While most of the world has been slowly rolling out of hibernation, the hardworking team at UCSB Arts & Lectures has been going like gangbusters to put together an impressive 2022-2023 season, featuring a world-class lineup of dance, music, theater, and speakers. The more than 45 events announced at the June 9 kickoff party include an exciting mix of big names (Yo-Yo Ma, Nigella Lawson, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Morris) and emerging talents (the Linda Lindas, Sō Percussion, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, Jean Rondeau).
Rising Americana star Charley Crockett, a distant ancestor of the legendary Davy Crockett who just won the Ameripolitan Award for Best Honky Tonk Male, kicks off the season on October 2. The international independent music pub Spill Magazine describes the hyper-prolific artist as, “single-handedly bringing that old country forward to current times. He is not only modernizing the old genre, but he’s taking the old themes and giving them that current touch.”
The big opening week continues with DakhaBrakha, the world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine, performing their electrifying blend of Ukrainian melodies and contemporary rhythms from around the world on October 6. This Ukrainian-folk-meets-punk group, about which NPR says, “This quartet’s name means ‘give/take’ in old Ukrainian — and that’s exactly what they do. Cabaret, jazz, rock, and hip-hop are all part of the band’s DNA. But they also explore all kinds of old Ukrainian folk styles, fed through the prism of the 21st century,” has called themselves “ambassadors of free Ukraine” for years. Their visit to Santa Barbara certainly couldn’t be more timely.
On October 8, the always-amazing A&L dance series begins with the local debut of Sw!ng Out, a group of Lindy Hop dance champs from New York’s Joyce Theater and acclaimed choreographer Caleb Teicher who bring the joy, fire, and fight of competitive and social swing dance to the stage with live music by the Eyal Vilner Big Band. Wear your dancing shoes to tap your toes to this one, as the audience is encouraged to jump on stage for the jam session that concludes the show.
Former White House adviser and founder of the Harvard Center for Public Leadership David Gergen concludes this compelling week of events on October 11, where he’ll discuss the qualities of successful leaders, including recent game-changers like Greta Thunberg, the Parkland students, and the activists behind the Black Lives Matter movement.
“A&L’s 2022-2023 season of performances and public lectures unveils surprises and explores new ideas,” said Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta M. Billeci. “From opening week with Charley Crockett, DakhaBrakha, and Sw!ng Out to month after month of fantastic performances and enlightening talks, Arts & Lectures is once again the place to be.”