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 performed 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!
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.”
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.
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.
Carly is a 15-year-old singer songwriter singer/songwriter/guitar player. She LOVES and is INSPIRED by The Beatles, ELO, LEO, & The Jellyfish!
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.
No Longer Together
No Longer Together is an Alternative Rock/Pop band from Scottsdale, Arizona. The group plays modern music – electric and acoustic, originals and covers.
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.”
Eclipses for Eyes
Alternative rock band based out of Tempe, Arizona! Here to create music with heart and passion.
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!
Inspired by the Center’s Youth Advisory Council, “Plugged In” will feature six up and coming young musical acts in the Phoenix Metro area who will showcase their talent in Chandler on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:30pm.
One of the featured artists is Carly Paige, an incredible up and coming vocal soloist. Carly Paige is your fun loving teen who you can immediately call a friend. We instantly fell in love with her song “Too Good” (watch out Taylor Swift) and knew we want to learn more about her. Check out our interview with Carly Paige below:
Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: How old were you when you discovered your vocal talent?
Carly Paige: My parents have told me that I’ve been singing since I was 3 or 4 years old. I really started to get into it at about age 10 when I got my first guitar.
CCA: Has it always been your goal to be a performing vocal artist?
Carly Paige: I have always wanted to be a singer/songwriter/guitar player. My Dad use to be in a band, and there were always guitars in the house. It just felt so natural to pick one up and start writing.
CCA: Who are your musical inspirations?
Carly Paige: I grew up listening to The Beatles, ELO, and the Jellyfish. When I listen to their music, it makes me want to grab my guitar and start writing.
CCA: What musical artist are you most often compared to?
Carly Paige: Many people compare me to Colbie Caillat, Taylor Swift, and Sheryl Crow.
CCA: What kind of music do you listen to today?
Carly Paige: I listen to a whole lot of everything. I’m a big fan of The Script, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and of course The Beatles.
CCA: What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?
Carly Paige: I have a few songs from Disney movies on my iPod. I have “Part of Your World,” and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, and “One Jump Ahead” from Aladdin. *laughs*
CCA: Where would you most like to perform?
Carly Paige: I’d just like to play in front of a crazy large crowd. I’d love to play in a large, packed stadium or theatre.
CCA: Who would you most like to open for?
Carly Paige: I would love to open up for Paul McCartney. I just love him. I saw him in concert a few years ago, and he was so amazing!
CCA: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Carly Paige: I honestly don’t have anything else that I’m interested in doing. Music is everything to me.
CCA: Do you have any hidden talents?
Carly Paige: I’m double jointed. I can bend my thumb all the way back. Does that count? *laughs*
CCA: Have you hit any roadblocks since you started singing?
Carly Paige: Occasionally I experience writer’s block, and few times, I’ve been sick for shows.
CCA: Since you are so young, do you have any advice for other aspiring youth musicians?
Carly Paige: I think I would just say to keep trying, and do what you love because I believe that if you put your heart and hard work into what you love, you’ll be happy.
CCA: Anything else you might want to share with our audience?
Carly Paige: I appreciate being given the opportunity to play at Chandler Center for the Arts, and I can’t wait to play for everyone!
Don’t miss Carly Paige and our five other acts perform during “Plugged In” on Saturday, August 24 at 7:30pm. 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/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.
The journey to find a genuine fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles is a daunting task for anyone. Can it be done? Do two separate arts have a common-ground musically that adequately represent the cultural integrity of each?
Enter Chris Burton Jácome, Flamenco guitarist and composer. Jácome felt a driving force to answer these questions. He charged his project, ¡FlaMÉXico!, with finding, creating and celebrating the musical confluences of Spain’s Flamenco and México’s Mariachi.
Fast forward to today, ¡FlaMÉXico! has created an enthralling show featuring the melding of two beautiful arts and cultures. During our FREE summer concert series on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm, ¡FlaMÉXico! will present their findings in a way that will move you to your feet.
Out of pure curiosity as to why anyone would challenge themselves with such a large musical task, we interview Jácome more about his musical journey. Here’s what we found out:
Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: How old were you when you started your musical journey?
