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Brass, Blues, and Broadway Shine at An Appalachian Summer Festival this Week

An Appalachian Summer Festival, Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts event, shines this week, July 9-14, with Canadian Brass (the very best of brass bands), Buddy Guy (a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound), and Norm Lewis (owner of Broadway’s silkiest baritone), plus the award-winning film The Taste of Things and the 38th annual Rosen Sculpture Walk & Competition. The festival, now in its 40th year, runs through July 27 and features a diverse mix of music, dance, visual arts, and film programming. Purchase tickets online at AppSummer.org, by calling 828-262-4046, or in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office, 733 Rivers St.

Canadian Brass

Wednesday, July 10

Canadian Brass: All You Need Is Love

Schaefer Center, 7pm

Tickets: $20-$40 / $10 children 12 and younger

Internationally crowd-pleasing Canadian Brass has earned the distinction of the world’s most famous and popular brass group. Each of their concerts exhibit a full range of musical styles, from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes, to Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Joplin, Gershwin and Ellington, as well as arrangements created specifically for them. The quintet performs an exuberant All You Need Is Love program, which includes a collection of music from Mozart, Vivaldi, the Beatles songbook, Rimsky-Korsakov, Coldplay and more.

Buddy Guy

Friday, July 12

Schaefer Center, 8pm

Tickets: $25-$70

Buddy Guy: Damn Right Farewell

Revered for his blistering vocals and electrifying guitar playing, Buddy Guy has won six Grammy Awards for both contemporary and traditional blues, a testament to a remarkable career that includes such classics as “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Mustang Sally,” “Stone Crazy,” and “Let Me Love You Baby.” Guy’s current tour finds the blues titan performing hits from throughout his career, in addition to his 2022 album, The Blues Don’t Lie. At age 87, Buddy Guy is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Guy #23 in its “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Rock and blues guitarist Eric Clapton, regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in rock music, has said Guy is “By far without a doubt the best guitar player alive.” 

Norm Lewis

Sunday, July 14

Schaefer Center, 7pm

Tickets: $25-$55

Norm Lewis

In his one-man show, stage and screen star Norm Lewis, backed by a trio, will present a revue of songs hand-picked from his impressive resumé of Broadway’s leading men — Javert in Les Misérables, Porgy in Porgy and Bess, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and the titular character in The Phantom of the Opera (for which he made history as the musical’s first African American Phantom on Broadway), as well as Miss Saigon, The Little Mermaid and more. Lewis will also lend his silky, goosebump-inducing baritone to other selections ranging from jazz, blues, and soul to pop and classic American favorites.

The Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee recently starred in the national tour of the Tony Award-winning production of A Soldier’s Play and in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End Concert of Love Never Dies. He had a starring role in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed Da 5 Bloods and in the groundbreaking FX series Pose. Additionally, Lewis can be seen opposite Hilary Swank in the feature The Good Mother, Amazon Prime’s series Swarm, and Hulu’s Up Here.He was also seen as Caiaphas in the award-winning NBC television special Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. Lewis appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as the vengeful barber in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for which he received the AUDELCO Award for his performance.

Lewis has appeared on PBS in the Live From Lincoln Center productions of Showboat with Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, American Voices with Renée Fleming, and the PBS Specials First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb and Ella Wishes You A Swingin’ Christmas. Additional television credits include Women of the Movement, Law & Order, Dr. Death, Mrs. America, Better ThingsThe Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bull, Chicago Med, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama Scandal.

PLUS

Tuesdays in July

Ed Midgett, The Meaning of Life, 2023-34

Artist Showcase Series

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Lecture Hall, 2pm

Free

As we celebrate App Summer’s 40th anniversary, this series offers behind-the-scenes discussions with artists from the music, dance, and visual arts worlds that center around a common theme of legacy and longevity.

July 9 – On Legacy, with Canadian Brass members Chuck Daellenbach and Joe Burgstaller 

July 16 – TCVA Faculty Biennial Exhibition

July 23 – On Longevity, with Paul Taylor Dance Company’s Artistic Director, Michael Novak

Tuesdays in July

Helene and Stephen Weicholz Global Film Series

Schaefer Center, 7pm

Tickets: $10

This year’s series will focus on three award-winning international films that explore the many paths to happiness, whether through love, the pleasure of the senses, or the simplicity of daily tasks.

July 9 – The Taste of ThingsSet in France in 1889, the film follows the life of a chef living with his personal cook and lover. In French with English subtitles

July 16 – Perfect DaysSet in contemporary Tokyo, a toilet cleaner reflects on finding beauty in the world through unexpected encounters with music, books and photography. In Japanese with English subtitles

Saturday, July 13

Schaefer Center, 10am

Free

38th Annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk & Competition

Join competition juror and sculptor Christopher Meyer on a fascinating outdoor tour of the 10 contemporary American sculptures selected as finalists for this year’s annual competition. With a rich background in iron work, Meyer’s work ranges from non-objective to representational sculptural objects, sculptural installations, and cast-iron performance work, often focusing on the interaction between the viewer and the work. The walking tour will culminate at the Schaefer Center with an awards reception and complimentary boxed lunch.

