New Artist Series to feature world-class music, dance at UCCS Ent Center for the Arts

The Ailey II dance company will perform as part of the New Artist Series

The Artist Series, a new program of UCCS Presents, will debut at the Ent Center for the Arts in Feb. 2018.

The new series will bring world-class music, dance and live performance to Colorado Springs. Highlights include classical superstar violinist Sarah Chang, jazz master Branford Marsalis, International Chopin Piano Competition winner Seong-Jin Cho and critically acclaimed contemporary dance company Ailey II.

Branford Marsalis Quartet, London Jazz Festival 14th Nov 2014, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

The season runs through May 2018 with performances in two state-of-the-art venues in the Ent Center for the Arts: the Shockley-Zalabak Theater and Chapman Foundations Recital Hall. The Shockley-Zalabak Theater will be home to 11 performances in the 2018 season. It is the Ent Center’s largest venue, able to seat nearly 800 patrons, and designed to showcase a diverse array of events. The remaining nine performances will take place in the Chapman Foundations Recital Hall, designed to be one of the highest-quality acoustic spaces in the state.

“The Artist Series showcases venerated artists and emerging voices alike, with the goal of inspiring lifelong learning and enrichment through the arts,” said Aisha Ahmad-Post, director, Ent Center for the Arts, and artistic director of the new series.

The Spring 2018 Season

Classical music is a large component of the series. Unconventional organist Cameron Carpenter smashes stereotypes with repertoire that ranges from Bach to film scores. Seong-Jin Cho brings a mature artistry to the piano that belies his young age. Former child prodigy Sarah Chang celebrates Antonio Vivaldi’s classic “The Four Seasons” and Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s response, “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.”

Esteemed cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han present “The Singing Cello,” a collection of work that highlights the cello’s connection to the human voice. The eight-member men’s vocal ensemble Cantus, renowned for their distinct tonal richness, will rely solely on the power of the human voice to explore themes of light and vision.

Masterful storytelling is also on display, as Celtic Nights spins a narrative of the harrowing experience of Irish immigrants through music and dance. The performance collective Manual Cinema transforms the cinematic experience with a phantasmagorical blend of shadow puppetry, live performance and film. New York-based chamber music ensemble Shuffle Concert discards traditional rules of performance and invites their audience to engage in shaping the program.

The season features a trio of dance performances, opening with acclaimed contemporary companies Keigwin + Company and Ailey II, followed by regional favorite Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Audiences may be inspired to dance by Pasadena Roof Orchestra and its mix of swing and hot dance music.

Boston Brass has provided playful, one-of-a-kind musical experiences for over 30 years, with repertoire spanning classical arrangements, burning jazz standards and the best of original brass quintet works. Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet delights audiences with inventive, multi-faceted music ranging from world music to bluegrass to Bach, while the Harlem Quartet brings a fresh attitude to classical music with its mission to advance diversity through the presentation of repertoire that includes works by minority composers.

Three jazz virtuosi with very different approaches to the genre round out the season. They are master saxophonist Branford Marsalis, blues and jazz vocalist Catherine Russell and genre-bending guitarist Julian Lage.

“The power and joy of witnessing great artists in a live setting is a transformational experience. My hope is that the Ent Center and the Artist Series become a resource and destination for these experiences in the Pikes Peak region,” Ahmad-Post said

Season tickets go on sale Oct. 23, at or by calling (719) 255-3232.

— Michelle Winchell, Theatreworks

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