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Tickets now available for UW-Eau Claire's 51st Artists Series season

Tickets are now on sale for the 51st season of the Artists Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  

The 2015-16 season will open Oct. 7 with a concert by Black Violin, a classically trained violin duo praised for their ability to blend music from the classics to pop culture. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

The duo, South Florida natives Wilner "Wil B" Baptiste and Kevin "Kev Marcus" Sylvester, will perform their signature genre-busting act featuring a groundbreaking blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and even bluegrass music. 

Black Violin's recent performances include the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Ball, the New Victory Theater on Broadway and the 2013 South by Southwest music and film festival, where they were voted as one of the top five new bands to perform.

"Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play," wrote The New York Times about the duo's innovative musical style. "Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists, at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown;at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars." 

Baptiste and Sylvester formed Black Violin a decade ago, naming their group after an album by preeminent African-American swing era jazz violinist Stuff Smith. Since then, they have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries, playing with big names like Linkin Park, Kanye West, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and many others. 

Four additional events are part of the 51st Artists Series season: 

  • Pilobolus Dance Theater: Nov. 12, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Named after a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength, Pilobolus is a dance company that continually forms diverse collaborations which break down barriers between disciplines of dance and challenge the way people think about the art form. Physically and intellectually, the company engages and inspires audiences around the world through performance, education and consultation.

  • Celtic Christmas: Dec. 8, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Tomáseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in the west of Ireland. Become part of this engaging, magical experience complete with a master storyteller, melodies of traditional Irish Christmas carols and world champion Irish dancers.

  • Milwaukee Ballet: Feb. 9, Zorn Arena, 7:30 p.m. Milwaukee Ballet's second company comprises 20 young artists from all over the world. The group will present three new works by esteemed and international choreographers Lee-Wei Chao, Ilya Kozadayev and Petr Zahradnícek. From classical to contemporary, tutus and tights, limbs and leaps — the Milwaukee Ballet has something for everyone.

  • Black Oak Ensemble: March 8, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Black Oak presents an exciting and eclectic musical journey, traveling from the baroque period to the present with arrangements of ethnic tunes and beloved melodies of the past. This unique ensemble blends and contrasts traditional and classical music from a variety of cultures and times, blurring lines between music genres and eras while delivering a captivating, thrilling sound. 

Tickets are available in person at the Service Center in UW-Eau Claire's Davies Center, by phone at 715-836-3727 or online.

Tickets for individual Artists Series events are $17 for the public;$15 for those age 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff;and $7 for those age 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student ticket price.

Season subscriptions are available for 25 percent off of the single-ticket price.  

The Artists Series is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire and administered by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.