Opening Nights announces slate for 20th season

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 1, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Opening Nights has announced it's 2017/18 season calendar and venue locations for ON's 20th season.

36 acts will be on display over the season, beginning on October 16 and running through April 17.

Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Opening Nights is offering two ticket promotions - a 7 Days Festival promotion and a Director's Choice promotion.

FSU President John Thrasher says he's excited to celebrate this milestone with the lineup they have. "The programs are quality. They really are. The fact that the community supports it so much is really another opportunity for us and FSU to showcase each other.

This is what a university ought to be doing, and we think we're doing it pretty well," Thrasher continued.

For the first time, two performances will be hosted at FSU's Panama City campus.

For tickets and more information, visit .

Below is a complete list of the dates and acts for the 2017/18 season.


Oct. 16 - Quebe Sisters; Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 7:30 p.m. - When the Quebe Sisters from Texas take the stage and the triple-threat fiddle champions start playing and singing in multi-part close harmony, audiences are transfixed, then blown away. It’s partly because the trio’s vocal and instrumental performances are authentic all-Americana, all the time, respectful of the artists that inspired them the most. After more than a decade of traveling the United States and the world and recording three acclaimed albums, Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe are pros in a variety of genres and count many famous musicians among their biggest boosters. The Quebe Sisters have shared the stage with such American music legends as Willie Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.

Oct. 22 - SCORE: A Film Music Documentary; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - This documentary brings Hollywood’s premier composers together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world’s most widely known music genre: the film score. (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

Oct. 24 - Chris Thile; Opperman Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek and host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist. With his broad outlook that encompasses classical, rock, jazz and bluegrass, Thile transcends the border of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike. On this new program, Thile performs Bach solo violin works on the mandolin as well as his own compositions and contemporary music.


Nov. 5 - Romeo is Bleeding; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - A fatal turf war between neighborhoods haunts the city of Richmond, Calif. Donté Clark transcends the violence in his hometown by writing poetry about his experiences. Using his voice to inspire those around him, he and the like-minded youth of the city mount an urban adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with the hope of starting a real dialogue about violence in the city. (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

Nov. 14 - Mile Twelve; Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 7:30 p.m. - Beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass, Mile Twelve is fast gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in bluegrass and folk circles. Evan Murphy, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Nate Sabat, BB Bowness and David Benedict write captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences. In 2015, they were selected as formal showcase artists at the North East Folk Alliance, and in 2016, the group won the Podunk Bluegrass Festival Band Contest.

Nov. 19 - Pushing Dead; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - When a struggling writer, HIV positive for over 20 years, accidentally deposits a $100 birthday check, he is dropped from his health plan for earning too much. In this new era of sort-of universal care, can he take on a helpless bureaucracy or come up with $3,000 a month to buy meds on his own? (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

Nov. 21 - A Far Cry & Luciana Souza; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall,
7:30 p.m.
- The Boston-based GRAMMY®-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry has commissioned a new work for its 11th season. The Blue Hour will feature Grammy-winning vocalist Luciana Souza in a song-cycle created by a collaborative of five leading female composers—Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. The text of the work, by 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize winner Carolyn Forché, is the poem “On Earth” from the 2003 collection Blue Hour, which takes the form of an abecedarium, a listing of images, thousands of them, in alphabetical order, like a flurry of memories from a life coming to its end. Through several workshops, A Far Cry and the composers have embarked on a truly collaborative work, coming together to develop the text adaptation of Forché’s poem for this musical setting, maintaining its abecedary form. Each composer is contributing individual songs, instrumental transitions, refrains, and musical themes to create a continuous, integrated vision. Opening Nights at Florida State University is a co-commissioner of this work.


Dec. 1-2 - Pam Tanowitz Dance with Simone Dinnerstein; Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre, 7:30 p.m. for both performances - Co-commissioned by Opening Nights at Florida State University, New Work for Goldberg Variations is an evening-length work created by choreographer Pam Tanowitz and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who performs live with Pam Tanowitz Dance. Deconstructing classical, formal and traditional movement vocabularies, the dance mirrors and converses with Bach’s iconic score in a delightful interplay of rhythm, style and idiosyncrasy, shifting between encoded gestures and virtuosic dancing and demonstrating the rich emotional world lying beneath the poised surface of the Goldberg’s musical architecture. Dinnerstein, one of the foremost Bach interpreters of her generation, brings her nuanced understanding of the demanding score to Tanowitz’s witty and unflinchingly post-modern abstractions of classical and popular dance forms.

