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!
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.
¡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!
[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.
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.
The West Hills Brothers are a unique duo of acoustic/electric guitars, vocals and percussion. Carson Smith is the lead vocals, guitar, and percussion. His twin brother Cole, plays acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin. The brothers are originally from West Hills, California but now live in Arizona and perform on a regular basis. Their music is a great mix of classic rock, pop, alternative and original tunes with their own unique style. We had to get the inside scoop on who these brothers are, check it out!
Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: We have to ask, who is the oldest?
West Hill Brothers: We are actually twin brothers. Carson (the drummer) is 2 minutes older.
CCA: Does it make it easier or harder to work together since you are brothers?
West Hill Brothers: It makes it easier for us to work together because we know each other so well and we don’t have to go through the hassle of calling each other up to meet and rehearse and clear dates for shows etc.
CCA: How old were you when you discovered your musical talent?
West Hill Brothers: We were about 6 years old when we first started to learn how to play and we formed our band about 3 years ago. We have grown up with music all of our lives. Our dad is a musician and first introduced us to playing music.
CCA: What instruments do you play?
West Hill Brothers: Carson plays drums, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and lead vocals. Cole plays the acoustic/electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, and back-up vocals.
CCA: Has it always been your goal to be performing artists?
West Hill Brothers: We didn’t think about it too much when we were younger because we knew we just liked to play music together. We started out playing local open mic nights and coffee shops and began to love it. Now it’s great to have our calendar pretty booked playing some great gigs at some cool events.
CCA: Do you feel like you have gotten your “big break” yet?
West Hill Brothers: We understand its can be a slow process. We love the fact that we have been on local TV and in the newspaper etc. but national recognition would be great. In the meantime we look at is as becoming better musicians in the process.
CCA: Are there any musicians or bands who have inspired you?
West Hill Brothers: We share the same interests in bands and love listening to NeverShoutNever, Foster the People, Mergence, Band of Horses, the Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, the Beatles, Local Natives, Dr. Dog, the Killers, Mumford & Sons, No doubt, Neil Young, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, and much more!
CCA: How do you balance school and the band?
West Hill Brothers: Our grades are really important and the fact that we are brothers really helps with rehearsal times etc. We like to hang out with our friends on nights that we aren’t performing and we really appreciate how are friends have supported us and come out to our shows.
CCA: What is your favorite genre of music?
West Hill Brothers: We like to listen to alternative-rock and we like classic rock too.
CCA: Do you hope to make music your life-long careers? Or do you have a different vision for your future careers?
West Hill Brothers: We definitely want to play and write as much music as possible throughout our lives. We both have other interests in the arts too, but music will always be apart of our lives.
CCA: If you could perform anywhere, where would it be?
West Hill Brothers: We would love to play at a cool festival like Coachella, or Bonnaroo or someday sell-out at a stadium or concert hall somewhere!
CCA: Do you have any interesting stories since you started to perform publicly?
West Hill Brothers: We don’t really have any crazy stories, but we have had some pretty interesting notes left in our tip jar.
CCA: What is one thing you want the Chandler Center for the Arts’ audience to know about you?
West Hill Brothers: First, we really appreciate the opportunity that Chandler Center for the Arts has given us and second we just want everyone to hopefully love our music and style and see the big sound we get from just 2 people performing.
CCA: Any additional comments or information you might want to share with our audience?
West Hill Brothers: We hope to see you at the event and we will be releasing our new single “Walk in the Park” that we just recorded last week. We want to thank our friends and family for all their support.
Come see this pair perform during our Plugged In concert on Saturday, August 24, 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/child, $10/adult, $15/family. Your financial support is appreciated.
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.
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.
Imagine our excitement when we learned top choreographers, Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson, are all coming to Chandler this June. These top choreographers have joined forces to create “Shaping Sound.” The performance combines music genres and dance styles resulting in a visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion. If you are not familiar with these names, not to worry. Today we are diving in to learn more about each of these choreographers and their dance history.
First, let’s meet Travis Wall. Right now Travis Wall is a hot name in the dance industry. Travis was the runner-up for the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance, and is currently a resident choreographer and judge for the national dance competition show. He has choreographed for Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. He has worked with Florence and the Machine, Chelsea Handler, Eminem, and Rihanna. Travis also choreographed the contemporary numbers for the feature film, Step Up Revolution.
