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Events for May 29, 2019 - February 26, 2020

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Indigo Arts Alliance presents in partnership with Portland Ovations Toshi Reagon + Samuel James

June 9, 2019 • 7:00 pm

Portland House of Music and Events

Indigo Arts Alliance presents in partnership with Portland Ovations Toshi Reagon and Samuel James – Sunday, June 9, 2019 at Portland House of Music and Events – Doors at 7 pm – 21+   Toshi Reagon: Described by Vibe magazine as “one helluva rock’n’roller-coaster ride” and by Pop Matters as “a treasure waiting to be found,”…

  • machine dazzle maine college of art residency

Machine Dazzle in Residence at MECA

September 15, 2019 - September 19, 2019

Maine College of Art

Taylor Mac maintains we are “a nation of makers” and that one of his favorite makers is costume designer Machine Dazzle. Machine, whose parents met and married in Pembroke, Maine, will be in residence at the Maine College of Art (MECA) on Congress Street in Portland from September 15th – 19th 2019. His residency includes…

  • machine dazzle public lecture

Machine Dazzle: Public Lecture Free, public lecture at Maine College of Art

September 17, 2019 • 6:00 pm

Maine College of Art

Taylor Mac maintains we are “a nation of makers” and that one of his favorite makers is costume designer Machine Dazzle. Machine, whose parents met and married in Pembroke, Maine, will be in residence at the Maine College of Art (MECA) on Congress Street in Portland from September 15th – 19th 2019. His residency includes…

  • queer maine panel discussion

Panel Discussion: Queer Maine – Memory & Resilience Across Time and Place Free panel discussion

September 19, 2019 • 4:00 pm

Portland Public Library

Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade of Popular Music (abridged)” kicks off Ovations’ Maine Bicentennial season, with its focus on making our state’s invisible histories visible and an emphasis on resistance and rebellion. Our pre-performance panelists span generations, perspectives, and geographies of Maine’s past, present, and future relationships with its queer communities. Facilitated by longtime queer activist,…

Bicentennial Series Taylor Mac: “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, (Abridged)” A co-presentation with the State Theatre

September 19, 2019 • 7:30 pm

State Theatre, Portland

https://youtu.be/c4svHYVA5Pg “A necessary and great American epic for our time.” - Los Angeles Times Fabulous. Fierce. Unforgettable. MacArthur Fellow and Guggenheim Award-winning performer Taylor Mac chronicles an unseen history of America through a hand-picked selection of songs ranging from murder ballads to disco and everything in between. At its core, this immersive and outrageously entertaining…

Broadway National Tour “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”

October 4, 2019 - October 5, 2019

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/moUltcFBjuU Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the…

Panel Discussion: Marriage Under Construction Free, panel discussion

October 10, 2019 • 1:15 pm

Glickman Library, USM Portland Campus

Do people marry for greater health, love, financial security, socio-cultural norms, or family and religious obligations? If each person is shaped by very unique bio-psycho-social-cultural factors which contribute to the presentation of their personality, value and belief systems, then marriages are truly more complex than many of us are lead to believe. Some people can…

  • Neil Pearlman Kittel Lecturer

Pre-Performance Lecture: New Traditions in American, Celtic and Scandinavian Music Free, public lecture before Kittel & Co.

October 10, 2019 • 6:30 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

Ever wonder how much of the music you listen to is influenced by ancient Celtic traditions? Kittel & Co’s music is part of a rich tapestry of contemporary string music made today in the American, Scottish, Irish, and Scandinavian music scenes. Join us pre-performance at Port City Music Hall for an exploration of how those…

Kittel & Co.

October 10, 2019 • 7:30 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

  https://youtu.be/8rV-gXb-zqA Grammy-nominee Jeremy Kittel is recognized as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation. Joined by his band Kittel & Co., this extraordinary trio of musicians inhabit the space between classical and acoustic roots music, Celtic and bluegrass aesthetics, and folk and jazz sensibilities. From the Telluride Blues Festival to…

Bicentennial and Raising the Barre Series Sara Juli: “Burnt-Out Wife” – SOLD OUT Co-commission and world premiere co-presented with SPACE