Dec. 5 - Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsails; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis spreads holiday cheer on its national Big Band Holidays tour. With soulful renditions of holiday classics, playful improvisation and entertaining storytelling, they bring out the magic in such favorites as Count Basie’s “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Billie Holiday’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” Jazz royalty Catherine Russell joins as special guest vocalist, continuing a spirited partnership that has spread Yuletide cheer in dozens of cities across the country. She’ll be joined by fellow vocalist Kenny Washington from New Orleans. Enjoyed by audiences of all ages, these uplifting holiday performances create lasting memories that will keep you feeling good throughout the season.

Dec. 9 - Sierra Hull (Panama City); Russell P. and Mamie V. Holley Academic Center, The St. Joe Community Foundation Lecture Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow-musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician in her mid-20s, Hull has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. “Weighted Mind,” which was nominated for a GRAMMY® for best folk album, is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull’s career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. With instrumentation comprised largely of mandolin, bass and vocals, this is genre-transcending music at its best, with production by Béla Fleck and special harmony vocal guests Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn and Rhiannon Giddens adding to the luster. Hull speaks eloquently, in her challenging and sensitive originals, her heartfelt vocals, and once again breaks new ground on the mandolin.


Jan. 22 - Pink Martini, with China Forbes (Sponsored by WCTV); Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Drawing inspiration from music all over the world, crossing genres of classical, jazz and pop, and featuring a dozen musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with more than 50 symphony orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Sydney Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The band has collaborated and performed with numerous artists, including Jimmy Scott, Carol Channing, Jane Powell, Rufus Wainwright and many more. Pink Martini just released its ninth studio album, Je dis oui!, which features vocals from China Forbes, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, fashion guru Ikram Goldman, civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat and Rufus Wainwright. The album is the band’s happiest in years; it features 15 tracks spanning eight languages (French, Farsi, Armenian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Xhosa, and English), and affirms the band’s 22-year history of global inclusivity and collaborative spirit.

Jan. 30 - David Shields; FSU Alumni Center Ballroom, 7:30 p.m. - David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of 20 books, including “Reality Hunger,” named one of the best books of 2010 by more than 30 publications, New York Times bestseller: “The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead,” “Black Planet,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “Other People: Takes and Mistakes.” Shields also co-starred in James Franco’s film of “I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel.” The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into 20 languages.


Feb. 2-3 - The Reduced Shakespear Company; Fred Turner Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. for both performances - The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) has created 10 world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen and heard the world over. In this “tale told by idiots,” the Reduced Shakespeare Company weaves all of The Bard’s famous characters, greatest lines and magnificent speeches into a brand new Shakespearean smorgasbord that erupts when Puck & Ariel hijack the plot of Comedy of Errors, creating such new and strange bedfellows as Kate and Beatrice, Hamlet and master motivator Lady Macbeth, Dromio and Juliet, as well as King Lear and his three daughters who turn out to be the three weird sisters from Macbeth. Every famous character and Shakespearean plot device come together in a single story so comically outrageous it’s no wonder the Bard of Avon hid it away. William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) is a comic misadventure that will feel strangely familiar yet excitingly new.

Feb. 4 - PRISM; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 2 p.m. - PRISM offers a wide array of entertainment from Chamber Winds, Symphonic Band, jazz ensembles, the Marching Chiefs and many more exciting groups. Come experience this unique event that lauds our students and faculty. A Seminole music experience not to be missed!

