July 12, 2013

Auditions Now Open for Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Program

Auditions Now Open for
Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Program 
$20,000 NEA Art Works grant supports growth of High School All-Star Jazz Program

DAVIS, Calif.— The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis is proud to announce the third year of its Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Program. The program, which was recently recommended for a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant, is accepting applications now through August 30 at http://www.mondaviarts.org/jazzallstars/.

The High School All-Stars program provides advanced training for serious jazz students through rehearsals, clinics and master classes with jazz professionals and performance opportunities and includes two separate programs: the High School All-Stars, an eight-person ensemble of the Sacramento region’s most talented high school musicians; and the all-new Improv Academy, consisting of monthly workshops focused on presenting concepts of improvisation and developmental skills to dedicated students. Applicants may elect to apply to either the All-Stars or the Improv Academy, or to both. Those applying for the All-Stars may be selected for the Improv Academy at the discretion of the Mondavi Center.

Both programs are under the direction of Mike McMullen, a Jazz Studies faculty member at California State University, Sacramento, and the founding member of the Sacramento-based Capitol Jazz Project. “While prior improvisational experience is not required for the Improv Academy, applicants should have good tone, read well, have strong mechanical skills and knowledge of scales,” says McMullen. “The clinics will cover concept and style, interactions within the group, harmony, ear training, rhythm, mechanical skills, and listening."

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields.

Acting NEA Chairman Joan Shigekawa says, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts."

"In addition to our role as a major presenter of jazz, we are working hard to become a critical training ground for young players, and the All-Stars represent another big step in that direction,” says Jeremy Ganter, associate executive director and director of programing for the Mondavi Center. “We are thrilled to be recognized by the NEA for this program, and feel very fortunate to be able to support the wealth of young talent and extraordinary jazz educators in our region."

The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis, is one of Northern California’s premier arts destinations. The Mondavi Center presents nearly 200 performances each year by both professional and student artists in music, dance, theater, film and the spoken word. The Mondavi Center’s main performance space, 1,801-seat Jackson Hall, features next-generation theatrical equipment and superb acoustics that make it a favorite for the world's greatest musicians, speakers and dance and theater companies. The center's 200-seat Vanderhoef Studio Theatre provides high-tech space for rehearsals, film screenings and intimate musical experiences.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Rob Tocalino, 530.754.5422          

April 12, 2013

Free Ukulele Concert and Play Along at Mondavi Center

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Join us in the Corin Courtyard on April 12 for food, drink and a free concert—and, bring your ukulele!

The concert features Uni & Her Ukelele who brings an eclectic mix of mean ukulele playing and infectious good fun. Those of you who play you own uke, bring it along! Cliff Adams of the Sacramento ukulele club Na Aikane will lead a Play Along rehearsal of George Hinchliffe’s Relentlessly “In C.” Food and drink will be available for purchase during the show.
The outdoor concert takes place prior to the performance of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in Jackson Hall. Audience members are encouraged to bring their ukuleles to the show and play Relentlessly “In C” with the orchestra during the performance. Audience members will be required to check their ukulele cases in the lobby.

Download music for Relentlessly "In C"

Friday, April 12
6:30–7pm: Uni & her Ukelele
7–7:10pm: Relentlessly “In C” rehearsal led by Cliff Adams of Na Aikane
7:10–7:30pm: Uni & her Ukelele
7:30–7:40pm: Relentlessly “In C” rehearsal led by Cliff Adams of Na Aikane
Uni & Her Ukelele

March 26, 2013

Google+ Hangout with Paul Dresher

The Quadrachord

Paul Dresher and Joel Deval of the Paul Dresher Ensemble not only bring inspiring fresh content to the world of new music, their musical expression also includes the invention of new instruments. Dresher and Deval joined Mondavi Center artist-in-residence Lara Downs for a Google+ Hangout on Thursday, March 28 to discuss the invention of The Quadrachord and the Marimba Lumina.

These exciting new instruments will be featured in the Paul Dresher Ensemble’s performances of Double Duo at the Mondavi Center April 6 and 7.

The Paul Dresher Ensemble interprets the ideas and sounds of today’s most innovative and irreverent composers. With energy, virtuosity and incredible attention to the theatrical dimensions of performance, it produces and tours its own works of opera and experimental music theater (developed in collaboration with Obie Award-winning performer Rinde Eckert), and as the Electro-Acoustic Band, performs the work of an amazing range of contemporary composers with instrumentation that combines traditional acoustic and contemporary electronic instruments.

