Announcing UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 2014-2015 season

UCSB Arts & Lectures, the Central Coast’s premier arts organization, proudly announces its 2014-2015 season, featuring 62 engaging new shows.
UCSB Arts & Lectures offers a wide range of phenomenal cultural and artistic experiences in 2014-2015 – from engaging talks by today’s thought leaders to command performances by the some of the world’s premier dance companies, musicians and actors – at venues from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara. Additional events, including film and lecture series, will be announced throughout the year.
Included are 25 Santa Barbara debuts and the world premieres of several new pieces, including a program by music ensemble Brooklyn Rider, PULP by wild Up, a classical/contemporary music ensemble, and a piece for violinist Jennifer Koh. UCSB Arts & Lectures has also co-commissioned a piece for the Brooklyn Rider Project and original film projections by renowned video artist David Michalek for violinist Gil Shaham’s Bach Six Solos.
Series subscriptions go on sale Fri., June 13 at 10 a.m. The season kicks off in grand style with an opening night celebration featuring a performance by legendary crooner Tony Bennett Thurs., Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at The Granada Theatre. The ebullient 17-time Grammy winner returns in a very special appearance with his daughter Antonia, who will perform an opening set of jazz/pop standards.
“We’re very excited to unveil a new season of mind-boggling diversity,” said Celesta M. Billeci, UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Miller McCune Executive Director, who curated the season. “The 2014-2015 season showcases A-list artists and speakers from the widest spectrum of arts and ideas, like our special opening night celebration with legendary singer Tony Bennett, the incomparable Joffrey Ballet, cartoon superstars Matt Groening of The Simpsons and Lynda Barry, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter in a rare trio with pianist Yefim Bronfman and cellist Lynn Harrell, jazz giants Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, electric blues rockers Tedeschi Trucks Band, six-time Tony-winning Broadway legend Audra McDonald, brilliant Danish theater company Hotel Modern in a piece commemorating the centenary of WWI, the world-renowned Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in King Lear, the fun-loving Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and one-and-only basketball icon Magic Johnson.”
Billeci continued: “Along with our regular subscription series favorites, like the Dance and Classical Music series, we’re bringing back the Marquee series, featuring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in King Lear, Tony-winning Broadway star Audra McDonald, iconic taiko drummers Kodo, and celebrated chef Ina Garten, aka ‘The Barefoot Contessa.’ Half of our Dance series features acclaimed international companies from the U.K.(BalletBoyz), the Netherlands (Nederlands Dans Theater 2) and Israel (Batsheva Dance Company), and by popular demand, all classical concerts (whether in that series or the Classical Music series) now begin at 7 p.m.”
“Also new this year,” Billeci remarked, “we’ve added another benefit for our Producers Circle members: complimentary wine or champagne in the McCune Founders Room. We invite PC members to mix and mingle with likeminded arts patrons before all of Arts & Lectures’ Granada Theatre events and at intermission.
“We are deeply grateful to our supporters and partners in the community for their part in making Arts & Lectures’ 2014-2015 season happen. Thank you Corporate Season Sponsor; Community Partner, the Orfalea Foundation; educational outreach supporters SAGE and the William H. Kearns Foundation; and countless others, including our media partners.”

For discounts of up to 25 percent, better seats, early notice about newly added events and free ticket exchanges, patrons can subscribe to any of Arts & Lectures’ 11 fixed series packages, including Dance, Classical Music, Jazz, Marquee, Up Close & Musical, Roots, Afrobeat, Word of Mouth, Talking Heads, National Geographic Live, Family Fun. Another option is the popular Create Your Own series: Purchase tickets to six or more events and save 10 percent off single ticket prices.
Series subscriptions go on sale Fri., June 13 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased by phone at (805) 893-3535 or in person at the Arts & Lectures Ticket Office in Building 402 (parking lot 12 off Mesa Road) on the UCSB campus. For a season brochure, an order form or more information, call or visit the Ticket Office, or log on to Single tickets go on sale Sat., Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.


