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What is your definition of Jazz?

So what is Jazz? I can ask 100 different people that same question and get 100 different answers. Since everyone has their own definition of what Jazz is (and since I am not a Jazz guru), I wanted to discover what kind of Jazz fan I would be. After a little research, it turns out that I listen to Jazz or Jazz influenced music a lot more than I thought I did.

Being a 80s/90s kid, I was heavily into Pop, House, R&B and Hip-Hop. So I was surprised to see that some of the artists I listened to were Jazz artists or had some Jazz influence in their music. From Jamiroquai to A Tribe Called Quest, I listened to some kind of Jazz on a daily basis, Jamiroquai being “Acid Jazz” and A Tribe Called Quest known for their unique approach to rap music using “Jazz infused sound scapes”. Let’s not forget Kenny G! He was heavily on rotation in the 80s. As I got older and started art school, I started listening to other kinds of music to help with my creative process and it so happened to be Jazz! You can find Coltrane, Stan Getz and Ella Fitzgerald on my playlist.
Working at the Chandler Center for the Arts has given me the opportunity to see many different artists that I would not normally have been exposed to including the Pat Metheny Unity Group who will be here this Sunday, February 23 at 7pm. Pat Metheny is a 20 time Grammy Award winner and has performedMethenyUnityGroup with many diverse artists such as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock and David Bowie. His body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.
In 2013, for the first time in 30 years, Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone for the album “Unity Band,” which won him his most recent Grammy. In the album, Chris Potter is on the sax and bass clarinet with longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums and Ben Williams on bass. Antonio Sanchez is a powerhouse to watch; he is a three time Grammy Award winner and is one of the most in-demand drummers on the international jazz scene and Ben Williams crosses easily between straight-ahead funk and gospel influenced jazz. Metheny also added a fifth musician to the group, Giulio Carmassi. He is a Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer, Arranger and Film Composer with more than 1,000,000 views on YouTube. Together they are a Jazz force known as the Pat Metheny Unity Group.
So whether you’re a Jazz Guru or a Jazz Newbie like me, you definitely won’t want to miss this super talented group. I can’t wait to see them!

This Week in Food: SanTan Brewing Co.

We asked Jamie from SanTan Brewing Co. to give us the low down on Downtown Chandler’s friendly neighborhood brewpub.

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Quick Background:

Open since 2007 under the leadership of head brewer and owner, Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing Company has established astrong reputation as one of Arizona’s favorite craft breweries. In addition to brewing, SanTan features a friendly neighborhood brewpub in Downtown Chandler, which has quickly become one of the top local food and beer destinations in the Phoenix metro area. Winner of the 2013 Chandler Small Business of the Year.

Describe your restaurant:

American brew pub fare with a Southwestern twist, Open and vibrant environment surrounded by brewing tanks and 8 HD TVs.

Why support the arts in Chandler?

As a local business and community partner we feel the Arts and Culture are an integral part of any community to keep growing and evolving.

How many beers do you have on tap? What would be the top 3 beers to suggest to beer buffs?

A variety of beers on draft made on premises, Most popular are our Flagship Devils Pale Ale, SunSpot Golden Ale and or Seasonal beer selections.

Any new beers or dishes for 2014?

Sex Panther Double Chocolate Porter. Best new dishes are our “From the Smoker” Smokehouse BBQ Sampler and Shrimp & Grits.

If your still looking for a place to eat for Eat Your Out Chandler (http://eatyourartoutchandler.org/) on Tuesday 2/25/14, make sure you check out SanTan Brewing Co. and try their new beers on tap and new dishes.

This Week in Food: Pittsburgh Willys

To kick off our “Eat Your Art Out Chandler” series, we interviewed the main man behind Pittsburgh Willy’s-Randy. (Ok foodies, if you haven’t heard about Pittsburgh Willy’s you need to step up your food game and give them a visit).

But before we start talking about the hot dog game,  let’s start with some information on EYAOC. For those of you not familiar with  “Eat Your Art Out Chandler”, it  is a community event that brings together Chandler restaurants, arts patrons and corporate sponsors for one day to show their support for the arts in Chandler. Funds from Eat Your Art Out Chandler support various programs at the Center including headline entertainment, the Free Summer Concert Series and the Connecting Kidz programs. This event will take place on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014. So please come and eat your art out. More info on EYAOC

Okay, back to food business…Randy Walters, owner of Pittsburgh Willy’s will be opening 2 additional locations in Downtown Chandler.  The first to open will be Pittsburgh Willy’s Dog House, which is really a house, located at 159 West Commonwealth in Chandler.The second location will be a burger and malt shop with more information to follow.Pittsburgh Willy's Dog House

Last week we visited the new location and asked Randy some questions.

