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Jazz artists, Titanic tribute converge for Newman Center’s 2011-12 season

Jazz fans will find a lot to like about the 2011–12 Newman Center Presents series, which includes performances by vocalist Jane Monheit on Oct. 18, pianist Chucho Valdes and his Afro-Cuban Messengers band on Feb. 14 and pianist Brad Mehldau on May 11, 2012.

In keeping with the season’s “Convergences” theme, the Newman Center also will feature some jazz-heavy collaborations, including Abraham Inc. — a musical project that teams klezmer clarinet player David Krakauer with funk trombonist Fred Wesley of James Brown fame and DJ Socalled — on Nov. 12; and Boston Brass and Imani Winds, who will team up March 21, 2012, to perform their arrangements of songs from two classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans albums, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain.

“The theme really came from an effort to try to emphasize our overall mission, which is to present an eclectic mix of disciplines and cultures and show how — especially today — artists are drawing on a wide variety of inspirations and creating new work that’s really hard to categorize according to old labels,” says Newman Center Executive Director Steve Seifert.

Seifert says the theme also applies to “the convergences that happen from a social point of view. Getting audiences to come together to performing arts spaces to experience this wide range of things together: the common experience that we share, as diverse as we are, bringing our own different experiences and cultural backgrounds together, we all come to the same place, to a concert hall, to share something that might be brand new to all of us.”

One of the season’s most unique convergences comes on April 15, 2012, when the Newman Center joins forces with Denver Friends of Chamber Music, Historic Denver Inc., History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society and Young Voices of Colorado to present a concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The show features the JACK string quartet playing Gavin Bryars’ The Sinking of the Titanic, plus a commissioned piece by composer Payton MacDonald in honor of the most famous survivor of the wreck, Denver resident Margaret “Molly” Brown.

The 2011–12 season also includes two dance concerts — Ballet Hispanico on Oct. 1 and AXIS Dance on April 28, 2012 — plus theater (L.A. Theatre Works’ “The Rivalry,” based on the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, on March 1) and classical (Italian baroque ensemble Europa Galante and mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux perform works by Vivaldi on Jan. 29).

Newman Center Presents 2011-12 Season

Oct. 1: Ballet Hispanico
Oct. 18: Jane Monheit
Nov. 12: Abraham Inc., featuring klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, funk trombonist Fred Wesley and DJ Socalled
Dec. 8: Anonymous 4, “The Wood and the Vine”
Jan. 29: Europa Galante and mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, “Vivaldi Pyrotechnics”
Feb. 14: Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers
March 1: L.A. Theatre Works’ “The Rivalry”
March 21: Boston Brass and Imani Winds play songs from Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain
April 15: “The Sinking of the Titanic,” JACK Quartet, percussionist Payton MacDonald and Young Voices of Colorado
April 28: AXIS Dance
May 11: Brad Mehldau Trio

Date to be determined, “Two Men Talking,” Paul Browde and Murray Nossel

Season subscriptions go on sale April 21; single tickets go on sale July 21. Call 303-871-7720 or visit for tickets and more information.

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