Superb dancers; brilliant choreography; companies that push the envelope, melding Old World technique with the luster of today – that’s the Dance series, one of Arts & Lectures’ most acclaimed offerings. This season’s visiting ensembles include the Santa Barbara debut of BalletBoyz®, the U.K’s world-renowned all-male modern dance ensemble, in the TALENT (SAT, NOV 1 / 2 PM and 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL; only 8 PM show is on subscription series); the long-awaited return of electrifying, contemporary Batsheva Dance Company from Israel (TUE, NOV 4 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE) in the Santa Barbara premiere of SADEH21; brilliant, shapeshifting Pilobolus Dance Theater (MON, NOV 17 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); the bold and talented young dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (TUE, FEB 24 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); America’s iconic dance troupe, The Joffrey Ballet (TUE, MAR 10 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); and the Santa Barbara debut of award-winning Dorrance Dance (SAT, MAY 2 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE) in The Blues Project, featuring live music and tap dance.

Renowned for their profound artistry, the extraordinary musicians in the Classical Music series have set the high-water mark for their peers – the true sign of a master. Note: This season features a new 7 PM start time for all shows in the Classical Music series. Featured artists are world-renowned violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, violin, and Alessio Bax, piano, in recital (TUE, OCT 28 / 7 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); acclaimed Emerson String Quartet (SAT, FEB 7 / 7 PM / CAMPBELL HALL) in its first Santa Barbara appearance with cellist Paul Watkins; charismatic violinist Gil Shaham in Bach Six Solos, an exciting recital performed against a backdrop of original films by acclaimed video artist David Michalek on three panels of screens, co-commissioned by UCSB Arts & Lectures (TUE, MAR 31 / 7 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); the exceptional Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio (FRI, APR 17 / 7 PM / GRANADA THEATRE), featuring violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, pianist Yefim Bronfman, and cellist Lynn Harrell; and the Santa Barbara debut of Les Arts Florissants, French Baroque vocal and instrumental ensemble (TUE, MAY 5 / 7 PM / CAMPBELL HALL).

At the heart of the American experiment, jazz music riffs on our ever-evolving culture, reflecting who we were, who we are and who we dream of becoming. The artists of the Jazz series capture the spirit of this vital art form. In the lineup are the “brilliant new voice of jazz” (The Huffington Post), singer Gregory Porter, in his Santa Barbara debut (THU, JAN 15 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); phenomenal young jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (THU, FEB 12 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); sultry and sophisticated singer Cassandra Wilson in Coming Forth By Day: A Celebration of Billie Holiday (SUN, FEB 22 / 7 PM [note special time] / CAMPBELL HALL), coinciding with the centennial of Holiday’s birthday; and visionary jazz musicians Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock in a rare duo performance (SUN, MAR 22 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE).

The Marquee series highlights iconic performers who have honed their artistry over decades, leaving an indelible impression on the heart and soul of audiences the world over. Included in the all-star roster are world-renowned Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in an arresting new production of King Lear (THU, NOV 20 & FRI, NOV 21 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL; only NOV 21 show is on subscription series); a concert by Broadway luminary Audra McDonald, who recently made history by winning her sixth Tony Award (SUN, DEC 7 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE); Kodo, taiko drumming pioneers from Japan, in One Earth Tour: Mystery (WED, FEB 4 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE); and An Evening with Ina Garten, featuring the Emmy-winning host of the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa and 2014 James Beard award winner (THU, FEB 19 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE).

Intimate, unforgettable concerts at Hahn Hall bring enthusiasts into close contact with the exquisite music and performers they love in the Up Close & Musical series. Note: All shows in the Up Close & Musical series start at 7 PM, and the series purchase includes an opening night reception. This season’s artists include captivating young pianist Charlie Albright (WED, OCT 15 / 7 PM / HAHN HALL); acclaimed classical/contemporary music ensemble wild Up, led by artistic director Christopher Rountree (SAT, NOV 8 / 7 PM / HAHN HALL), in the world premiere production of PULP; the Santa Barbara debut of Danish String Quartet, arguably the hottest string quartet performing today (TUE, NOV 18 / 7 PM / HAHN HALL); the return of adventurous, genre-defying Brooklyn Rider in a world premiere program of Brooklyn Rider Almanac (THU, JAN 22 / 7 PM / HAHN HALL), featuring a new piece co-commissioned by Arts & Lectures and composed by Wilco’s Glenn Kotche; and the incomparable Jennifer Koh, violin, and Shai Wosner, piano, in Bridge to Beethoven: Finding Identity Through Music (WED, APR 22 / 7 PM / HAHN HALL), featuring the world premiere of Sommersonate by Jörg Widmann.

