Center for the Arts Upcoming Shows

Grammy-Nominated Acoustic Guitarist Leo Kottke

Returns to Grass Valley

Friday, March 6, 2020

After fifty years of performing and recording more than forty albums, Kottke’s unique finger-picking style has transformed steel-string guitar playing and inspired new generations of musicians. Often described as eccentric, Kottke attributes this to being “a self-taught solo musician.” He is known to perform with an intense focus that carries the audience away; then he brings them back with engaging interludes of droll storytelling and gravelly vocals, which Kottke describes as “geese farts on a muggy day.”

Born in Athens, Georgia, and raised in twelve different states, Kottke absorbed a variety of musical influences. At age one and a half, he loved Stravinsky, and as he grew, his musical palate grew, too, from country-blues Mississippi John Hurt to march-master John Phillip Sousa and percussionist Preston Epps. At age five, he took up the violin and then switched to trombone, which he was dedicated to studying. Then his mother gave him a toy guitar to play when he had been sick in bed for two months. Kottke said that it saved his life.

When Kottke picked up the guitar at age 11, it was a lightning rod. “I knew instantly that I’d be playing for the rest of my life and that it was all I wanted to do. I didn’t have to think about a job. I could just go with it. It was a spiritual experience and remains one,” spoke Kottke in an interview with Anil Prasad. To say that Kottke is at one with his guitar is an understatement; it’s more transcendent than that. To hear him play steel-string guitar is to touch the mysteries and complexities of the man beyond himself. “I see everything through the guitar,” said Kottke (Anil Prasad, “Choice Reflections,”

As a young man, Kottke dropped out of the University of Missouri after a year, hitchhiked across the country, and joined the Navy, carrying his twelve-string along with him. Discharged in 1964 due to a hearing-loss injury, Kottke settled in the Twin Cities area and became a fixture at Minneapolis’ Scholar Coffeehouse, which had been home to Bob Dylan and John Koerner. His1968 debut album, “Twelve String Blues,” was recorded on a Viking quarter-inch tape recorder, for the Scholar’s tiny Oblivion label. (The label released one other LP by The Langston Hughes Memorial Eclectic Jazz Band.)

John Fahey signed Kottke to his Takoma label, and in 1969 released what has become known as “the Armadillo” record due to the graphic of an armadillo on the cover. The classic album was reportedly recorded in three hours and featured both six- and twelve-string guitar instrumentals. Fahey and his manager Denny Bruce soon secured a recording contract with Capitol Records for Kottke.

Kottke’s 1971 major-label debut, “Mudlark,” positioned him somewhat uneasily in the singer-songwriter genre, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer. Still, despite arguments with label executives, as well as with Bruce, Kottke flourished during his tenure on Capitol, as records like 1972’s “Greenhouse” and 1973’s live “My Feet Are Smiling” and “Ice Water” found him branching out with guest musicians and honing his guitar technique.

With 1975’s “Chewing Pine,” Kottke reached the U.S. Top 30 for the second time; he also gained an international following thanks to his continuing tours in Europe and Australia.

Kottke collaborated with Phish bassist Mike Gordon on the album “Clone” in 2002. A follow-up album was recorded in 2005 in the Bahamas called “Sixty-Six Steps,” produced by Leo’s old friend and Prince producer David Z.

Kottke has been awarded two Grammy nominations; a Doctorate in Music Performance by the Peck School of Music at the U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and a Certificate of Significant Achievement in Not Playing the Trombone from the U of Texas at Brownsville with Texas Southmost College.

Leo Kottke performs at the Foothills Event Center on Friday, March 6th, as a part of The Center for the Arts OnTheGo series. Doors open at 7:00 pm for the 8:00 pm show. Tickets are available online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the temporary box office in the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce located at 127 E Main Street, Downtown Grass Valley, CA.


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: An Evening with Leo Kottke
WHEN: Friday, March 6, 2020 – Doors 7:00pm | Show 8:00 pm
WHERE: Foothills Event Center 400 Idaho Maryland Rd
ADMISSION: $38-$53
INFO: | 530-274-8384


Tinsley Ellis brings the blues to The Center for the Arts

Friday, March 13th, 2020 7:00 pm Doors | 8:00 pm Show

Ever since he first hit the road 40 years ago, blues-rock guitar virtuoso, soulful vocalist and prolific songwriter Tinsley Ellis has grown his worldwide audience one scorching performance at a time. Armed with blazing guitar skills and scores of instantly memorable original songs, Ellis has traveled enough miles, he says, “to get to the moon and back six times.” He’s released 17 previous solo albums, and has earned his place at the top of the blues-rock world.

