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Fowler Center Announces its 2014-2015 Season Performances


Fowler Center
Fowler Center

JONESBORO -- Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, announced its 2014-15 season at its annual “Sneak Peek” season unveiling.

The Riceland Distinguished Performance Series will present seven concerts featuring music and dance ranging from tango to Broadway. The season, which begins Sept. 12, will include the tango quartet, Quartango, four finalists of the show American Idol, award-winning Las Vegas group The Phat Pack, legendary jazz singer Denise Thimes, father-son piano duo Ryan and Ryan, Irish dance sensation Rhythm of the Dance, and the next generation big band, The Fatum Crittenden Jazz Orchestra.

Fowler Center will also present two Family Friendly Series events, Arc Attack and Story Pirates, featuring affordable ticket prices and entertainment that appeals to younger audiences.

Riceland Distinguished Performance Series:

Quartango – Body and Soul Tango Passion                     Friday September 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Marking their 25th anniversary in 2009, Montréal's Quartango has been sharing their passion for the tango since the release of their first album, “Musica Viva,” in 1986. With a wealth of accolades and awards accumulated over the years, the group's breathtaking blend of contemporary jazz with traditional tango, mixed with elements of classical music, has been performed on some of the world's most prestigious stages, including Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, as well as Paris, Tokyo and all over Canada. In “Body and Soul Tango Passion,” Quartango teams up with Argentine tango dancers Roxana and Fabian Belmonte to delight audiences with their intricate, sensual dance steps and the spirited music.

American Idol Stars Celebrate Motown                              Friday October 10, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Four of your favorite former American Idols come together for a fun-filled, dancing-in-the-street night of Motown’s electrifying music! An amazing combination stars Season 6’s Gina Glockson and soulful Melinda Doolittle, the amazing vocal range of Season 8 ’s Von Smith, and Season 2’s smooth vocal styling’s of Rickey Smith. Experience these four powerhouse performers celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Motown’s Hit Factory with music by Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. Relive your favorite Idol moments as these talented young artists perform the songs that catapulted them into national stardom, as well as new selections from their current CD's.

The Phat Pack – Broadway At Its Best                      Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

With a name that is a split salute to Phantom of the Opera and the Rat Pack, the Phat Pack was named 2013’s Best All Around Performers by the Las Vegas Review Journal. Now touring the nation, their show celebrates “The Best of Broadway!” Three performers—Bruce Ewing, who played Jinx in “Forever Plaid,” Ted Keegan, who played the Phantom in “Phantom Of the Opera” on Broadway, and Randal Keith, who played Valjean in “Les Miserables” on Broadway—sing the great songs of Broadway, American Standards, Las Vegas favorites, along with some hilarious new original songs—and share stories of their lives and careers! The Phat Pack has received rave reviews. This show is appropriate for all ages of people who love music and having fun.

Christmas with the Denise Thimes Quintet
An Evening of Jazz Standards and Holiday Favorites
        Friday, December 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Described by trumpet legend Clark Terry as “rank[ing] with the all-time greats such as Ella, Sassy, Lady Day, Nancy, Dianne, Monica, and Carmen,” vocalist Denise Thimes has shared the stage with luminaries such as Tony Bennett, Dr. Billy Taylor, and the Heath Brothers, and was selected to entertain Queen Elizabeth at her private dinner gala with former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She has toured both America and Europe and is an eight-time recipient of the St. Louis Black Repertory Woodie Award for both musicals and drama. Enjoy an evening of sacred holiday songs and jazz standards performed by the one and only Denise Thimes Quintet.

