19 at 8 pm, violist Roberto Díaz and pianist Kwan Yi perform a program of Brahms, Hindemith and Bloch at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator.
As a soloist, Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki and Edison Denisov. He has toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas as a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. The Díaz Trio has recorded for the Artek and Dorian labels and Roberto Díaz has released multiple recordings on the Naxos label with pianist Robert Koenig. In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Díaz was principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. Mr. Díaz plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.
BRAHMS: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 120, No. 2
HINDEMITH: Sonata for Solo Viola, Op. 25, No. 1
BLOCH: Suite for Viola and Piano (1919)
A Pre-Concert talk with Dr. Jeremy Gill will be held for ticketholders at 7 pm. Tickets: $19-$34
On Sunday, November 20 at 5 pm, the Squirrel Nut Zippers will bring swing to Rockport Music. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their platinum-selling classic Hot, the Squirrel Nut Zippers originally released Hot in the summer of 2006 which was the follow up to the band’s critically acclaimed debut The Inevitable. Hot wound up selling over 1.3 million copies, its single “Hell” being played on radio stations across the country and on heavy rotation on MTV. With founder James “Jimbo” Mathus leading the charge, the revamped lineup still bring that same infectious hybrid of supercharged gypsy swing and New Orleans jazz to all their highly anticipated, energetic performances. In honor of the 20th Anniversary, the band’s visionary creator Jimbo Mathus, along with founding member and partner Chris Phillips (drums), have crafted a brand new stage show including singer Ingrid Lucia (of Flying Neutrino’s fame). Several leading musicians from New Orleans have also been enlisted to serve up the band’s unique musical ?flavor which owes its roots to that city. Tickets: $45-$59
On Saturday, November 26 at 8 pm, The Alternate Routes performs at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. The Alternate Routes came to international success with the massive success of their single “Nothing More.” Warren and Donnelly began playing together at Fairfield University, and in 2002 officially formed The Alternate Routes. They released their debut record a few years later, a self-released CD entitled Good and Reckless and True and the song “Ordinary” was awarded Independent Song of the Year. After this debut, Vanguard Records signed them and released their follow-up in 2008, Sucker’s Dream, which included a guest vocal by the great Patty Griffin. The band’s release of Nothing More took them to new heights. The album’s single “Nothing More” began gaining traction on AAA radio and was placed prominently in the television hit NCIS. Then, in 2014 the song was featured at the end of the Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. It became the 5th most popular song on Sirius’ The Pulse. They released the single “Somewhere in America” this past June as a response to all the gun violence the country has been facing. The Opening Act is Brian Dunne. Tickets: $15-$20
On Tuesday, November 1 at 7 pm, National Theatre of London presents an encore broadcast presentation of Frankenstein. Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), this thrilling production features Jonny Lee Miller (CBS’s Elementary, Trainspotting) and Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game) as Victor Frankenstein and his creation, respectively. The production was a sell-out hit at the National Theatre in 2011, and the broadcast has since become an international sensation, experienced by over half a million people in cinemas around the world. Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered Creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. General admission: $15
On Sunday, November 6, 12:55 pm, the Bolshoi Ballet broadcasts The Bright Stream, originally performed in 2012. Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky invokes the genius of Shostakovich’s score at the Bolshoi, creating a laugh-? out-?loud masterpiece with its bits of slapstick comedy, hilarious deceptions, false identities including Principal Dancer Ruslan Skvortsov dressed as a Sylph and its many colorful characters! The Bolshoi bursts with vivid life and bright spirits in Ratmansky’s brilliantly choreographed smash. Tickets: $22 Adults/ $15 Students & Seniors/ $5 Youth
The Opera 104 class series focuses on Exoticism in Opera. The classes are led by Dr. Elizabeth Seitz and will be a part-lecture, part performance event with performances by Boston Conservatory graduate students. The classes are Wednesdays at 7:30 pm and the last two are November 2 entitled Europe looks to Spain and the Middle East with arias from Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Aida and November 9 is Puccini and the Far East with arias from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Turandot. Tickets: $25
Unless otherwise indicated, all concerts and events are held at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, Massachusetts 01966. For tickets or more information, visit our website at www.rockportmusic.org or call 978.546.7391. The Jazz and Folk concert season Corporate Partners are Cape Ann Savings Band, the Cape Ann Savings Trust & Financial Services and Cranney Companies.