His imaginative songs tell stories of common, shared experiences in uncommon ways, all fueled by his high-octane, infectious, hard-rocking guitar playing. Vintage Guitar says, “He delivers blistering blues-rock, soul romps, minor-key blues, and shuffles—and it all sounds great.” The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.”

Ellis considers his new album, Ice Cream In Hell, the most raw-sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and his longtime co-producer Kevin McKendree (John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton), Ice Cream In Hell is a cathartic blast of blues-rock power. Though inspired by all three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie), as well by Carlos Santana, Hound Dog Taylor and others, Ice Cream In Hell is pure, unadulterated Tinsley Ellis. Throughout the album, Ellis’ deeply emotional, lyrical guitar solos perfectly match his fervent vocals.

Over the course of his career, Ellis has shared stages with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, The Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and many others. Whether he’s on stage with his own band or jamming with artists like Buddy Guy, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule or Widespread Panic, he always plays with grit, soul and unbridled passion.

“Ellis unleashes a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the passion of urban blues.” –Los Angeles Times

See Tinsley Ellis perform the blues live at The Center for the Arts on Friday, March 13, 2020. The doors open at 7:00 pm and the show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available online at, by calling The Center box office at 530-274-8384, and in person at BriarPatch Coop.


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: Tinsley Ellis
WHEN: Friday, March 13th, 2020 7:00 pm Doors | 8:00 pm Show
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
ADMISSION: $25 members / $35 regular
INFO: | 530-274-8384

Stand-Up Comedian Tom Papa Delivers a Hilarious Take on Everyday Life

Saturday, March 14, 2020 | 8:00pm

If laughter is indeed the best medicine, comedian Tom Papa is offering a strong dose of it from the new stage at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on Saturday, March 14, at 8:00 pm.

As a stand-up comedian, radio show host, and writer, Tom Papa has been sharing his humorous take on everyday life in America with audiences for over 20 years. He turns human behavior and daily routine into hilarious stories everyone can relate to. He can be irreverent without being trashy. His quick wit and wry observations are a perfect antidote for the daily tribulations of the common man in the 21st century.

Papa is head writer and a regular performer on the nationally syndicated radio show, “Live From Here,” the newest incarnation of the legendary radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.” He is featured on the show in his own regular segment, “Out in America With Tom Papa,” heard by 2.6 million listeners weekly.
Papa’s weekly, hour-long hit podcast and SiriusXM radio show “Come to Papa” is laid back, funny, and smart, featuring occasional guests like Mel Brooks and Jerry Seinfeld. He has been a regular on Conan and “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. Papa’s hilarious and warm book “Your Dad Stole My Rake” examines the dynamics of the ordinary family with its host of quirky relatives.

Papa’s first two, critically acclaimed hour-long specials were directed by Rob Zombie: “Tom Papa: Freaked Out” (2013) and “Tom Papa Live in New York City” (2011). His third hour-long stand-up special, “Human Mule” (2016), is available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other major outlets. Papa’s fourth comedy special, was filmed in front of a live audience at the Victoria Theater at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, “Tom Papa: ‘You’re Doing Great!’” and premieres on Netflix February 4, 2020.

When not touring the country, Tom lives in Los Angeles with his wife and family. See him perform live in Grass Valley at The Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Doors open at 7:00 pm for the 8:00 pm show. Tickets are available online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at The Center box office currently located in the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce 128 E. Main St. Downtown Grass Valley, California.

WHAT: Sirius XM Presents Tom Papa
WHEN: Saturday, March 14, 2020 | 8:00pm Show, Doors open at 7:00pm
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W Main St. Grass Valley, CA
WHO: Tom Papa
ADMISSION: $35-$45
INFO: 530-274-8384.

The Allman Betts Band Upholds a Rock and Roll Legacy in Their Own Style

Sunday, March 15, 2020 7:30

The Allman Betts Band, which includes three sons of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, will perform at The Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 15, at 7:30 pm.

Devon Allman, son of founding Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and singer, Gregg Allman, along with Duane Betts, son of guitarist and singer, Dickey Betts, and Berry Duane Oakley, Jr., son of the late bassist, Berry Oakley, have a musical friendship that traces back to The Allman Brothers Band’s 20th anniversary summer tour in 1989 when the three first met, and often sat in with the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductees as teenage descendants rightfully joining a rock-and-roll legacy. In 2018, the trio recruited slide guitar sorcerer Johnny Stachela, drummer John Lum, and percussionist R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow) to form The Allman Betts Band.

