It’s been a great year for trying new things at the Center.
We tried and succeeded at Eat Your Art Out.
We tried and succeeded with our Youth Advisory Council.
And we’re trying something new again starting on Saturday.
We needed something else in the summer. People tend to flee Phoenix in the summer, partly because of the heat, and partly because there is nothing to do because of the heat. We saw a void, and we’re trying to fix it.
3 Evenings For The Arts is a fundreaiser designed to fill that void, help kids and bring the community together, all in three shows. Once a month from now until September, we’re asking people to bring their friends, family or people they like to hang out with to the Center, take a chance for some awesome prizes, see a great show and help build Chandler into something stronger.
The prizes that you can win differ from show to show, so I’m asking that you come to as many as you can. The performers are top-notch, the wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle are phenomenal (they are sponsoring the wine tastings at each show) and it’s a chance to help the arts in Chandler become better than what it is.
Our first show, “Remembering Mr. Cole, A Tribute to Nat King Cole”, is this Saturday night and I have a list of the fan-tabulous prizes up for grabs here.
You can get tickets to each show individually, or the whole series if you like. Individual tickets can be purchased here, but series ones can only be bought at our box office, either in person or by calling 480-782-2680
Oh Weekend Preview, how I have missed you.
This weekend we don’t have any shows at the Center, but we do have something you should check out. Tonight I’ll be at the Plaza San Marcos hanging out with some of the most talented people in Chandler as part of the monthly Chandler Art Walk. This month it’s INSIDE. I know shouting isn’t polite, but we all know the weather, and we all know how awesome it is when a normally outside event is inside. I can’t wait! I’ll have more information on our shows and be ready, able and willing to give out any updates (and maybe swag) if you come say hi.
Besides, I’m awesome, you’re awesome, so lets just hangout and be awesome together. And snack on Paletas Betty. Nomnomnomnom.
A week from today (July 27)is the start of our Free Summer Concert Series! Yay! It’s a yearly free concert series to introduce people to the Center, to music they like but aren’t sure if they want to pay for it just yet and as a good way to gear up for a packed season. Comeback Buddy is in charge of getting the series started like it should be, and they are up for the challenge. Mike Randall was kind enough to sit down with me (over the phone) and answer all my pesky questions about Comeback Buddy, and that was a blast. Plus the whole band is super nice and talented, so we’re going to be in for a real treat. The doors open at 6:30 pm, seating starts at 7:00 and the concert starts at 7:30. Seating is done on a first come, first served basis, so get here as soon as you can if you want up close and personal seats. The concerts are free, but we will have several donation boxes out and we’d appreciate it beyond measure if you could throw a couple of bucks our way. That way we can keep on keepin’ on.
That whole weekend is a blast from the past, and on Saturday, July 28, is the start of our never before had 3 Evenings With The Arts fundraising series with “Remembering Mr. Cole, A Tribute to Nat King Cole,” starring Joe Bourne & Trio. Joe told me a little bit about the show and his history with Nat King Cole in an interview that I posted yesterday. Give it a read, if you missed it.
3 Evenings With The Arts is a series of three shows over three months that aim to bring together the Chandler community and help us help our kids. The proceeds from the series (the show, the live and silent auctions and the raffle) will go into the Jerry Brooks’ Legacy Fund, which keeps our Connecting Kidz programs available to everyone. You can buy tickets to each show individually, but I recommend buying tickets to the entire series. You’ll save money, get some great entertainment, have a chance to win fabulous prizes and help out some of the best kids you’ll ever meet. The only way we could make it any better is if we added fire-breathing dragons playing guitar in the parking lot. I did all that I could, but we just couldn’t get that last part to jive, so it was scrapped. Something about “Mythical creatures can’t play guitar, Caitie.”
Psh. So you think.
I’ve mentioned it several times, but I grew up with music that was made by people before my parents were born. Frank Sinatra was my lullaby. My girlhood crush was Buddy Holly. My glasses even look like his did. I remember listening to Nat King Cole when I did my homework, just loud enough so I could hear it, but not too loud so my Mom wouldn’t come in and bust me.
Next weekend starts out with an old-school-but-totally-cool vibe on Saturday, and we’re keeping it going with “Remembering Mr. Cole: A Tribute to Nat King Cole”, starring Joe Bourne & Trio as our first show in our 3 Evenings With The Arts fundraiser.
Joe has been playing professionally since 1968, and got his start in Cambridge, Mass. He made his way down to Atlanta in 1975 and then made the Netherlands his base for the next 25 years before coming out to Tucson. During his career, he’s recorded and performed with The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, and Ms. Natalie Cole herself.
It’s safe to say, the man knows his music.
Joe keeps his music simple, like the crooners of the 40s, with a piano, bass and guitar. That’s actually what helped him come up with the idea of “Remembering Mr. Cole, A Tribute to Nat King Cole.”
“I met a piano player who had studied the instrumental side of Nat King Cole, and we decided to put together a tribute to him about 6 years ago,” said Joe. It’s been going strong ever since. All the members of his trio have degrees in music and a deep understanding and appreciation of the musicianship that is required to pull off a 40’s soul song.
So what is it about Nat King Cole that first drew Joe to him and his music?
“I’ve always loved him, and his music,” Joe said. “I really like it all, Nat King Cole, Motown, even Disco.” From the sound to the stories that the songs tell, Joe says it’s like telling a history of a person.
It’s that combination of history and music that audiences find so appealing. Joe said that where ever he goes, he always finds an appreciative audience, even some repeat concert goers.
“In Arizona, people are from everywhere, so sometimes I’ll do a show in Arizona and then a show in the Midwest, and I’ll see some familiar faces. No matter where I go, people like the same kind of music, even if they don’t realize it yet,” he said.
When you come see Joe next weekend, you’ll be in for a treat.
“I hope people leave with a big smile on their faces, from music they remember from their younger days, or music that they remember from listening to their families,” Joe said. “It’s music they can remember, and lyrics they can understand.”
You can get tickets to the entire 3 Evenings With The Arts fundraiser series, or just to Joe’s show here. He takes the stage on Saturday, July 28 at 8pm, but only after a live auction, a silent auction, a raffle, wine tasting and so much more.