Next, let us introduce to you Nick Lazzarini. His multifaceted dancing abilities have leveraged his career within the United States and abroad. Nick is the season one winner of the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance, and has been featured in countless publications. He has performed with music sensations such as Adele on Dancing with the Stars, Kelly Clarkson at this year’s American Music Awards and Florence and the Machine at The MTV Video Music Awards.
The next dance super star joining the Shaping Sound team is Teddy Forance. He grew up surrounded by dance as the fourth generation to live in his family’s studio, the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Massachusetts. By the age of 17 he took his career to a professional level. Teddy is well-known for his work on seasons two and three of the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance. He has also performed with award-winning artists including Lady Gaga on American Idol, Usher at the American Music Awards, Florence and the Machine at the MTV Video Music Awards, among others.
And lastly, but certainly not least, meet Kyle Robinson. Kyle began dancing when he was 11-years-old. By the time he was 18, he had already received the Gold Award in Modern Dance from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). He went on to fine-tune his abilities by training at the Julliard School, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. His hard work paid off, and he landed the role of Diesel in West Side Story’s first national tour. Continuing with this success, Kyle performed a special ballet piece on Dancing with the Stars this past season.
As you can see this team brings dance expertise, strength and a guarantee to reshape your vision of dance.
The excitement of this show doesn’t stop there! Before the dancers hit the stage, you have the incredible opportunity to warm up and learn choreography straight from these top names. Shaping Sound will take dancers on a two-hour journey of their rigorous warm up and show first-hand what it’s like to get your body ready for this physically demanding show. The cast will then teach a combination pulled directly from the show choreography. Register here!
To learn more about Shaping Sound and the workshop please visit their website here.
What’s in store this weekend at the Arts Center? Here’s a quick sample of the great events and shows you can expect to enjoy if you come out:
The fun beings Saturday morning at 10am. Warm up those vocal cords for the final audition for Great American Talent Search Chandler Idol. This is your chance to expose your hidden vocal talent and perhaps win cash and prizes totally over $25,000. Don’t forget to register here!
Later in the evening, come together for a night devoted to the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. Classic Albums Live will perform hits such as, “Come Together,” “Something,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and more. Sample the concert now:
Sunday’s show will drive you to your feet with Rhythm of the Dance The Irish Dance Spectacular! The music, beats, dancing and atmosphere will transport you to the world of Irish dancing. Taste the excitement now:
If any (or all) of these events are calling your name, get your tickets here. We’d love to have you join in on the fun!
The weekend is almost upon us. What are your weekend plans? We hope you will join us here at the Arts Center.
Here is a quick glimpse at what to expect if you come to the CCA. Tonight at 7:30pm there is a Chandler Symphony Orchestra concert. The greatest news…the concert is free. We think it is a wonderful way to spend your Friday evening. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of our Eat Your Art Out Chandler restaurants.
Then on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7pm the Golden Dragons will take the stage. With breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty the acrobats will leave you speechless. Sample a taste of the show here:
Whatever your weekend might hold, we hope it is amazing. See you soon!
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
Happy Inspire Your Heart With Art Day! Today we celebrate art and the effect it can have on our hearts. Each form of art can inspire our hearts to feel.
The Chandler Center for the Arts is certainly a place to inspire your heart with art. We are lucky enough to have art in the form of performances almost every weekend (see full schedule here).
We also have a gallery filled with art. Tomorrow, February 1, the gallery reopens its doors to the public. The gallery will feature “Waterworks: Really Abstract or Abstractly Real?” This is an exhibit of artworks by Arizona watercolor critique group Waterworks. The Waterworks Artists are ten artists who live in the Valley of the Sun. A group spirit of friendship, cooperation and support is created through open sharing of water-media ideas, art related information and constructive painting critiques. While maintaining the highest levels of artistic professionalism, these artists have exhibited widely since 1995 in many prominent venues. Learn more about the artwork and artists here.
Join in inspiring your heart at Chandler Center for the Arts. Your heart and mind might work harmoniously or conflict with emotion as you waltz through the gallery or observe a performance.
