News Column

Live music, magic, theater coming to Clover

August 14, 2014

The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

Aug. 14--CLOVER -- The internationally acclaimed Jazz Ambassadors -- the Army's official touring big band -- will open the 13th season of the Clover School District Auditorium Performing Arts Series.

The 19-member ensemble, formed in 1969, performs a diverse repertoire of big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals and patriotic selections, many of which are written or arranged by band members.

"We are proud to sponsor the Jazz Ambassadors and are honored to have been selected as a concert site for this summer tour," said David Yandle, program director for the art series. "The band selected Clover as a concert site because of our tremendous community support."

Admission for the Jazz Ambassadors concert, scheduled for 8 p.m.Aug. 29, is free, but tickets are required. Call 803-222-8018 for tickets.

This season of the Performing Arts Series features a slate of artists of regional, national and international acclaim.

Alison Brown

The banjo virtuoso brings her jazz-hued acoustic music back to the Clover stage. No one knows what to call her music, not even Brown.

"It's blues-jazz-pop-grass, with a translucent, overlying, distinctly feminine quality," Brown said. Her bassist husband, record company co-founder Gary West, joins her onstage.

Brown began playing the guitar at age 8 and picked up the banjo two years later. At 16, she won the Canadian National Banjo Championship. She is a Harvard University graduate, a record label co-founder and owner, and a mother.

Showtime: 8 p.m.Sept. 11

Tickets: $15

Jaimee Paul

To get Paul's "beautifully authentic voice," imagine a 1940s jazz club with the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Rosemary Clooney. Paul and her jazz combo, led by husband Leif Shires on trumpet, deliver that.

Her show, "At Last," is a tribute to those female vocalists of the glory days of jazz.

"All the great lady singers saluted were inspirations to me, and the songs selected are among my innermost personal favorites," Paul said. "Some of them I have a long history with. My grandfather was a World War II veteran, and his favorite song was 'Sentimental Journey,' and we used to listen to it together.

" 'What A Difference A Day Makes' always gets me thinking about my wonderful husband, Leif, and the incredible day we met. On the other hand, 'Stormy Weather' never fails to start me thinking about all the lousy relationships I've been through, that we've all been through."

Showtime: 8 p.m.Oct. 7

Tickets: $15

Doug Berky

The 16th annual Family Night features Berky's "Foibles, Fables and Other Imaskinations" show. Berky, one of the nation's best-loved clowns, weaves old -- even ancient -- stories with Commedia Del Arte, physical comedy, mime, mask, theater, clowning, circus arts and storytelling into a tapestry that transcends age, race and culture.

"I sought stories that teach, assure and lend guidance in troubled times," he said. "I found stories that not only teach, but also lead adherents into moral, ethical and purposeful lives. These stories comprise some of humanity's greatest wisdom."

Showtime: 7 p.m.Nov. 3

Tickets: $5 for individuals, $10 for families

'The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion'

For more than a decade, the Kevin and Cindy Spencer have dazzled families around the world with their engaging personalities, entertaining stage magic and breathtaking illusions. They redefine the art of illusion and shatter the stereotype of traditional magician and assistant.

The duo presents a high-tech stage show that combines drama, comedy, romance and suspense with elaborate stage illusions, dazzling special effects and magnificent sets that deliver a larger than life sense of wonder.

Showtime: 8 p.m.Nov. 18

Tickets: $15

'The Emperor's New Clothes'

This Children's Theatre of Charlotte world premiere is a funny re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen story about a selfish emperor and his unique suit of clothes.

The vain and selfish emperor is duped by a mother and her son, who convince him they can make him a unique suit of clothes that is not only beautiful but magical -- it can only be seen by those who are smart and worthy. Will the emperor see through their plan or get the fate he deserves?

Showtime: 7 p.m.Jan. 8

Tickets: $5, children 12 and younger free

'Della's Diner'

This musical soap opera -- full of nonstop laughter and radioactive chili -- tells the story of a cafe owner, her singing daughter and her ex-con arch-nemesis, her survivalist husband and a mysterious stranger.

Della is the sassy, big-hearted cafe owner who dispenses love, wisdom and moral advice to the parade of oddballs who come and go from her cozy diner on Morning Glory Mountain. While Della is trying to keep her family from killing each other, a stranger arrives in the diner with ties to Della's past, if only they would let him speak.

Showtime: 8 p.m.Feb. 5

Tickets: $15

The Swingle Singers

The London-based a cappella group sings pop, rock, jazz, Latin and classical styles. For five decades, the group has been setting the standard of vocal agility while pushing the boundaries of musical innovation, and the latest lineup of young, talented voices effortlessly upholds the tradition of the original 1960s group.

Showtime: 8 p.m.Feb. 19

Tickets: $15

Shana Tucker

The cellist and mezzo soprano takes a break from her role in the Cirque du Soleil production of "KA" at Las Vegas'MGM Grand to perform in Clover. Tucker blurs the lines that divide classical, jazz, folk, R&B and soul.

Tucker has termed her music "Chamber Soul" for its dual jazz and classical pedigrees, knotted by the thrum and moan of her cello.

"I can't deny the classical training; it inspires my cello sensibilities," she said. "But I like the thump of walking blues and old timey bass lines. It's like a delicious coffee blend, bold and robust with subtle undertones of bittersweet. Something you can't quite place, but it's still good."

Showtime: 8 p.m.March 26

Tickets: $15

"Live From Nashville"

The producers of top-rated shows in Myrtle Beach, Pigeon Forge and Branson bring Opryland and TNN performers in this company of musicians, singers, dancers and fiddlers.

This country music extravaganza features hits from the Carter Family, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Flat and Scruggs; through The Charlie Daniels Band, Garth Brooks, and Brooks and Dunn; and up to Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum.

Showtime: 8 p.m.April 7

Tickets: $15


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