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The 2017/18 Swinging Jazz series at VPAC (aka. The Soraya) kicks off when American funk maestro Maceo Parker takes to the stage for an unforgettable tribute to the great Ray Charles.
In the fall of 1963, Parker was standing out the back of The Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina waiting to catch a glimpse of anyone from the band after a very special concert. After only seeing strangers, the band eventually spilled out followed, finally, by the great man himself, Ray Charles. The awestruck young saxophonist muttered to himself ‘One of these days you’re all gonna know me!’ Now, over half a century later, Parker brings it full circle as he performs a tribute to Ray Charles.
CSUN Alum Cheech Marin (Up in Smoke, Jane the Virgin) hosts an evening of comedy for the 3rd annual CSUN alumni performance on September 28 at Valley Performing Arts Center (The Soraya). The evening will also feature Paul Rodriguez, Marcella Arguello, Frankie Quinones and Francisco Ramos.
With an unequalled catalog of film, TV, and recordings, Cheech Marin, a five-decade veteran has done it all, from king of counter culture to his familiar voice in Disney’s The Lion King. Cheech returns to his old CSUN stomping grounds and brings some of the young guns of comedy with him to VPAC.
Valley Performing Arts Center will partner with New West Symphony in November to celebrate the centenary and extraordinary legacy of American composer Leonard Bernstein with Bernstein on Stage. Bernstein specialist John Mauceri, a protégé of the legendary composer and conductor, will lead the New West Symphony Orchestra, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Areté Vocal Ensemble along with Suzanna Guzmán and Davis Gaines on Friday, November 17 at 8:00pm. The official Bernstein at 100 celebrations begin Sept 22 in Washington, DC and the VPAC performance will be among the first concerts subsequently to perform in Los Angeles.
Great bandleaders shape their ensembles into their personal instruments.
In the early 1980s, guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía assembled a sextet that, in its instrumentation and jazz-like approach, would forever change the sound of flamenco. It would take the guitarist 20 years to put together another group that would provide him with both the support and push for his talent and his vision.
A jazz song from the late-50s, an Oxford-educated financial advisor and a group of once-celebrated but unemployed musicians -- some of whom no longer even owned an instrument -- are not the standard ingredients from which global hits are made.
But then, the story of the Sachal Ensemble of Lahore, Pakistan, is not a standard one.
Event honors the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 pm
Director Miloš Forman’s film AMADEUS one of the greatest biopics ever made, swept the 1984 Oscars winning eight awards including Best Picture. Now, Valley Performing Arts Center opens its 2017-18 Season on Saturday, September 16 at 7:00pm with a live performance featuring the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and LA Opera Chorus, conducted by film music specialist and CSUN alum Richard Kaufman, to a newly mastered print created for live orchestral accompaniment.
Dr. Dianne F. Harrison, president of California State University, Northridge, today announced the renaming of CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center to the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts.
The California State University Board of Trustees approved the naming in recognition of a $17 million gift from the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of Younes and Soraya Sarah Nazarian and their family. The gift will support the programming and operations of the award-winning performing arts center, which has become one of the cultural jewels of the region in the six years since it opened. The gift is one of the largest in the history of the California State University and the system’s largest single gift to support the arts.
VPAC’s new season makes a strong commitment to international artists, and to artists who demonstrate VPAC’s theme “Music Knows No Borders.”
Davis Gaines reprises his Ovation Award-winning role as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, winner of the Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score, and one of the most enduring works of musical theatre.
Valley Performing Arts Center will present Martha Graham and American Music, a program curated especially for Valley Performing Arts Center, performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company and wild Up, the classical music ensemble, conducted by its artistic director Christopher Rountree. Martha Graham Dance Company returns to VPAC after a sold-out performance in 2015.
Valley Performing Arts Center will presents a celebration of Grammy Award winner Doc Severinsen’s 90th birthday with Doc Severinsen and His Big Band on Thursday, April 13 at 8:00pm. The former bandleader for the NBC Orchestra/The Tonight Show is still going strong.
From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. As powerful, poignant, and timely as ever, the thrilling Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim score – including “Tonight,” “Maria,” “America” and the classic “Somewhere,” remains one of the best-ever written. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City, caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.
Valley Performing Arts Center will present Buster Keaton’s The General with a score performed live by the New West Symphony on Saturday, March 25 at 8:00pm. CSUN alum Richard Kaufman returns to VPAC to conduct. The film will feature a score prepared by American musician and historic preservationist, Dennis James.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) celebrates the second year of its three-year residency at Valley Performing Arts Center with a program of new works that celebrates the company’s commitment to creating new contemporary dance on Friday, March 3 at 8:00pm.