Q: What was your first hot dog masterpiece?
A: The Wild Willy better known as THE PITTSBURGHER 1/4 lb all beef dog, topped with chipped ham, sautéed in butter and finished with cheddar cheese.
Q: Is there any new hot dog concoction in the works?
A: I will be launching 3 new gourmet hot dogs in conjunction with the grand opening of the new location so stay tuned.
In the mean time check out the famous “Twilly dog.”  Last summer, CBS’s Channel 5 contacted Randy to do a segment for National Hot Dog Day. On the spur of the moment, Randy decided to come up with a special edition dish using Twinkies.  By coincidence, the Twinkies were making a come back, so he decided to make a hybrid of the two and came up with the “Twilly Dog.” He used the  Twinkie as a hot dog bun, added some peanut butter and then topped it off with bacon (because bacon makes everything better).  When this segment aired it went viral….not only did the segment get picked up across the United States but it was even featured in Europe.  Randy said, “People are still stopping by to try the Twilly Dog because they saw that news clip!”  
Twilly-Dog

Q: Will you be cooking up a signature dish for Eat Your Art Out?
A: 
Homemade Cheese ‘n potato pierogies!

Q:What’s the best thing about being in the hot dog game?
A: 
My Dad said you will be successful in the restaurant business if you do two things…give people fresh quality food and a great experience.  And he was right….the best thing about the hot dog game is meeting people and providing them a great experience with amazing customer service.

Randy will also experiment on doing a monthly or weekly “disconnect”night at the new Downtown Chandler location.It’s a night to disconnect from technology and reconnect with people. To stay updated with all the 411 on Pittsburgh Willy’s make sure to “like” them on facebook,and remember to visit them the day of EYAOC on 2/25/2014.

Channeling John Travolta

The Australian Bee Gees will be in Chandler on November 9, 2013. We are beyond excited. If you haven’t heard yet, prior to the show we are opening our doors early for a pre-show party. The pre-show will include delicious 70’s inspired drinks, a 70’s costume contest, and disco dancing with demonstrations by local dance studios. So gather your friends, dust off the go-go boots and get ready to boogie! It will be a night to remember.

In preparation for The Australian Bee Gees show we also decided we needed to channel our inner John Travolta. Naturally we have all been tapping our toes to Stayin’ Alive and trying to find out leisure suits. So we came up with our first episode of “channeling” John Travolta – check it out below!

Underground Dining…What’s That?

In a few short weeks, Chandler Cultural Foundation and Culinary Mischief will play host to forty passionate food and wine lovers and arts enthusiasts who come together for an exclusive underground dining experience to support the arts in Chandler. But, what is an “underground dining experience?”

Underground dining is an opportunity for a chef to showcase his or her work outside the restaurant setting. During these events, guests are able to enjoy amazing food and be surrounded by new and old friends  (think extraordinary dinner party). The “underground” part of the entire event is the location is not disclosed until a few days prior to the event (in our case 3-4 days out).

For the first time ever, Chandler Center for the Arts will be host our very own underground dining event. Chef Gabriele Bertaccini, a passionate Italian Chef and wine lover, is the creator of this event and many others. He believes food and wine tasting experience is not complete if it is not shared with fellow foodies in the spirit of fun and pursuit of a great time. Chef Bertaccini has inspired hundreds of guests to love and understand food in locations around the globe

During our ” underground dining experience” guests will have the opportunity to indulge in six great wines and six amazing courses. In addition, live and silent auctions will be available and lots of surprises you won’t want to miss!

Have you had an underground dining experience? If not, now is you chance to change that. Gather your friends and join us on October 18 or 19 for an evening you won’t forget. Learn more here!

6 Unlucky Theatre Superstitions

It’s Friday the 13th! In keeping with the superstitious day we have a special blog post devoted to some of the common theatre superstitions. Please feel free to comment with any others.