Chris Burton Jácome: I received my first guitar when I was 13. I started taking lessons right away and, according to my friends, I reached a pretty good skill level more quickly than they might have anticipated. I don’t really consider myself consciously deciding to pursue music though until I was in my late teens. I got more and more into music throughout my teenage years…started giving other high school kids guitar lessons when I was 16. I consider my “official” journey beginning when I decided to get a degree in music in college.
CCA: Do you play any other instruments other than the guitar?
Jácome: I am not musically fluent on any other instrument. I sing. I have composed some very basic piano music but the only instrument I play and can “speak my mind” on is guitar.
CCA: Your website mentioned the “fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles began as more of a whim.” Did you ever imagine this “whim” would bring you to where you are at today?
Jácome: Great question! Sometimes the ideas that just “come to you” are the best ideas! This “whim” that I had a few years ago has already transformed into a very solid, real group. I’m somewhat perplexed as to how this is all working myself…but it is! I still consider this idea in its beginning stages but I am finding more and more artists who are willing to put in the time and energy to cross-train in two different artistic styles and the more artists I get on board the more I can develop the concept. I’m really excited to bring this project to Chandler Center for the Arts and the greater Chandler community. I’ve always believed that Flamenco is an art form that everyone can appreciate but now with the fusion of mariachi music this concert will be a real delight for anyone who has grown up here in the Southwest or has an affinity for Mexican and Spanish cultures.
CCA: Are there any musicians or bands who have inspired you?
Jácome: Generally, I find inspiration in all bands and all music. Specifically, Flamenco artists that inspire me include: Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Inés Bacán, Moraíto, Manuela Carrasco, Ramón Montoya, Pedro Sierra, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Antonio Mairena, Fernanda de Utrera. In Mariachi…although not traditional, I’m biased because our cousins are married…Linda Ronstadt. As well as artists such as Vicente Fernández, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos and all of the mariachi artists that I’ve seen and heard in my life.
CCA: What can our patrons expect from the upcoming show?
Jácome: Rhythms that make you want to dance! Heart-wrenching songs that make you want to hear them again and again! Flamenco footwork that will blow your mind! And, of course, a group of highly skilled artists that love being the tour-guides into the music and dance of the cultures of Mexico and Spain.
CCA: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Jácome: Keep practicing, playing, studying, learning and developing. Find as many teachers as you can. Above all, define your goals with music because your destination will determine what route you take and how dedicated you must be to reach your destination. If your goal is to have fun, then by all means, have fun! Learning a musical instrument enriches your life and provides so many opportunities to create great relationships and communities. If your goal is to become a professional musician and earn your living from your music, well then, you might not have the luxury of music always being fun. Prepare yourself to sometimes call music, “work.”
CCA: Any additional comments?
Jácome: This is going to be a great evening! Flamenco and Mariachi are both art forms of the people and they are wonderful performance art forms because the more audience participation, the BETTER! Please come early to get a good seat and bring your gritos (mariachi yells) and your ¡Olé!’s (flamenco words of encouragement) because we’re going to have a night to remember!
Come and enjoy the best of both worlds of ¡FlaMÉXico!, the musical reflection of two cultures forming a new vision on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm. 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/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.
Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician, Dmitri Matheny will perform at the Center during our FREE summer concert series on August 16th at 7:30pm. Completely fascinated by Dmitri’s history and his love of the unique flugelhorn instrument, we couldn’t help but interview him to learn more.
CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS (CCA): When did you start playing the flugelhorn?
DMITRI MATHENY: I started on piano at age 5, switched to trumpet at age 9, and began playing flugelhorn in my teens.
I credit my father and his hip record collection for kindling my childhood interest in music. There was great music on our turntable all the time, from Rachmaninoff to Ray Charles.
After awhile I started to notice that many of my favorite musicians — people like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Art Farmer (who later became my teacher) — were trumpet and flugelhorn players.
I especially loved the flugel for its warm, lyrical sound.
CCA: How many instruments do you play?
MATHENY: As a composer, I’ve learned to play several instruments just a little, but the only instrument I play professionally is the flugelhorn. That’s my voice.
CCA: For our audience, who may not be familiar with this type of Jazz, what can they expect to experience at the concert?
MATHENY: This is going to be a very special concert.
We’re featuring Clairdee, a wonderful vocalist from San Francisco who sings the Great American Songbook in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.
Our concert will showcase the golden era of the American movie musical and the leading songwriters of Broadway.