Five-time Grammy Award-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra will bring their big-band sound to Valley Performing Arts Center stage for one-night only on Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm.
“La Santa Cecilia exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music!” – KCET Artbound
From the heart of Olvera Street, L.A.-based Grammy Awardwinning La Santa Cecilia leaps to the VPAC stage on Saturday, February 18 for a one-night only rocking performance. Named for the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia has created its own distinct LA sound that blends Latin culture, rock and world music. Drawing its musical inspiration from a vast and varied pool of music—cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango and klezmer music, La Santa Cecilia takes all that to another level, blending its music with a contemporary mix of rock with a solid Latin beat.
On Saturday, February 25, Valley Performing Arts Center will host a special all-day event -- Global Currents, an event that celebrates water itself, starting with the outdoor Global Currents Festival at the Valley Performing Arts Center Lawn and Courtyard, free to the public, from 1-6pm and featuring six Los Angeles ensembles representing six regions of the world. The day culminates in a ticketed performance in the Great Hall from The Nile Project, in which twelve artists from along the Nile River share a message of cultural unity and global sustainability.
The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 | Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 8:00pm
Combining musical forces for the first time, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 will create an unforgettable swinging concert event at Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm. Between them, the two groups boast a remarkable 20 Grammy Awards, and a range of styles that covers nearly every genre of popular music; from jazz to swing, from gospel to R&B. No ordinary double bill, this is a show combining unexpected twists and turns to create a once-in-alifetime event.
Valley Performing Arts Center joins in the year-long global tribute to celebrate the 70th birthday of prolific American composer, John Adams, with three distinct programs to honor the legendary California composer: American Berserk, a celebration of John Adams curated by Patrick Scott on January 14, St. Lawrence String Quartet on February 3 and wild Up, Adams/Punk Rock/Player Piano on February 16.
Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat.
Valley Performing Arts Center’s PLAY DATE series continues the all-ages rock musical, Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat with music and lyrics by Grammy-nominated children’s music artist, Justin Roberts and book by Ernie Roberts. This brand new production with animations by Micah Chambers- Goldberg, 3D animations by Gaspard Lacroix and direction by Michael Matthews has one performance only on Sunday, January 22 at 3:00pm.
Christmas in Ireland is one of the most important holidays for families and friends, as many Irish people living abroad come home to gather in celebration. Now, that joyous and warm Irish tradition comes to the Valley Performing Arts Center for the first time when Danú, An Irish Christmas Gathering: Féile Na Nollag celebrates the holidays on Sunday, December 11 at 7:30pm.
“Dazzlingly beautiful each year.” -- The New York Times
Valley Performing Arts Center presents New York’s premiere choral ensemble and Baroque orchestra: The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of Julian Wachner, performing the season’s most heralded piece of music: Handel’s Messiah on Wednesday, December 7 at 8:00pm.
Six concerts from all over the world December 2 to 17
Valley Performing Arts Center is bringing the holidays to the Great Hall with a cornucopia of musical attractions this December. From Vienna to Mexico to New York City to Ireland, these worldly offerings are sure to ignite the holiday spirit.
VOTE OR DIE LAUGHING A Post-Modern Political Vaudeville Culture Clash joins special guests La Santa Cecilia, Cristela Alonzo, Buyepongo, Pacifico Dance Company, Marga Gomez and more Directed by Dan Guerrero
With less than three weeks to Election Day, the 2016 presidential campaign continues to be both harrowing and hilarious. Perhaps there is no better time than right now to send in the clowns of political satire — Culture Clash! The boys are coming back to VPAC on November 1 to celebrate Día de los Muertos with some of the most daring artists of our time.
Valley Performing Arts Center continues to bring diverse programming to the Valley with a new addition to the 2016-17 season: jazz and hip-hop vocalist, José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday on November 3 at 8pm. Featuring a live band with James Francies on keys, Josh Hari on bass and Nate Smith on drums, this evening will pay tribute to Holiday, who José James cites as his “musical mother.”
"This mother and daughter duo has one foot firmly planted in the greatest traditions of Indian Classical dance, and the other foot delicately balanced in the future, with imaginative new combinations of movement, music, and story-telling. This brand new piece, Written in Water, will he experienced up close, with the audience sitting on VPAC's stage"
Valley Performing Arts Center continues to bring diverse programming to the Valley with two new additions to their 2016-17 season: jazz and hip-hop vocalist, José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday on November 3 at 8pm and Leslie Odom Jr., Tony and Grammy winner for the role of “Aaron Burr” in Hamilton on November 17 at 8pm. This will be Odom Jr.’s first West Coast performance, since winning the Tony for Hamilton.
