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Johnny Cash, a steel band and an improv musical
UWP Performing Arts Series starts Sunday
NIU Steelband spring 2012
Northern Illinois University Steel Band, April 30

The UW–Platteville 2013–14 Performing Arts series starts with a Johnny Cash tribute Sunday.

Nearly all performances will be held at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, a change from previous seasons when the start time was 7:30 p.m.

“This year’s Performing Arts Series increases the total number of events from 11 to 12. I think everyone will find something they like,” said Michael Breitner, director of arts facilities and series at UW–Platteville. “We also balanced the series for pricing; increasing the number of lower cost programs, while adding a more expensive Broadway show. The concert hall normally seats 493 people, so it’s challenging to make the budget balance when Broadway show performance fees can be as much as $30,000. Without the support of the student body and the Friends of the CFA, we couldn’t make a series happen.”

The 2013–14 schedule includes:

“Ring of Fire,” Sept. 22: Stories of faith, family, passion, redemption and humor set the stage in this new national tour of “Ring of Fire — The Music of Johnny Cash.”

“Ring of Fire” is a musical revue which features more than 35 hit songs from the legendary Johnny Cash. Although Cash himself is never impersonated, “Ring of Fire” features a company of performers that will guide the audience on a journey through Cash’s storied life and celebrated music—from the cotton fields of Arkansas to the Grand Ole Opry.

The show features more than 35 of Cash’s hit songs from his long career including “Walk the Line,” “Jackson,” “If I Were a Carpenter,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “A Boy Named Sue,” his final hit, “Daddy Sang Bass” and the title track, “Ring of Fire.”

Cantus, Oct. 4: Acclaimed by Fanfare magazine as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” Cantus is known worldwide for its trademark warmth and blend, as well as its engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

The Washington Post has hailed the ensemble’s sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to its music making as “spontaneous grace.”

Cantus performs more than 70 concerts each year both in national and international touring, as well as in its home of Minneapolis–St. Paul. As one of the nation’s few full-time men’s ensembles, Cantus has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.

This performance is made possible, in part, by the Brodbeck Theater Fund.

Terra Madre featuring Marco Albonetti, Oct. 21: Albonetti is one of the most exceptional saxophone players in the world. “His tone and intonation are impeccable” according to Harry Staltzman, New York Concert Review.

Albonetti’s latest project, Terra Madre (Mother Earth) is a musical plea for world unity that celebrates both the diversity and shared influences of indigenous music from nine countries. Ethnic music, folk songs and ancient works dating back as far as the 13th century are joined together in this contemporary chamber music setting. Said of the debut at Carnegie Hall in New York by La Repubblica “There is, within them, extraordinary passion and versatility. An exceptional evening.”

Laurie Rubin, Oct. 30: Mezzo-soprano, Rubin dreams in vivid color, despite being blind since birth.
Rubin is the author of her new memoir, Do You Dream in Color? Insights From a Girl Without Sight. Rubin’s voice, spirit and story captivate audiences. New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini praised her “compelling artistry,” “communicative power,” and the “earthy, rich, and poignant qualities” of her voice. Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed describes her “darkly complex,” “mysteriously soulful” and “intense” voice that has guided her to perform with the likes of conductor John Williams and opera star Frederica von Stade.

This performance is made possible, in part, by the Dorothea Wilgus Pickard Fund.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Nov. 7: Since the release of their Grammy-nominated 2010 debut album, “Backatown,” Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue have grown creatively while winning hordes of new fans performing nonstop on five continents. Their latest album, “For True,” refines the signature sound Andrews has dubbed “Supafunkrock.”

In May, Andrews took the prestigious slot closing the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, an honor reserved for the last few decades for New Orleans icons, the Neville Brothers.

Andrews was also a special guest performer at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball in honor of President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, the night before the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

Andrews’ CD, “For True,” debuted at number one and for 12 weeks was number one on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart. In 2011, he earned a Grammy nomination for his “Backatown” CD in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category.
Andrews is featured on Zac Brown Band’s number one CD, “Uncaged,” released in July 2012, performing on the track, “Overnight.”

