Arts Devo

Chico Performance announces 2017-18 performance schedule

¡Sí, Morrissey!

¡Sí, Morrissey!

Chico’s Christmas It’s the day the nice citizens of Chico look forward to all year long, when jolly St. Stephen (aka Santa Cummins) slides down the A/C duct with his sack full of goodies and passes out the schedule of world-class performers that Chico Performances will be hosting at Laxson Auditorium or Zingg Recital Hall during the upcoming school year. Chico Performances’ annual season-preview party was yesterday (July 12), and Chico State’s public-engagement arm has once again filled our city’s cultural coffers with a packed calendar of art from around the world.

The event on the season schedule that Arts DEVO is most excited about—by a wide margin—is a Halloween night performance by Mexrrissey. Part of a three-act Dia de Los Muertos Tour bill, Mexrrissey is a Spanish-language tribute to the “Pope of Mope,” singer/songerwriter, animal-rights activist and undeniable badass Morrissey. The English musician has long been a kind of cult hero in Mexican-American communities of Southern California, with legions obsessively devoted to his poetic, emotive songs of love and loss (both his solo work and that of his former band The Smiths).

The movement has migrated south of the border as well, where Mexico City DJ Camilo Lara has assembled this band of contemporary Mexican musicians to reinvent Morrissey’s music with “brass, accordion and other Mexican elements.” Look up the video for Mexrrissey’s version of “Every Day Is Like Sunday” (“Cada Dia Es Domingo”) at The mournful horns might make you weep, or at the very least pout for the rest of the day. Also on the Oct. 31 bill: LA’s La Santa Cecilia and the all-female ranchera crew, Mariachi Flor de Toloache.

Some of the heavy hitters on the schedule include funk icons Tower of Power (Sept. 16), country greats Emmylou Harris (Oct. 10) and Kris Kristofferson (Jan. 10), mullet hall-of-famer Travis Tritt (Nov. 12), and Portland’s lively “little orchestra,” Pink Martini (Dec. 8). And some other performances in addition to Mexrrissey that look intriguing to me are the Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Sept. 30); the Momix dance troupe’s trippy Opus Cactus (Nov. 4); Gut Churn with Radiolab producer/host Jad Abumrad (March 3); and The Songs of Stevie Wonder, another multidiscipline production from Chico’s Uncle Dad’s Art Collective (March 9-10). See the whole schedule online at Tickets go on sale Aug. 1 (for members); Aug. 5 (for series); Aug. 14 (for single shows); Aug. 16 (for students).


• Welcome, Monca! The big day is here. The official ribbon-cutting for the much-anticipated Museum of Northern California Art is tonight (July 13) at 7 p.m., at 900 Esplanade. The museum will be open for an hour after the ceremony, and then for regular weekly hours Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit for details.

• Donna “Donut” Kellogg’s Birthday Art/Rock ’n’ Roll Benefit: Donna Kellogg would have been 33 on Tuesday, July 18, and to mark the occasion, her friends are throwing a birthday party in her memory. The Butte County native who died in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland last December left behind hundreds of undeveloped negatives taken during the fall of of 2003, and the focal point of the gathering will be an exhibit of the prints. Also featured will be some of Kellogg’s favorite local bands, including The Americas and Panther Surprise, as well as a couple of crews reuniting for the occasion, The Deer and The Great Good.

The show starts at 6 p.m., and will take place at 1431 Park Ave. (which is the home of a soon-to-be-opened bookstore/gallery/cafe called Blackbird—for which the show is a benefit—the brainchild of local arts/music impresario Molly Roberts and the Pageant Theatre’s Miles Montalbano. Stay tuned … and get excited!)