Elgin Community College Arts Center’s 2014-2015 season includes an exhilarating
mix of blues, rock, folk, dance, comedy, and theatre. The season features
performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dave Mason, the Byrds
co-founder Roger McGuinn, acclaimed guitarists Sonny Landreth and Cindy
Chashdollar, professional stepping troupe Step Afrika!, the Upright Citizens
Brigade Touring Company, and a tribute to Elvis Presley, Cark Perkins, Jerry
Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. Tickets to all shows are on sale now.
performances will be held in the Building H Arts Center on ECC’s Spartan Drive
Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
The season opens Saturday, Sept. 20
with the 2014-2015 Season Shindig
which will celebrate the start of the season and feature previews of upcoming
artists, treats and giveaways, and a performance by freewheelin’ bluegrass band
Whiskey Shivers. With upright bass,
fiddle, washboard, banjo, and guitar, Whiskey
Shivers takes traditional bluegrass instrumentation, soaks it in gasoline,
and sends it into outer space. A freewheelin' folk tornado, this band’s
breakneck speeds, killer grooves, and impeccable musicianship are enough to
make Bill Monroe himself do a double-take from the grave. Tickets are $10 and attendance
is limited to 200 patrons.
On Friday, Oct. 10, the Arts Center
welcomes two up-and-coming blues musicians: Eli Cook with special guest
Tallan Noble Latz. Blending the influences of artists like John Lee Hooker
and Muddy Waters with the likes of Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, Cookhas forged a sound on the forefront of
modern blues and rock. He’s also shared the stage with B.B. King, Johnny
Winter, and Robert Cray. Fourteen-year-old
Tallan Noble Latz has been heralded as a blues guitar prodigy
and likened to Stevie Ray Vaughan. He’s
shared the stage with Joe
Bonamassa, Buddy Guy, and Jackson Browne. Tickets are $16.
will get a chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a classic
movie musical by singing along when Sing-a-Long-a
Sound of Music comes to the Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 18. This
interactive night of entertainment begins with a vocal warm-up, a costume
competition, and a lesson on heckling. Then the audience experiences the 1965
film “The Sound of Music” with subtitled lyrics and lots of audience
participation. Tickets are $22.
guitar great Chris Smither will perform
in the Blizzard Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 25. Smither is known for his dazzling
guitar work, gravelly voice, and evocative songwriting. The Boston Globe calls
Smither “Among the finest acoustic guitarists anywhere in American music” and
his lifelong friend Bonnie Raitt calls him “my Eric Clapton.” Special guest Paul Cebar, known for his band the
Milwaukeeans, will open the performance. Cebar’s music takes cues from western
Louisiana, his native Midwest, the streets of New Orleans, Africa, the
Caribbean, and the soul, funk and blues of his youth. Tickets are $32.
Saturday, Nov. 1, A Night to Remember
will celebrate the legendary jam session of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry
Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. On December 4, 1956, these four rock ‘n’ roll icons
recorded together for the only time in their careers at a spontaneous session
at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios. This musical tribute features songs played that
night, plus additional favorites by these famed musicians. Tickets are $35.
Saturday, Nov. 15, the Upright Citizens
Brigade Touring Company will create a hilarious, entirely improvised,
90-minute show based on a single suggestion. Founded by Matt Besser, Amy
Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh in 1996, the Upright Citizens Brigade has
launched the careers of countless comedians. The Touring Company cast is
hand-picked from UCB’s best improvisers—past artists include performers/writers
from “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “The Daily Show.” Tickets are $27.
On Saturday, Nov.
22, the Blizzard Theatre will host Step
Afrika!, the first professional dance company dedicated to stepping. Stepping
uses the body as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through
footsteps, claps, and the spoken word. Stepping draws
movements from African foot dances originally conceived by miners in South
Africa and the stepping tradition in the United States grew out of song and
dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities
beginning in the early 1900s. Step Afrika! is evolving stepping to include
other dance styles such as tap and hip hop, while introducing stepping to new
audiences around the world. The Washington
calls Step Afrika! “electrifying talents.” Tickets are $32.
Indie-folk duo Dawn
and Hawkes will also be at the Arts Center on Saturday, Nov. 22. They will serenade
The Club in the SecondSpace Theatre. Austin-based musicians Maranda Dawn and
Chris Hawkes’ stunning version of the Beatles classic “I’ve Just Seen a Face”
sold 24,000 downloads in one week after it debuted on “The Voice,” and Adam
Levine stated that their performance of that song was “My favorite performance
I’ve ever seen ever on `The Voice.’” The duo’s self-produced EP “Golden Heart”
reached the Top 25 on Billboard’s folk
chart and reached No. 2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. Tickets are $20.
