Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Newman Center announces 2010–11 season

Innovators in bluegrass, modern dance, flamenco and jazz will be on stage at the University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts during the 2010–11 Newman Center Presents series, organized this year around the theme of “legacies.”

The concert series opens Sept. 30 with mandolin phenom Chris Thile and his band Punch Brothers, which performs original material alongside traditional folk and bluegrass tunes and covers of songs by the Beatles, Radiohead, the White Stripes and others. That show will be followed Oct. 16 by Paul Taylor Dance Company, returning to Denver for the first time since 1991 to perform its new work Brief Encounters.

One of the season’s most intriguing concerts is 1969, from New York-based Alarm Will Sound, a 20-member chamber ensemble that melds classical music with rock, jazz and world beat. Inspired by a proposed collaboration between John Lennon and German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in the late 1960s, 1969 is a multimedia show that combines Beatles tunes with classical works by Stockhausen, Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky and Luciano Berio to show the collaborative — and tumultuous — spirit of the times. It plays April 23, 2011.

That collaborative spirit also is present in a Jan. 21 Guitar Legends show with Eliot Fisk and Bill Frisell, who will perform solo sets followed by a duo set featuring work by Bach, Berio, Gershwin and Frisell.

Author and storyteller Spalding Gray tragically took his own life in 2004, but his words live on in Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, which features four actors delivering pieces of Gray’s monologues and stories along with excerpts from journals and letters. It comes to the Newman Center March 11–12.

Other concerts on the Newman Center’s 2010–11 schedule include “flamenco queen” Buika, paying tribute to Mexican singer Chavela Vargas on Nov. 3; “A Night in Bethlehem,” a holiday jazz show featuring Norwegian vocalist Solveig Slettahjell, pianist Tord Gustavsen and trumpet player Sjur Miljeteig on Dec. 7; the Boston-based A Far Cry chamber orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, among other works, on Feb. 8; the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet on Feb. 19; Jeffrey Kahane — music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra — and his son Gabriel Kahane, who will perform together in a program titled Like Father, Like Son? Piano and More on March 25; and Spanish dance company Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca on May 6.

More events may be added later in the season; visit for updates and ticket information.

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