Thursday, July 18

Schaefer Center, 7pm

Tickets: $35-$55 / $10 children 12 and younger

Bell-Denk-Isserlis Trio

Hailed as a “dream team of performers” (Strings Magazine), world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk will offer an unparalleled evening of chamber music by Debussy, Fauré, and Mendelssohn. This summer marks the trio’s first U.S. appearances since their debut tour in 2019, where they received widespread praise for their “fresh and cohesive sensitivity and superb technical polish” (Boston Classical Review). These three longtime musical collaborators and friends are masters at the top of their crafts, not to be missed.

Saturday, July 20

Schaefer Center, 8pm

Tickets: $25-$50

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 2011, the eight-piece soul ensemble burst onto the scene with their 2014 debut Half the City, establishing a swampy Southern-fried sound with tight horn lines that quickly became a calling card and landing the band a slew of major festivals, including Lollapalooza, Coachella and Glastonbury. Known for their electric, soul-rattling performances and showmanship, the band has been hailed as “one of the most authentic soul-revival sextets around.” Critics have called frontman Paul “St. Paul” Janeway’s voice “an amazing thing. Part James Brown, part Al Green, part lunatic hellfire preacher. …It’s a controlled falsetto shriek and a silky, woozy croon. It’s the sort of voice that leaves a room emotionally wrung out but willing to listen to its very last gasp. It’s simply remarkable.” 

Sunday, July 21

Rosen Concert Hall, 2pm

Tickets: $35-$40 / $10 children 12 and younger

Simone Dinnerstein and Awadagin Pratt: Two Piano

Acclaimed pianists Simone Dinnerstein and Awadagin Pratt, each celebrated for remarkable artistry, come together to present a program showcasing a selection of timeless works for two pianos. From the introspective depths of Pēteris Vasks’ Castillo Interior and the shimmering harmonies of Philip Glass’ Etude No. 6, to the elegant melodies of Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos and the natural serenity of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale,” arranged by Selmar Bagge for piano four hands, audiences will experience a diverse range of emotions and styles in this captivating program.

Wednesday, July 24

Schaefer Center, 7pm

Tickets: $25-$45 / $10 children 12 and younger

Paul Taylor Dance Company: Airs, Syzygy, Esplanade

Paul Taylor Dance Company, one of the world’s most famous contemporary dance ensembles, has been innovating and transforming modern dance since 1954. Founder Paul Taylor (1930-2018) created 147 dances that cover a broad range of topics, themes, and moods. This summer, PTDC, now under the artistic leadership of Michael Novak, performs a program of Taylor’s energetic “Syzygy,” his awe-inspiring “Airs,” and the iconic choreographer’s masterpiece, “Esplanade,” which was inspired by the sight of a girl running to catch a bus.

Saturday, July 27

Kidd Brewer Stadium, 7pm

Tickets: $30-$125

Brad Paisley: Son of the Mountains World Tour, with special guest Tigirlily Gold

For more than 20 years, Paisley has been one of country music’s most talented and decorated male singer-songwriters, winning numerous awards, including three Grammys, two American Music Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards, including an Entertainer of the Year honor. A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, the Glen Dale, West Virginia native has written 21 of his 25 No. 1 hits, his past works amassing nearly five billion streams. The international tour — which has included stops in Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, and Scotland — was launched in promotion of his latest album, Son of the Mountains, which includes “Same Here” (featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky), “So Many Summers,” the title track, and “The Medicine Will.”

Opening the concert is country music sister duo Tigirlily Gold, 2024 ACM Award winner for New Duo/Group of the Year. After releasing their original song “Somebody Does,” in 2021, the track topped the iTunes chart. They released their self-titled, debut EP in July 2021 and hit the road with artists Walker Hayes and Ashley McBryde. Now, the powerhouse duo has embarked on a new musical chapter with their EP, Blonde — a deeply personal project that includes tales of love and loss alongside powerful anthems and songs of female empowerment. Their debut single at country radio, “Shoot Tequila,” reached the Top 40 and found viral success with millions of views across social media and millions of streams across platforms. Their much anticipated follow up single, “I Tried a Ring On,” hit airwaves in early 2024. After making their Grand Ole Opry debut and performing to a national audience on Today, Tigirlily Gold is ready to bring girl group energy back to country music.

Tickets for An Appalachian Summer Festival

With ticket prices ranging from $10-$125, as well as several free events and discounts for both children, students, and App State faculty/staff, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors alike to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets.Purchase in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office (733 Rivers St), online at AppSummer.org, or by phone at 828-262-4046.