While the Allman Betts Band captures the spirit of the Allman Brothers Band, they have a magic of their own, divined from their shared history and individual musical talents and experiences. Devon Allman was bandleader and founder of the American blues rock band Honeytribe and one of the original members of Royal Southern Brotherhood. He released three solo albums as the Devon Allman Band, and toured with Duane Betts as the Devon Allman Project. Dickey Betts played with his father in Great Southern for several years, and eventually released his first solo record “Sketches of American Music” in 2018. Bassist Berry Duane Oakley, Jr., refined his graceful, melodic style playing with the Allman Brothers Band, the Robby Krieger Band, Bloodline, and others. Not surprisingly, the three musicians complement each other. Their common roots are obvious, but they are definitely their own band with their own songs and unique sound.

Prior to the release of their debut album, “Down by the River” and 2019 tour, Allman announced: “It’s a new band and new transition for us to go from being brothers to being band mates. We have natural organic chemistry that exists concurrently alongside our legacy and roots. This band stands on its own abilities. I’m so stoked to crank the amps and bring the music to the people.”

Betts commented: “It means so much to us to be able to put this record out and play these songs live for the people. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and this is just the next natural step in what hopefully will be a long journey.”

Happily, the band is back on tour in 2020 with renewed vigor and purpose. Their concerts feature new music, songs from their solo projects, and classic Allman Brothers and Gregg Allman tunes. To further enhance the show, Brotherhood of Light, the “Original San Francisco Psychedelic Light Show,” is providing visuals and lighting. Since 1967, Brotherhood of Light has worked with many famous rock bands: The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and others.

Rock out with The Allman Betts Band at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for the 7:30 pm show. Tickets are available online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at The Center box office currently located in the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce 128 E. Main St. Downtown Grass Valley, California.

WHO: The Allman Betts Band with special guests Marc Ford and Jackson Stokes
WHEN: Sunday, March 15, 2020 7:30 show
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W Main St. Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $32-$57
INFO: | 530-274-8384


The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra Brings Big Band to Grass Valley

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – Doors 6:30 PM | Show 7:30 PM

The Glenn Miller Orchestra, the most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements, performs live on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the newly renovated Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. With its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time.

Alton Glenn Miller got his musical start when, one day, his father brought home a mandolin. Glenn promptly traded it for an old battered horn, which he practiced every chance he got. In fact his mother worried, “It got to where Pop and I used to wonder if he’d ever amount to anything.” In 1923, Miller entered the University of Colorado. After flunking three of his five courses one semester, Glenn dropped out to concentrate on his career as a professional musician.

He toured with several orchestras and ended up in Los Angeles where he landed a spot in Ben Pollack’s group, a band that included a guy named Benny Goodman. Here, Miller also got the chance to write some arrangements. Miller played and recorded with the likes of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Eddie Condon and Coleman Hawkins. Miller became the musical director of the Dorsey Band, and later went on to organize The Ray Noble Orchestra.

In April 1935, Glenn Miller recorded, for the first time, under his own name. Using six horns, a rhythm section and a string quartet, he recorded “Moonlight on the Ganges” and “A Blues Serenade” for Columbia. But selling only a few hundred records, he continued his position with the Noble Orchestra.

In 1937, Glenn Miller stepped out to form his own band. There were a few recordings — one for Decca and one for Brunswick — a couple of week-long stints in New Orleans and Dallas, and many one-nighters, but it was not to be. Though the group would play one more date several days later in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Glenn gave his men their final notice on New Year’s Eve at the Valencia Ballroom in York, Pennsylvania. Broke, depressed and having no idea what he was going to do, he returned to New York City.

It is said that Miller could never remember precisely the moment he decided to emphasize his new reed section sound. But it was during this disheartening interim, that he realized the unique sound — produced by the clarinet holding the melodic line while the tenor sax plays the same note, and supported harmonically by three other saxophones — just might be the individual and easily recognizable style that would set his band apart from all the rest.

“A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality.” – Glenn Miller

Formed in March 1938, the second Glenn Miller Orchestra soon began breaking attendance records all up and down the East Coast. At the New York State Fair in Syracuse it attracted the largest dancing crowd in the city’s history. The next night it topped Guy Lombardo’s all-time record at the Hershey Park Ballroom in Pennsylvania. The Orchestra was invited by ASCAP to perform at Carnegie Hall with three of the greatest bands ever — Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring and Benny Goodman — and created more of a stir than any of them.