Latin Grammy award winner Aida Cuevas and Grammy nominated Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles will co-headline an all-female mariachi concert spectacle at Valley Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 16 at 7:30pm. Aida Cuevas is Mexico’s most important female voice, marking a career spanning 40 years. Paired with Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles’ vivacious musical spirit, this evening will celebrate the treasured art form of mariachi.
VPAC presents North American Premiere of Serj Tankian’s Elect the Dead & Orca Symphonies.
After selling out the November 10 premiere, Valley Performing Arts Center has added an additional performance of Serj Tankian’s Elect the Dead & Orca Symphonies on Saturday, November 12 at 8:00pm. With a vocal range over four octaves, Serj Tankian, considered one of the greatest singers in hard rock history and a CSUN alumnus, will present his Orca Symphony and perform and sing his Elect The Dead Symphony alongside the CSUN Orchestra under the direction of John Roscigno at Valley Performing Arts Center.
The Rapper and the Pop Superstar performed a mash- up of their hits ‘Make Me’ and ‘Me, Myself and I’ while PILOBOLUS provided a mind-bending visual component using innovative shadow work which combines legendary PILOBOLUS dance, with high-energy, fast-paced multimedia.
Wynton Marsalis, the acclaimed performer, composer, educator, bandleader, and nine-time Grammy winner, stretches across all genres to create a body of work that places him among the world’s most influential and important artists. Valley Performing Arts Center welcomes his return with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) on Friday, October 8 at 8:00pm.
The New York Times calls Kelli O’Hara one of “our greatest re-interpreters of musical standards” and on October 14 at 8:00pm, “Broadway’s golden girl and luminous star” returns to Valley Performing Arts Center in a one night only concert. Part of VPAC’s Broadway series, An Evening With Kelli O’Hara will feature the Tony award winner performing some of her most beloved Broadway tunes.
A mix of shadow theatre, storytelling, dance, circus and concert created in collaboration with Steven Banks of SpongeBob SquarePants
Following sold-out runs around the world, Pilobolus’ amazing spectacle of inventiveness, Shadowland, returns to Southern California on Sunday, October 2 at 3:00pm to kick-off VPAC’s popular Family Matinee Series.
Music icon Sting will premier new songs from his forthcoming album, 57th & 9th, at a private KCSN VIP Live Session on Aug. 31 at the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of California State University, Northridge.
Jerry Herman’s Broadway Musical Classic Stars Tony and Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly.
American musical legend Jerry Herman created the theatrical hat-trick in 1969 when Dear World opened on Broadway. Joining Hello, Dolly! and Mame, Herman became the first composer-lyricist in history to have three productions running simultaneously on Broadway.
The boys of Culture Clash are taking over Valley Performing Arts Center with VOTE OR DIE LAUGHING: A Post-Modern Political Vaudeville on Tuesday, November 1 at 8:00pm. Culture Clash will be celebrating Día de los Muertos, mixing in observations about America’s most important election and special appearances from La Santa Cecilia, Cristela Alonzo, Buyepongo, Pacifico Dance Company, Marga Gomez and more.
With a vocal range over four octaves, Serj Tankian, considered one of the greatest singers in hard rock history and a CSUN alumnus, will present his Orca Symphony and perform and sing his Elect The Dead Symphony alongside the CSUN Orchestra under the direction of John Roscigno at Valley Performing Arts Center for one night only on Thursday, November 10 at 8:00pm.
Season includes eight original events only seen at VPAC
Highlights include a special VPAC John Adams Celebration, four onstage symphonic orchestras, three Broadway musicals, four Latin music events, and two classic silent films with live orchestras
An original production of the Grimm Brothers’ Hansel & Gretel, Shadowland from acclaimed dance troupe Pilobolus, Akram Khan Company’s Chotto Desh, and SHAOLIN WARRIORS: THE LEGEND CONTINUES and full productions of WEST SIDE STORY and MAN OF LA MANCHA are some of the highlights from Valley Performing Arts Center’s newly-announced 2016-17 Season.
Eight original events only seen at VPAC
Highlights include a special VPAC John Adams Celebration, Four onstage symphonic orchestras, three Broadway musicals, four Latin music events, and two classic silent films with live orchestras