1. Ghostly Light – There should always be a light burning in an empty theater to ward off ghosts.
Ghost lightYou might find this odd, but we actually have a ghostly light on at all times at Chandler Center for the Arts. Although we might not be warding off any spirits per say, the light lends itself as a safety precaution. The theatre is extremely dark when all the lights go out and you never know what or who you might bump into. Spooky!

2. Wishing someone “Good Luck” – To wish someone ‘Good luck’ before a show is bad luck.
This common known superstition has been around for numerous years. Before any show starts, you will never hear the words “Good Luck.” Instead we always say “break a leg.”

3. Hauntings – Ghosts haunt theaters and should be given one night a week alone on the stage.
According to Listverse “To keep the ghosts of the theater subdued, there should be at least one night a week where the theater is empty, this night is traditionally a Monday night, conveniently giving actors a day off after weekend performances.” Our ghost, Dungee, (conveniently named by our Youth Advisory Council) may not necessarily need a night to himself on stage since he causes most of the mischief in the basement of the theatre, but we aren’t taking any chances.

4. Whistling – It is considered bad luck for an actor to whistle on or off stage.
Back in the day, original stage crews were hired from ships in port. Like on the ship, the crew used coded whistles to communicate scene changes. Actors who whistled would confuse them into changing the set or scenery.

5. The Last Line – Saying the last line of a play without an audience is considered bad luck.
Since the show is not really complete until performed for the first time, one should never say the last line of a play during dress rehearsal.To get around this, some production companies allow a limited number of people to attend the dress rehearsals.

6. The Scottish play (Macbeth) – Saying the word ‘Macbeth’ in a theater will result in extreme bad luck.
If you have ever performed a play on stage chances are you have heard this superstition. Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, is said to be cursed, so actors avoid saying its name. Outside a theatre and after a performance the play can be spoken of openly. However, if an actor speaks the name “Macbeth” in the theatre prior to a performance, he or she is required to leave the theatre building, spin around three times, spit, curse, and then knock to be allowed back in. Don’t mess around with this one…

Now whether you are a superstitious person or not, us theatre folk are not taking any chances. Happy Friday the 13th!

Weekend In Review: Last Free Concerts of Season

This weekend was filled with fun and excitement. We could not have asked for a better way to finish up our On The House free summer concerts.

In case you missed it, here is a quick review of the weekend:

On Friday, we welcomed ¡FlaMÉXico! to our stage.  Before the doors opened to the stage, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ, one of the featured 14th Annual Chandler C3HR Mariachi Festival performers, filled the lobby with incredible dances.

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¡FlaMÉXico! then took the audience by surprise with their foot-tapping music and fantastic footwork. To say the least the evening was impresionante!

Saturday evening was yet another free summer concert. We had the wonderful opportunity to hear the musical beats of six up and coming bands/vocalists. It was a great youth showcase!

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No Longer Together

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Carly Paige

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Eclipses for Eyes

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Run 2 Cover

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West Hills Brothers

[Not pictured: Molly Kigin]

A big thank you to all those who came out this season for our On The House free summer concert series. We hope you will join us for another concert or event this upcoming season! Chandler Center for the Arts upcoming 2013-2014 shows found here.

Put The FlaMEXico Band Back Together

Our On The House concert series takes a Mexican/Spanish turn this Friday, August 23, with a  foot tapping performance by ¡FlaMÉXico! at 7:30pm.

Before the show begins, don’t miss your chance to win 2 FREE tickets to one of our upcoming 2013-2014 season shows. Yes, we’ve done it again…all you have to do is Put The ¡FlaMÉXico! Band “back together” before 7:30pm.  Here’s how it’s done:

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Step 1: On Friday, August 23, 2013, collect all 5 band member cards from the following Downtown Chandler locations (one block south of the Center on Boston Street):
– Di Sciacca Glassware
– Sibley’s West
– Bourbon Jacks Bar & Grill
– Paletas Betty
– Shoe Thrill

Liza, Patron of the Arts

Step 2: Find Liza, our Patron of the Arts mascot, somewhere at Chandler Center for the Arts and take a picture with her. Post to Instagram (if you have an acct).
*Hint: She will be “adopting” a seat.*

Step 3: Show all 5 band member cards and your picture with Liza to the person at the promo table to be entered into our drawing*

Participants will be entered into a drawing to win 2 tickets to one of the following shows:
– The Australian Bee Gees Show
– Michael A. Pollack presents Blood Sweat & Tears
– Zoppe, An Italian Family Circus
– Moscow Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake
– One Night of Queen
– SIRO-A

We’ll see you tomorrow!