There were record-breaking recordings, as well, such as “Tuxedo Junction”, which sold 115,000 copies in the first week. In 1941, it was off to Hollywood where the band worked on its first movie, “Sun Valley Serenade”, which introduced the song — and soon-to-be million selling record –”Chattanooga Choo Choo”, and featured the Modernaires and the Nicholas Brothers. Then came “Orchestra Wives”. But the war was starting to take its toll on many of the big bands as musicians, and the rest of the country’s young men, began receiving draft notices.

On October 7, 1942, Alton Glenn Miller reported for induction into the Army and was immediately assigned to the Army Specialist Corps. His appointment as a Captain came after many months of convincing the military higher-ups that he could modernize the army band and ultimately improve the morale of the men. His training complete, he was transferred into the Army Air Corps, where he ultimately organized the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Miller’s goal of entertaining the fighting troops took another year to be realized, but in late 1943 he and the band were shipped out to England.

There, in less than one year, the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band engaged in over 800 performances. Of these, 500 were broadcasts heard by millions. There were more than 300 personal appearances including concerts and dances. But Glenn was not to participate in the final six months of these activities.

In the Fall of 1944, the band was scheduled to be sent on a six-week tour of Europe and would be stationed in Paris during that time. Miller decided to go ahead, in order to make the proper arrangements for the group’s arrival. And so, on December 15th, Glenn Miller boarded a transport plane to Paris, never to be seen again.

The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. Experience The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main Street, downtown Grass Valley. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7:30 performance. Tickets available at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the temporary box office located at 128 E Main Street in the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.


WHAT: The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra
WHEN: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – Doors 6:30 PM | Show 7:30 PM
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W Main Street Grass Valley, CA 95945
WHO: The Glenn Miller Orchestra
ADMISSION: $35-$45 Members, $40-$50 Public
INFO: 530-274-8384.

B-The Underwater Bubble Show Tours North America

Thursday March 19th, 2020 – Doors 6:00 PM | Show 7:00 PM

Following your dreams and allowing your inner child to take over for a while is the premise of B-The Underwater Bubble Show, performing at The Center for the Arts on Thursday March 19, 2020 at 7:00pm.

Inspired by childhood standards like Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan, B-The Underwater Bubble Show is a modern fairy tale with one major twist. “Each classic tale represents a journey of a kid who grows up and learns something,” explains co-creator and director Enrico Pezzoli. ”We wanted a story about an adult character who discovers that he can still go back and enjoy life. We don’t always need to grow up. Sometimes we need to step backwards for a bit and restart.”

The show follows Mr. B, a creature of modern habits who “always feels pressed by a thousand things to do in a world that seems to be moving too fast.” The office worker discovers a little aquarium that appears like magic inside his briefcase and gradually becomes enchanted by the wondrous underwater world of Bubblelandia, which is full of seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids and other creatures. “Mr. B represents each of us,” Pezzoli notes. “His transformation is a journey which each of us could take ‘only if’…everyone dreams about the possibilities of taking a break to sit, relax and simply daydream.”

Taking cues from Cirque du Soleil, the visually spectacular show incorporates the latest in stage technology. Lasers, low ground smoke and flying foam simulate waves and the underwater atmosphere.

A juggler in a huge plastic ball is the performer that immediately attracts Mr. B and the audience into Bubblelandia‘s wondrous world, while dancers and acrobats serve as “small colorful fish chasing Mr. B and each other inside the aquarium. The main character is played by a skillful actor/mime exaggerating his gradual transformation from stressed out modernity to blissed out wonder. However, the biggest attraction of the show is the spectacular use of soap bubbles in multiple artistic ways. Creators Pezzoli and bubble artist/spouse, Dace Pecoli have toured the world as a duo act for nearly twenty years working with the form, including a performance at the Sochi Olympics. “l have directed other big performances in the past, but “B” is our first independent big production,” Pezzoli explains.

“The biggest challenge was to make everyone understand that the show is for everyone. Many people only relate it to kids, but everyone loves bubbles. After performing in so many countries around the world, we have seen adults enjoying the show as much as kids, sometimes with even bigger reactions.”

Developed over two years, The Bubbielandia journey debuted in October 2011 with a pair of shows in Italy that drew in more than 5,000 spectators. It has since toured major theaters across Switzerland, Russia and Lebanon. A revised and enriched version made its UK and UAE debut in 2015 at the Blackpool Tower Circus and the Al Rayyan Theater in Doha, Qatar respectively. And, in 2016 the show toured the United States for the first time.

