Jim Kweskin and Meredith Axelrod an American Duo
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Center for the Arts OnTheGo Presents Jim Kweskin and Meredith Axelrod at The Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley on Thursday September 19th. The pair joined forces in 2014 for a collection of vintage American music on the album “Come On In”. They are coming together again to perform classics and favorites that pull from their Jug Band and Americana roots. Local troubadours Paul Emery and Peter Wilson open the evening.
Because of his vast repertoire and love of the music, Jim Kweskin is recognized as one of the best interpreters of the great American songbook. He is the founder of the legendary 1960s Jim Kweskin Jug Band. They successfully transformed the sounds of pre-World War II rural music into a springboard for their good-humored performances. Their imitators were legion, including a San Francisco jug band that became the Grateful Dead, a Los Angeles jug band that became the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and a New York jug band that became the Lovin’ Spoonful. No other group attained their unique blend of youthful energy and antiquarian expertise, tight musicianship, loose camaraderie, and infectious swing.
“When it came to jug band music, razzmatazz jazz, and swinging spins on Piedmont blues back in the ’60s, Jim Kweskin was top dog. Jim Kweskin’s famed Jug Band hot-wired an entire movement that still has a certain impact on the folk scene today.”
– Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix
These days Jim is best known as a singer and bandleader, but he also created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Pink Anderson to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. He continues to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician, and jazz with the communal simplicity of a folk artist. He is performing and recording with a wide variety of well-known musicians including Meredith Axelrod.
Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth-century music, whether it be ragtime, music hall, pop standard, boogie woogie, Tin Pan Alley, string band, jazz, country, blues. or even jug band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago—through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records. Whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and/or sheet music), which were released between the 1890s and the1930s.
“It takes more than passion to do what Meredith does. It takes guts; conviction. She is unflinchingly committed to authentic recreation of the tunes in her repertoire–swampy blues and early American roots music.” – Gary Rametta
Opening the show is local duo Paul Emery and Peter Wilson. Peter and Paul have performed together since the early 1980s as the Fun Train Minstrels and in various combinations.
Paul Emery is a member of Backwoods Jazz with Anni McCann and Tom Schmidt. He is creator of A Thousand Kisses Deep – The Songs of Leonard Cohen, which has performed around Northern California to sell-out crowds. Paul is also a founding member of the Foothills Flyers duo with Ray Mann and the ground-breaking Greater Carmichael String Band. His production company, Paul Emery Presents, has been an essential part of Nevada County’s vibrant music scene for decades.Peter Wilson is a singer/songwriter/guitarist with several recordings to his credit. He’s a member of the Deadbeats playing the music of the Grateful Dead. Peter has written, recorded and toured with Mountain John Hilligoss and Moe Dixon in the trio Troubadour Camp. His production company, Strings Concerts, presents curated folk music concerts by international touring artists.
Jim Kweskin shows radiate charm, humor, sophistication, and talent. Jim sings a collection of familiar songs by Benny Goodman, Johnny Mercer, the Sons of the Pioneers, Fats Waller, and Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads. There’s an endearing sense of good humor to Kweskin’s interpretations that makes his performances a delight. Combine that with Meredith Axelrod’s authentic voice and ernest devotion to vintage eras and you get an evening of cultural folklore and storytelling.
This Center OnTheGo production will be held at The Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley on Thursday, September 19th. Doors open at 7:00 pm. The show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at The Center for the Arts box office located at 995 Plaza Drive, at BriarPatch Food Co-op, and online at thecenterforthearts.org.
WHAT: The Center for the Arts OnTheGo Presents: Jim Kweskin & Meredith Axelrod with Paul Emery & Peter Wilson Opening.
WHEN: Thursday, September 19, 2019 – Doors 7pm – Show 8pm
WHERE: Foothills Event Center, 400 Idaho Maryland Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
WHO: Jim Kweskin & Meredith Axelrod
ADMISSION: $30 Members / $40 Public / Premium Box Seats $60 / Premium Four Pack $182
Tickets: http://bit.ly/190919-Kweskin also available at BriarPatch and The Center Box Office
PUBLIC CONTACT INFO: thecenterforthearts.org 530-274-8384.
Open Studios 2019
October 12–13 & 19–20
Presented by The Center for the Arts
The Center for the Arts is proud to present the 24th annual Open Studios on the weekends of October 12–13 and 19–20. Nevada County has long been known for its exceptional artist community; for the sheer abundance and diversity of artists and the high quality of their work. Open Studios is a free, self-guided art tour of the studios and galleries of dozens of these fine artists. Beyond an art sale, Open Studios is a chance to experience firsthand how, where, and why art is created.
