Alys’ Wonderland: Yo-Yo Ma, Sedaris and Essix headline fall series at ASC

By on July 11, 2013
Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma has recorded 75 albums and won multiple Grammy Awards. (File photo)

Author David Sedaris and musician Yo-Yo Ma are just two of several well-known artists who will perform at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center this fall.

The release of the ASC’s fall 2013 calendar revealed ten major performances, including a three day event known as Global Fest which celebrates three distinct cultures from around the world.

The ASC offers many special promotions and deals that make buying tickets in advance a good idea.

Anyone can become a subscriber by buying three or more tickets at once. Doing so gets the customers a 10% discount, with more savings on more tickets. The center also has discounts for groups, including multiple perks and up to a 20% discount for groups with more than 50 people.

As always, the ASC has benefits for UAB students, alums and faculty as well. This includes a discount for families and a package for UAB students called the UAB Student Club that allows discounted or free tickets to certain shows, behind-the-scenes opportunities and invitations to some private events.

Listed below are the events offered in the upcoming fall season.

Ramsey Archibald
Features Editor

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 Eric Essix premiering “Evolution,” with 5 Men on a Stool and vocalist Tracy Hamlin, 7 p.m.

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame member Eric Essix teams up with long time R&B singer Tracey Hamlin and R&B/jazz ensemble 5 Men on a Stool to present Essix’s 20th album, “Evolution.”

This brand new album details the complicated past and present of Essix’s hometown, Birmingham, and its growth since the events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
“Evolution” features six new songs as well as covers of tracks by other popular artists.

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 “A More Convenient Season,” 8 p.m.

The world premiere of composer Yotam Haber’s “A More Convenient Season” will commemorate the events of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham and across the south.

Named for a part of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” this performance will feature the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, four talented youth soloists, a chorus, a film and archival recordings to demonstrate the power and consequence of the events that took place 50 years ago.

Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 Natalie Merchant and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m.
Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant, accompanied by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, will perform some of her most famous songs, as well as some new work.

The former lead singer of the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs has grown significantly over her 30-year career, and much of that has come since her split with the band in 1993.

She has composed much of her recent work to be accompanied by orchestras or other large musical ensembles. James Bagwell will conduct the ASO for this show.

Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 An Evening with Rickey Smiley, featuring Joe Willie and The Deuteronomaires, 8 p.m.
Comedian, TV show host and radio personality Rickey Smiley will perform his own unique brand of standup comedy this October at the ASC.

The show will also feature one of Smiley’s beloved sketch comedy characters, Joe Willie, a minister and gospel singer, along with Joe Willie’s ensemble—the Deuteronomaires.

A Birmingham native, Smiley’s comedy is acclaimed on a national level. His radio show, “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” is syndicated nation-wide.

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 Global Fest: The Jig Is Up! The Masterful Artistry of Irish Dance, noon
The first of three cultures on display as part of the ACS’s Global Fest, this free performance and discussion highlights Irish dance and culture. Birmingham’s Drake School of Irish Dance will be on hand to perform and talk to the audience about the history, dance, Gaelic language and more.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 Global Fest: The Art of Indian Dances, noon
See how story unfolds through dance as Notinee Indian Dance founder and director Pia Sen, Ph.D., and Natyananda Dance of India founder and director Sheila Rubin explain the precise beauty of Indian dance. This lecture and demonstration shows how each part of the dance comes together to tell a story through motion and beauty.

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 Global Fest: Un Voyage Aux Frances, noon
French culture and language are on display on the last night of the ACS’s Global Fest. Join Associate Professor Catherine Danielou, Ph.D., and UAB French instructor Margaret Bond in a short French language lesson, as well as a discussion of French foods, wines and culture, including the chance for audience members to sample French cheeses and pastries from local restaurants.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 Anoushka Shankar, 7 p.m.

Two-time Grammy nominated composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar displays her immense talent at the ASC. Her music, which draws heavily from Indian classical roots, combines different elements to make something entirely new.

In 2006, Shankar became the first Indian musician to perform at the Grammy’s after her album “Rise” was nominated in the Best Contemporary World Music category.

Funnyman David Sedaris has a way with words, and his stories will have you splitting at the sides. (Getty Images)

Funnyman David Sedaris has a way with words, and his stories will have you splitting at the sides. (Getty Images)

Her father, Ravi Shankar, was a master in his own right when it comes to Indian classical music, and taught Anoushka much of what she knows. But her style, while still heavily steeped in that tradition, has grown to incorporate elements of jazz, pop and other music from around the world.

This performance will be preceded by the Indian dance lecture/demonstration of Global Fest at noon and a 1 p.m. clinic on Indian instruments and music by the members of Shankar’s band presented by ArtPlay.

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 David Sedaris, 8 p.m.
Grammy-nominated and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author David Sedaris celebrates his ninth book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.”

This hilarious and intellectual collection of essays takes readers on a journey around the world to explore odd and intriguing events that range from mundane to extraordinary, all told in a way that is absolutely singular to Sedaris.

Captivating, provocative and funny, Sedaris’ work is something all its own.

Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 An Intimate Evening with Yo-Yo Ma, 8 p.m.
Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma, creator of 75 albums and winner of multiple Grammys, began his music career at a very young age. He’s played before audiences since he was four, and now all his experiences come together for each show he plays.

A VIP package is available for this particular show, which allows for a truly intimate evening with this talented classical artist.

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 Take 6, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” 7 p.m.
Join this 10-time Grammy-winning sextet for an a capella celebration of the holidays. Take 6, originally from Huntsville, brings an innovative blend of jazz, R&B and pop to its gospel sound.

The group has won many awards since its inception in 1980, and they bring a smooth, harmonious sound to the ASC this winter.

ArtPlay will present the Take 6 Community Sing at 3 p.m. in the ASC Jemison Concert Hall. This free event lets the crowd get involved with a sing-along which explores the music of the band.

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 (10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.) ArtPlay presents “Yuletide in Dogtown,”
ASC’s Jerry Sims presents this holiday favorite on two nights and four separate performances. Sims’ characters live and learn and come to life, exploring the holidays and discovering what they mean.

This interactive musical brings cheer and fun to a time of year that is already filled with it. An ArtPlay original, this show presents the opportunity for children and families to stay after the show and meet the characters.

UAB News Service used as source for this report.

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