*All steps must be completed to be entered into the drawing.

Plugged In: Run 2 Cover

What do you get when you blend together Rock, Metal, Punk & Pop? A group called Run 2 Cover. Run 2 Cover is one of our six acts being featured during Saturday’s Plugged-In performance. The band members of Run 2 Cover sat down with us for an interview and here’s what we discovered.

In late 2010, Christian and Brandon Iverson (brothers) and their neighborhood friend, Colin Shaw, formed Run 2 Cover. Christian is lead vocalist and bassist (and older brother). Brandon, the younger brother, can be found on the drums. And Colin is the sole guitarist for the band. The three band members may look “punk”, but don’t let that fool you. Each band members is kind, genuine, and excited to be on this musical journey.

All three of the boys have grown up with music as their main focus. Starting at the age of 12, Colin began playing the electric guitar and Christian started playing the bass guitar. Brandon began piano lessons when he was 5 years old and later took an interest in drums at age 11. The boys have worked hard creating their sound, songs, and vibe. None of the boys attend public school so they have more time to devote to the band and music.

When we asked them where they practiced we were not surprised when they told us they practice at home. Although, not the garage, the band fills the Iverson’s home with their loud Rock music. We naturally had to ask if the neighbor’s ever complained of noise. The three chuckled and responded with a resounding “Yes!”

The band has encountered minor challenges along the way. There are times when the band will bump heads, but the next day they have moved on and are ready to get back to work. When asked if they have had their “big break” yet, all three said no. They continue to work hard to gain more exposure for the band and have even toyed with the idea of changing the band name. Although they haven’t had their “big break,” the quality of the band is well on its’ way to making it big.

Run 2 Cover recently launched their  EP (Extened Play) “Turn the Page” on iTunes this month. Preview the songs here. The band is definitely one to watch live in concert and one to watch as they journey to making it “big.”

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We are looking forward to welcoming Run 2 Cover to our stage this Saturday, August 24 at 7:30pm for our On The House free summer concert “Plugged In.” No tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/child, $10/adult, $15/family. Your financial support is appreciated.

“Plugged In” And Ready To Rock

We hope by now you have heard the buzz about our On The House free summer concert, Plugged In. The concert hits the stage this Saturday, August 24, at 7:30pm. The evening is going to be filled with young talent from the Phoenix Valley. All of the artists have been prepping for this evening and we know it is an event you won’t want to miss.

Who is performing, you might ask? We have a break down just for you:

West Hills Brothers
Mix of Classic Rock, Pop & Alternative Rock
The West Hills Brothers are a unique duo of acoustic/electric guitars, vocals and percussion. Their music is a great mix of classic rock, pop, alternative and original tunes with their own unique style.

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Carly Paige
Pop solo-vocalist
Carly is a 15-year-old singer songwriter singer/songwriter/guitar player. She LOVES and is INSPIRED by The Beatles, ELO, LEO, & The Jellyfish!

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Run 2 Cover
Blending Rock, Metal, Punk & Pop
Run 2 Cover is comprised of three young, gifted, and relevant musicians. Run 2 Cover performs their original music as well as a wide spectrum of cover songs ranging from Bob Marley, Prince, Alice Cooper, Black Eyed Peas, Guns and Roses, Bruno Mars, Cee-Lo Green, Jimmy Eat World, Ozzy Osbourne, etc.

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No Longer Together

Alternative Rock
No Longer Together is an Alternative Rock/Pop band from Scottsdale, Arizona. The group plays modern music – electric and acoustic, originals and covers.

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Molly Kigin
Pop/Rock solo-vocalist
Molly is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter/ guitarist from Chandler, Arizona working on her first album.She has independently produced four singles in digital distribution: “Box,” “When Rain Falls,” “American Nightmare,” and “Breathing.”

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Eclipses for Eyes
Alternative Rock
Alternative rock band based out of Tempe, Arizona! Here to create music with heart and passion.

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This incredible event was inspired by our Youth Advisory Council. Council members engage in experiential 3-hour sessions from September – March that provide hands-on, real world leadership situations of a Performing Arts Center. We are currently accepting applications for our 2013-2014 council (candidates are 13-18 years of age). Application deadline is September 4, 2013 at 5pm. If you or someone you know would be a great fit please have them apply today!

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