The program will be a hit parade of American popular songs as seen and heard in some of the most beloved films and shows ever made. The very best of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and more.
The audience will witness some exciting improvised solos, of course. They’ll tap their feet and feel the rhythm. But it’s the familiar melodies that will seduce and delight them.
CCA: We noted you have traveled to 19 countries. Do you have any fun “on the road” stories?
MATHENY: So many memories! In Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, people spread caviar on their toast at breakfast like it’s no big deal. I brought home a peanut butter-sized jar of Beluga! Barbados is home to flying fish, spectacular sunsets and some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. The Netherlands is a tiny country (less than twice the size of New Jersey), but there are dozens upon dozens of music venues. Nearly every village has a beautiful theater or jazz club in which to perform.
CCA: As an advocate for jazz, what is the best way to keep jazz alive for our future generations?
MATHENY: For musicians, mentorship is key. Although formal jazz education is thriving at colleges and conservatories, there are many things about this art form that can only be learned one-on-one from a master musician.
For music lovers, nothing compares to the thrill of attending a live performance. Why stay home and watch amateurs audition on TV shows like American Idol, when you can go out and be entertained by seasoned professionals in your own community?
Keep supporting live music!
CCA: Anything else you may want our Chandler audience to know?
MATHENY: As performing musicians, we make our living on the road, playing all kinds of venues, from intimate nightclubs to elegant recital halls to big, outdoor festivals.
The Chandler Center for the Arts rivals the best of these in terms of sound, sight-lines and ambience. The acoustics are stellar — every bit as good as they are at Carnegie Hall.
As a Chandler resident, I’m proud to have a theater of this caliber where I live, and I’m delighted to be performing there with such a terrific band.
This show offers residents and visitors to the area the opportunity to experience the Great American Songbook — live — in a world class concert hall, right here in the Valley of the Sun.
And you sure can’t beat the ticket price!
See Dmitri Matheny Group featuring Clairdee live at Chandler Center for the Arts on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 7:30pm. 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/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.
Have you been to Chandler Center for the Arts? If not, now is your chance! All during the month of August, the Center will host four different FREE concerts under the On The House program. Each concert showcases a family-friendly performance that is sure to leave you wanting more. Gather your friends and family and experience a Chandler Center for the Arts performance “On The House.”
The free concert series kicks off on August 2, 2013 at 7:30pm with The Bad Cactus Brass Band. Coming out on the scene in 2009, this amazing group brings to life traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired music in a fun and exciting fashion.
Although their name is Bad Cactus Brass Band, there is nothing bad about this group. *Their repertoire includes original dance music, funky street beats, traditional dixieland, gospel and swing, and pop songs reinterpreted with a brass band sound. Powered by tuba, drums, trumpets, saxophones, and trombones, the Bad Cactus Brass Band brings a Mardi Gras energy to street corners, festivals, parties, nightclubs, etc.
“They play loud, they play great… If you were to imagine how it might have sounded if Bix Biederbeck had been in a garage band in his Davenport days, it might have sounded like the Bad Cactus Brass Band.” Jim Phillips, Arizona Classic Jazz Society*
Sample their music below:
Come enjoy the different flavors of jazz and funky beats as this group triggers a joyful energy into the audience that will have everyone dancing till they cannot dance anymore!
No tickets required for this show. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated. Learn more about our On The House FREE concert series here.
Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see wonderful performances from all different genres, cultures, and backgrounds.
Jive Talkin’ Recreate & Present The Bee Gees
Saturday, November 9, 2013 | 7:30pm
Accompanied by a live String Section, the Bee Gees Greatest Hits are brought incredibly back to life!
Michael A. Pollack presents Blood, Sweat & Tears
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 7:30pm
Major hit singles “You Made Me So Very Happy”, “Spinning Wheel”, “And When I Die”.
Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix
Saturday, January 25, 2014 | 7:30pm
Dick Van Dyke will walk (and sing) us through his extraordinary 60 years in show business!
Moscow Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake
Friday, January 31, 2014 | 7:30pm
Odette yearns for freedom as she awaits Prince Siegfried’s declaration of love and her release from a swan’s body.
Jeanne Robertson, Humorist
Saturday, February 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
Jeanne is a master story teller! In her down-home Southern drawl, she turns her personal experiences into funny stories that leave her audiences in stitches!
