Concerts at the Dairy

Jazz at the Dairy: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Feb. 11, Feb. 25; 6 p.m. Jan. 29, Feb. 26. Feb. 25 and 26 are the same program.

One Night Only: 7:30 p.m. March 4, March 13, April 8, May 3 and May 17. The May 17 event is also part of Colorado MahlerFest.

Soundscape Matinee Series: 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 18, Feb. 22, March 8, April 5 and May 10

Cost: Tickets for Jazz at the Dairy and One Night Only concerts are $20. Soundscape concerts are $15. Student tickets for all three series are $10 per concert.

More info: All concerts at the Gordon Gamm Theater in the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St.; 303-444-7328 or thedairy.org

Since James Bailey started curating a series of classical and classical crossover concerts at the Dairy Arts Center in the performance space now called the Gordon Gamm Theater, the programs have earned a reputation as among the most unique and adventurous on the scene. What started as a matinee series in early 2015 has expanded to a full three-tiered set of concerts with fall and winter/spring seasons.

For the winter/spring of 2017, Bailey announced the largest offering yet, with an expansion from eight programs in the fall to fourteen between January and May. This is most apparent in the jazz series, which will include four very different concerts. In a twist of scheduling, all of these will precede the five events of the more traditionally classical-oriented One Night Only series.


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These evening sets are balanced by the original Soundscape matinees, with one matinee per month on Wednesday afternoons.

In a first, the Dairy collaborates with Colorado MahlerFest in hosting the May festival's annual chamber concert.

Jazz at the Dairy

Bailey opens 2017 at 7:30 p.m. today with the first jazz concert, which features singer Robert Johnson, who has appeared twice at the Dairy. Johnson performs with the Boulder Blues Quartet. Bailey described the quartet as a "hard driving band that combines blues and soul in an interesting way."

The Washington, D.C.-based tango trio Trifilio is scheduled to perform on April 5 as part of Dairy Arts Center’s winter and spring concert series.
The Washington, D.C.-based tango trio Trifilio is scheduled to perform on April 5 as part of Dairy Arts Center's winter and spring concert series. (Javier Maradiaga Melara / Courtesy Dairy Arts Center)

On Sunday, Jan. 29 (with an earlier Sunday start time of 6 p.m.), jazz violinist Zach Brock appears with his trio Triptych, which combines the violin with bass and guitar. Brock is considered one of the top jazz violinists in the country, Bailey said.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, contemporary jazz group Dotsero (named after the town in western Colorado), brings its powerful saxophone-driven sound to the theater.

The jazz series closes with a program that will occur twice — Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26. Boulder's own Dave Fulker on flugelhorn is joined by Colorado legend Don Grusin on piano. Robert Johnson returns, this time with fellow jazz singer Teresa Carroll. They will be supported by Mark Diamond on bass and Christian Teele on percussion. The program is based on themes of the night, specifically a train moving through various world cities at night, Bailey said.

"The theme of longing will be present throughout," he said.

One Night Only

All of the One Night Only concerts are at 7:30 p.m. The first of these is on Saturday, March 4, with all new music by living composers. The centerpiece is the regional premiere of "The Mechanics," a saxophone quartet by University of Colorado composition professor Carter Pann, which earned him a Pulitzer nomination. Pann will also be at the piano, joined by Amy Briggs, performing music by innovative composer Conlon Nancarrow arranged for four hands. Briggs plays etudes by David Rakowski. Clarinetist Deborah Marshall and violinist Karen Bentley Pollack also perform new pieces.

The Altius Quartet performs a farewell concert at the Dairy Arts Center April 8,
The Altius Quartet performs a farewell concert at the Dairy Arts Center April 8, (Courtesy Dairy Arts Center)

On Monday, March 13, violinist Michiko Theurer presents a highly reflexive multi-media program. Theurer, also a visual artist, created a set of paintings based on interludes from a Virginia Woolf novel, "The Waves." Six composers were commissioned to write works for solo violin based on the paintings. The paintings will be projected as Theurer plays each piece.

In its two years in residence at the University of Colorado studying with the Tak√°cs Quartet, the Altius Quartet has become a Boulder institution in its own right. Having completed their tenure at CU, the four young men in Altius perform a farewell concert at the Dairy on Saturday, April 8. Joined by guests, they will play Schoenberg's beloved "Transfigured Night" for string sextet, along with music for two cellos and scherzo movements from three Beethoven quartets, one from each compositional period.

On Wednesday, May 3, a fusion of Indian and Western music called "Shastra" is presented by Los Angeles composer/pianist Reena Esmail and New Jersey-based performer Payton MacDonald. MacDonald is a founding member of virtuoso crossover group Alarm Will Sound. The two will be joined by Indian and Western musicians from the area.

Soundscape

Central to the five Soundscape matinee concerts are the second and third installments of "World Beat," a concept Bailey described as placing musicians from three unrelated countries onstage at the same time, rotating between them. On Jan. 18 — all the Soundscape concerts are at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays — those countries are Ireland, Morocco and Zimbabwe. Moroccan master of the Arab lute Samir El-Yesfi will alternate with Zimbabwean marimba-based band Nokuthula and Irish fiddle/guitar duo Adam Agee and Jon Sousa.

On March 8, the combination is Mexico, Bali and India, featuring Balinese gamelan ensemble Tunas Mekar.

Between them, on Feb. 22, the renowned Sphere Ensemble — a local string orchestra of professionals that performs without a conductor — plays a program inspired by the concept of various human relationships.

April 5 brings the Washington, D.C.-based tango trio Trifilio. Leader and bandoneon player Emmanuel Trifilio, along with his cellist and guitarist, make their Boulder debut with traditional tango music and original compositions/arrangements.

The Soundscape series closes on May 10 with a second iteration of "Youth Must Be Served," in which the area's finest high school-age performers and composers are selected by Bailey.

"These will be elite quality kids," he said, noting that about eight would be selected from 40-50 applicants.