”Our main goal was to produce a show that could tour the world without any barriers, especially language,“ Pezzoli explains. “We involved many elements of theater that could work without speech, like mime, puppets, physical comedy and sand painting, while adding visual special effects. Even in parts of the world where the culture may be different from our own, the result is always the same, with everyone cheering and applauding.”

Magical and exciting, “B – The Underwater Bubble Show” offers a unique and extraordinary experience for all ages, and will be one of the first shows in the newly renovated theater at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. Doors open at 6:00 pm for the 7:00 pm show on Thursday March 19th, 2020. Tickets are available online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the temporary box office located in the Chamber of Commerce at 128 E Main Street.

WHAT: B – The Underwater Bubble Show
WHEN: Thursday March 19th, 2020 – Doors 6:00 PM | Show 7:00 PM
WHERE: The Center for the Arts – 314 W Main Street Grass Valley, CA 95945
WHO: B – The Underwater Bubble Show
ADMISSION: $35-$45 Members, $40-$50 Regular
INFO: 530-274-8384 x209.


Sunday, March 22, 2020 7:30pm

This time, the Second City is Laughing For all the Wrong Reasons. The Second City is here to break all the comedy rules they made famous in this all-new, all-hilarious revue that will leave you laughing…and questioning your very existence on this lonely planet. Okay, maybe not questioning your existence–but you’re guaranteed to re-think everything you thought you knew about what’s funny! Starring the next generation of comedy superstars, there are about a bazillion right reasons to not miss this show!

Fresh, fast and always spectacularly funny, The Second City is celebrating nearly sixty years of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and launching the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest.

See The Second City, Laughing for All the Wrong Reasons, live at The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main Street downtown Grass Valley, CA. The doors open at 6:30 for the 7:30 show on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Tickets for The Second City can be purchased online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the temporary box office located in the Chamber of Commerce at 128 E Main Street.


WHO: The Second City
WHAT: Laughing for All the Wrong Reasons Live at The Center for the Arts
WHEN: Sunday, March 22, 2020 7:30pm, Doors at 6:30pm
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W. Main St. Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $35 Members, $40 General Admission
INFO: | 530-274-8384 x209

Masters of Hawaiian Music Bring Paniolo Culture to The Center for the Arts

Friday, March 27, 2020 – 8:00pm show

Three Masters regularly featured at Maui’s renowned “Slack Key Show®,” share Hawai‘i’s unique & sprightly folk styles with origins in the early 19th century Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) culture at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on Friday, March 27, 2020.

“Virtuosic keepers of a cultural flame… Bringing folklore & cultural memory into a performance that unfolded as breezy entertainment.” – The New York Times

Four-time Grammy-winner and master slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr. is known as “Hawai‘i’s Renaissance Man.” Kahumoku is a multiple Na Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) Award winner, a vocalist, storyteller, songwriter, author, teacher, sculptor, farmer, and chef.

Nathan Aweau, a talented multi-instrumentalist, has been a part of award-winning groups including Hapa, Ka‘eo, and The Ali‘i. His seven solo CDs have won him multiple Na Hoku Awards. He is the only person to win ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ three times. He’s also won ‘Song of the Year’ twice, and took home an ‘Island Album of the Year’ award.

Guitar virtuoso Jeff Peterson is one of the most versatile musicians in Hawaiian music today. Specializing in Slack Key, Classical, and Jazz guitar, he has contributed to two Grammy-winning recordings and has been honored with eight Na Hōkū Awards. Five of his songs are in the George Clooney film ‘The Descendants’.

See the Masters of Hawaiian Music perform live at The Center for the Arts on Friday, March 27, 2020. The doors open at 7:00 pm for the 8:00 pm show. Tickets are available online at, by calling The Center box office at 530-274-8384, and in person at BriarPatch Coop. Aloha.

WHAT: Masters of Hawaiian Music: George Kahumoku Jr, Nathan Aweau & Jeff Peterson
WHEN: Friday, March 27, 2020 – 8:00pm show, doors at 7pm.
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W. Main St. Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $35-$45


New Orleans Guitarist Anders Osborne Is a True Musical Treasure

Sunday, March 29th 7:30pm

At one point on his 2019 album, “Buddha and The Blues,” Anders Osborne sings, “Oh, it’s a miracle we still care. Oh, it’s so wonderful we’re still here. We’re still here!” He’s not going anywhere either.