The Texas Tenors
Saturday, February 15, 2014 | 7:30pm
A blend of Country, Classical, Gospel and Broadway filled with humor and cowboy charm!
River City Brass, “American Heroes”
Saturday, February 22, 2014 | 3pm
RCB has a powerful repertoire of music from classical, pops, jazz and marches.
Pat Metheny Unity Group
Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams & Giulio Carmassi
Sunday, February 23, 2014 | 7pm
2013 Grammy Award Winners for Best Instrumental Jazz Album!
Saturday, March 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
An evening of nostalgic music and memories.
One Night Of Queen
Saturday, March 8, 2014 | 7:30pm
Gary Mullen brings Freddie Mercury back to life with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “We Are the Champions”.
The funny Russian-American philosopher brings us unique insights into life, family, and these United States. “What A Country!”
Friday, March 21, 2014 | 7:30pm
Often described as Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group, Siro-A perfectly fuse modern technology with mime, breath-taking optical illusions, movement and comedy all set to a pulsating electro beat.
Friday, March 28, 2014 | 7:30pm
Combines high fidelity imagery of the Earth from space, data, and stirring live performances of music and dance from around the world.
Today we had the great privilege to interview Alexa Anderson, a cast member of Shaping Sound. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also incredibly sweet! Her bubbly personality drew us in as she shared insight into her dance journey.
Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: We first have to ask you, since you are a native to the Chandler area, where did you go to high school?
Alexa Anderson: I went to school at Arizona School for the Arts and then I went to Hamilton High.
CCA: How does it feel to return back to Chandler with a National Touring group?
Alexa: It feels really good. I have so many friends and family coming to see the show. Most haven’t seen me dance live in years.
CCA: How did you get your start in dance?
Alexa: I was born premature. I had a brain hemorrhage which caused a right side weakness. My mom put me in dance to balance out the weakness. The dance classes were not easy. I worked really hard to overcome this weakness.
CCA: How did you get your break in the business?
Alexa: I moved to LA when I was 18. I worked a couple of gigs, but pretty much just rolled with the punches. I continued to go to auditions.
CCA: So there wasn’t really a “big break” moment?
Alexa: Not really. It is always a work in progress.
CCA: Did you ever imagine dance would be your career?
Alexa: I really didn’t until I was 16, well more like 17. I wanted to go to college and get a degree. But, then at age 17, I stepped back and realized I was training so hard in dance. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t given dance a shot.
Alexa: Teddy (Forance) is my favorite dancer. At age 15 I started working with Travis (Wall) and Nick (Lazzarini). It was just a natural thing to dance along side them.
CCA: Rumor has it everyone had to audition for Shaping Sound, even the friends. Was this the case for you?
Alexa: Yes. Everybody had to audition, even me. They had to be fair in how they chose the cast.
CCA: What is the best advice you would give an aspiring dancer?
Alexa: Seize every opportunity. It is scary to be a dancer. So take in everything you can.
CCA: Is the business side of dance what you expected?
Alexa: Dancing is a difficult lifestyle. You make your own schedule every day. Some days there may be nothing to do, whereas other days you have worked so hard you don’t even know how you are still standing. The key is finding a balance.
CCA: How would your life be different without dance?
Alexa: I always get asked this question and I don’t even know. Being a dancer has helped me become aware of my body. Dance is hard work, but it is my passion. Dance is something I get excited about everyday.
Alexa: Travis (Wall), Teddy (Forance), Nick (Lazzarini) and Kyle (Robinson). Wade Robson certainly has – he is brilliant.
CCA: Another reader tweeted in, what was the best part about So You Think You Can Dance?
Alexa: I made a lot of lifetime friends during the show. The show allowed me to see what I was made of. It pushed me to my limits.
CCA: Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Alexa: No, I do think so. We are excited to be coming out to Phoenix. We can’t wait for the show.
It was such a pleasure to speak with Alexa. We were astonished at the trials she overcame and her determination. Alexa is proof that dreams are achievable through hard work and persistence.
Come see Alexa and the rest of the Shaping Sound crew perform here at Chandler Center for the Arts on June 7. You will be swept away on a visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion.
To learn more about Shaping Sound or to purchase tickets click here.