By Rob Klevan
CSU Summer Arts returns for its fourth season in residence at CSU Monterey Bay and begins the first of a series of over twenty-five exciting evening events on Monday, June 29th in the University’s intimate World Theater. All presentations other than the Student Showcases (see below) begin at 7:00pm. This Festival of Arts event package includes concerts, lectures, and demonstrations by some of the world’s most accomplished artists and arts educators.
Week One kicks off with something new this year! On Monday, June 29th Summer Arts presents a special performance by veteran Cirque du Soleil members Karl Baumann and Stefan Haves accompanied by the co-founder of The Clown School, David Bridel. Entitled “Who Me? (Or Some Such Nonsense)” the show will deliver an unforgettable evening of physical artistry, sublimity, and chicanery.
On Tuesday, June 30th, former Yale Professor David Hilliard discusses his large-scale, multi-paneled photographs. Mr Hilliard exhibits his photographs both nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards such as the Fulbright Grant and Guggenheim Fellowship. His photographs can be found in many important collections including the Whitney Museum of American art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Thursday, July 2nd, Summer Arts hosts a special presentation by projection mapping artist Yannick Jacquet who is a founding member of the Antivj visual label. Jacquet’s art is characterized by a desire to step outside of traditional projection formats and locate video in space. His work has been exhibited at Louvain¬La¬Neuve Biennial of Contemporary Art and the Nuit Blanche in Brussels, Belgium; Centre Pompidou Metz, France; the Contemporary Art Center in Geneva, Switzerland; the Cathedral of Breda, Holland; Old Port of Montreal, Canada; Oaxaca, Mexico City, Tokyo, Kyoto, Paris, Milan and New Songdo, South Korea for Korea’s first outdoor video mapping performance.
The first week of events concludes on Friday, July 3rd with a concert performance by three of the world’s most esteemed and highly regarded classical guitarists. Famed guitarist and recording artist Eliot Fisk (right), the last direct pupil of Andrés Segovia, returns to the World Theater stage from an appearance at Summer Arts two years ago and is joined by Andrew York, Grammy Award winning member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Roland Dyens, whose many compositions and arrangements have been an integral part of the instrument’s repertoire, placing him at the heart of a select group of contemporary guitarist/composers.
Week Two brings to the World Theater stage the captivating and astonishing writer Jimmy Santiago Baca. Mr. Baca is the author of thirteen collections of poetry, one memoir, three novels, two documentaries, and one film script. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and for his memoir A Place to Stand the prestigious International Award. Mr. Baca will read from his many published works and share the stage with fellow writers Jerry McGill (New York Times), and Kimberly Dark (Huffington Post and Ms. Magazine). This all takes place on Monday, July 6th.
The following evening, Tuesday, July 7th brings to the stage noted cinematographer Roberto Schaefer, a pre-eminent and respected Hollywood director of photography. Mr. Schaefer began in the independent sector in Italy and has filmed everything from independent comedies like Best in Show (top 10 Movies of the Year) to large franchises like the Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. He worked with Johnny Depp on Finding Neverland (nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Cinematography), Nicole Kidman on The Paperboy, Gerard Butler on Machine Gun Preacher, and has also photographed less star-driven movies like The Kite Runner.
On Wednesday, July 8th Vincent Desiderio leads an in-depth discussion focused on the world of visual art. Mr. Desiderio became the first American artist to receive the International Contemporary Art Prize awarded by the Prince Pierre Foundation of the Principality of Monaco. His works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, Galerie Sammlung Ludwig in Aachen, Germany, the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina, and the Indiana University Museum of Art.
Week Two concludes with the first of two Student Showcases in which participants in the Summer Arts courses display their work to the public (free admission). The first, on Friday, July 11th begins at 2:30pm and features members of the Classical Guitar Workshop, followed by Memoir Writing at 4:15 and 7:15pm, and concluding with a presentation from the Video Mapping workshop to be presented in the CSUMB Otter Gym at 8:45pm. On Saturday, July 12th, the “It” Factor Dance Workshop Student Showcases start the day at 11:00am with the Cinematography Workshop Showcase following soon after at 2:15pm. Contemporary Realism and The New Photographic Portrait Workshops will present their work in the campus Visual and Public Arts building at 4:00pm, and rounding out the evening will be a presentation by the Cirque Show Intensive students in the World Theater at 7:30pm.
We begin Week Three of Summer Arts on Monday , July 13th with an inspiring and complex evening of dance presented by the Los Angeles based CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater. Their repertory has been and continues to be presented in an around the United States and Latin America. Recently, CONTRA-TIEMPO toured to South America serving as Dance Ambassadors as a part of DanceMotionUSA. The Company brings together salsa, Afro-Cuban, urban and contemporary dance-theater to the stage. This program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), showcases the finest contemporary American dance abroad while facilitating cultural exchange.
On Wednesday, July 15th, the popular children’s book writer Deborah Underwood shares her experience and insight to the process of picture book writing and discusses the role that downtime plays in creativity.
Noted contemporary visual artist Katie Grinnan takes the stage on Friday, July 17th to discuss her most recent work which reflects the search for structure and form within complex systems such as the brain and the universe that resist resolution and are largely speculative. It is the alchemical, yet paradoxical relationship between actual experience and our interpretations that has become the underlying focus of her work. Her art is included in collections at MOCA, the Hammer Museum, and LACMA in Los Angeles, and she has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner grant.
