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The Clarion preparing for star-studded 2014-15 season
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The Clarion at Brazosport College is gearing up for another big concert season featuring celebrity artists.

The 2014-15 Clarion performance season will include a variety of top-notch artists, including popular country musicians Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers, Travis Tritt and Rosanne Cash.

Opening the season on September 6, Gill and the Time Jumpers will be a treat for music lovers. All seasoned touring and studio musicians, the Time Jumpers play an impressive array of classic western swing and old-time country, and have performed with some of the industry’s top musicians. Among the stars sitting in with the band have been Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire, Robert Plant, the White Stripes and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few.

That’s only the beginning of this season’s list of Clarion performers, though.

When Tritt and Cash take the Clarion stage on October 25 and December 5, respectively, audiences will no doubt be looking forward to seeing these household names in concert.

Tritt has charted more than 40 songs on the Hot Country Songs charts, including five No. 1s, while Cash, daughter of music icon Johnny Cash, has garnered a Grammy, 12 Grammy nominations and 11 No. 1 singles during her 30-year career.  

The Clarion will also welcome many other top artists, including Latin Grammy Jazz Grammy winner Pauito D’Rivera on April 25, the Jake Hertzog Trio featuring Ingrid Jensen on November 21 and the Canadian Brass on February 7, 2015.

Expanding beyond the musical realm, the Clarion will host one of the world’s top puppeteers, Jim Gamble’s Puppeteers, in “The Carnival of Animals,” on September 23, a hilarious comedy/magic show featuring Chipper Lowell, and a unique performance of The Intergalactic Nemesis, Book One: Target Earth on March 28, 2015.

As an added bonus, the Canadian Brass and the Intergalactic Nemesis will be providing workshops for local students. The Canadian Brass will be for intermediate and high school band students while the Intergalactic Nemesis will be for intermediate and high school drama students.

One final show, with a performer to be announced, will be added at a later date to this season’s lineup for Dow’s Anniversary Event in January, 2015.

Full season and individual tickets are available, as well as an option to pick four shows. Call the Clarion box office at (979) 230-3156 or log on to clarion.brazosport.edu to learn more.

The following is a closer look at the 2014-15 artists scheduled to perform:

Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers
Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by South Texas Nuclear Operating Company)

Tickets: $65 Adults/$60 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$25 Students and Children

Established in Nashville in 1998, The Time Jumpers are a group of elite studio musicians who assemble each week in Nashville to play Western swing, a dialect of country music made famous decades ago by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. The current edition of The Time Jumpers includes 11 members, each a master of his (and, in one case, her) instrument. Alphabetically — which is the only diplomatic way to present such a phalanx of evenly matched talent — they are Brad Albin (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Vince Gill (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars),  “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Dawn Sears (vocals), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals) Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals).

Travis Tritt
Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by Freeport LNG/Gordon & Nancy Wollam/Robyn & Danny Cochran)

Tickets: $50 Adults/$45 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$25 Students and Children

Travis Tritt’s blend of country music with southern rock and blues has earned him numerous awards. Seven of his albums are certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and he’s charted more than 40 times on the Hot Country Songs charts, including five No. 1’s — "Help Me Hold On," "Anymore," "Can I Trust You with My Heart," "Foolish Pride" and "Best of Intentions." He has received two Grammy Awards, both for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals and has received four awards from the Country Music Association. He has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992.

Jim Gamble’s Puppets – “The Carnival of Animals”
Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $10 Adults, BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$5 Students and Children

“The Carnival of Animals” is the story of a young boy who writes a magical musical for an imaginary carnival and is based on Camille Saint-Saëns’ zoological fantasy, ”The Carnival of the Animals.” The story comes to life on the stage with Jim Gamble's spectacular puppet creations. This innovative puppet presentation highlights both the art of puppetry and the work of France’s beloved 19th-century classical composer. The performance, a whimsical study in transformation, uses the articles found in a child's room or objects seen through his window to create fanciful animals that relate to the individual thematic pieces of Saint-Saëns’ music. The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnaval des Animaux) is both a heart-warming and humorous blend of classical music and puppet theatre, and a reminder for students that art is made from the materials both in and of our lives. Jim Gamble is recognized as one of this country's finest puppeteers, and has been honored internationally with "Grand Prix" winner at International Festivals in Russia, Japan and Yugoslavia. With three decades of performances credits, The Gamble Puppets annually perform for hundreds of audiences in the United States. Local elementary school children also will be invited to the Gamble Puppets’ Clarion performance.

