Talented musicians and dancers will highlight the 38th season of the Esbenshade Series at Marietta College, which features four performances that are free and open to the public at the Peoples Bank Theatre starting on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Each of the four performers this season is unique from each other and are sure to appeal to a wide-ranging audience.
“The 2018-19 Esbenshade Series has an outstanding slate of programs and continues our tradition of bringing diverse and eclectic top-tier performers and musicians to Marietta College and the community,” said Tanya Wilder, Director of the Esbenshade Series. “Generous support from the Esbenshade family makes it possible to experience concerts and performances at the Peoples Bank Theatre that complement ongoing initiatives in the arts in our area. It’s an honor to work with everyone involved in the Esbenshade Series as we stage some of the country’s finest talent each year.”
All performances are free and open to the public. You can reserve up to four seats per performance about a month before the show. You can reserve them at peoplesbanktheatre.com or call the Peoples Bank Theatre Box Office at (740) 371-5152
The season opens with Keb’ Mo’, a four-time GRAMMY winner, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16.
Keb’ Mo’s career took off in 1994 with the self-titled release under his newly coined Keb’ Mo’ moniker, and over the years, he has proven that he is a musical force that defies typical genre labels.
Album after album, 14 in total, garnered him 11 GRAMMY nominations and a producer/engineer/artist GRAMMY Certificate for his track on the 2001 Country Album of the Year, Hank Williams Tribute – Timeless. One of his GRAMMY nominations was for the Country Song of the Year for “I Hope,” co-written with The Dixie Chicks, and three alone for his 2014 self-produced release, BLUESAmericana including Americana Album of the Year. Keb’ Mo’ has also been awarded 11 Blues Foundation Awards and six BMI Awards for his work in TV & Film.
Tickets may be reserved starting on Aug. 6 at https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/event/keb-mo/.
Up next is ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11. Shimabukuro’s unique approach to the ukulele started early. As a youngster growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shimabukuro started playing the instrument at 4, learning the basics from his mother, Carol, and then developing his craft further by studying the likes of musical masters such as Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon.
As he matured, Shimabukuro also found inspiration from guitar players, drummers, pianists, and singers. Even athletes helped fuel the intensity of his artistic fire. Shimabukuro’s records have topped the Billboard World Music Charts on numerous occasions, and as a live performer, he has become one of the hottest tickets around. His new album, The Greatest Day, will be released on Aug. 31.
Tickets may be reserved starting on Oct. 1. https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/event/jake-shimabukuro.
The final two performances of the Esbenshade season will take place in the spring semester, beginning with MOMIX: Opus Cactus at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17.
After a 10-year rest period, Opus Cactus is back again with a new look, fresh energy, and fun surprises. MOMIX’s dancers take audiences on a dynamic journey where their bodies become towering cacti, slithering lizards and fire dancers as they bring the landscape of the American Southwest to life through the illusionistic style of Opus Cactus. Originally created as a 20-minute piece in 2001 for the Ballet Arizona, Opus Cactus was then brought back into the MOMIX retort and a full-evening work was created.
Tickets may be reserved starting on Jan. 7. https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/event/momix-opus-cactus/.
The final performance of the 2018-19 Esbenshade Series features Havana Cuban All-Stars at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 10.
The Havana Cuba All-Stars are some of Cuba’s greatest musicians. The All-Stars will be performing “Nights in Old Havana” with Banda “Asere” and Bailes de Salsa. With rhythms and melodies from the cha-cha to the rumba, from “Son Cubano” style to the salsa, the All-Stars will showcase a wide variety of Cuban beats.
The group is inspired by and dedicated to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music through a fresh, contemporary lens. With the greatest dancers and musicians of Cuba working in tandem, the American encore of the Havana Cuba All-Stars’ tour will be a spirited spectacle of song and dance, exemplifying Cuba’s greatest musical traditions.
Ticket reservations begin Jan. 28. https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/event/havana-cuba-all-stars.
These events have been funded by the Frederica G. Esbenshade Memorial Fund, which provides annual income for the purpose of bringing lectures, performing artists or programs of diverse nature to the campus for public appearances. The endowed fund was established in 1980 by Harry H. Esbenshade, Sr. and Harry H. Esbenshade, Jr., husband and son, respectively, of the late Mrs. Esbenshade of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. All events are free and open to the public.