Osborne’s six-string virtuosity, inventive musicality, and poetic songcraft underpin an ever-expanding three-decade catalog celebrated by fans and critics alike. As a sought-after studio talent, his writing resounds through Keb Mo’s GRAMMY® Award-winning “Slow Down,” Tim McGraw’s number one “Watch The Wind Blow By,” and covers by Brad Paisley, Jonny Lang, Edwin McCain, Aaron Neville, and more. His output live and in the studio spans working with everyone from Eric Church, Toots and the Maytals, and John Scofield to The Meters, North Mississippi Allstars, and Galactic. His extensive touring history encompasses gigs, collaborations, and performances alongside everyone from Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, and Stanton Moore, to The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, and Jackie Greene. He lit up the screen on an episode of the HBO hit “Treme,” and he has garnered acclaim from “USA Today,” “Guitar Player,” “Relix,” “Offbeat,” and more. He also gives back whenever possible via the “Send Me A Friend” foundation and through writing music for New Orleans Children’s Museum.

Osborne’s latest album, “Buddha and the Blues,” references the full scope of the creative and personal duality at the heart of everything this maverick does. “I came up with the title early on, so I knew what the vibe of the record should be,” he explains. “‘Buddha and the Blues’ means the duality of our existence.”

As Osborne crafted the music, he pondered an existential struggle we all face. On the one hand, humans do good, but it’s under the expectation of personal gratification. On the other hand, they desire success and wealth, but they attempt to maintain an appearance of humility. This constant push-and-pull led him to write about “not getting lost in a sunken path or idolizing an intangible future, but instead to be present in this moment and to be fully alive.” He goes on, “The lyrics are supposed to be true, conversational, and uplifting with clean, classic, and thumpin’ sounds. That’s what I set out to accomplish.”

Osborne envisioned making the album in California, but not the big screen vision of Hollywood. It made perfect sense to zero in on a location just far enough from the city. Ojai felt perfect to siphon the soul of SoCal into wistful sun-soaked soundscapes. You can practically hear Ojai in the aural fabric of the album.

“The Southern California vibe was essential to the record,” Osborne continues. “Cutting it in Ojai was crucial to achieving the right atmosphere. I usually write with a location in mind, so it helps me stay focused and guides me to craft a body of tunes rather than individual songs.” That “body of tunes” kicks off with the dusty dynamics of “Alone.” In the pocket of a steady beat, the twang of clean guitar offsets his gruff delivery as the track unfurls towards a discordant guitar lead highlighted by organ. “‘Alone’ was a meditative prose I wrote in my backyard,” he says. “It had a circular vibe to it, When I added the music, I wanted it to match the poem: a small word with an epic impression.”

He adds, “I wrote ‘Traveling with Friends’ on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, while on vacation with my family. We had an amazing spot on top of a mountain overlooking a big part of the island, and I felt inspired and really grateful. I had a moment of relief from all of my searching and dissonance. I saw us all for what we are—beautiful, fragile, and in this tumultuous space trip all together.”

He crafted the perfect soundtrack to the trip with “Buddha and the Blues,” illuminating his own duality like never before. The message ultimately becomes clear in the music. “Learn to choose,” he leaves off. “Be happy or continue suffering.”

Experience the richly detailed songwriting, intensely emotional vocals, and expert guitar work of New Orleans’s Anders Osborne on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at the newly renovated Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley at 314 W. Main Street. Doors open at 6:30pm for the 7:30pm show. Tickets are available online at, by calling the box office at 530-274-8384, and in person at Briarpatch Co-op.

WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: Anders Osborne
WHEN: Sunday, March 29th 7:30pm, Doors at 6:30pm
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 314 W. Main St. Grass Valley, CA 95945
ADMISSION: $30-$40 Members / $35-$45 Regular
INFO: | 530-274-8384 x209

Amy Grant’s adventure continues. Next stop: Grass Valley

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Amy Grant has built a long, successful career creating music that matters. Ever since she burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced teenager bringing contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, the Nashville native gained a reputation for creating potent songs that examined life’s complexities with an open heart and a keen eye. She became the first artist in Christian music to have a platinum record and went on to become a crossover sensation, her musical gifts transcending genre boundaries to make her a household name.