A set of strings, tales to tell and voices to sing true: Journey to a simpler time with the homegrown pickers in the Roots series, featuring Hawaii’s ukulele genius Jake Shimabukuro (THU, OCT 23 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); Tedeschi Trucks Band, the uplifting, tour-de-force, 11-piece electric blues/rock band (THU, OCT 30 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE); spellbinding singer-songwriter Patty Griffin (SUN, NOV 2 / 7 PM [note special time] / CAMPBELL HALL); and an eagerly awaited return by Carolina Chocolate Drops (FRI, MAY 8 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL), the rollicking, old-timey string band.

With driving rhythms and transfixing melodies from some of the globe’s oldest cultures, the music of Arts & Lectures’ new Afrobeat series will transport you. The lineup includes iconic Afro-pop singer from Benin Angélique Kidjo (SAT, OCT 4 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); the Santa Barbara debut of Tinariwen, desert blues artists from the southern Sahara (SUN, OCT 26 / 7 PM [note special time] / CAMPBELL HALL); The Nile Project, featuring the musicians of 11 Nile River Basin countries and founded by two UCSB alums (WED, FEB 11 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); and a special pairing of South African musical icons Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela in 20 Years of Freedom (FRI, MAR 13 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL).

Provocative, insightful and even mind-blowing, the big thinkers and wordsmiths in the Word of Mouth series have changed the way we see the world. In 2014-2015, UCSB Arts & Lectures welcomes the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller Flash Boys in An Evening with Michael Lewis (TUE, OCT 21 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity (THU, NOV 13 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku in The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind (WED, JAN 28 / 8 PM / GRANADA THEATRE); and the New York Times op-ed columnist and best-selling author in An Evening with David Brooks (WED, APR 8 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL).

The stars of the Talking Heads series are quirky and humorous, fascinating and uncommonly talented. You’ve read their books and heard them on the airwaves – now be riveted in person. Lineup includes: WORDLESS!, an evening of words, music and comix, including a multimedia presentation by Art Spiegelman, author of the graphic novel Maus, with live music by jazz musician Phillip Johnston’s sextet (FRI, OCT 17 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); the public radio storytelling sensation, The Moth Mainstage, featuring five storytellers telling true, real-life stories (WED, NOV 5 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); comedian Mike Birbiglia, star of the film Sleepwalk With Me, in Thank God for Jokes (THU, DEC 4 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL); and the hilarious author of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and other New York Times best-sellers in An Evening with David Sedaris (MON, MAY 4 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE).

The popular National Geographic Live series returns for a third year to UCSB Campbell Hall. Be thrilled by gorgeous, award-winning imagery and tales of adventure and discovery by the iconic magazine’s renowned photographers, explorers and scientists. This year’s multimedia presentations include filmmakers and wildlife activists Jim & Jamie Dutcher in The Hidden Life of Wolves (SUN, OCT 19 / 3 PM); NASA engineer and Mars exploration expert Kobie Boykins in Exploring the Red Planet (SUN, NOV 23 / 3 PM); wildlife photojournalist Paul Nicklen in Spirit of the Wild (SUN, JAN 11 / 3 PM); and photographer and filmmaker Carsten Peter in Extreme Planet (SUN, MAR 1 / 3 PM).

The Family Fun series returns with weekends of world-class entertainment at UCSB Campbell Hall to dazzle and delight the whole family. This season’s shows include Childsplay theater company in the iconic musical Schoolhouse Rock Live! (SUN, OCT 12 / 3 PM); award-winning jugglers and comedians the Flying Karamazov Brothers (SUN, NOV 16 / 3 PM); the return of renowned Chinese acrobats Cirque Zíva (SAT, JAN 24 / 3 PM); Cirque Mechanics in Pedal Punk (SUN, MAR 8 / 3 PM & 7 PM; only 3 PM show is on subscription series); and Laurie Berkner Solo!, featuring the popular children’s musician (SUN, APR 19 / 3 PM). In addition, Ready, Set, Adventure!, an international children’s film festival curated by Elizabeth Shepherd of Northwest Film Forum (SUN, FEB 22 / 11 AM), is FREE to Family Fun series subscribers. Subscribers can also add on the following performances and save 20 percent off the regular single ticket prices: Kodo, taiko drumming pioneers from Japan, in One Earth Tour: Mystery (WED, FEB 4 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE) and Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train: Live! in Buddy’s Big Adventure (SUN, FEB 8 / 3 PM / GRANADA THEATRE), based on the Emmy-nominated PBS Kids show.

