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Smith Fine Arts Series



Welcome to the 2013-14 season!


Season tickets on sale now!

Mail in our order form or call 503-838-8333 or

All performances in Rice Auditorium at 7:30pm


Hot Club of San Francisco - Cinema Vivant

October 4, 2013

Imagine yourself in the idyllic French countryside in the 1930's. Sometime before dark, a gypsy caravan sets up camp in a field outside of town, luring the locals out for an evening's fun. The wanderers travel with a film projector, pointing it at the side of a barn. As the images flicker to life beneath the stars, gypsy musicians play their guitars and fiddles, matching every movement on the screen with characteristic virtuosity, passion and humor. Reviving this lost entertainment, The Hot Club of San Francisco presents Cinema Vivant, an evening of vintage silent films accompanied by live gypsy music.



The California Honeydrops

January 10, 2014

Digging deep into the roots of American music, The California Honeydrops embrace the traditions of Blues, Gospel, Second Line New Orleans Jazz, and early R&B. With stellar performances of traditional material as well as their own innovative music, The California Honeydrops get people out of their seats and onto the floor, dancing, sweating, and singing along.


Since their formation 5 years ago in the subway stations of Oakland, CA, The California Honeydrops have completed 8 European tours, spread honey on crowds throughout the US, and recorded 3 full length albums of original music, all without the help of a record label or major booking agency. Their secret? An irresistible sound that blends the energy and intimacy of a street performance, undeniable talent and musicianship, and the soul and fervor of a spiritual street parade.


Born in Warsaw, Poland, band leader and front man Lech Wierzynski began playing blues and jazz as a teenager at after-hours jam sessions in Washington D.C. After studying trumpet with Marcus Belgrave (Ray Charles), Lech continued his career after moving to Oakland, honing his craft with some of the biggest names in American music, such as Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and Jackie Payne, allowing Lech to grow equally as a trumpeter, singer, and guitarist.


The vibrant rhythm section of The California Honeydrops is fueled by the unprecedented energy of saxophonist Johnny Bones (Eddie Palmiere, Nell Carter, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums), and drummer Ben Malament (Terry Reid, The Marvelettes, The Jelly Roll Souls). 


See them perform once, and you won’t be surprised why they were voted the SF Bay Area’s “Best Soul/R&B Band”. Nominated for “Best New Artist” by the National Blues Foundation (2009), and receiving 5 East Bay Express Reader’s Poll awards (2011) including “Best Band,” “Best Album,” and “Best Musician.” The band is excited for the release of their newest studio album, Like You Mean It, on April 19, 2013.



Fiddler's Night: Andrea Beaton, Kevin Burke & Cal Scott

January 24, 2014

Two world-class fiddlers in one night! Cape Breton's Andrea Beaton and Great Britain's Kevin Burke will share the limelight of the stage for the first time.


One of Cape Breton's best fiddlers, Andrea Beaton comes by her music honestly. The power of her bow, the drive and swing of her timing, and the crispness of her attack reveal a musician of the highest caliber. Her recordings were nominated for Roots Traditional Solo artist of the Year and Instrumental Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards.


National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award recipient Kevin Burke was dubbed "One of the greatest Celtic fiddlers alive" by the New York Times. His recordings have garnered prestigious awards including Grand Prix du Disc at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Over the course of his career he has worked with such prestigious artists as Arlo Guthrie, Kate Bush, and the Bothy Band (hailed as The Yardbirds of Irish music), and bluegrass star Tim O'Brian.



Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

March 9, 2014

Founded in 1991, the orchestra, comprising some of Russia's finest young string players, has carved a niche for itself under the creative baton of its founder and music director Misha Rachlevsky. Whether it is the highly acclaimed CDs or its mesmerizing concerts, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin's warmth and high energy create addictive performances that stay with listeners long after the last note has been played. The New York Times described one recent performance as "…warm, full-blooded and virtuosic playing with colorfully shaped, gleaming phrases."



Kurt Elling with the American Metropole Orchestra

April 5, 2014

GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last thirteen years and has been named "Male Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one of Elling's eleven albums has been nominated for a GRAMMY.


Elling's rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.


The New York Times declared, "Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time."


The Washington Post added, "Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic, or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz."


Elling will be joined by the always-exciting American Metropole Orchestra.



Dave Douglas with the Western Hemisphere Orchestra

June 7, 2014

We finish this season with acclaimed trumpet player, Dave Douglas. His unique contributions to music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award and two Grammy nominations. His widespread musical interests are reflected in the diversity of his recorded works. From Miles Davis like explorations of the music of the 60s to his recent Americana styled album Be Still, Douglas’ musical language is beautiful and engaging. He is joined by Western Oregon University’s Western Hemisphere Orchestra for what promises to be a fantastic close to the 2013-14 season.


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