October 17, 2019 - October 19, 2019

SPACE

An Ovations co-commission and world premiere. A world premiere of Maine based artist Sara Juli’s latest feminist solo, Burnt­-Out Wife. Taking on topics such as monogamy, intimacy, loneliness, and other marital taboos, Juli employs her physical and comedic talents to explore autobiographical issues of importance to all women. This full length, multimedia work defies genre and will…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Blue Roots” Free, public lecture before Songhoy Blues

October 26, 2019 • 7:00 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

Songhoy Blues is acclaimed for its guitar mastery in the “desert blues” genre of contemporary North African music. The African rhythms underlying the music we know and love as “the Blues” traveled to the Americas via the Trans-Atlantic enslavement and trafficking of Africans. Join us pre-performance at Port City Music Hall as Marc Chillemi highlights…

Songhoy Blues

October 26, 2019 • 8:00 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

https://youtu.be/ODjF7a9LzGc “Songhoy Blues puts its own exuberant take on African sounds.” - The Washington Post Sons of Mali, musical refugees, groundbreaking artists, virtuoso performers, survivors. Steeped in the deep traditions of classic Malian music and desert blues infused with youthful and supercharged sounds of today, Songhoy Blues makes music that is unique, exciting, contagious and…

  • portland freedom trail walk

The Freedom Walk

November 2, 2019 • 1:00 pm

Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

To welcome Kingdom Choir and better understand their musical selections, presentation, and history join us for a walk along Portland’s ‘Underground Railroad’ lead by artist Daniel Minter, Reverend Kenneth Lewis, and Portland City Councilor Pious Ali, concluding with an engaging talk by Reverend Lewis. What is the “gospel” in gospel music and what are Maine’s…

  • reverend lewis gospel music lecture

Public Lecture: “The Gospel in Gospel Music” Free, public lecture following "The Freedom Walk"

November 2, 2019 • 3:00 pm

Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

Why did Enslaved African’s sing with so much emotion and spirit? Simple, it’s a form of resistance to captivity, enslavement, and oppression. Given the right format, emotions are safe to express. Gospel music was the safest way to express the pains and hopes of enslaved Africans in the United States. Reverend Kenneth L. Lewis will…

Pre-Performance Panel & Conversation Free, pre-performance panel before Palaver Strings

November 3, 2019 • 4:00 pm

Indigo Arts Alliance

Join Palaver Strings, the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, and Portland Ovations to hear stories of courage, resilience, travel, and transition from three of Maine's immigrant communities. Facilitated by Marty Pottenger, guests will be invited to share their own experiences and how and why they call Portland home. The afternoon will kick off Welcome Home,…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “The Trans-Atlantic British Influence on African Music” Free, public lecture before The Kingdom Choir

November 9, 2019 • 6:45 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Were you awed by Kingdom Choir’s ethereal performance of “Amazing Grace” at the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to Meghan Markle last year? Prior to the Choir’s performance, explore the history and British origins of this iconic song within the context of the African “call and response” tradition in the creation of gospel music,…

The Kingdom Choir

November 9, 2019 • 8:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/pJjLCvoEFYU “...their vocal power and ecstatic harmonies make for spine-tingling moments...” - The Guardian They say you shouldn’t upstage a bride on her big day, but luckily the Kingdom Choir didn’t get the memo. Their show-stopping performance of “Stand By Me” was the highlight of 2018’s Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, launching…

Palaver Strings Presents Welcome Home

November 14, 2019 • 7:00 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

Welcome Home celebrates the vitality of Maine's immigrant communities through music and storytelling. Palaver Strings will collaborate with guest artists of Franco-American, Burundian, and Iraqi heritage, sharing traditional music and personal stories of their families' journeys to Maine. As the program tours through Maine, Palaver Strings will celebrate Maine's cultural diversity, reflect on our own…

ANNUAL BENEFIT BASH Rizo with guest Ari Shapiro Emcee & Auctioneer Christine O’Leary

November 15, 2019

Aura

“ a scene stealer, not just with his singing but his humor.” - The Seattle Times A once-in-a-lifetime pairing in an intimate club setting for Ovations audiences only, the charismatic Rizo returns with her very, very special guest Ari Shapiro. A provocateur with a razor sharp wit, Grammy Award-winner Rizo transforms cabaret standards and pop…

Magic Tree House: “Showtime with Shakespeare”

