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Artists Series Opens Season with Mexican Music Ensemble

RELEASED: Aug. 21, 2009

Los Cenzontles
Los Cenzontles

EAU CLAIRE — The Artists Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will open its 2009-10 season with Los Cenzontles at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center.

Los Cenzontles is a Mexican music ensemble that celebrates the innovation and imagination of Mexican music, weaving together centuries-old musical traditions with contemporary sounds of the world stage. Los Cenzontles — which means "The Mockingbirds" in the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl — is a group of artists that has pioneered the revival of Mexican roots music for almost two decades, promoting cultural expression in their neighborhood and beyond. Their performance features four distinct styles of regional Mexican music, each with its unique instrumentation: Traditional Mariachi, Son Jarocho of Veracruz, Tex-Mex Conjunto, and Pirecuas and Sones of Michoacan. The performance also will include original songs that fuse elements of traditional music with rock 'n' roll, country, reggae, rock en Espaol and R&B. As an added treat, Mexican-themed food and drink will be available for purchase at the event.

The performance is the first of eight Artists Series presentations comprising the 2009-10 season.

  • Ancia Saxophone Quartet; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center. This saxophone quartet, founded in 1990, creates and performs new works as well as traditional saxophone quartet repertoire. The Ancia Saxophone Quartet has premiered many compositions written expressly for the group.
  • Vienna Boys Choir; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Zorn Arena. One of the world's oldest choirs and certainly among the most famous, the Vienna Boys Choir will return to the Artists Series after 15 seasons. From the time of its first visit to the United States in 1932, the Vienna Boys Choir has become perhaps the most popular choir ever to tour North America.
  • Griffin Theatre presents "Letters Home"; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19, Zorn Arena. This theater company put the war in Iraq front and center by bringing to life letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The play reveals the humanity that lies within the war through the eyes of those fighting it.
  • Shidara; 7:30 p.m. March 1, Zorn Arena. The thunderous sounds of Shidara, one of the world's most exciting taiko companies, blend masterful stick work, blinding energy and breakneck speed into a joyous performance. Their odaiko drums and the soulful harmonies of the shinobue bamboo flutes resonate in the minds and hearts of the audience long after the last beat.
  • Yid Vicious; 7:30 p.m. March 9, Schofield Auditorium. The repertoire of this Madison-based klezmer band is drawn from traditional secular Yiddish music, which the seven members of the group infuse with their collective aesthetic and experience.
  • Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas; 7:30 p.m. April 14, Schofield Auditorium. The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland's premier fiddle ambassador, and cellist Natalie Haas returns to a long-standing musical tradition.
  • Evgeni Bozhanov; 7:30 p.m. May 6, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center. This 25-year-old Bulgarian pianist was one of six finalists in the recent Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and received the Cliburn's Steven De Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance of Chamber Music.

More information about each of these events and ticket information can be found in the season brochure or online. Season subscription information also is available at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727. Subscription packages include "the works" package at a 25 percent discount or a build-your-own-season package of six or more tickets to Artists Series and Forum events at a 20 percent discount.

Tickets for individual Artists Series events are $17 for the public, $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half-price up until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students will be required to pay the full student ticket price. Ticket sales begin Aug. 24.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. The Artist Series is also funded in part by Visit Eau Claire ... The Unexpected Wisconsin. Griffin Theatre Company and Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas are additionally supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Arts Board, General Mills Foundation, and Land O'Lakes Foundation. Wisconsin Public Radio, WHYS Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

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JS/KH

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