By NANCY HERMANN
RAIN: This dynamic Beatles tribute group will appear at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center March 30 through April 4. Rain is brought to Tulsa by Celebrity Attractions.
Courtesy Tulsa PAC
Here in Tulsa, spring signals a time when our major arts groups are in the homestretch of their regular September through May performance seasons. Many late-season events, like next month’s Carmina Burana, are shows we’ve waited for all year, and April is notable for a mega-variety of musical performances that would rival those of any major metropolis.
Chamber Music Tulsa hosts its last concert of the year on April 11 featuring the Cavani String Quartet. Hearing chamber music as it was meant to be experienced, in an intimate space, adds greatly to its enjoyment. Chamber Music Tulsa concerts, always showcasing top ensembles, are among my never-miss events. This group of young women takes its name from the most famous violinmaker of the 19th century, Giovanni Cavani. The Cavani String Quartet will perform music by Mozart and Beethoven.
Lovely and talented female artists reign supreme at the this month with banjo-player Alison Brown, the popular chanteuse Ann Hampton Callaway and opera star Denyce Graves. Brown is former Harvard/UCLA student and investment banker whose banjo artistry earned a Grammy nomination. Her music is a blend of many styles, including bluegrass, jazz, rock and blues. Brown is hosted by the Trust on April 17.
Jazz diva Ann Hampton Callaway has a voice critics have called dark, lush and gorgeous. Her newest CD At Last, will be the framework for her one-night appearance in Tulsa on Apr. 25, presented by Oklahomans for Equality. I’d attend this show just to sample her version of “Lazy Afternoon.” Ann Hampton Callaway, a piano and a cozy space to hear cuddle-up music; I’m there!
Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves comes to town on April 27 as guest of bass-baritone Simon Estes for “Simon Estes & Friends,” also featuring the well-traveled Wartburg College Choir. Both Graves and Estes have enjoyed celebrated careers, appearing in the world’s top opera houses. Estes became a Tulsa favorite after a series of performances for Tulsa Opera. He’s sung for six presidents, most recently in December at the White House. He was the Metropolitan Opera’s first Porgy in Porgy and Bess, and sang opposite Leontyne Price in her farewell performance of Aida. Proceeds from this event will benefit The Simon Estes Educational Foundation, Inc., co-founded by Tulsa’s Jayne Reed, which provides scholarships, in any discipline, to academically superior low-income Tulsa-area students.
If you enjoy opera, you’ll want to get tix for Tulsa Opera’s Don Quichotte April 17, 23 and 25. Yes, this is the story of Don Quixote, and it’s set to the memorable music of Jules Massenet. Don Quichotte has never been performed in Tulsa.
Bands are big in April. There’s always an amazing lineup at the Cain’s, and I’m continually engaged by the names of these groups. Take in The Heartless Bastards on April 9, the Arctic Monkeys on April 13 and Rogue Wave on April 21, and that’s only for starters.
The Center shines on with star-studded concerts. Country star Tim McGraw performs on April 8, followed by Bon Jovi on April 13, Canada’s Nickelback on April 24 and Georgia’s jam band, Widespread Panic, on May 1.
Check out the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Web site for a list of April concerts featuring Janet Rutland, Rick Fortner, Randy Wimer, and Chuck and Sandy Gardner.
Renew yourself in April, with music, theatre, and time to visit Tulsa’s new Drillers Stadium. Your sunny, breezy, colorful self will find much to do and enjoy in downtown Tulsa this spring.
Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.