November 17, 2019 • 3:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/XJJOOBLSifQ “I’m thrilled that Showtime with Shakespeare will be touring this year! Stage Fright on a Summer Night has long been one of my favorite titles in my Magic Tree House series...” — MARY POPE OSBORNE, SERIES AUTHOR Let us whisk you back to Elizabethan England for an adventurous meeting with the Bard himself—all to…

Magic Tree House: “Showtime with Shakespeare” – School Time Performance

November 18, 2019 • 10:00 am

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/XJJOOBLSifQ “I’m thrilled that Showtime with Shakespeare will be touring this year! Stage Fright on a Summer Night has long been one of my favorite titles in my Magic Tree House series...” — MARY POPE OSBORNE, SERIES AUTHOR Let us whisk you back to Elizabethan England for an adventurous meeting with the Bard himself—all to…

Bicentennial Series NPR’s “From the Top”

November 20, 2019 • 7:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

National Public Radio’s From the Top returns to Portland Ovations to elevate and celebrate the amazing talent and captivating personalities of virtuosic young musicians from Maine and beyond. A favorite of longtime classical musical enthusiasts and newcomers alike, From the Top combines serious music, light-hearted skits and informal interviews in a delightful and entertaining concert.…

  • shaker music lecture

Pre-Performance Lecture: “The Legacy and Songs of the Shakers” Free, public lecture before Boston Camerata

December 1, 2019 • 3:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

Brother Arnold, one of only three remaining Shakers all based in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, shares the history and context of the seven Shaker songs included in the Boston Camerata’s performance. Through his personal experience and history, Brother Arnold breathes life into the stories of each song.   The pre-performance lecture takes place at Hannford Hall…

Bicentennial Series Boston Camerata: “Free America” Featuring Falmouth's St Mary Schola

December 1, 2019 • 4:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

https://youtu.be/6GcC7IzcYN8 “America’s foremost early music ensemble” – Le Monde A favorite of Ovations audiences, Boston Camerata returns with its latest program celebrating 18th and 19th century songs of rebellion and resistance. With works spanning early America including music from Maine’s own Shaker community, the unique instrumentation includes voice, flute, fiddle, cello, fife and drum along…

Broadway National Tour “Waitress”

January 10, 2020 - January 11, 2020

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/EM53RxlJwUo “WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!” — ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “​The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed…

Panel Discussion: “The History and Impact of Immigration in Maine” Free, panel discussion lecture before Gabriela Montero

January 18, 2020 • 1:00 pm

Maine Historical Society

Venezuelan award-winning pianist Gabriela Montero pays homage to the physical, cultural and psychological emigration westwards of three early twentieth century Russian pianist-composers: Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. The panel discussion will focus on the history of Maine’s immigration from the colonial America’s to the ongoing influx new Mainers through migration and immigration. What is driving the…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Hot off the Keyboard” Free, public lecture before Gabriela Montero

January 25, 2020 • 3:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

In a pre-performance lecture, “Hot off the Keyboard,” University of Southern Maine’s Dr. Laura Kargul dives deep into Montero’s repertoire to explore the ways some of the greatest classical composers were renowned for their improvisational skills at the keyboard. Works such as the Bach toccatas, Mozart variations, Chopin nocturnes and Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies often sound…

Gabriela Montero: “Westward”

January 25, 2020 • 4:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

https://youtu.be/9zoWBomGGpk "Montero's playing has everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power in climactic moments, soulful lyricism … and, best of all, unsentimental expressivity." – The New York Times   Award-winning pianist Gabriela Montero, lauded for her monster technique and thrilling tone, is equally known as an inspired improviser. Her unique program pays homage to…

The Illusionists – Live From Broadway

February 1, 2020

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/Wul940qfvTw Direct from Broadway, the world’s best selling magic show is coming to Portland, Maine. This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTSTM – LIVE FROM BROADWAYTM has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the…

MOMIX: “Viva MOMIX” – School-Time Performance

February 7, 2020 • 10:00 am

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/2JIfbXK_5Xo “MOMIX is a tension between illusion and reality, apprehension and excitement” – The New York Times Long live the magic of MOMIX. The miraculous dance company balances whimsy with athleticism, playfulness with artistry, illusion with invention, creating a signature style that sets it apart from its peers. Viva MOMIX celebrates the company’s 40-year history…

