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KU Presents! 2017-2018 Season Includes Aaron Tveit and Jake Shimabukuro

July 17, 2017

Aaron TveitKUTZTOWN, Pa. - KU Presents! at Kutztown University's Schaeffer Auditorium will showcase seven performances for its 29th season, including familiar names and up-and-coming sensations. Established to be the center of cultural life at Kutztown University, KU Presents! serves the campus and community by bringing world-class live arts that can entertain, educate and enrich.

The 2017-2018 season opens September 21 with stage and television star Aaron Tveit. Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro takes the stage on October 25 as part of Homecoming Week at Kutztown University. On November 10, Boston Brass will be joined by the Reading Pops for a program including patriotic music in time for Veteran's Day. Vocal ensemble Chanticleer will present "A Chanticleer Christmas" on November 30.

An artist will take the stage for an interactive experience with the band on February 15 with Birdland All-Stars featuring Tommy Igoe and "Art of Jazz." The National Dance Company of Ireland presents "Rhythm of the Dance" on March 28. The season closes April 20 with the Joey Alexander Trio, led by the fourteen year-old jazz piano prodigy.

Subscriptions for the season are available beginning July 25. Individual performance tickets go on sale August 8. For more details on the 2017-2018 Season, including ticket prices, visit www.kutztownpresents.org or contact 610-683-4092.

KU Presents! 2017-2018 Season

Aaron Tveit
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Broadway, film and television actor, Aaron Tveit is best known for originating the role of Gabe in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal and starring as Frank Abagnale Jr. in the stage version of Catch Me If You Can. Other Broadway and national tours include Rent, Hairspray and Wicked. He has appeared on television in Gossip Girl, Graceland, BrainDead, and as Danny Zuko in Grease: Live. In 2012, he portrayed Enjolras in the film adaptation of Les Misérables. Tveit enjoys sharing how music has shaped his life by performing in concert. His most recent album The Radio in My Head: Live at 54 Below, recorded at his sold out run at the venue, features rock and pop mixed with musical theatre.

Jake Shimabukuro
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is redefining the traditional Hawaiian instrument. In 2001, a YouTube video, in which he plays George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps, went viral with over a million views before he ever saw it. By adapting a guitar hero anthem for the ukulele, Shimabukuro made a significant statement: the ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is an instrument limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. That video was a big turning point, opening up the doors to touring North America, Europe Asia and beyond. Widespread acclaim brought him high-visibility collaborations with a wide variety of artists included Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffet, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Ziggy Marley and Dave Koz among many others. Shimabukuro has a rich and varied catalog of albums showcasing the many moods of the uke and has sold-out prestigious venues such as Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House in addition to festivals around the world. His most recent CD, Nashville Sessions, is one of his most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging albums to date, blending jazz virtuosity with heartfelt melodies.

Boston Brass
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
7:30 p.m.
For over 30 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience. From exciting classical arrangements, to burning jazz standards, and the best of the original brass quintet repertoire, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment, which captivates all ages. The ensemble's lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun. Boston Brass regularly performs with orchestras, bands, marching bands, organ, jazz bands and a variety of other ensembles. They will be joined by the Reading Pops Orchestra, directed by Will Rapp. The concert will include patriot tunes to honor Veteran's Day.

Chanticleer - A Chanticleer Christmas
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Called "the world's reigning male chorus" by the New Yorker, the San Francisco based GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble Chanticleer will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018. Chanticleer is known around the world as "an orchestra of voices" for its seamless blend of twelve male voices ranging from soprano to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature. From Gregorian chant and Renaissance music to jazz and contemporary compositions, Chanticleer will take you on a vocal journey spanning ten centuries. Chanticleer's popular A Chanticleer Christmas sold out in New York, Chicago, and New Jersey last season before coming home for 14 performances in the Bay Area and Southern California. This Christmas, Chanticleer will perform in Schaeffer Auditorium in its first return engagement since December of 1992. Come hear how this amazing chorus has been delighting audiences for 40 years.

Birdland All-Stars featuring Tommy Igoe
The Art of Jazz
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Featuring the finest musicians in New York, the Birdland All-Stars have been thrilling audiences at "The Jazz Corner of the World" for the last 10 years. Returning to the road for the first time in five years, the Birdland All-Stars, led by drumming sensation Tommy Igoe, have created new arrangements featuring the music of David Bowie, The Police, and Steely Dan, as well as fresh treatments of iconic compositions by Charlie Parker, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. This multimedia presentation The Art of Jazz brings the All-Stars' live performance to a whole new level, as accomplished visual artists create paintings in real time which are inspired by the music as it is experienced by the audience.


The National Dance Company of Ireland
Rhythm of the Dance
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
7:30 p.m.
This dance and music extravaganza contains a wealth of talent from the National Dance Company of Ireland. Rhythm of the Dance is an inspiring epic, reliving the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history. This richly costumed show marries traditional dance and music to tell a thousand year old story executed with all the advantages of the modern day stage show. Rhythm of the Dance aspires to a purity content preserving the traditions of Irish step dancing and features a live band, three tenors and 22 dancers. Re-invigorated choreography and music create a spectacular performance of Irish dance with this traditionally rooted and authentic production.


Joey Alexander Trio
Friday, April 20, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Born on June 25, 2003 on the island of Bali, pianist Joey Alexander originally learned about jazz from his dad, who exposed his son to a variety of classic albums from his extensive collection. At the age of six, Joey began teaching himself to play piano using a mini electronic keyboard. Joey's musicianship and grasp of jazz fundamentals developed at a remarkable pace, and at age eight UNESCO invited him to play solo piano for an elated Herbie Hancock during the piano great's visit to Indonesia. Joey later remarked to Hancock, "You told me that you believed in me, and that was the day I decided to dedicate my childhood to jazz." In 2014, an invitation from Wynton Marsalis led to his U.S. debut appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center where he amazed the audience with his musicality. Over the past two years Joey has been paying his dues and honing his craft: learning what it means to be a bandleader and seeking out sidemen who are also collaborators. The Joey Alexander Trio has performed at well-known venues and major festivals across the United States and around the globe.