VOL. 126 | NO. 129 | Monday, July 4, 2011
A story from The Memphis News
On newsstands throughout the city
Variety Spices Up BPACC Season
If you’re looking for opera, you’re out of luck, but the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center has a little of most every other musical genre slated for the first half of the coming season.
With its reputation gaining momentum as a musical venue, BPACC has attracted a number of legendary names.
“The word has finally gotten out about who we are and what we’re doing,” said Ron Jewell, director of BPACC. “It’s not such an odd thing for a star of legendary status to come to our little 350-seat auditorium. Early on it took some talking.”
The season opens Aug. 20 with a concert by country crossover singer Lee Ann Womack, whose 2000 hit “I Hope You Dance” helped usher in a more contemporary era of country music. She is the winner of five Academy of Country Music Awards, five Country Music Association Awards and one Grammy.
“With Lee Ann Womack, the agent came to me,” Jewell said.
Tickets for the concert are available only to season subscribers until July 20, when the remainder will be sold to the public. Tickets to the Womack concert cost extra above the regular subscription price.
On Aug. 27 Roger McGuinn kicks off BPACC’s Showcase Series, available to subscription holders and one-time ticket purchasers. McGuinn, the former front man of the 1960s American rock band, The Byrds, will perform solo, going back and forth between acoustic guitar and his signature 12-string electric Rickenbacker.
From country and folk, BPACC turns to Celtic music on Sept. 23 with a concert by Orla Fallon, the harpist of the Irish singing and dancing sensation Celtic Woman. Now Fallon is a solo vocalist.
“She’s doing some things on her own now,” Jewell said. “She had a Christmas special that aired on WKNO this past Christmas. She’s coming with a small backup group, but it’s a chance for her to break out of Celtic Woman.”
On Oct. 7 it’s back to folk music in a concert by Peter Yarrow, one of the harmonic threesome Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Jewell explained that Yarrow never had a solo career until recent years after the death of Mary Travers. The group was best known for tight-knit, three-part harmonies in which they would often sing while gathered around one microphone.
Political activism remains a part of Yarrow’s themes along with children’s music like his best-known written piece, “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”
Next up is 1980s pop with Christopher Cross on Oct. 19.
“The guy was just prolific for many years,” Jewell said. “I’m sure the evening’s going to be reminiscent of those times. It’s definitely a pop genre. We’re having him on a Wednesday night, which is unusual for us, but he’s doing three days with the Nashville symphony right after he leaves us.”
The five-time Grammy winner wrote the top 10 hits “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind,” and “Arthur’s Theme” which won an Oscar for Best Original Song for the 1981 Dudley Moore movie “Arthur.”
2011 winds up Nov. 4 with the improvisational comedy styling of Canadian Adam Growe and then on Dec. 2 with A Kevin Paige Christmas.