Raising the Barre Series MOMIX: “Viva MOMIX” Family Friendly Time

February 7, 2020 • 7:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/2JIfbXK_5Xo “MOMIX is a tension between illusion and reality, apprehension and excitement” – The New York Times Long live the magic of MOMIX. The miraculous dance company balances whimsy with athleticism, playfulness with artistry, illusion with invention, creating a signature style that sets it apart from its peers. Viva MOMIX celebrates the company’s 40-year history…

GuGu Drum Group – School-Time Performance

February 13, 2020 • 10:00 am

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Drummers, storytellers, and athletes – direct from Shanghai, China, the members of GuGu Drum Group delight audiences of all ages with their high-energy epic drumming, traditional movement and colorful costumes. GuGu represents a powerful lineage, dating back to the Emperors of long-ago Chinese dynasties, with a contemporary approach. Using ancient instruments from small finger cymbals…

GuGu Drum Group Family Friendly Time

February 13, 2020 • 7:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/K8bzaO5SjZ8 “The award-winning GuGu Drum Group from Shanghai presents a contemporary take on traditional Chinese percussion.”  - Houston Chronicle Drummers, storytellers, and athletes – direct from Shanghai, China, the members of GuGu Drum Group delight audiences of all ages with their high-energy epic drumming, traditional movement and colorful costumes. GuGu represents a powerful lineage, dating…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Lyrical Expressionism of Chinese Drumming” Free, public lecture before GuGu Drum Group

February 15, 2020 • 6:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Drums speak. They have been used for centuries to communicate from area to area and people to people around the world. In “Lyrical Expressionism of Chinese Drumming,” Dr. Chao Ling, a professor of Chinese literature and culture and native of Shanghai, explores the language and history of drumming as both art form and means of…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “How Vocal Folk Traditions Found their Seat at the Table” Free, public lecture before Avi Avital & Bridget Kibbey

February 18, 2020 • 6:45 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

Béla Bartók is, alongside Franz Liszt, regarded as Hungary’s greatest composer and one of the most important of the 20th century—as well as a skilled pianist and ethnomusicologist. Bartók’s music provides Dr. Robert Lehmann, Professor of Music and Director of Strings Studies and Orchestral Activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, an…

Avi Avital and Bridget Kibbey

February 18, 2020 • 7:30 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

https://youtu.be/1Ea5YO6C58w   “Bridget Kibbey makes it seem as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the gorgeous colors and energetic figures she was getting from it.” - The New York Times “Much as Anres Segovia brought the classical guitar into the concert hall, the Israeli virtuoso Avi Avital is doing…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “A Most Extraordinary Noise: New Orleans and the Birth of Jazz” Free, public lecture before New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

February 20, 2020 • 6:15 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Jazz, a musical form native to the United States, was born in New Orleans’ rich cultural mix of traditions. In preparation for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s tribute to jazz master Allen Toussaint and the Music of Congo Square, Dr. Ashley Towle, whose scholarship focuses on the experience of African Americans in the South during…

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: “The Music of Congo Square”

February 20, 2020 • 7:30 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

https://youtu.be/vnJNQZuHTRc “…vibrant and swinging…” - JazzTimes Just in time for Mardi Gras, Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra features 18 of the finest Crescent City musicians on the scene today. Under the direction of drummer Adonis Rose, an alum of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, NOJO possesses the swing and swagger of a true New…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Remembering Cuba” Free, public lecture before Malpaso Dance Company

February 26, 2020 • 6:30 pm

Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook

Malpaso Dance Company arrives from Cuba at a time when U.S.-Cuban relationships and travel are again experiencing severe political restrictions. During the last several years when these restrictions were relaxed, many Maine residents traveled to Cuba to experience its rich and unique culture. Mark Vogelzang, CEO and President of Maine Public, lead 20 Mainers on…

Raising the Barre Series Malpaso Dance Company

February 26, 2020 • 7:30 pm

Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook

https://youtu.be/DXqHT5O82iw “...a pinch-me moment, one of those times when you catch an artistic dawning...Malpaso’s dancers were exceptional." - Los Angeles Times Passionate and precise, Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company blends their classical training with “lushly earthy modern dance” (Boston Globe) alongside influences of social dances and capoeira. Though their name translates to “misstep,” the 11 dancers…

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