The Ryan and Ryan Piano Duo                                         Friday February 13, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and Ryan is a dynamic father-son piano duo that blends classic and contemporary music into an enthralling concert experience. As a performing team, Donald and Barron amaze audiences with their skill, expressiveness, and love of making music. Their experience in classical, jazz, ragtime, hip-hop, and funk allows them to create exciting new music and give fresh interpretations of old. Audiences everywhere are thrilled by their renditions of selections from Grusin’s “The Firm” soundtrack, Rachmaninoff’s “Second Suite for Two Pianos,” and their performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Rhythm of the Dance
With the National Dance Company of Ireland
                  Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Since its debut performance in 1999 on a stage in Norway, Rhythm Of The Dance has played to over 5 million fans in 33 countries worldwide and, along with River Dance, with which it is compared, has heralded a new era in Irish entertainment. Starring 20 members of the National Dance Company of Ireland, a live Irish band and the handsome Young Irish Tenors, the show is an inspiring epic, reliving the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history. Using the traditional and modern arts of dance (ballet, modern dance, jazz) and music, this richly costumed show marries the contemporary with the ancient in a celebration of all things Irish.

The Fatum Crittenden Jazz Orchestra                                     Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Hailed as, “Chicago’s newest musical offspring…bringing big bands back!” by KPBS San Diego, the members of the Fatum Crittenden Jazz Orchestra are recent graduates from the top conservatory programs in the U.S., such as the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music. As young as they are, they’ve already completed two cross-country tours, developed a “Jazz For Young People…By Young People” curriculum, produced two records of all original music, and performed from New York to Los Angeles including sold out performances at the Blue Note, Chicago Jazz Festival, and San Jose Jazz Festival. Their recording “Live in Chicago” includes groundbreaking new compositions from the next generation of leading jazz composers and arrangers.

Family Friendly Series:

ArcAttack                                                                            Friday October 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.

The crew of ArcAttack uses their high tech wizardry to generate a truly ‘electrifying’ performance including a robotic drum set, Singing Tesla Coils, and flashing bright colored LED’s. In a show unlike anything students have ever seen, ArcAttack will take kids on an interactive journey of discovery where children will learn the science behind the amazing show they see on stage. Students will learn about Nikola Tesla and his contributions to the birth of commercial electricity, discover Delia Derbyshire and how music and technology are related, develop an understanding of machines and robotics, have a chance to talk to the cast of ArcAttack in a wonderful Q & A session and explore the world of science and technology in a way unlike they’ve ever experienced in this completely safe (for the audience anyway), and accessible show.  This show meets National Science Education Standards. Jointly presented with the Arkansas Science Festival.

Story Pirates                                                      Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.

When the Story Pirates take the stage, you'll be amazed at what happens next... and so will the Story Pirates! That's because the 50-minute show they're performing has not been written!  These pirates can't sail and they won't make you walk the plank, but they will steal your kids' ideas and incorporate them into an interactive show that validates the imagination of every child in the audience. Join the Story Pirates as they take stories written by kids (including two stories by kids from our town!) and create a show before your eyes that's as crazy, hilarious and unexpected as kids themselves.  So be prepared for possible monsters, dancing ninjas, superhero tomatoes - or any other idea kids dream up!

Fowler Center and College of Fine Arts

 In addition to the Riceland Distinguished Performance Series, Fowler Center is home to other units of the College of Fine Arts, ASU Theatre and Bradbury Gallery, and is the premier venue for dozens of performances by the Department of Music.

Tickets for Riceland Series and Family Friendly Series Events

All seating is reserved. Season and individual tickets go on sale August 1, 2014. Subscribe to all seven of the Riceland Distinguished Performance events and get seven concerts for the price of five (a savings of nearly 30 percent off individual ticket prices). Individual tickets for the Riceland Distinguished Performance Series are $30 and $20 for adults, and $23 and $15 for senior citizens and students, $24 and $16 for ASU faculty and staff, and $10 and $6 for ASU students with a current ID. Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets for the Family Friendly Series are $8 for children and seniors, $10 for adults.

For more details, one may contact Dr. Wendy Hymes at Fowler Center, whymes@astate.edu or (870) 972-3471. Tickets may be purchased at the Central Box Office in the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive, or by calling (870) 972-ASU1 or toll-free at (888) ASU-FANS. Tickets are also available online from the ASU Central Box Office (http://www.astate.edu/tickets/) and from Fowler Center (www.yourfowlercenter.com).

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