On Saturday, Dec. 6, guitar greats Sonny Landreth and Cindy Cashdollar will join forces for an
exhilarating night of blues. Louisiana-based slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth
is known for his unorthodox guitar techniques, vibrant performances, and poetic
songwriting. Eric Clapton has called Landreth “probably the most underestimated
musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced.”
Grammy-winning steel guitarist Cashdollar was a member of the acclaimed Asleep
at the wheel and has backed Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, and Van Morrison. Tickets are
of area performers, a dozen grand pianos and three performances mark the 20th
anniversary celebration of American
GrandsXX on Saturday,
Jan. 24. Generations of pianists will perform side-by-side at this Fox Valley
original. Tickets are $24 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.
and Roll Hall of Fame member Dave Mason will arrive at the Arts Center on
Saturday, Feb. 7, to present Dave
Mason’s Traffic Jam. Renowned for Traffic hits like “Feelin’ Alright” plus
his solo signature tracks, Mason will perform hits as well as deep album cuts
of Traffic plus new and classic solo material. Tickets are $39-$45.
Irish-American band Solas will present
their interactive multi-media show Shamrock
City on Saturday, Mar. 14. In 1910,
Solas band leader Seamus Egan's great-great uncle Michael Conway left his home
in Co. Mayo, Ireland and boarded a ship for America. He was headed to the
copper mines and boxing rings of Butte, Mont., aka Shamrock City (named so for
the influx of Irish immigrants). This performance will feature music from Solas’
2013 album “Shamrock City” as well as stories from and projected images of
Butte. NPR’s “The Thistle and the Shamrock”
calls Solas “Irish America’s most influential band.” Tickets are $32.
and Delia Ephron’s play Love, Loss, and
What I Wore will arrive in style on Saturday, Mar. 21. The play is an
intimate collection of stories based on Ilene Beckerman’s book of the same name
that uses the clothes women wear and the memories they trigger to tell funny,
poignant, and immensely, relatable stories. Tickets
will bring magic to the Arts Center on Saturday, Apr. 11 when the duo presents
a high-tech magic show that combines drama, comedy, romance, and suspense with
elaborate stage illusions. The Spencers won the International Magic Society’s
“Magician of the Year Award” in 2009, joining the likes of David Copperfield,
Criss Angel, and Penn & Teller. According to The Chicago Tribune, “The
Spencers bring the age old art of magic into the 21st century.” Tickets are $20 adults and $15 for children 12 and under.
Saturday, Apr. 18, the lush harmonies and stunning musicianship of Dala will be on display in the Blizzard
Theatre. Dala consists of two singer/songwriters: Amanda Walther and Sheila
Carabine. Drawing upon influences like The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young,
and Bob Dylan, Dala write songs that are both catchy and insightful. Amanda’s
ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila’s velvety alto, creating
the harmonies that have become their trademark. Tickets are $30.
season will close with a performance by the Byrds co-founder Roger McGuinn on Saturday, May 2. According to Rolling Stone, “Music
would be a very different place if it hadn’t been for Roger McGuinn.” As the
leader of the influential 60s group, The Byrds, McGuinn was on the leading edge
of music, combining the rock beat of the Beatles with the folk sensibilities of
Bob Dylan to create the genre known as “folk-rock.” Roger’s solo career began
in 1973, and has yielded 10 albums, a Grammy nomination, and extensive touring.
Tickets are $32.
for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at
tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office located in the arts center. Box
office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m.
Friday and Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major
credit cards are accepted. The Arts Center is located in Building H at 1700
Spartan Drive, Elgin.
also have the opportunity to add dinner to many of the performances at the Arts
Center. Dinners are prepared by ECC’s award-winning Culinary Arts and
Hospitality program and served in Spartan Terrace Restaurant, which is
conveniently located off the Arts Center lobby.
Dinners are served prior to the performance. Dinners are $29, and
include three delicious courses and beverages. Wine and beer are sold
elgin.edu/arts for more information about the ECC Arts Center, including video
clips of upcoming artists and events, the Standing Room Only blog, and links to
the Arts Center’s Twitter and Facebook pages.