ArtSavvy sessions offer opportunities to learn more about the artists, art forms and cultures of the performances presented on the GPAC stage. These events are a fun way to enhance your understanding and increase your knowledge. Join us as we delve deeper and learn more about the techniques, influences and inspirations of this season’s artists.
2016-17 ArtSavvy Events:
ArtSavvy: What is your Jazz?
SEPTEMBER 29 | 7:30 PM
Let’s talk jazz with some of Memphis’s very best jazz musicians. We will explore various styles of jazz, highlight the performances coming to GPAC this season and discuss what it takes to be a jazz musician today. This session will feature a special guest appearance with New York-based trumpeter and vocalist, Jumaane Smith along with local favorites Victor Sawyer and Brian "Breeze" Cayolle.
Jumaane (JEW-MAH-KNEE) Smith, trumpeter and vocalist, has already done what most musicians spend their lives dreaming about. He’s traveled the world, played stages in historic clubs, in massive stadiums and at cultural landmarks, recorded a solo album, appeared on national television and performed for two sitting U.S. presidents. His collaborations range from pop idols to jazz legends, and the list reads like a lineup for the best New Orleans Jazz Fest ever. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Michael Buble’, Jackie Evancho, Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Natalie Cole, James Ingram, Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Botti and many more.
Victor Sawyer is a freelance trombonist based in Memphis, TN. He frequently records a legendary studio such as Sun, Royal, and Ardent. Victor Sawyer attended the Manhattan School of Music for a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance, studying under Luis Bonilla, Phil Markowitz, and David Liebman. While living in NYC Victor had the opportunity to perform at the Jazz Standard, Bowery Poetry Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and the Walter Reade Theater. Currently Victor is an instructor at Stax Music Academy and a Fellowship Coach for the Memphis Music Initiative. He most recently had the honor of performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
A glance at Breeze Cayolle's musical achievements reveals a road map of American music: touring the world with Toussaint and Elvis Costello; opening for Stevie Ray Vaughn, Roy Buchanan, and Leon Russell; playing blues with Gatemouth Brown and Marva Wright; touring with zydeco king C.J. Chenier; appearing in HBO's Treme and the film What's Love Got To Do With It; appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; swinging as a member of Dr. John's horn section; backing an all-star lineup featuring Bonnie Raitt, Ruth Brown, Sam Moore, and Billy Joel at the Newport R&B Festival; jamming with Fats Domino at New Orleans' famed Tipitina's; presenting his original music at the Essence Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; and so much more... He's released three albums: Soul Time, State of My Heart, and The Gentle Breeze. His mastery of saxophone and clarinet are enhanced by his artistry as a songwriter and sultry vocalist. (more info)
This is a FREE event with reservations required. Please contact the Box Office at 751-7500 for reservations.
ArtSavvy: Mark Twain At Large
OCTOBER 20 | 7 PM
The Big Read*
Mark Twain At Large is a stunning one-man theatrical tour de force that introduces us to the 70-plus-year-old Twain on a stormy night in his Connecticut home. Racing in from thunderous rains, he invites the audience into his study for an intimate conversation filled with stories and anecdotes taken directly from Twain’s writings. Ron Jewell’s performance has been hailed across the country as “personable and touching,” as critics and audience members alike have delighted in his retelling of Twain’s tall tales.
*Funded in part by The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
ArtSavvy: 20 Feet from Stardom screening
OCTOBER 25 | 7 PM
Join us for a showing of the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary feature, 20 Feet from Stardom. The film follows behind the scenes of backup singers and stars including Lisa Fischer who will perform live at GPAC on October 29.
About our speaker:
Morgan Beckford, has graced both operatic and musical theater stages, performing such roles as: Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Café Olay in Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie, and Mrs. McLean in Susannah with the Butler Opera Center (Austin, TX). She has also sung in the ensembles for both Porgy and Bess with Austin's Zach Scott Theater and Norton: A Civil War Opera with Loudoun Lyric Opera. Since her return to Memphis, you might have seen her as Daniela in Hattiloo Theatre's In the Heights, Abeyoye in CDL Production's "Golden Fruit," in the choir at Germantown Presbyterian Church, or on the stage at the Germantown Performing Arts Center, Beethoven Club, or West Memphis Performing Arts Center. When Morgan is not onstage, she enjoys serving her roles as Coordinator of In-School Partnerships for the Memphis Music Initiative and Children's Chorus Master for Opera Memphis.
ArtSavvy: Contemporary Dance 101
JANUARY 19 | 7 PM
Get a fresh look at contemporary dance with Memphis-based performer and choreographer, Wayne Smith. This session will use video, discussion and interactive movement to highlight the choreography and technique of Alonzo King LINES Ballet.
ArtSavvy: Bollywood: Then and Now
MARCH 28 | 7 PM
Discover the origin of India’s national cinema and how it grew to become one of the country’s largest and most powerful industries. This session will use film and discussion to highlight the elaborate dance styles and music of Bollywood films.