The tour features a wealth of classic and contemporary art for every taste, and hosts sculptors, printmakers, photographers, painters, jewelers, illustrators, woodworkers, designers, and more. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists, view new pieces and works in progress, watch live demonstrations, learn about their processes from conception to completion, and buy original art expressing a wide range of mediums and methods.
This year’s Open Studios will feature new artists as well as longtime favorite artists. Muralist Miles Toland, creator of the stunning “New Dawn” mural on the Everhart Hotel in Grass Valley, is a first-time participating artist. A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Toland painted his first mural at the age of sixteen. Since then he has painted murals in India, France, Switzerland, Canada, and soon in Australia. The work space he shares with fellow artist Julian Vadas is both a studio and an art gallery. The space is divided into zones for painting, e-commerce, and large-scale portable murals, which can be rolled up and transported to different locations. Toland is looking forward to discussing his vision and creative process for painting murals with Open Studio patrons. In addition to Open Studios, Toland and Vadas are preparing for an art opening at the Chambers Project Gallery in Nevada City on October 11th. To learn more about Miles Toland and his art, go to www.milestoland.com; for Julian Vadas Art, go to www.julianvadas.com.
Photographer David Wong is a well-loved veteran of Open Studios. He looks forward every year to welcoming people to his rural studio for a behind-the-scenes look into the total breadth of his work and the eye-opening process of how a fine art photograph is created. Wong stresses that art photography involves much more than just clicking the camera shutter: it involves creative vision and storytelling, the technical translation of capturing the image, and the highly technical and creative process of making a print. Wong views Open Studios as an opportunity for people to get closer to art by meeting the artists in their work environments. To learn more about David Wong and his photography, go to https://photographybydavidwong.com.
Jeweler Antje Dormeyer will be sharing a studio this year with painter Sylviane Gaumer. Dormeyer’s handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry features precious and semi-precious stones and metals. Gaumer uses oils to achieve the rich, luminous colors found in her paintings. Dormeyer loves to cook, nearly as much as she loves to make jewelry, so patrons can expect good eats at their studio. Visit their websites at www.antjedormeyer.com and https://sylvianegaumer.com/.
Tour participants use a printed guidebook to map out the studios and galleries they’d most like to visit. You may choose to ramble from one location to the next, stopping for lunch along the way at one of Nevada County’s choice eateries, or cram in as many studios as possible before the end of the day—your call. No matter how you proceed, you can expect an enjoyable and educational adventure in art, full of interesting people, engaging conversation, picturesque settings, and tasty snacks and beverages. Open Studio guidebooks can be obtained in advance at several locations. For a list of locations and an online map of the tour, please visit: https://thecenterforthearts.org/event/open-studios-2019/.
A free Opening Reception will kick off Open Studios 2019. Come and enjoy wine, beer, and delicious hors d’oeuvres while mingling with participating artists and other members of the community and guests. The celebration will be held at the Plaza Gallery, 998 Plaza Drive in the Brunswick Basin, October 10th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
To learn more about Open Studios and for a list of this year’s participating artists, go to https://thecenterforthearts.org/event/open-studios-2019/
WHAT: Open Studios 2019
WHEN: October 12–13 and 19–20, 2019
WHERE: Various Locations around Nevada County
WHO: Presented by The Center for the Arts
ADMISSION: Free, details available at https://thecenterforthearts.org/event/open-studios-2019/
PUBLIC CONTACT INFO: thecenterforthearts.org 530-274-8384.
Michael Franti & Spearhead Return To Grass Valley
Michael Franti & Spearhead come to Grass Valley for a concert at Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, October 15 as part of The Center for the Arts OnTheGo series. They are touring the U.S. in support of their critically acclaimed new album Stay Human Vol. II, out now on Thirty Tigers. Tickets available to The Center for The Arts Members on Thursday, August 1 and to the general public on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. local time via http://thecenterforthearts.org.
The writing on Stay Human Vol. II—which is co-produced by Franti alongside Ben Simonetti (Zac Brown Band, Shemekia Copeland, Blake Shelton), Niko Moon (Zac Brown Band), Kevin Bard (Fitz & The Tantrums) and others—was heavily influenced by Franti’s work on his new award-winning self-directed documentary, Stay Human. He explains, “I’ve traveled the globe making music and throughout the years I’ve always hoped that it could inspire small steps towards making the world a better place. Struggling with the challenges of the world I began filming my new documentary, Stay Human, telling the stories of heroic everyday people who helped me to discover more deeply what it means to be and STAY HUMAN.”
Stay Human Vol. II continues to receive critical praise:
“an artist who’s clearly interested in making deep connections with listeners, speaking powerfully through his music and living by his mantra that ‘there is no one in the world that you wouldn’t love if you knew their story.’” – USA Today
“Franti’s mission, musical and otherwise, is convincing people they can.”
