UCSB’s Arts & Lectures program continues to set the pace for presenting organizations on the Central Coast — or should that be the West Coast? On Tuesday, June 18, A&L’s Miller McCune Exectutive Director Celesta Billeci was joined at the podium by UCSB Foundation trustee Frederic Steck for a short presentation at the conclusion of which copies of the 2013-14 season brochure were distributed to a delighted audience of friends, patrons, and members of the media. Promising yet more “bold moves and big ideas,” the season includes an opening night at the Granada Theatre on Tuesday, October 1, with actor, director, and author Alan Alda, who will talk about his near-death experience in the Chilean mountains, and share some of the wisdom from his recent book, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself. Alda leads off a remarkably impressive list of authors who will be speaking next year — Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Lincoln), Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan), Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals), Billy Collins, Gloria Steinem, Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, and David Sedaris.
Fans of dance will be well cared for as usual, with Alonzo King LINES Ballet coming in on October 2, to be followed by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Wayne McGregor Random Dance, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, hip-hop-inspired dance company Abraham.In.Motion, and the legendary all-male drag ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Classical music will also be well represented, in particular by two very high profile events: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, March 5, and a rare recital performance by longtime A&L favorite Yo-Yo Ma with pianist Kathryn Stott at the Granada on Thursday, March 13. Jazz is back and hanging out with blues this year in a series that includes SFJazz Collective on October 17, Buddy Guy on November 5, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue on January 23. The 2013-14 roots music series features the Avett Brothers, the Masters of Bluegrass, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, and a special acoustic evening that pairs Lyle Lovett with John Hiatt. The Avett Brothers show will be on October 10 and will take place at the Santa Barbara Bowl as the result of a collaboration between A&L and S.B. Bowl programmers Nederlander Concerts.
There’s so much more going on that nothing short of a visit to the organization’s website will really do it justice, but let’s not forget the Silk Road Ensemble, This American Life’s Ira Glass with two dancers (!), and indie singer/songwriter Andrew Bird. A wide range of ticket packages are available now, all designed to make it easy and affordable to see your favorites and make new discoveries.