Week three concludes on Saturday, July 18th with a solo theatrical performance by Juan Francisco Villa entitled Empanada for a Dream. In this living memoir, Juan uncovers the treasures of his family’s dark legacy in the streets of New York’s Lower East Side. A poignant and funny portrait of family and neighborhood – set against a secret that destroys it all. Empanada for a Dream is an inspiring tale about growing up by getting out and coming back home.
Summer Art’s final week of events, Week Four, begins on Monday, July 20th with an evening of poetry presented by three distinguished and award-winning authors. Marilyn Nelson is the author of more than 24 books, including several award-winning books for young adults and translated works. Her latest publication is Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, 1996-2011. In 2012, Marilyn was awarded the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. She is a National Book Award finalist and a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. Other honors include two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. She is a former Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut and a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut. A former California Poet Laureate and recently named America’s Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Senegal Taxi; and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems. He is a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award; 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971–2007; and Crashboomlove, a novel in verse, which received the Americas Award. Half of the World in Light also won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008 and was selected as a notable book of the year by the New York Times. He has won the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Focal Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN West Poetry Award. His honors include the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship as well as two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Stanford Chicano Fellows. And finally, Cecilia Woloch who is the author of six collections of poems, most recently Carpathia, which was a finalist for the Milton Kessler Award, and Tzigane, le poème Gitan, the French translation of her second book, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem. Tsigan has also been adapted for multi-media performances in the United States and Europe, and is currently being translated into Polish. Her novella, Sur la Route, a finalist for the Colony Collapse Prize, is forthcoming from Quale Press in 2015.
On Wednesday, July 22nd, Summer Arts presents an evening of jazz featuring six extraordinary jazz musicians who serve as instructors in the Jazz Improvisation Workshop. Heralded by DownBeat as “one of the hippest bandleaders now at work” Billy Drummond, who first came to prominence in the late 1980s in the bands of three jazz legends: Horace Silver, J.J. Johnson, and Sonny Rollins, is widely acknowledged as one of the great drummers of his generation. Dave Pietro has been on the New York music scene since 1987. His talents as a gifted saxophonist, composer, and educator have made him an in-demand musician who has performed at jazz clubs, jazz festivals, schools and concert halls in more than 30 countries throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Dave is currently a member of the Grammy Award-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra and the award-winning Gil Evans Project. For the last four years, Alan Ferber has been recognized as one of the leading trombonists of his generation in DownBeat magazine’s International Critics’ Poll and Readers’ Poll. He has released five albums as a bandleader, all of which blur traditional boundaries through an intriguing mix of influences. The Wall Street Journal describes his music as “somehow both old school and cutting edge.” Alan’s newest release, March Sublime, features stunning new music for big band and was nominated for a 2014 Grammy award in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Pianist Joe Gilman is the Artist-in-Residence of the Brubeck Institute’s Fellowship Program, a full-time professor of music at American River College, and adjunct professor of jazz studies at California State University Sacramento. Since 2006, Joe has been the primary pianist with jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. He has also performed professionally with Eddie Harris, Woody Shaw, Marlena Shaw, Richie Cole, Joe Locke, George Duke, Chris Botti, Eric Alexander, Anthony Wilson, Nicholas Payton, Russell Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, and Slide Hampton, and has recorded with Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Frank Morgan, Jeff Watts, Robert Hurst, Tootie Heath, and Larry Grenadier. Trumpeter and jazz educator Steve Roach has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University since 2001. He has performed studio and live sessions with such jazz and pop luminaries as Tito Puente, Louis Bellson, Conrad Herwig, Lou Rawls, Melissa Manchester, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, and more. Dan Robbins has played and recorded in settings ranging from solo, duo, trio, etc. to big band and orchestra, and is known for driving, creative, harmonically and melodically rich background and lead parts on bass. Currently co-leading the funk trio Wasabi, he also has an ongoing duo project with distinguished California Poet Laureate Al Young, and plays bass for the Hristo Vitchev Quartet, Joe DeRose & Amici, the Weber Iago Trio, SEVA, Vandivier, the Martan Mann Trio, the BR Jazz Band, and performs solo concerts.
Rounding out the final week, Summer Arts presents the second set of Student Showcases beginning on Friday, July 24th with readings from The Poet Metamorphosis Workshop at 3:00pm followed by the Musical Theatre Showcase at 7:30pm. Saturday, July 25th offers a full day of student presentations beginning with the CONTRA-TIEMPO Dance Showcase at 11:00am, Solo Performance Workshop Showcase at 2:15pm, the Children’s Book Illustration and Mixed Media Mold Making Showcases at 4:30pm (in the Visual and Public Arts Building), and finally, the Perspectives in Jazz Workshop concert at 7:30pm. As with the first series of Student Showcases, all student presentations are free and open to the public.
For more information about Summer Arts evening events including ticket prices, venues, calendar, and more, please check the CSU Summer Arts website at www.csusummerarts.org or call the box office at 831-262-2714. Other inquiries can be directed to Dr. Rob Klevan, Community Relations Specialist at [email protected] or via phone at 831-582-3492.