Fall Arts & Lectures Offerings Dish Out Arts, Talk, and High-Stakes Culture

UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures Launches Another Vibrant Season

Fall Arts & Lectures Offerings Dish Out Arts,
Talk, and High-Stakes Culture

UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures
Launches Another Vibrant Season

By Josef Woodard | September 14, 2023

New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck embraces the role of director for ‘Turn It Out with Tiler Peck & Friends’, coming to the Granada on October 25. | Credit: Courtesy

The high season of the all-important cultural force that is UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) may run from October to May each year, but the organism never goes completely dormant. We are in the moment when its summer simmer mode — popular movie screenings at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens — segues into the high heat of the official season.

It has long been an accepted wisdom that A&L plays a vital role in what makes Santa Barbara such a special place, culturally and otherwise. Luckily for us, the series also ranks highly in comparison to other such programs in the UC system, with exclusives, long-term projects and alliances, and commitments to local educational activities with visiting artists.

Music from a variety of genres flows through the university and downtown, along with world-class dance and the prized series of lectures from global notables. In the season’s first week alone, the offerings are kicked off by acclaimed young British jazz-pop wizard Jacob Collier on October 1, Martha Graham Dance Company on October 4, AI thought leader Mustafa Suleyman on October 5, and Nickel Creek on October 8, promoting a dynamic new album conceived and written in Santa Barbara retreat during the pandemic.

Martha Graham Dance Company | Credit: Brigid Pierce

A strong jazz component this year includes both a rare visit from octogenarian legend Herbie Hancock and twenty-something sensation Samara Joy, in the wake of her surprise win as this year’s Grammy Artist of the Year. In other accolade-related news, we will get not one, but two, encounters with Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur fellow, and American musical treasure Rhiannon Giddens, heading the Silkroad Ensemble this fall (Nov. 9) and with her own group in spring (Apr. 23).

Classical music plays its usual starring role this season, as well, including visits from the Danish String Quartet (with a U.S. premiere of new music by Thomas Adès), Renée Fleming, the Kronos Quartet, Daniil Trifonov, Midori, and promising emerging artists in the bold Hear & Now series at Hahn Hall.

From left: Rhiannon Giddens, Jacob Collier, Samara Joy | Credit: Ebru Yildiz, Courtesy, Meredith Truax

Lecture-wise, the list of speakers and interviewees (in the acclaimed Pico Iyer Speaking with Pico series) so far includes Walter Isaacson, Abraham Verghese, and Lauren Groff, as well as Adam Grant, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, and David Sedaris, among others.

A&L’s season is also a moving, malleable target, with late-breaking additions to the list along the way. Keep an eye on artsandlectures.ucsb.edu for more announcements. The autumn harvest begins in earnest, starting on day one of October. 

Epic New Nickel Creek Project, Montecito-Born, Hits the Granada

Chris Thile Talks Bach, ‘Hamilton,’ and Montecito Music-Making

Tiler Peck Turns It Out and Turns It Up
in Santa Barbara

Famed Ballerina Takes the Leap and Adds Director Title
to Her Dance Card with West Coast Premiere Production

The Power of Talk, from High Sources

A&L Brings an Impressive Speaker Series to Santa Barbara


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