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Welcome to the 40th season of the Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series! The 2016–2017 season includes six fantastic events. The artists presenting their work this season are each world-class musical personalities with significant historical roots and dynamic contemporary ideas.
We begin with the eclectic American roots music group The Paperboys, followed by New Orleans vocalist and guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington. We start off the new year with a new show, Selfie, from WOU Artists-In-Residence Rainbow Dance Theatre, and then in February the dynamic Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project will be with us for two nights in Smith Hall. In April Micky Dolenz, of The Monkees, will guest star with the American Metropole Orchestra in a show featuring classic 60s bubblegum and psychedelic pop music. Our final show brings the world-renowned Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez (Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Wayne Shorter) to the series joined by the talented students of the Western Hemisphere Orchestra.
In cooperation with the Western Oregon University Music Department, Smith fine Arts Series season ticket holders will continue to receive complimentary tickets to the other Western Hemisphere Orchestra concerts throughout the year.
Enjoy the season!
September 30, 2016 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Rice Auditorium
This world roots music band hails from Canada and mixes Irish jigs, bluegrass, reggae, Mexican Son Jarocho, ska, and African Highlife to create a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual, multi-instrumental genre bending blend of great music.
“Bands capable of bringing this much conviction to such a diverse range of styles are rare indeed”
∼ Hifi News
‘The Paperboys’ energy and enthusiasm are always a delight, and if I had to pick a band to follow around on tour, I couldn’t think of a better candidate.’
∼ Rambles Cultural Arts Magazine
“The most exuberant record I’ve heard in ages…breathtaking.”
∼ Folk Roots Magazine
“Once heard, you will cross mountains, valleys, floods and tempests to see this band wherever they play. Be ready to travel – even if they play at the ends of the earth, it will be worth the journey!”
∼ David Shipley, CD BABY
Walter “Wolfman” Washington
October 7, 2016 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Rice Auditorium
Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City’s unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk, and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970s.
Those who have heard Walter “Wolfman” Washington sing know how he earned the nickname “Wolfman.” In addition to his masterful guitar skills, he’s got one heck of a howl. “When I was a kid I sang in the church choir with my mom,” he said. “But Johnny Adams showed me how to really use my voice.”
“…Washington’s bio veers toward the legendary.”
∼ The Times-Picayune
Rainbow Dance Theatre
January 13, 2017 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Rice Auditorium
The audience become a part of the show when they text their own selfie to the stage and see it appear during the performance. Then audience members journey with RDT through an exotic landscape – a sometimes gentle, sometimes explosive terrain – as SELFIE delves into the mystery of the self. Are we our outer perceived persona, our inner emotions, or our deep unconscious self? Or are we the selfie that we share with the world? But none of this overshadows the high-powered, breath-taking physicality of the RDT dance ensemble, which brings passion and humor along with virtuosic dancing, gravity-defying partnering and sheer beauty of execution to the unique choreography that glues together this magnificent new work.
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project
February 20 & 21 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Smith Recital Hall
Two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer, and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world, bridging folk, jazz, and chamber music. Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project focuses on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea chanties, African-American acappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes, and work songs.
“A transatlantic session with blood, guts and grit.”
∼ The Herald
Micky Dolenz with The American Metropole Orchestra
April 15, 2017 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Rice Auditorium
Actor, singer, director, producer, writer, and all-around performer extraordinaire, Micky Dolenz share the state with the American Metropole Orchestra in an all new show of classic 60s pop music including tunes from The Monkees, The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, and many more.
And then there’s Micky Dolenz – what a voice! Seriously!…we had a world-class pop singer!
∼ Huffington Post
…“Monkee-Micky Dolenz knocked it out of the park… It’s terrific to note that for the 70-year old Dolenz, his voice remains as strong and vibrant as ever; a welcomed mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury. The emotion that he can draw with each song is mesmerizing and admirable.”
∼ Times Square Gossip
Danilo Perez with The Western Hemisphere Orchestra
June 10, 2017 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Rice Auditorium
Multiple Grammy Award winning pianist and composer Danilo Perez will join forces with WOU’s own Western Hemisphere Orchestra. Perez’s tireless work includes serving as UNESCO Artist For Peace, Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. He has toured and recorded with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, and Wayne Shorter.
“As a composer and bandleader himself, he’s practically peerless..”
“There is nothing small about Danilo Perez’s ambitions. The pianist wants nothing less than to create a Panamanian style of jazz composition.”