For maximum flexibility and savings, the Create Your Own series lets audiences hand pick their favorite shows. Purchase any six or more events and save 10 percent on each ticket. (Family Fun series events, National Geographic Live series events, Tony Bennett, Matt Groening & Lynda Barry, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Santa Barbara Symphony’s City Lights, and student/youth tickets are not eligible for a Create Your Own series discount.)

Subscribers to any series – whether the fixed packages or the Create Your Own series – can purchase single tickets early to the following shows, as add-ons to their series purchases: legendary singer Tony Bennett with very special guest Antonia Bennett (THU, OCT 2 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE), cartoonists Matt Groening & Lynda Barry in Love, Hate & Comics: The Friendship That Would Not Die (FRI, OCT 10 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE); basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson in The Magic of Winning (FRI, OCT 24 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE). Subscribers get priority seating for these special and sure-to-sell-out events, which won’t go on sale to the public until Sat., Aug. 9!

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 2014-2015 season also features individual events that can be part of the Create Your Own series or purchased separately when single tickets go on sale on Sat., Aug. 9.
They include:
A concert by legendary singer Tony Bennett (THU, OCT 2 / 7 PM [note special time] / GRANADA THEATRE), with very special guest Antonia Bennett – Tony’s daughter! – appearing in an opening act of jazz/pop standards
Superstar cartoonists Matt Groening & Lynda Barry in Love, Hate & Comics: The Friendship That Would Not Die (FRI, OCT 10 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE) – their only West Coast appearance
Basketball legend and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson in The Magic of Winning (FRI, OCT 24 / 8 PM / ARLINGTON THEATRE)
An Evening with Alexander McCall Smith, the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series (FRI, NOV 14 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL)
Irish traditional band Danú in A Christmas Gathering: Féile Na Nollag (FRI, DEC 12 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL), a heartwarming Celtic Christmas program
The return of the wacky and wonderful The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in A Fistful of Ukuleles Tour (TUE, JAN 20 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL)
Nrityagram in Songs of Love and Longing, an evening of classical Indian dance and live music (THU, JAN 29 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL)
Comedian W. Kamau Bell in The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour (THU, FEB 5 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL), the hit comedy show of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train: Live! in Buddy’s Big Adventure (SUN, FEB 8 / 3 PM / GRANADA THEATRE), based on the Emmy-nominated PBS Kids show (purchase with Family Fun series and save 20 percent)
Danish theater ensemble Hotel Modern in The Great War (SAT, APR 25 / 8 PM & SUN, APR 26 / 2 PM / CAMPBELL HALL), in commemoration of the WWI centenary
And charismatic Spanish bagpipe virtuoso Cristina Pato & The Migrations Band (WED, MAY 13 / 8 PM / CAMPBELL HALL)

About UCSB Arts & Lectures
The 2014-2015 season marks UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 55th year of bringing unique, world-class performances, films and lectures to Central Coast and campus audiences. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” Arts & Lectures is the largest arts and lectures presenter between San Francisco and Los Angeles, beloved by audiences for its award-winning, diverse and innovative programming that deeply enriches lives and extends the intellectual life of the community beyond the classroom.
In February 2013, A&L publicly launched the Campaign for Arts & Lectures, the first major fundraising initiative in the history of the program, with the goal of raising $20 million over five years. To date, $14.1 million has been raised. Half of the funds will go toward annual support, which will sustain and expand the valuable work A&L is already doing. The other half will be invested in an endowment to ensure programmatic excellence now and into the future.
Arts & Lectures’ acclaimed educational outreach programs provide rare opportunities for students to meet and learn from visiting artists and speakers, such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, New Yorker journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, playwright Tony Kushner and dancers from New York City Ballet MOVES, in master classes, lecture-demonstrations, open rehearsals and classroom discussions at UCSB, as well as local elementary and high schools.
Through ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara!, Arts & Lectures’ nationally recognized program, A&L provides free public performances featuring international talents, such as Grammy-winning Latin pop/rock band La Santa Cecilia, as well as arts education, to underserved Latino populations throughout Santa Barbara County. In 2011, the program received the prestigious APAP/MetLife Arts Access Award for Engaging Underserved Communities.
For more information about Arts & Lectures, call (805) 893-3535 or visit

Arts & Lectures thanks for its major support of the 2014-2015 season.

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