Jake Hertzog Trio featuring Ingrid Jensen
Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by Nalco Champion)

Tickets: $20 Adults/$15 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$10 Students and Children

At only 23, Jake Hertzog has already made his presence felt in the music industry. He won the 2006 Jazz Guitar Competition and is one of the youngest performers ever to headline a stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Hertzog, who is a distinguished graduate of the world-renown Berklee College of Music in Boston, is making a return trip to the Clarion after wowing the Brazosport-area crowd a few years ago. In addition to releasing his debut album, “Chromatosphere,” he also services his pop side as the musical director for teen pop sensations Nat and Alex Wolff of the Naked Brothers Band (Nickelodeon), and tours nationally with them. He has also performed and studied with, Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Victor Jones, Zade Dirani, Terri Lyne Carrington and Max Weinberg. The ensemble will also be participating in the Brazosport College Music Department’s Jazztravaganza on November 20.

Rosanne Cash
Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by BASF Corporation)

Tickets: $55 Adults/$50 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$25 Students and Children

For more than three decades, Rosanne Cash has been one of the most compelling figures in popular music, with a remarkable body of work noted for its emotional acuity, rich and resonant imagery, and unsparing honesty. These special qualities, which enable her to establish a unique intimacy with her audiences, also inform her recent, long-awaited memoir. The eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash and stepdaughter of June Carter Cash of the legendary Carter Family, Rosanne’s musical and family legacy is rooted in the very beginnings of American country music with its deep cultural and historical connections to the south. Her own thoughtful, genre-blurring approach, which encompasses country, rock, roots and pop influences, has garnered a Grammy, 12 Grammy nominations and 11 No. 1 singles. On her 2009 album, “The List,” Cash recorded 12 songs from the list of “100 essential country songs” that her father compiled for her, and instructed her to learn, when she was 18 and about to join his road show. The List received two Grammy nominations and won the Americana Music Association Awards’ 2010 Album of the Year.

Canadian Brass
Feb. 7, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by Honda, Ron & Luz Hall)

Tickets: $25 Adults/$20 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$10 Students and Children

With an international reputation as one of the most popular brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group.” Friends Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts first came together in 1970 to form a brass quintet, a chamber music setting not entirely new, but never before having garnered the success and storied career Canadian Brass would achieve over the next 40 years. Masters of concert presentations, Canadian Brass has developed a uniquely engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences. Each of their concerts shows the full range from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for them, from formal classical presentation to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects. The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun, but never at the expense of the music. Whatever the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill and excellence. The Canadian Brass also will hold a workshop for intermediate and high school band students.

The Intergalactic Nemesis
Book One: Target Earth
March 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by Port Freeport)

Tickets: $35 Adults/$30 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$10 Students and Children

What is The Intergalactic Nemesis?  The Intergalactic Nemesis is a live-action graphic novel, a mash-up of a radio play and a comic book. It takes the comic-book artwork, remove the word balloons, and project it panel-by-panel on a huge screen while three actors voice all the characters, one Foley Artist creates hundreds of sound effects, and a keyboardist performs the score.  As for the story, the year is 1933, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her intrepid research assistant Timmy Mendez team up with a mysterious librarian from Flagstaff, Arizona, named Ben Wilcott. Together, they travel from Rumania to Scotland, across Europe to North Africa, then to the Robot Planet (in the Effdillinplitzenpire Galaxy), and finally to Imperial Zygon to face the most terrible threat humanity has ever known: an invading force of sludge-monsters from outer space known as the Zygonians. The Intergalactic Nemesis also will hold a workshop for intermediate and high school drama students.

Pauito D’Rivera
with The Brazosport Jazz Orchestra
April 25, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by Brazosport Regional Health System)

Tickets: $35 Adults/$30 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$10 Students and Children

The winner of multiple Grammys and other awards, D'Rivera has lived in the United States since the early 1980s. He has worked in a variety of contexts, but is perhaps best known for playing Latin jazz. He has won six Latin Grammy Awards and four Grammy awards. D'Rivera has earned respect among American jazz musicians and has performed among the jazz scene at some of the most prestigious clubs and concert halls in New York. He became something of a phenomenon after the release of his first two solo albums, “Paquito Blowin” (June 1981) and “Mariel” (July 1982). President George W. Bush presented Paquito the National Medal of Arts in 2005.

The Chipper Experience
May 22, 2015, 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets: $20 Adults/$15 BC Employees, FSA and Seniors/$5 Students and Children

Award-winning comedian & magician, Chipper Lowell, has been described as an “artistic cyclone of talent and comedy” by the press. He has also been described as “lazy when it comes to cleaning the house,” by his wife. The redhead’s true “skills” can usually be found onstage instead, doling out witty remarks, presenting bizarre feats of original magic, adlibbing with audience members who can’t stop laughing, attempting pointless juggling stunts, pulling a seemingly endless barrage of unusual thing-a-ma-bobs and gadgets out of his prop trunks, and in short, creating a wonderful evening of high-energy laughs and amazement for all those in attendance. For more than 20 years, Chipper has been bringing his odd brand of infectiously amusing mayhem to audiences around the world at performing arts centers, theaters, cruise ships, and casino showrooms. His tours have taking him throughout the United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Mexico.

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Billy Loveless 08/05/2014

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