“Trombone Shorty is one of the best entertainers out there, period. He’s an incredible horn player,” said Zac Brown in Billboard Magazine in July 2012.

Five By Design, Nov. 21: Set in the format of a faux radio broadcast from a tiki room somewhere in the South Pacific,

Five By Design’s “The Ultra Lounge Show” travels to exotic locales for a taste of the rhythms that awaken the desire for sun on the skin and sand between the toes, listening to the ocean lap at the shore and delighting in the breezes that refresh the soul. The music of “The Ultra Lounge Show” not only takes the audience abroad, but focuses on the kings and queens of cool; the artists that defined the atomic era: Bobby Darin, Rosemary Clooney, Wayne Newton, Louis Prima and Keely Smith and the songs they made famous in new arrangements. “Mack the Knife,” “Mambo Italiano,” “Danke Schoen” and

“Just One of Those Things” are a few of the hits performed by Five By Design.

Members of Five By Design request that attendees dress in tropical attire.

“Broadway’s Next H!T Musical,” Jan. 30: Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised.

“Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical — complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore.

The UW–Platteville Jazz Festival Big Band featuring Bryan Anthony, Feb. 7: This jazz band consists of UW–Platteville students, faculty, alumni and friends.

This year’s special guest is jazz singer Bryan Anthony. Anthony earned a master’s at New York University in jazz and studio music and has toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Nelson Riddle Orchestra. He released his first album in 2000, “Look at Me Now,” which he expanded and re-released in 2006 as “Songs for Dreamers.”

Anthony joined the cast of Broadway’s “Our Sinatra,” celebrating the music of the legendary Frank Sinatra, to critical acclaim.

Sybarites, March 4: Comprised of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass, Sybarites has taken audiences by storm all across the United States, changing the perception of chamber music performance.

From Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarites’ eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: Their five-track EP disc, “Disturb the Silence,” features music by Radiohead and Piazzolla, plus two original works written for the quintet, and it made its debut at number 11 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart.

Recent performance highlights include the Library of Congress, Aspen Music Festival, and in New York at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Tishman Auditorium and Bohemian National Hall. Through its Alternative Venues Initiative, the quintet has also performed at such diverse locations as Galapagos Artspace, the Apple Store, the Core Club, the Cutting Room and at the Cell Theatre, where Sybarites maintains a residency. The group has also performed on the CBS Early Show and for his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Wisconsin Brass Quintet, April 13: The group is “a remarkable ensemble that plays with more reckless abandon, warmth, stylistic variety and interpretive interest than almost any quintet in memory,” according to Barry Kilpatrick from the American Record Guide.

Founded in 1972, the WBQ is a faculty ensemble-in-residence at the UW–Madison School of Music with a commitment to commissioning and performing new music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

“Hair,” April 17: The Broadway musical live on stage, directed by Diane Paulus, who directed the 2012 Tony Award-winning production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” is a celebration of youth and a journey through a tumultuous 1960s America.

This musical about a group of teenagers searching for truth, peace and love in a Vietnam War-era America has struck a cord with audiences of all ages. “Hair” features a multi-cultural cast singing a long list of chart topping hit songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine” and “Easy To Be Hard.”

With fresh choreography by Karole Armitage, “Hair” also features book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado with music by Galt MacDermot.

The audience experience builds up to the post-show celebration when the audience is invited to dance in the aisles aTerra nd on stage with the performers to the anthem, “Let the Sun Shine In.”

Northern Illinois University Steel Band, April 30: Created in 1973 by G. Allan O’Connor, the Northern Illinois University Steel Band was the first active steel band formed in an American university and has performed throughout the United States and around the world.

NIU is one of the few institutions in the world at which students may pursue music degrees with the steelpan as their major instrument of choice. Throughout the years, the NIU Steel Band has broadened the repertoire and performance for the steelpan through performances at Yankee Stadium, two successful tours of Taiwan, concerts with the St. Louis Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta, as well as through placing second in the World Steelband Festival in Trinidad in 2000.

Additional information about the Performing Arts Series is available at

Tickets can be purchased at the University Box Office, located in the lower level of Ullsvik Hall or by calling 342-1298 or 1-877-727-1CFA. Tickets can also be ordered online at