Grant has been strumming her way through a thirty-plus year adventure as a singer-songwriter, author, television host, and speaker. Early on, Grant’s iconic voice became instantly recognizable in both the Christian and pop worlds. Over the years, she has sold more than 30 million albums world-wide, including three multi-platinum, six platinum, and four gold. Her chart performance has also been consistent throughout her career, boasting six No. 1 hits, 10 “Top 40” Pop singles, 17 “Top 40” Adult Contemporary tracks and multiple Contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In recognition of such success, Grant has received 6 GRAMMY Awards and 26 Dove Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a star on the Music City Walk of Fame. Additionally, she was most recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Stepping out from behind her guitar, Grant found herself hosting the NBC prime time series “Three Wishes” in 2005, bringing her into millions of living rooms across America every Friday night. The people she met and stories she collected inspired her to create new music and to write her first book. Two years later, Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far, was published. She continues to share her stories with audiences all over the country as a keynote and inspirational speaker.

In April 2016, Grant celebrated the 25th anniversary of her first pop hit, “Baby Baby”, with a worldwide release of a new version of the song featuring pop sensation and fellow Capitol Music Group recording artist Tori Kelly. Growing her wildly popular Christmas brand, Grant then released “Tennessee Christmas” in October 2016, her first all-new Christmas album in nearly twenty years. She looks forward to national arena symphony Christmas tours each November and December with long-time friend Michael W. Smith, as well as an annual Christmas residency at the world-famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with country superstar husband Vince Gill.

Grant resides with her family in Nashville, Tennessee, and is widely known for her philanthropy and tireless involvement in local causes and charitable organizations. Her own organization, The Helping Hands Foundation, has afforded her the opportunity to identify needs around her and the resources to help meet them, which has proven to be the sweetest reward of all.

Enjoy an Evening with Amy Grant, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA. Doors open at 6:30pm for the 7:30pm show. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020. The Center for the Arts members get early access to reserved seats and special member pricing. Tickets are available at, at Briarpatch Co-op and at the box office located in The Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, 128 E Main St. Grass Valley, CA.

WHO: Amy Grant
WHEN: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
WHERE: The Center for the Arts 301 W Main St. Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: Price and where to purchase tickets
INFO: | 530-274-8384

A Beacon for Life, the Poetic Storytelling of Ayla Nereo

Saturday, May 2, 2020, 8:00pm

Ayla Nereo is as a voice for the planet, a modern bard and beacon who dances songs directly from her soul. With lyrical poetry splashing across a canvas of sound, her music has an uncanny ability to disarm and crack open the heart, as she sings for the depth of our humanness, and for the return to our pure wonder of existence. Her lucid storytelling and magical presence onstage and off creates a force field that is palpable, joyous, deep, and utterly enchanting.

“One of the most poignant voices currently floating about… Ayla Nereo is an otherworldly artist who shares the fruits of her soul” — The Huffington Post

With a particular joy for bridging musical styles, Ayla’s songs seem a genre unto their own, as she weaves between vocal looping, produced beats, live drumming, orchestral string arrangements, Celtic melodies, disco rhythms, electronic soundscapes, and even dashes of hip-hop wordplay. Calling us to listen deeper, her songs are elegant masterpieces of lucid storytelling, with lyrics ringing as anthems for planetary healing, human potential, beauty, and compassion.

“[Ayla’s] relationship with the earth is imprinted in her music… expansive and intriguing.” — Billboard

Though you’d never know it by witnessing her perform, Ayla grew up with an intense fear of singing. In her final year of college, songs began pouring through her, and it was only through the constant urging of those around her that she began to slowly share her music. Propelled by the songs themselves, Ayla’s journey of meeting those fears and singing through them has grown her into the powerful performer she is today, touching an ever-widening global audience with the inspiring magic of her songs.

A child schooled at home in the hills of Sonoma County, Ayla was raised on Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, opera, classical music, traditional celtic songs, and ABBA — influences which have deeply shaped her music. Touching on both the timeless and modern, she always rides the line between genres, so that her songwriting and sound ultimately cannot be compared to anyone else.

Dancing her own songs on stage as she sings them, her movement and presence gives the audience a permission to be wild, real, vulnerable, and alive. Every performance Ayla gives is its own inspired journey; an enchanting and poignant experience that holds you by the heart and doesn’t let go.

After touring 33 cities in 6 weeks with The Polish Ambassador for the first Permaculture Action Tour, she began to create her own Herbalism Action Days to connect her fanbase with their local plant-teachers and healers, to empower communities to know what medicines and foods grow around them, and support the self-reliance of individuals to reclaim their own health care and community food systems. She is excited to weave more action days into her future touring. For each date on Ayla Nereo’s 2020 Spring Tour, $1 will be donated to, to support the global reforestation effort to counter climate change. Every ticket purchased plants 2 trees!

