Tag Archives: ASU Kerr

Art for lunch?

There’s plenty of news about Arizona nightlife. But what of daytime arts offerings? Several Valley venues offer morning or afternoon performance art.

The ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale offers several daytime options.

“Coffee at Kerr” is an informal series of free performances and discussions with guest artists. Patrons are encouraged to bring a can of food or sealed personal item for the Vista Del Camino Food Bank. The next performance (Jan 5, 2011) features an “Introduction to Turandot” presented by Arizona Opera.

ASU Kerr co-presents “Tuesday Morning Music Concerts” with the ASU School of Music. The free concerts feature performances and commentary by  ASU faculty and graduate students. The ASU Student Jazz Combo performs Dec 7.

“Monday Morning Musicale” performances at ASU Kerr feature intimate chamber music — and are also free of charge. The next event takes place Dec 6.

The Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix has a “Lunch Time Theatre” program that showcases the work of young, emerging theater companies.

Each one-act play lasts 30-45 minutes — and patrons are free to bring their own lunch or pre-order a box lunch through the Herberger’s caterer.

In most cases, shows open their run with a Monday night preview with tickets at a reduced price (or free for actors who bring resume and headshot).

The next show, a seasonal cabaret titled “A Dreamers Holiday,” is sold out — so don’t delay if you’d like to see the first 2011 offering. It’s a one woman play about the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials.

Mesa Arts Center presents an “Out to Lunch Concert Series” and invites patrons to bring their own lunches to enjoy during these outdoor performances.

December concerts include jazz/pop by Kirsten (Dec 9) and jazz by Nuance Jazz Trio (Dec 16).

Phoenix Art Museum hosts film and musical performances, which are free or included with museum admission (depending on the event).

December films include an art world documentary titled “The Art of the Steal” and an Italian comedy titled “Swept Away” (in Italian, with English subtitles).

The Phoenix Art Museum presents the film “Waste Land” (English and Portugese with English subtitles) on Jan 16, and a “Music Inspiring Vision” performance on Jan 29 (featuring the photography of Brett Weston and the music of Bach).

These performances are typically free or very affordable, and feature artists you might not otherwise get to enjoy.

Consider daytime art offerings next time you’re meeting a friend for lunch, looking for something unique to enjoy with co-workers, needing a little time away from children during the day or just looking for ways to support some of our newer or smaller arts organizations.

— Lynn

Note: Please confirm all event details before attending — including date, time, location, ticketing policy, pricing, parking and such.

Coming up: Symphony in the schools; Christmas, cacti and candles


When the saints go marching in

As I watched the New Orleans Saints enjoy their Super Bowl victory Sunday night, I was reminded of my sole visit to the city more than a decade ago, during my days in sales when annual conventions took me to places like St. Louis, Nashville and New Orleans (and incentive trips took me to places like Hong Kong, Scotland and the Bahamas).

I recall walking each morning from our charming inn to the “original French market coffee stand”—Café du Monde at 1039 Decatur Street—for café au lait and beignets (square deep-fried pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar). I found the sidewalk cafes of New Orleans every bit as charming as those of Paris or Montreal.

Other culinary adventures featured blackened steak, dirty rice, jambalaya, gumbo, hush puppies and more. New Orleans is also famous for its “hurricane” cocktails, made with multiple rums and citrus juices, though I was never brave enough to try one. They were too tall and I’d heard too many stories of après-hurricane mayhem.

Those were the days before a far different sort of hurricane came crushing down on New Orleans. Katrina was our 9/11 of natural disasters, and we wondered for a time how the city would ever manage to rise again. But it has risen, and is rising still—something sports fans of every team can celebrate today as the Saints return home victorious.

If you can’t get to New Orleans to celebrate each of her citizens, including the Saints, consider paying homage closer to home by enjoying a bit of the jazz music that owes so much to Louisiana’s early cultural diversity.

Here’s a sampling of upcoming jazz-related events in the Valley, starting with a free concert happening tonight (Monday night)…

David Friesen, Greg Goebel and Mike Kocour. Monday, Feb. 8th from 7:30-9pm at the ASU Music Building Recital Hall (Mill Ave. & Gammage Pkwy.) in Tempe. Free concert featuring “jazz bass legend” Friesen (from Portland) and “pianist phenom” Greg Goebel along with Mike Kocour.

Jazz Concert. Tuesday, Feb. 16th at 7:30pm at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Arnette Scott Ward Performing Arts Center in Chandler. Free concert featuring the CGCC Big Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble–and Michael Kocour, Director of Jazz Studies at ASU, on piano.

Mose Allison Trio. Friday, Feb. 26th at 8pm at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Part of the LakeShore Jazz Series 2010 (monthly series at TCA). Features Allison (“the William Faulkner of jazz”), whose music and lyrics have influenced blues and rock artists (including the Rolling Stones and The Who). Accompanying Allison are Dennis Sexton (bass) and Pete Magadini (drums).

Glenn Miller Orchestra. Saturday, Feb. 27th at 5pm and 8pm at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Features “the most popular big band around.”

The Jazz Divas: Nancy Gee, Margo Reed, Sherry Roberson & Delphine Cortez. Wednesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 4th at 7:30pm at ASU Kerr in Scottsdale. Features four jazz singers, alone and together, plus the sax of Jerry Donato. Part of the Jazz in AZ series (includes April, May concerts too).

11th Annual Chandler Jazz Festival. Friday, March 26th and Saturday, March 27th in historic downtown Chandler. Features free jazz performances in various indoor and outdoor venues.

For additional jazz concerts and events coming to the Valley, check the websites of your favorite venues and/or the online calendar listings by Jazz in Arizona, Inc.; Smooth Jazz 95.5 KYOT; or NPR-affiliate KJZZ-FM 91.5.

And don’t forget our very own Young Sounds of Arizona, a group of young musicians who specialize in jazz. They’ll be performing at ASU Kerr on Sunday, Feb. 21st at 3pm. See our earlier blog posts on Young Sounds to learn more.


Coming up: Improvisational theater for youth (Arizona Jewish Theatre Company holds auditions this week for its teen improv troupe—learn more at www.azjewishtheatre.org)