Hope College has announced its 2017-18 Great Performance Series lineup. The cultural arts series has brought internationally renowned artists in music, dance, and theatre to the Holland community for more than 46 years.
The series will open the season this year with Visceral Dance Chicago on Friday, Sept. 29, at the Knickerbocker Theatre. A contemporary dance company dedicated to a bold and progressive world of movement, Visceral Dance Chicago was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” companies in 2015, after just two years of work. The company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire, and has been hailed as “one of the bests groups of artists in Chicago” by Chicago Stage Standards. Dance critic Rebecca Cur has said that Visceral Dance Chicago is “energizing and refreshing” with an “ability to portray raw human emotions in such a beautiful, honest way is inspiring.”
Sphinx Virtuosi will perform at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Friday, Oct. 20. Comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latino classical soloists, the unique, self-conducted ensemble has demonstrated the increased diversity in the classical music world. Recognized as one of the nation’s most dynamic professional chamber orchestras, the Sphinx Virtuosi has earned multiple reviews from a variety of sources. The New York Times has praised Sphinx Virtuosi as being “first rate in every way.”
Mucca Pazza continues to build its reputation for its unique and spontaneous music-making, and will bring its energetic genre-blend live to the Knickerbocker Theatre on Friday, Nov. 17. Deemed “crazy, fun and eccentric” by WNYC and praised for its frenetic visual presence, asynchronous absurdity and geeky freak-outs, Mucca Pazza continues performing everything from movements of Igor Stravinsky to Ennio Morricone themes to funk-rock. Truly a band that is hard to describe but fun to see, Mucca Pazza has performed at numerous national music festivals including Lollapalooza, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors and the Montreal Jazz Fest.
Unmatched in artistry, grace and refinement of movement, the internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes will be returning to Hope College — after four sold-out showings in the past — with an evening performance on Friday, Jan. 19, and a matinee on Saturday, Jan 20, at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Puppet master Joseph Cashore uses the marionettes to tell a series of breathtaking stories with craftsmanship and illusion delivered with a simplicity set to music by composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, Richard Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven and Aaron Copland. Cashore has won numerous awards for his amazing artistry accomplishments, including the Citation of Excellence from the UNIMA-USA, which is the highest honor an American puppeteer can receive.
The Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet, called “something extraordinary” by The New York Times, will be performing string quartets by Felix Mendelssohn and Beethoven at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Friday, Feb. 16. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The quartet has won numerous honors, such as the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France’s Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, and Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. Parker Quartet’s members are currently artists-in-residence at Harvard University.
An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for more than five decades, Lonnie Smith brings his trio to Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Friday, March 9. His trio consists of guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. Smith has been featured on more than 70 albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon” and the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Many awards have followed since Downbeat magazine named Smith “Top Organist” of the year in 1969, including “Organist/Keyboardist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association, the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Jazz Organ Fellowship, the Village Music Legends Award and — this past June — the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the nation’s highest honor in jazz.
All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. except for the Jan. 20 matinee performance at 2 p.m.
Season tickets are now available. They are $90 for regular admission, $70 for senior citizens and $200 for a family (no matter how many children). Individual tickets go on sale on Monday, Aug. 28, and are $22 for regular admission, $16 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under.
Tickets are available at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open for ticket sales weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at 616-395-7890.
More information about the season may be obtained online at hope.edu/gps.