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Performing Arts

Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College announces upcoming season

The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College has released its 2023-24 calendar, which includes Black Opry Revue. (Courtesy)
Shows span genres, cultures

With a new school year looming – just check out the school supplies that have suddenly and without warning been making their way onto local store shelves – comes the announcement of a new performing arts season at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

This year, expect shows from all music genres as well as dance troupes and Concert Hall classics including the Nutcracker and Bar D Wranglers.

For Charles Leslie, the Concert Hall’s director, the upcoming season offers the community the opportunity to see shows we might not otherwise be able to catch in our fairly remote area. A few of the shows he says are not to be missed, including Black Opry Revue, Welcome to Indian Country and this year’s Jazz on the Hill, which will feature Christian McBride.

Black musicians have been a part of country music since the beginning, and their contributions to the genre have been overlooked for just as long. Taking the Concert Hall stage Oct. 19, Black Opry Revue, a group of Nashville, Tennessee-based singers and songwriters are working to show audiences what they’ve been missing.

Performing Arts Season 2023-24

GET THE LED OUT, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Tickets: $40, $50, $60.

MARIACHI GARIBALDI de Jaime Cuéllar, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Tickets: $30, $40, $50.

DeVotchKa, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Tickets: $28, $38, $50.

Black Opry Revue, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19. Tickets: $30, $40, $50.

John McEuen & The Circle Band present “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Tickets: $30, $35, $40.

CARY MORIN & GHOST DOG Native Americana Roots Rock, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10. Tickets: $20, $30, $38.

State Street Ballet – Nutcracker, Dec. 8-10. Tickets: $30, $50, $60.

Bar-D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets: $20, $25, $30, $40.

FLY Dance, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Tickets: $29, $39.

Caro Pierotto, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20. Tickets: $40. Artist You Should Know Series (audience seated on-stage).

Jazz on the Hill presents Christian McBride, 7:30 p.m. March 6. Tickets: $29, $39, $49.

Symphony Chaco: A Journey of the Spirit featuring R. Carlos Nakai, 7:30 p.m. March 15. Tickets: $20, $30, $40.

DRUM TAO 30th Anniversary: THE TAO, 7:30 p.m. March 28. Tickets: $40, $50, $55, $60.

The Lost Fingers with John Jorgenson, 7:30 p.m. April 6. Tickets: $30, $40, $50.

SALT Dance, 7:30 p.m. April 10. Tickets: $29, $39, $49.

Welcome to Indian Country, 7:30 p.m. April 25. Tickets: $30, $35, $45.

Folsom ’68: Johnny Cash Tribute, 7:30 p.m. May 16. Tickets: $20, $30, $40.

For tickets and more information, visit durangoconcerts.com.

“Black Opry is home for Black artists, fans and industry professionals working in country, Americana, blues and folk music,” according to the group’s website. “Country and roots music have been made and loved by Black people since their conception. For just as long, we have been overlooked and disregarded in the genre. Black Opry is changing that.”

Coming up in March is Jazz on the Hill, which will feature jazz heavy hitter (He’s won eight(!) Grammys) Christian McBride.

“Christian McBride is probably the most important young jazz artist in the world – not just in the country, but in the world,” Leslie said. “He’s a bass player, but he also hosts the NPR Evening with Jazz show every week. He curates jazz performances literally all over the world (and) he’s the artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival.”

Along with McBride’s performance, he’ll also host music clinics for students both at FLC and throughout the area. Leslie said that his second night in Durango, he’ll play a little with the college’s jazz band.

In April, Welcome to Indian Country offers up a blend of music and storytelling featuring Native American trumpeter Delbert Anderson and Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest. Anderson, who’s a faculty member at San Juan College in Farmington.

“He’s introducing traditional jazz out of Navajo country,” Leslie said, adding that the performance is a mix of music and spoken word.

And for Leslie, the goal – and challenge – of putting together new seasons is to bring in performers who span a variety of cultures and genres.

“The hope is that we can introduce artists and cultures to people that maybe don’t get an opportunity to connect with those,” he said.


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