Feb. 5 - Maceo Parker with Ray Charles Orchestra & The Raelettes;
Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.
- A young saxophonist from North Carolina once stood outside the Greensboro Coliseum hoping to just catch a glimpse of his idol Ray Charles. Since that time, Maceo Parker has become one of the most legendary saxophonists in funk history, and Charles’ music has remained an undeniable influence throughout his career. Maceo has included a Ray Charles cover on each one of his albums, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to go on tour with Charles in the 90s. Now, Maceo joins forces with the Ray Charles Orchestra and The Raelettes for a spectacular program honoring his hero. Over the years Maceo Parker has played with James Brown, George Clinton, Prince and his collaborations have included Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Feb. 7 - Jake Shimabukuro; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Jake Shimabukuro held a ukulele for the first time at age four. It was an encounter that would shape his destiny and give the world one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument – an artist who has drawn comparisons to musical titans such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. By adapting a guitar hero anthem for the ukulele, Shimabukuro made a significant statement: the ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is an instrument limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. Along with his own original compositions, Jake is noted for his solo uke arrangements of such varied pieces as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Widespread acclaim has brought high-visibility collaborations with a wide range of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Michael McDonald and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Feb. 8 - JJ Grey & Mofro; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate: at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until Ol’ Glory has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey live performance. On the new album, Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room.

Feb. 10 - Ira Glass; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Ira Glass is the creator, producer and host of “This American Life,” the iconic weekly public radio program with millions of listeners around the world. Under Glass’s direction, “This American Life” has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including five Peabody awards. Using audio clips, music and video, Ira Glass delivers a unique talk; sharing lessons from his life and career in storytelling: What inspires him to create? What drives his passion? How have failures and successes informed his decisions? During his presentation, Ira Glass mixes stories live onstage and helps his audience better follow the creative process of one of our foremost storytellers.

Feb. 11 - Rufus Wainwright; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Rufus Wainwright, one of the great male vocalists, composers, and songwriters of his generation, has released eight studio albums, three DVDs and three live albums. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Elton John, David Byrne, Robbie Williams Mark Ronson, Joni Mitchell to Burt Bacharach. His album “Rufus Does Judy” recorded at Carnegie Hall in 2006 was nominated for a GRAMMY®. His acclaimed first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009 and has since been presented in London, Toronto and BAM in New York. This summer it will be performed at the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary and Augsburg Theatre in Germany. In 2015, Deutsche Grammaphon released a studio recording of the opera recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Rufus celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the release of his latest album Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets on Deutsche Grammophon worldwide in Spring 2016. The Canadian Opera Company commissioned Wainwright’s second opera, about Roman Emperor Hadrian, to premiere in Toronto in the fall of 2018.

Feb. 13 - George Benson; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - There are legends in the world of music … and then there are icons. Appreciated as both a musician and a performer by millions, George Benson has always excelled at the dual role of expert improviser and vibrant entertainer as he has performed with everybody from Miles Davis and Eric Clapton to Stevie Wonder to Carlos Santana. A guitar virtuoso and vocal sensation for over five decades, he has dominated the Billboard Charts in a variety of styles and genres that has never been matched. A 10-time GRAMMY® award winner, George Benson began playing guitar in a nightclub at age 8 and recorded his first single record, “She Makes Me Mad” with RCA-Victor in New York at age 10. He has received numerous accolades including being recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, winning the prestigious Legend Soul Train Award, and having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has nine #1 albums.

Feb. 14 - Michael McDonald; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - One of world’s most distinctive singing voices, Michael McDonald is often imitated but never duplicated. Through the years, he has blended that voice with others’, whether as a member of Steely Dan, a Doobie Brother, a highly successful solo artist and songwriter, or most recently, reaching the Coachella generation as a celebrated co-star on Thundercat’s indie hit, “Show You The Way.” Now he is reclaiming a solo spotlight. McDonald’s first new album in nine years, Wide Open, marks his set of all-original material since 2000. He penned or co-wrote 11 of the album’s 12 tracks. It’s a cogent reminder that he won Record and Song of the Year GRAMMYs® for co-writing as well as singing the Doobie Brothers hit “What a Fool Believes.” Wide Open marks a return to that classic’s emotional urgency alongside fiercer and fresher band arrangements than he’s ever created.

Feb. 18 - DEEJ; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - Southern Circuit brings the best of new independent film to communities across the South. Southern Circuit transforms watching film from a solitary experience into a communal one by providing the opportunity to meet filmmakers and learn about the art of filmmaking. (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

Feb. 22 - Ray Chen; Opperman Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. He is dedicated to expanding the reach of classical music through education and social media. Ray has appeared with some of the leading orchestras around the world, including the London Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de France where he joined Daniele Gatti for the televised Bastille Day concert in Paris to an audience of over 800,000. In 2017, Ray signed to Decca Classics in a major new recording deal and multimedia partnership. Ray has previously released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program “Virtuoso” of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck and Wieniawski and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by “The Strad” and “Gramophone” magazines as “the one to watch.”

