The a cappella genius of Ladysmith Black Mambazo is front and center in this crowded week of UW arts, but the South African singers are in excellent company. The School of Musics combined choruses and University Symphony present Bachs “Magnificat” and the Henry Art Gallery opens a cool exhibit on portrait photography.
Also, actors with the School of Dramas Professional Actor Training Program show their talents in solos performances, the Spanish and Portugese Division puts on a play in Spanish, music faculty support a benefit for Japan and students in Louise Cabeens Art 427 class decorate some mailboxes.
This Arts Roundup says “break a leg” to the School of Drama actors and then gets dreamily lost in Ladysmith Black Mamazo singing about “moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake” in “Homeless.”
Artist Sarah Bergmann, 7 p.m., March 9. Bergmann will talk about nature in the human age. Her Pollinator Pathway project is a plan to create a mile-long corridor of gardens in planting strips on Seattles Columbia Street. The Henrys advance notes state, “Part renegade park and part educational platform, the Pollinator Pathway bridges science, art, systems-thinking, urban planning and landscape design. Bergmann will share the projects trajectory from her interest in the collapse of the honeybee to re-imagining cities as conduits between farms and wilderness.” Henry Art Gallery Auditorium. Admission is $5, free for UW students, staff, faculty and Henry members.
Combined Choruses and Symphony, 7:30 p.m., March 9. Geoffrey Boers conducts the combined choruses and University Symphony in a performance of Bach’s glorious “Magnificat” and Stravinskys dramatic “Symphony of Psalms.” Featured vocal soloists on “Magnificat” include Wendy Moy, Rachel Kim, Isaiah Lin, Junghwan Jang, Nina Alden, Jeremiah Selvey and Brian Winnie. Meany Hall. Tickets are $10-$15.
“Los Intereses Creados,” 7:30 p.m., March 9-10. The Division of Spanish and Portuguese will present a fully-staged performance in Spanish of “Los Intereses Creados” (“The Bonds of Interest”) by Nobel Prize-wining Spanish playwright Jacinto Benavente. The play is directed by Donald Gilbert-Santamaria, associate professor, and lecturer Anna Witte, of Spanish and Portuguese studies. At the Ethnic Cultural Theater.
First performed at the beginning of the 20th century, the play is a spirited farce that explores the comedy and complexity of hidden motivations, selfishness and greed. The talented cast is composed of students and faculty from the UW Spanish and Portuguese Division. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.
Composers Workshop with Pascal Gallois, 7:30 p.m., March 9. A member of the famed Paris-based Ensemble Intercontemporain, French bassoonist Gallois will performs works by UW composition students Joshua Archibald-Seiffer, Jeffrey Bowen, Yiğit Kolat, Ania Stachurska, Anthony Vine, Marcin Paczkowski, and Michelle McKenzie in Brechemin Auditorium. Tickets are $5.
“From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life, 1850-1900,” March 10. The invention of photography in 1839 made portraiture widely accessible, and by the 1850s it had become a flourishing new industry. Photographic portraits became affectionately preserved household treasures — heirlooms that marked a new kind of family documentation. This exhibition, curated by UW art history doctoral candidate Kimberly Hereford, explores two uniquely American aspects of early portrait photography: The emergence of the studio system and its unique marketing strategies, and the function of portraiture as keepsakes. In the Henry Art Gallerys North Galleries through June 10.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 8 p.m., March 10. The UW World Series presents the world-renowned South African a capella group in concert at Meany Hall. The group, led by founder Joseph Shabalala, will perform songs from its 2011 album “Songs from a Zulu Farm” and other pieces from its 45-year career that included supporting singer-songwriter Paul Simon on his award-winning 1986 album “Graceland.”
Ladysmith Black Mambazo also has recorded with artists from around the world including Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Dolly Parton, Ben Harper and many others. The groups 2006 CD, “Long Walk To Freedom,” featured guest singers Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris and Taj Mahal. The groups film work includes an appearance in Michael Jacksons “Moonwalker” and Disneys “The Lion King.”
School of Drama Solo Shows, March 10-11. Actors in the UWs Professional Actor Training Program will give solo performances representative of their work at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, in the Jones Playhouse. These short pieces are an essential part of the actors development as they work toward MFA degrees.
“In the pieces you will see each actor bring to life multiple characters to tell a story — as well as through dance, song, and live music,” student Maura Tang wrote in an email. “It will be a very diverse selection of actors working to their strengths developed for performance in graduate school for acting.” Student Matt Giampietro added, “(E)ach piece speaks to the soul of the performer and no audience member will be disappointed.” There is no charge for admission, though donations of $5-$10 are appreciated. There is a dinner break between the shows.
Mailbox art returns. Students from Louise Cabeens Art 427 class, Special Topics in Surface Design, teamed with UW Mailing Services to decorate a few mailboxes around campus, just as they did last year. (Read the UW Today article about their 2011 efforts.) For this years Mailbox Project they decorated four mailboxes. “Textile Chameleon,” by students Samantha Frank and Trina Gonzales, is on Memorial Way near Denny Hall; “Happy Hour,” by Rachael Anderson-Poulakidas, Won Seo and Dora Xia, is outside MacKenzie Hall; “Padded Mail,” by Kelsey Cooper, Kathy Mesa and Vivian Yang, is near the Mechanical Engineering building; and “Topographical Adornment,” by Hannah Eberts and Dominique Purrier, is between Gerberding and Meany halls.
Ceramic arts juried exhibition, through March 31. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Room 132 in the Art Building, is partnering with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts to present this annual show, which ties in with councils annual conference. The organization will be meeting in Seattle from March 28 to 31. Gallery hours are Wed-Sat, 12-4pm.
“Winds for Hope: Tomodachi through Music,” 7:30 p.m., March 11. The UW Wind Ensemble, directed by Timothy Salzman, and Seattle Symphony principal trombonist and UW School of Music faculty member Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto will be among Northwest and Japanese classical and jazz musicians joining forces at Benaroya Hall to present “Winds for Hope: Tomodachi through Music,” a benefit concert for Japan. Proceeds of the event will go toward the purchase of musical instruments for Japanese children affected by the March 11, 2011 Tohuko Earthquake-Tsunami.
“We have all been deeply affected by this tragedy, even from this distance, and are particularly concerned for the school children whose daily lives have been so obviously disrupted,” said Salzman, UW professor of music. The concert will feature both jazz and classical music, including the world premiere of a new work by wind composer Satoshi Yagisawa. Tickets are $25-$50. For more information, visit the event website.