Marimba Lumina

March 22, 2013

Children's Stage For Adults

Photo by: Curtis Johnson

Joe Cashore of Cashore Marionettes had the soft toned voice of a longtime family doctor, when he introduced his program, Simple Gifts earlier this week. He opened the show with a quick little anecdote about what inspired the scene that we were about to see. Because of the soft lighting on him and his steady voice, it got me really relaxed and at ease. When the show started and he began making the different characters come to life it shocked me and woke me out of my relaxed state into one of complete alertness. I quickly realized that his mastery is not only in being able to move the numerous strings to make something “come alive” but his understanding of how other people feel. So, I guess that’s what we’d call empathy in physical form! From the worn-out mother of a newborn to a homeless man on the street and a stereotypical glam rock star, through slight movement of the hand he gave each puppet a personality making me forget that he was even standing on the stage.

I always find that when performances such as the Cashore Marionettes are “recommended for grades 4-12” I tend to love them the most. It seems that the performances for children are always much more didactic rather than being just pure entertainment (I love it when there is a moral to the story or something instructional). I feel that we can all still learn at any age. Really, in my experience, all Mondavi Center events are enjoyable for people of all ages! Don’t ever miss a show just because it says the show is for children. You just may think it’s the best performance you’ve seen yet!

—Bridgétt Rangel-Rexford

The next Children’s Stage event is Lara Downes Family Concert, Gertrude McFuzz, Carnival of the Animals and more! on Sunday, May 19 at 3PM

Bridgétt Rangel-Rexford is the winner of the 2012–13 winner of the Mondavi Center Golden Ticket Social Media Contest. Chosen to be the social media storyteller for our 10th anniversary season, Bridgétt will blog about her experiences at Mondavi Center performances throughout the season. You can also check out her Sun Queen Blog.

March 18, 2013

Free Outdoor Concert Featuring All-Stars

The Mondavi Center will present a free outdoor concert on Tuesday, March 19 from 6:30–7:30 p.m. featuring this year’s Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars and Sacramento’s Capital Jazz Project. Part of the Corin Courtyard series of concerts, the concert will precede the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performance at 8 p.m..

The Corin Courtyard series of free outdoor concerts features local bands throughout the season. On the courtyard there is free wireless internet service, shady café tables and chairs and the Fusion Fresh Café food truck. The food and drink are available for purchase during the concerts.

 The All-Stars are a seven person ensemble of music students from two area high schools. Returning members are pianist Joey Cozza, drummer Paul Slater, trumpeter Jeric Rocamora and alto sax player Emery Mesich all from Rio Americano High School in Sacramento. Also returning is guitarist Noah Wolfe from Davis Senior High School. New this year is tenor sax player Lucas Bere and bassist Emma Simpson both from Rio Americano High School.

The All-Stars were selected by a panel of judges during a closed audition in the fall of 2012 at the Mondavi Center. Participants in the final audition were selected following open auditions in September of 2012.

Mike McMullen, founding member of the Sacramento region’s Capital Jazz Project and a jazz studies faculty member at California State University, Sacramento, will return this season to lead the ensemble.

Later this month the ensemble will also perform on at the new SFJAZZ Center with members of the San Francisco SFJAZZ High School All Stars and members of the SFJAZZ Collective sitting in. This performance will be held on Saturday, March 30 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

More information about the Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.

More information about the Mondavi Center Corin Courtyard Concerts.

Hear an interview with All-Star Emma Simpson on Capital Public Radio's Insight.

Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars

March 11, 2013

Egghead Walk & the St. Louis Symphony

Commissioned by the Campus Art in Public Places Work Group with private funds © UC Regents & Nelson Gallery; all rights reserved.

This week the Mondavi Center will host a three-day residency with the St. Louis Symphony sponsored in part by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

One highlight is the Egghead Music Walk on Friday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at UC Davis. This free outdoor concert features six world-premiere pieces composed by UC Davis music faculty and performed by members of the St. Louis Symphony on site at the six Egghead sculptures at UC Davis.

The sculptures were created by artist Robert Arneson, who was a UC Davis faculty member for four decades.

The Egghead Music Walk will begin at the “See No Evil/Hear No Evil” Egghead sculpture on the south side of Mrak Hall. After performing the first piece, the musicians and audience will proceed in turn to each of the five remaining Egghead sculptures on campus. The concert will conclude with a reception at the final Egghead location.

Download a Map of the Egghead Music Walk.

More information about the St. Louis Symphony Residency.

March 8, 2013

Sarah Chang's Encore

All photos courtesy of EMI


If you joined us for Sarah Chang last evening, perhaps you are wondering about the piece that she played for the encore. It was "Por Una Cabeza" by Carlos Gardel. 

Curious to know more about Carlos Gardel? Here is nice piece produced by NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129783483.