Arts Devo

Chico Performances set to drop a new season

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. Jones

World of art coming to Chico Two words: Poemjazz. OK, that’s actually one word with two words in it, but Arts DEVO is no less excited for its arrival.

This week is Chico Performances’ annual big reveal, wherein Chico State’s arts-presenting arm flexes its typically impressive schedule of shows featuring a wide range of world-class performing arts. The 2016-17 season preview—free and open to the public—happens at Laxson Auditorium on Saturday, July 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and will be followed by the official release of the schedule on July 11 (followed by the opening of ticket sales in early August). And as the big day has gotten closer, there have been little birds dive-bombing my desk from every direction, dropping a mess of clues as to what might be rolling into Chico this school year. If I’m interpreting the splatter patterns correctly, there is a varied and impressive not-yet-official calendar coming into view. A small sampling of what I’m reading (including Poemjazz!):

Colvin & Earle—That’s Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle touring together in support of their recently released collaborative album.

• The great musical crew Dave Rawlings Machine (with Gillian Welch) rolls back into Butte County.

• The great humorist David Sedaris strolls back to Laxson Auditorium.

• Four (!) Italian operas: La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Elixir of Love and Tosca.

• Memphis bluesman Booker T. Jones brings the Stax Revue, “a journey through soul, blues and R&B,” to Chico!

• The Uncle Dads Art Collective will come together and try to carry the weight of something by The Beatles.

• And Poemjazz, the marriage of the rich wordplay of one-time American poet laureate Robert Pinsky with the music of jazz Grammy-winner Laurence Hobgood.

Welcome the new dude What’s this?! The Daniel Taylor is now part of the CN&R crew? It’s true. I saw it with my own eyes, Daniel talking to me from behind a desk across the office we will now share as he joins the paper as our new calendar editor/editorial assistant. I’ve known Daniel for somewhere around 16 years, both for his many public acts of scene-making—as a musician in bands like West by Swan, Cold Blue Mountain, Surrogate (and Damelo, of course) and as the hilarious and often hilariously self-deprecating writer of the popular Hot Flashes column in the old Synthesis magazine—and personally due to often being in the vicinity of the aforementioned stuff.

I think Daniel is a fantastic writer as well as one of the best dudes around, and I’m stoked he’s joining our office. However, between him and staff writer Ken Smith and their combined righteous dudeness, unpretentious NorCal pedigree, and complete ownership of the local music scene, I am starting to get a little nervous as I try to keep my balance atop my wobbly stack of cred.