Feb. 24 - Bria Skonberg (Panama City); Russell P. and Mamie V. Holley Academic Center, The St. Joe Community Foundation Lecture Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Vocalist, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg has been recognized as one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat magazine and Vanity Fair cited her as a Millennial “Shaking Up the Jazz World.” On her new OKeh/Masterworks album With a Twist. she spins her cool and confident vocal style—and her sleek and timeless jazz chops—into a program that playfully nods to tradition while always looking ahead. Her debut LP, BRIA, which was released in 2016 won the 2017 Canadian Juno Award (Canada’s version of The GRAMMYs®) for “Vocal Jazz Album” of the year. A self-described “small town girl” from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Skonberg hightailed it to Vancouver straight out of high school and earned a degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance. To date, she has performed at some 100 festivals worldwide.

Feb. 25 - globalFEST; The Moon, 7:30 p.m. - globalFEST presents The New Golden Age of Latin Music featuring two of today’s most exciting bands: Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras, which are forging inspired new paths for the fabled Latin sound. The Mexican-American communities of Arizona and California have emerged as hotbeds of musical creativity, merging styles that reflect the changing borders and shared cultural identities between Mexico and the United States. The infectious indie mambo band Orkesta Mendoza mix a multitude of Latin styles like cumbia, merengue, and ranchera through a psychedelic mambo and post-punk prism, creating a truly one-of-a-kind sound. Alternative Chicano band Las Cafeteras recreate traditional Afro-Caribbean Son Jarocho music in a wildly vibrant style. Their rousing socially conscious messages, in English and Spanglish, tell stories of a community that is looking for love and fighting for justice in the concrete jungle of East LA.

Feb. 27-28 - Martha Graham Dance Company; Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre, 7:30 p.m. for both performances - Hailed for its commitment to the leading edge of modern dance, today’s Martha Graham Dance Company performs adventurous new works side by side with the most profound and influential choreography by Martha Graham. This dynamic program includes Graham masterworks from the era when she was a frequent guest artist at Florida State University, her first performance dating back to 1932. Today’s celebrated Graham dancers will also perform a work by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg created in 2016 and a world premiere commissioned by Opening Nights at Florida State University for the noted choreographer Gwen Welliver, currently in residence at FSU.


March 1 - Mnozil Brass; Opperman Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Mnozil Brass has established itself as one of the world’s premiere brass ensembles, featuring three trumpets, three trombones (with one doubling on bass trumpet) and a tuba. With over 130 performances a year, the group has sold out houses from the farthest reaches of the European continent to Israel, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, and has captivated audiences with their blend of immense virtuosity and theatrical wit. Hailed as “seriously funny” and “whimsically brazen,” the show blends original compositions with classical favorites, jazz standards and popular hits. The group has embraced repertoire for all ages and stages of life: from folk to classical to jazz to pop; all executed with the same fearlessness, immense technical skills and typical Viennese “schmäh” (almost impossible to find an English translation, but best rendered as a kind of sarcastic charm!).

March 6 - Tierney Sutton Band; Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 7:30 p.m. - A seven-time GRAMMY® nominee, Sutton has received six consecutive nominations for “Best Jazz Vocal Album” – a nomination for every project she has released for the last decade. With a recording and touring history spanning over 20 years and nine CDs, the Tierney Sutton Band, “TSB” has traveled a rare path. Comprised of Sutton and instrumental virtuosos Kevin Axt, Ray Brinker, Trey Henry, and Christian Jacob, the band functions as a true collaborative. In 2011, TSB received a Grammy nomination for its collaborative arranging, the only collaborative team ever to receive this honor. Christian Jacob and TSB scored the original music for Clint Eastwood’s feature film Sully, starring Tom Hanks and Laura Linney. The band released a new recording, The Sting Variations in fall 2016, which has been nominated for the 2017 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

March 18 - Purple Dreams; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - Black youth stereotypes are turned upside down in this feature documentary film. A two-and-a-half-year journey serves as an inspirational window into the lives of inner-city, at-risk students who succeed at their passion while embracing the transformative power of their arts education. (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

March 19 - Ben Wendel Seasons Band; Opperman Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s work of the same name, Wendel has composed 12 original pieces, each one written for and dedicated to a musician he deeply admires. From Joshua Redman, to Eric Harland, Julian Lage, Ambrose Akinmusire, and more, Wendel performed each piece with those artists and released a series of duet videos over the course of 12 months. Now, Wendel reimagines his critically acclaimed “The Seasons” project for the road with an all-star ensemble and a long-anticipated album on the way. A GRAMMY® Award nominee, Wendel is a founding member of the band Kneebody and has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award and two Chamber Music America New Works Grants.