The long, hard road of struggle and trial briefly touches on the roots of our weekend performers, New Directions Veterans Choir. The choir is compromised of inspiring stories of hope and determination. Each choir member carries his and her own personal saga of triumph. But as a whole, the group shares the common foundation of music and hope.
George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years, living in and around MacArthur Park. The power of music and the New Directions program united Hill with similar struggling veterans. This group eventually grew into a soulful cappella choir, New Directions Veterans Choir. The Choir is comprised primarily of men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military. Following their service to our country, they became homeless. New Directions gave them hope and direction.
The choir got their “big break” on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and since then has been featured on the NBC Nightly News and E! Entertainment Television. They have performed at over 100 venues and events. In doing so, they continue to spread their message of hope and redemption to other vets who struggle today.
Join us on Friday, January 18 at 8 pm as we witness the power of music, hope and inspiration at the New Directions Veterans Choir performance. Purchase tickets here.
Each January, the City of Chandler holds a series of events to honor our community’s heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.
To kick off the month long event, on Saturday, January 12, the screening of the critically acclaimed film Power of One will occur. The film portrays the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His exploits would have probably been forgotten if his wife, fifty years later, hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world.
The following weekend, on Friday, January 18, New Directions Veteran’s Choir will grace our stage. The New Directions Veterans Choir is an award winning a cappella group that sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, traditional gospel and popular music. The Choir consists of current and former residents of New Directions’ transitional facility, a Veterans Administration (VA) drug rehabilitation program. These men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military and following service to our country, became homeless. George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years. A graduate of New Directions, Hill is also an employee at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration. “Through singing,” George says, “we hope to let veterans who may be suffering know that there is hope for them.”
The next day, Saturday, January 19, Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival will highlight the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. This is a FREE event open to the public.
The celebration concludes, on Sunday, January 20, with riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, in the show DRUMLine Live. This is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. The staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. The group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.
Let’s all come together this month and celebrate unity. To learn more or to purchase tickets for any of these incredible events, please click here.
Did you know November is National Drum Month?
Drums have been significant to the history of time. According to All About Drums, “The first drumming in drums history was a series clapping of hands and hitting the chest and knees with open hands. Various rhythms were adapted using this method but was limited because of the volume one could create and because to create higher volume was painful. So the drum was developed to overcome this problem.”
The drum has since signified various proclamations such as celebrating a victorious battle to worship and dance. Now days it is far more common to see a drum used within a performing band.
Let’s imagine the drum…now add choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition. Sound like showstopping fun? Well my friends, that is exactly what DRUMLINE LIVE is.
This new attraction was created by the team behind the hit movie “Drumline” and brings the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition to the theatrical stage for the very first time. With riveting rhythms and bold beats, this versatile group of musicians and dancers bring explosive energy and athleticism to the marching band experience.
DRUMLINE LIVE is coming to Chandler Center for the Arts on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 7pm. Don’t delay, get your tickets today.
For those who love the drum or love the power of music and dance, this is the show for you!
Each year Brighton Collectibles stores give back to their communities by holding a nation-wide fundraising competition between their stores. The fundraising period stretches over a couple of months and each store location selects a charity within their community to benefit from their fundraising efforts. This year the Chandler Fashion Center store selected the Chandler Center for the Arts Connecting Kidz program to support.
We had a lot of fun working with the store manager and associates to get the word out about the fundraiser and it paid off…big time! The Chandler Fashion Center’s location won their company’s philanthropic national competition by raising the most money. They raised over $8,100 for CCA’s Connecting Kidz program!
As a result of their win, the other stores across the country sent their inventory of limited edition American Flag bracelets to the Chandler store to extend their fundraising initiative. The store celebrated their win and the extension of their fundraising efforts this past Saturday at Chandler Fashion Center with a performance by the Mallet Masters.
If you missed out this summer, there is still time to purchase this bracelet. “Vote” for the Arts and the Connecting Kidz program in Chandler by buying the American Flag bracelet! The remaining bracelets will be sold through October 27.
Call (480) 726-0263 to order yours today or stop by the store. Thanks Brighton! You guys rock!