Beloit College International Performing Arts Series opens

Beloit College International Performing Arts Series opens


BELOIT, WIS—Five extraordinary performers and ensembles, each known and honored on stages around the world, will entertain Beloit audiences and expand artistic dimensions this year as part of the Beloit College International Performing Arts Series. This year’s series is a celebration of the human spirit and the ability to survive, maintain dignity and take pride in the unique characteristics of a diverse cultural heritage.

The Series opens Friday, Sept. 21 when Beloit College is honored to host BeauSoleil, the world’s most respected Cajun and zydeco ensemble, as part of their 25th anniversary tour. Led by famed fiddle virtuoso Michael Doucet, the ensemble has preserved the rich Cajun musical traditions of Louisiana and carried this unique North American musical sound worldwide.

On Friday, Oct. 26, Fruteland Jackson will declare, “It’s a bad night to be a stray dog!” when he takes the stage at Eaton Chapel and … “claims nothing but the blues.” Just back from blues festivals in Europe and Asia, Jackson maintains his role as a “blues activist,” working to draw new generations to this popular American genre. As part of his visit, he will tour Beloit schools several weeks before his performance, teaching that blues music “doesn’t tolerate rage and offers a response to troubled souls.” His widely admired “Blues in Schools” programs support cultural development and diversity, advocating an end to the violence in schools that has shocked our world.

A shift in style comes Friday, Nov. 16, when the celebrated Pro Arte Quartet presents a program of contemporary works for string quartet. Dedicated to the music of our time, the quartet enjoys a 90-year tradition as one of the world’s distinguished string quartets. It focuses on making a passionate connection with new audiences from varied backgrounds. Known for mixing an established repertoire with the works of living composers, they combine traditional formats with a variety of contemporary styles.

The spring portion of the series picks up on Saturday, Feb. 9 with a special visit to Beloit by Van Cliburn Piano Competition Bronze Medalist Christopher Taylor. “A pianist of bold individuality and mor—a mathematician and philosopher, for openers,” proclaimed Katheryn Shattuck of The New York Times. Since his first formal recital at age 10, Taylor’s idiosyncratic piano repertory has become his trademark. His intense passionate style has won for him one of the most distinguished honors in international piano competition as well as rave reviews around the world and a distinguished solo and orchestral career.

And to warm up chilly days, on Friday, May 15, Conjunto Cespedes, an exhilarating 12-member Afro-Cuban big band, will celebrate Afro-Cuban history, ancestry and rebelliousness. This hot ensemble renders musical boundaries meaningless, with wave after wave of traditional rhythms, religious call-and-response chants, mesmerizing ballads and an intoxicating mix of rumba, salsa, mambo, congo and jazz.

Series tickets offering special savings are now on sale at (608) 363-2242.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!