April 5 - Patti LuPone; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Patti LuPone is an internationally praised singer and actress who is best known for her work in stage musicals. She is a two-time GRAMMY® Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner, and she also was an American Theater Hall of Fame inductee in 2006. LuPone began her professional career with The Acting Company in 1972 and made her Broadway debut in Three Sisters in 1973. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Eva Perón in the 1979 original Broadway production of Evita and also won a Tony Award for her role as Mama Rose in the 2008 revival of Gypsy. LuPone won two Grammy Awards for the 2008 recording (Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording) of the Los Angeles Opera production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Far Away Places will boast Broadway classics, ‘30s and ‘40s cabaret, and contemporary pop songs by Kurt Weill, Edith Piaf, Willie Nelson, the Bee Gees, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, and more.

April 12 - Taylor Mac; Richard G. Fallon Theatre, 7:30 p.m. - A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is Mac’s subjective history of America since its founding in 1776. The project chronicles the ways in which communities build themselves because they are being torn apart. Years in development, the piece was originally performed as a one-time 24-hour event and was recognized on The New York Times’ 2016 lists of Best Performances, Best Theater and Best Music. This abridged version of the show is a highly immersive and outrageously entertaining crash course in the 240 years (and counting) of the history of American culture and dysfunction. Told from the perspective of groups whose stories are often “forgotten, dismissed, or buried,” the show highlights various musical styles and artistic voices ranging from murder ballads to disco, Walt Whitman to David Bowie and beyond. Joined by music director/arranger Matt Ray, an incomparable band and local performers, Mac appears on stage decked and bedazzled in gloriously irreverent regalia for a night that is “Startlingly unique…a must see for anyone who wants to see a kinder, gentler society.” (Huffington Post)

April 14 - A Movie You Haven't Seen; Askew Student Life Cinema, 7:30 p.m. - Since its inception in 1999, Opening Nights has presented an annual movie. Silent films, local creations, Oscar® Nominees, and international film circuit delights—each film has added to the collective cinema experience in Tallahassee. The selected film will be appropriate for all audiences and will include a panel discussion with industry professionals. Presented collaboratively with the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts Torchlight Program, this year’s film is sure to inspire, entertain and educate.

April 15 - Look & See, A Portrait of Wendell Berry; Askew Student Life Cinema, 5 p.m. - Look & See is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of Wendell Berry. (A part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival)

April 16 - Danish String Quartet; Opperman Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Embodying the quintessential elements of a fine chamber music ensemble, the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for their integrated sound, impeccable intonation and judicious balance. With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and “rampaging energy” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), the quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the musical friends have demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also giving skilled and profound interpretations of the classical masters. The New York Times selected the quartet’s concerts as highlights of 2012 and 2015, praising “one of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven’s Opus 132 String Quartet that I’ve heard live or on a recording,” and “the adventurous young members of the Danish String Quartet play almost everything excitingly.”

April 17 - The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma; Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. - Since 2000, The Silk Road Ensemble has been redefining classical music for 21st-century audiences. Representing a global array of cultures, ensemble members co-create art, performance, and ideas. Under the artistic direction of Mr. Ma, these storytelling musicians celebrate the multiplicity of approaches to music from around the world. The Silk Road Ensemble performers and composers hail from more than 20 countries. Passionate about learning from one another’s traditions, these rooted explorers perform on instruments ranging from world percussion to Western strings to the Chinese pipa (lute) and sheng (mouth organ), the Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute), the Galician gaita (bagpipe), Indian tabla (paired drums), and the Persian kamancheh (spike fiddle). The Silk Road Ensemble draws on a rich tapestry of traditions that make up our shared cultural heritage, creating a new musical language—a uniquely engaging and accessible encounter between the foreign and the familiar that reflects our many-layered contemporary identities.

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