“a record that’s overflowing with positivity…in these deeply divided times, Franti gives listeners about 45 minutes of nothing but good vibes, optimism and a charge to take that feeling out into the world.” – Associated Press
Stay Human has won an array of awards while on the festival circuit, including the RWJ Barnabas Health Award at the 2018 Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2018 Nashville Film Festival, the Audience Award and the Voice for Humanity Award at the 2018 ILLUMINATE Film Festival and the Soul in Cinema Award at the 2018 Maui Film Festival. The film is now available via on demand and digital platforms through Cinedigm. Watch/share the trailer for Stay Human at https://youtu.be/NaQu7n4NA6s.
Franti began writing music as a way to process both the political landscape of the late 1980s and the unique sounds and ideas of his Bay Area upbringing. In 1994, Franti formed Michael Franti & Spearhead. Touring with his band, Franti continued to notice inequality and injustice both at home and abroad. The band released their seminal Stay Human album in 2000, reflecting on the unjust nature of the death penalty among other themes, to make sense of our common humanity in juxtaposition to near constant violations of human rights.
Franti released his first self-directed documentary, I Know I’m Not Alone, in 2005 to widespread critical acclaim. The film depicts his mission for peace in the Middle East, with a focus on the human cost of war. Franti visited war zones in Iraq, Israel and Palestine again finding common connection, playing music to both soldiers and civilians regardless of affiliation.
Michael Franti & Spearhead continue to foster the community both on and off stage and with Michael and his wife Sara’s foundation Do It For The Love, a wish granting nonprofit that brings those with life threatening illnesses, veterans and children with severe challenges to concerts. His recent musical projects have included the Billboard #1 single “The Sound of Sunshine” (2010) and full-length releases All the People (2013) and SOULROCKER (2016), which topped the Billboard rock album charts at #4 and #5, respectively.
Stay Human Vol. II is available for purchase and to stream at https://ffm.to/stayhumanvol2. The album debuted at #62 on the Billboard 200 chart as well as #1 on the Americana chart and #1 on the Independent Album chart. It also reached #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
Tickets go on sale Friday, August 2nd at 10am. The Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Auditorium is a treasured historic venue. General Admission seating is available on the floor on a first come first serve basis with the majority of seating available in the bleachers. The auditorium has been retrofitted with new seating in the bleachers. For ticket information visit www.thecenterforthearts.org.
WHO: The Center for the Arts OnTheGo Presents
WHAT: Michael Franti & Spearhead
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 15, doors open 7 p.m
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 255 S. Auburn Street. Grass Valley, CA
TICKETS: General Admission: $76 public / $66 Members, available at The Center for the Arts Box Office, 998 Plaza Drive, Grass Valley or by calling 530-274-8384; at BriarPatch Food Coop, 530-272-5333, or online at www.thecenterforthearts.org
WEBPAGE: www.thecenterforthearts.org/event/michael-franti-2019 www.michaelfranti.com
Rodney Crowell – November 9th
The Center for the Arts OnTheGo proudly presents Rodney Crowell, a legend praised as a hit songwriter, as a chart-topping singer, and as a gruffly grinning member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Now you get to see him live at The Foothills Event Center on November 9th!!
Classics can become cliches. And cliches, like whiskey, nostalgia, and orthodoxy, will deaden the mind. We can’t learn from what we know. It doesn’t work that way. But if what we know morphs and changes, and whittles itself down to truthful essence, then we can find delight and inspiration.
That’s what’s going on here, in Rodney Crowell’s most unusual of retrospectives. These are songs he wants to sing and play, performed as he wants to sing and play them.
This is nothing like a summation of an extraordinary life in songwriting, and the very act of releasing an album of “classics” that doesn’t include “’Til I Gain Control Again,” “Voila, An American Dream,” “Song for the Life,” “Stars on the Water,” “Ashes by Now,” “Bluebird Wine,” “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream),” and all the others is either an act of humility or a chest-thump.
Hard to say, and maybe it doesn’t matter. As always, Crowell is running toward his true self, even as he assures us he’s not running fast enough.
“I’ve heard it said a thousand times, to thine own self be true,” he sings. “Well, it’s not for lack of trying, that this is something I can’t do.”
Check this out . . . he sings that on a song called “Shame on the Moon Redux.” It’s a retrospective reinvention of “Shame on the Moon,” a song Crowell wrote and Bob Seger recorded to grand success. The original was a hit. It was a smash. Crowell never liked the last verse, about stepping light on old toes.
“I used to let a lot of stuff go by,” he says. “I didn’t put in the work at the time to make that song be all that it could be.”
And so, by way of an apology to a chart-topping song, Crowell re-wrote it as confession and admission.