Ayla released her 6th solo album, the phenomenal By The Light of the Dark Moon, in the spring of 2019 via Jumpsuit Records. The album marks a distinct stepping-out into the world arena. Dancing between genres across each song, this album is a journey of finding light through darkness, connecting to what is currently happening in our world with many collective shadows rising to be seen and healed. “By the Light of the Dark Moon,” as Ayla shares, “speaks to what becomes visible when times get darker, whether it be within us, or as a culture, or out in the sky above.” This album is a beacon, illuminating hope, awareness, and a deep sense of wonder for all of Life. As the opening track calls forth, “We the shining forest… to the darkness bring song.” Ayla has also 2 albums with her project Wildlight (her collaboration with David Sugalski, aka The Polish Ambassador), and 3 collaboration albums.

Honing her impeccable artistry and craft over the years, Ayla has developed a deeply loyal fanbase, one that has recently seen exponential growth into widening circles across the planet. After a nationwide tour supporting the album release, a full summer of notable festival appearances, a sold out appearance at Red Rocks with Nahko & Medicine for the People and Trevor Hall, a co-headlining concert with Rising Appalachia, supporting Nahko & Medicine for the People on 14 dates this past fall, and her second nationwide and European tours set for this year, Ayla’s music is reverberating from a west-coast transformational niche into larger global audiences, to inspire and uplift the hearts of humanity. Her music is currently seeing rapid and increasing growth throughout the US, Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, and dozens of other countries.

It promises to be a special evening with Lindsay Bellows and Honey of the Heart sharing the bill.

Lindsay Bellows will open the evening. Bellows weaves together light-hearted folk/pop with fierce R&B vocals to create music that ignites the spirit and soothes the soul. When she’s on stage alone, the magic of Lindsay’s artistry becomes apparent as her songs are built from scratch, bringing together melodies, harmonies, and percussion using only her voice and a loop pedal, intimately revealing one part at a time to the audience. A naked solo is gradually dressed up with rich vocal layers until this one-woman act begins to sound more like a soaring choir or a pulsing multi-piece band.

Local band Honey of the Heart will also take to the stage ahead of Ayla’s performance. Based in Grass Valley, Justin and Maren formed the group Honey of the Heart to inspire and connect people with their voices, rhythm, and melodies from around the world. The group is about to release their premier studio full length album that combines talented musicians from across California. The new album includes intimate songs featuring just the duo’s vocal harmonies and ukulele, and also expands to larger sounds including a twelve piece band with a horn section, multiple percussionists, three part harmonies, and a DJ. Their live shows emote a sweet nectar of sounds that can bring people to personal revelation, community awareness, and uplift the power of joy in our hearts.

See Ayla Nereo, Honey of the Heart, and Lindsay Bellows perform at the newly renovated Center for the Arts downtown Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Doors open at 7:00pm for the 8:00pm show. Tickets are available online at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the temporary box office located in the Chamber of Commerce at 128 E Main Street.

WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: Ayla Nereo
WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2020, 8:00pm, doors at 7:00pm
WHERE: 314 W Main Street, Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $23-$33
INFO: | 530-274-8384

Garrison Keillor, Master Storyteller

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Garrison regaled audiences for more than 40 years as the host of A Prairie Home Companion, and brought stories to life on public radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. He’ll be taking the stage at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Garrison Keillor captivates audiences with his signature blend of humor, charisma, and wisdom as he shares his journey to becoming one of America’s greatest storytellers. A best-selling author, he has published more than two dozen books of fiction and poetry. His unique works have earned him honors including Grammy, ACE, and Peabody awards, as well as the National Humanities Medal and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Crowds are instantly drawn in by his soothing, hypnotic voice, whimsical vignettes, and homespun brand of humor. Sharing his passion for everything from creativity and literacy to the great journey of life, Garrison entertains with a sage yet wry perspective, inspiring with kernels of wisdom audiences carry long after he has left the stage.

Experience Garrison Keillor perform live on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA. Doors open at 6:30 pm for the 7:30 pm show. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020. The Center for the Arts members get early access to reserved seats and special member pricing. Tickets are available at, at Briarpatch Co-op, and at the box office located in The Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, 128 E Main St. Grass Valley, CA.

WHO: Garrison Keillor
WHAT: Live at The Center for the Arts
WHEN: Thursday, May 21, 2020
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W Main St. Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $60-$75
INFO: | 530-274-8384





Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and 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 multiuse 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.