ALLOY ORCHESTRA, VERTIGO DANCE COMPANY ARE AMONG 17 ACTS PLAYING THE OLDEST ARTS VENUE IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA
Georgia State’s Rialto Center for the Arts, the oldest arts venue in downtown Atlanta, turns 100 this year. With that in mind, it has programmed 17 performances over eight months in its arts series, from jazz artists to world musicians to dance-makers.
The lineup includes such favorites as Sweet Honey in the Rock and Brazil’s Balé Folclórico da Bahia, plus performers new to the corner of Forsyth and Luckie streets, including world music from East Africa’s Nile Project.
The 2016/17 Rialto Series begins Oct. 15 with the political satire of the Capitol Steps and ends April 23, with the third and final performance of Don Giovanni from Georgia State Opera Theater. The Rialto has been part of GSU for 20 years and, before that, a movie house with a glorious and checkered history.
Season passes and single tickets are on sale HERE or by calling 404.413.9849. Parking is free. Here’s the lineup, in chronological order.
COMEDY: Capitol Steps | OCT. 15. Mock the Vote! continues this group’s special brand of satire in a political season that is anything but ordinary. Of the group The New York Times has said: “Those who complain that politicians and government are good for nothing are wrong. Capitol Steps … makes clear that, more often than not, they’re good for a laugh.” 8 p.m.
DANCE: Vertigo Dance Company | OCT. 22. The 25-year-old Israeli company uses contemporary dance to explore the connections within society, art and the environment, making it one of a kind in the world of dance. 8 p.m.
FILM: Metropolis, with the Alloy Orchestra | Nov. 12. Director Fritz Lang’s 1927 cinematic classic from the silent film era imagines a bleak future in which the working class is enslaved by the ruling class and technology. The three members of the Alloy Orchestra, who have played everywhere from Lincoln Center to the Louvre, use “found” percussion and state-of-the-art electronics to help tell the story. 8 p.m.
JAZZ: Joe Lovano & Chucho Valdes | Nov. 13. These jazz innovators have shared a record label (Blue Note) — but never a stage — until now. Lovano, a post-bop saxophonist and Grammy Award winner, is a legend in his own right. Valdes, a pianist, has won numerous Grammy and Latin Grammy awards in Afro-Cuban jazz. 7 p.m.
MUSIC: Gala Holiday Concert | DEC. 3-4. Georgia State University’s 19th annual holiday concert features more than 200 student and faculty musicians from the GSU Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band and choruses as well as community ensembles. Expect an international flavor to this seasonal event. 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.
JAZZ: Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Cobb, Richard Davis & Lou Donaldson| JAN. 21. Don’t go expecting an ordinary all-star concert. Among them, pianist Ramsey Lewis, drummer Jimmy Cobb, double bassist Richard Davis and saxophonist Lou Donaldson own seven gold records, three Grammy awards, Down Beat magazine honors and across-the-board acclaim from Record Collector magazine, AllAboutJazz.com, the Los Angeles Times and Variety, among others. 8 p.m.
WORLD MUSIC: The Nile Project | JAN. 28. The Nile Project uses music to empower the diverse — and sometimes conflicted — communities along the 4,000-plus miles of the Nile River. The project’s musicians use varied rhythms and multiple instruments to create melody and harmony, from Sudanese harps, to Ugandan adungu lyres and Egyptian flutes. 8 p.m.
DANCE: Malpaso Dance Company | FEB. 11. The Havana-based contemporary dance company blends ballet, Afro-Cuban movement and intensely physical modern dance. The name “Malpaso,” amusingly, means “misstep” in Spanish. “Malpaso’s aim is to bring Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st century,” wrote the Pittsburgh Examiner. “Clearly, they have already arrived.”
WORLD MUSIC: Sweet Honey in the Rock | FEB. 18. A favorite with Rialto audiences. The Washington, D.C.-based, all-female a cappella group uses dynamic African, blues, gospel and jazz-styled compositions (plus American Sign Language) to embrace social topics. The Grammy-nominated female quartet is rooted in African-American history and culture. 8 p.m.
DANCE: Balé Folclórico da Bahia | FEB. 24-25. Another Rialto favorite. The company’s dancers, musicians and singers have been performing their exuberant version of traditional Brazilian folk dance for almost 30 years. They combine African dance (passed down by Brazil’s black population, which dates to the days of slavery), capoeira (an African-Brazilian martial art), samba and elements of Brazil’s infamous Carnival. 8 nightly.
JAZZ: Dianne Reeves | MARCH 4. The Chicago Tribune calls Reeves “one of the most creative and technically accomplished female vocalists working today.” The New York Times dubbed her the “vocal heir of Sarah Vaughan.” The five-time Grammy Award-winning singer is best known for jazz but has also mastered African-inspired folk music, world music and pop. She’s joined by her band — Terreon Gully, Romero Lubambo, Peter Martin and Reginald Veal. 8 p.m.
THEATER: Shaolin Warriors | MARCH 25. This Chinese ensemble combines theater, kung fu, hand-to-hand combat and Zen philosophy. The performers are trained physically and mentally from a young age, so they can do the athletic, death-defying acts for which they’re known. 8 p.m.
JAZZ: Eddie Palmieri | APRIL 1. The words “master” and “legend” are often attached to the name of this innovative pianist, bandleader, composer, arrange and producer, who’s known as a pioneer of contemporary salsa. His technique fuses the influences of Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner into a Latin context. He’s also know for experimenting with fusions of Latin and non-Latin sounds. 8 p.m.
JAZZ: Randy Brecker | APRIL 6. The Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter fronts the GSU Jazz Band. He has played with such artists as Charlie Mingus, Parliament-Funkadelic, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Zappa, and mastered everything from rock, jazz-rock, fusion jazz, Brazilian, neo-bop and world music. 8 p.m.
DANCE: Che Malambo | APRIL 8. Malambo, which dates to the 17th century Argentina, is danced exclusively by men. It began as a way for gauchos to prove their prowess, strength and vigor. Today, the Argentine troupe Che Malambo reimagines the style as performance, with precise footwork, the intense drumming of the bombos and whirling lassos. 8 p.m.
NEW MUSIC: Bent Frequency & John Luther Adams | APRIL 9. Southeastern premiere. Bent Frequency, an ensemble in residence at GSU, performs the music of John Luther Adams (aka, JLS), who comes to Atlanta for this event. You’ll see and hear his large-scale, outdoor work Sila: The Breath of the World, done with 80 performers in Woodruff Park. Pray for good weather. Also scheduled: a retrospective of his chamber works at the Rialto. 3 p.m.
OPERA: Don Giovanni | APRIL 21-23. GSU Opera Theater performs Mozart’s thriller with a film noir feel. The opera takes place in the course of one disastrous, shadowy evening and ends with an unrepentant sinner plummeting to hell. Happy ending? Heck, no! 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.