“I was late in my twenties, and hungry for praise,” is what he sings. “And waxing like crazy when I wrote down that phrase/ ‘Oh, blame it on midnight . . . ooh, shame on the moon.’”
Crowell is no longer hungry for praise. We’ve been praising him for forty years, since the days when Guy Clark — the emphatic and acerbic father figure to several musical generations — pointed out the ebullient genius in “Bluebird Wine,” a song that would become the first song on Emmylou Harris’s first major label album. We’ve praised Crowell as a hit songwriter, as a chart-topping singer, and as a gruffly grinning member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
We’ve praised him to the point of satiation, and now Crowell’s bouncing poetry is its own reward. Another poet, Donald Hall, identified writing’s most sinful characteristics as being “tired, ordinary, trite, or false.” Rodney Crowell would not be convicted of these crimes by a jury of peers.
This album of classics is not a victory lap. It’s a field sprint, followed by a campfire circle. It’s Rodney Crowell playing guitar and singing with friends, live and in real time. The revelations are in the reveling, and in Crowell’s joyful ownership of songs that have become dear companions. We arrive as honored guests, here to listen to an artist’s true self. www.rodneycrowell.com
The Center for the Arts and Chris Perondi, the “Stunt Dog Guy”
™ Present The Stunt Dog Experience ™
The Center for the Arts is brings The Stunt Dog Experience ™ to the Veterans Auditorium in Grass Valley for two performances on Friday, November 22nd 2019.
Chris Perondi is the Stunt Dog GuyTM and his famous stunt dogs are out of this world! Director Chris Perondi has been entertaining audiences of all sizes since 1999. He has produced over 9,000 shows in his career. Over 4,500 have been stage shows for performing arts theaters and for major theme parks including Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags of America.
The Stunt Dog GuyTM has a cast of performers and dogs will delight audiences of all ages. He guarantees high-energy excitement from beginning to end. During this “Stunt Dog Experience” you will witness some of the most incredible stunts and behaviors ever performed by dogs. The experience has amazing tricks, big air stunts, comedy antics, dancing dogs, athletic feats, and is the most entertaining show of its kind.
The show is one-of-a-kind and brings forth pet adoption awareness. All the dogs have been rescued from pounds and shelters from across the country. The mission is to promote animal rescue, pet adoption, encourage spay & neutering, and encourage people to spend more time with their pets.
Don’t forget “Diggy the Dog” the human sized canine mascot! Diggy is always trying to be a part of the show in some silly way. He will try to convince everyone that he is the real star of the show. During the process you will laugh as he tries his paws at jumping rope like the four legged stars. He will also beg to do Perondi’s famous daredevil stunt. Can Diggy jump as high as the four-legged stunt dog? You will soon find out!
Every show also includes interactive crowd participation. It’s not just a show, it’s an experience! Audience members will chant “Higher” and “Dog gone fun!” and be involved in the excitement of the production. The audience will even be split into two teams and everyone will cheer on their team of dogs during the “Golden Bone Showdown”. The trick dog challenge will be judged and won by audience applause; and the athletic challenges will be won based on speed, accuracy, and leaping ability. From world class Frisbee catching dogs, the three sport “Stunt Dog Triathlon”, and weave pole racing, to the famous high-jumping phenomenon. You will be blown away by the most agile dogs in the world!
These stars have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, David Letterman, the Tonight Show, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Queen Latifah show, Animal Planet’s Pet Stars, worldwide during the annual Rose Parade, the CBS Early Show, and much more. They have also starred in commercials and have been featured on the news and in magazines across the country. The Stunt Dog GuyTM truly delivers a theater masterpiece.
The Center for the Arts presents “Stunt Dog Experience” at the Veterans Auditorium on South Auburn Street in Grass Valley for two performances on Friday, November 22nd 2019. There is a matinee at 1:00 p.m. and an eventing show at 7:00 p.m. Doors open one hour before each show. Tickets are available online at thecenterforthearts.org and at The Center for the Arts box office located at 998 Plaza Drive in Grass Valley. Discounted tickets available for children 13 and under.
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary, visual art and family programming. Typically, the Center presents more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center is currently underway in a major renovation of its multi-use 21,000 square foot facility in downtown Grass Valley. After the renovation, the Center will have a 490 seat main theater, a large visual art gallery, classroom space, and a 90-seat black box theater. For more information about the renovation, please reach out to The Center’s Executive Director, Amber Jo Manuel.
WHAT: Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience ™
WHEN: Two Shows on Friday, November 22nd at 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm
WHERE: Veteran’s Memorial Building S Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
WHO: The Stunt Dog team includes Chris Perondi, wife Suhey Perondi, son Anthony Perondi.
ADMISSION: Youth $15 (children 13 and under) / Members $25 / Public $30