Ladies and gentlemen, the Harry James Orchestra — directed by the UW’s own Fred Radke — is coming on Monday, May 7, to fill Meany Hall with the big band sound that made it the country’s top band during World War II.
It’s the top of a busy week in the arts that also features 70-some UW-related artists showing work in the Hall Health Art Walk, new School of Art exhibits, the final concert in the Mallethead percussion series and a new play being read by School of Drama instructors.
Harry James gave Frank Sinatra his big band start, married Betty Grable and was one of the finest jazz trumpeters around. Radke, reached on the phone between gigs, said the music is “part of Americana” and that the evening will include “a mix of famous blockbusters Harry made famous and some more jazz-flavored things.” The orchestra will be joined by vocalist Gina Funes, also a School of Music faculty member.
Hall Health Artwalk, 5:30-7 p.m. May 3. The first open, public event showing the collection of more than 70 art works on loan from UW students and employees. Some of the artists will be present to discuss their work. The display of art “is much more than just making our newly remodeled building look nice. It has been shown that art can promote patient healing,” says Mark Shaw, director of health promotion and chair of the committee that created the collection. Artists take note: There’s also a call for art under way for the 2012-13 school year.
“White Rabbit, Red Rabbit,” 7:30 p.m. May 3-6. This original play is by Iranian citizen Nassim Soleimanpour, who was denied a passport for refusing to serve in his country’s armed forces. The script is read cold every night by a new actor, including School of Drama instructors Richard Sloniker on May 3 and Mark Jenkins on May 5. Presented by the Undergraduate Theatre Society and the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre May 3-4 and Hutchinson Hall’s Cabaret Theater May 5-6. $5 admission will go to charity.
Geography Department Reel-to-Reel Series, 2:30 p.m., May 7, 21.The Geography Department’s Reel-to-Reel film series will continue with screenings from 2:30 to 4:20 p.m. on May 7 and 21, both in Allen Auditorium.
May 7: “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces,” a film by urban advocate William H. Whyte about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others dont.
May 21: “The Garden,” about a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles under threat by development.
Fred Radke and the Harry James Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. May 7. “Fred Radke is a living link to the Golden Age of Big Band,” notes from the School of Music say. “A professional musician since age 15, Radke was hired by the great bandleader Harry James in the late 1960s to perform in his orchestra, and he worked under James for more than a decade. Since 1989, he has carried on the legacy as director of the Harry James Orchestra, touring with a 16-member group of top-notch big band players paying tribute to one of the legends of the swing era.” He’ll be joined by fellow UW faculty member vocalist Gina Funes at Meany Hall. Admission is free, though tickets are required.
“The Illusion,” through May 6. The School of Drama’s play by Pierre Corneille, adapted by Tony Kushner, continues at the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse. The play features students in the Professional Actor Training Program. Tickets are $10.
3D4M exhibit, through May 18. Showing work by graduating bachelor of fine arts students from the 3D4M (3-Dimensional Forum): ceramics/glass/sculpture program in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. Exhibit reception is 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.
Kohler Arts/Industry Residency: Two Perspectives, 7:30 p.m. May 10: School of Art faculty Amie McNeel and Timea Tihanyi discuss their experiences at the Kohler Co. Factory in Wisconsin last autumn. Henry Art Gallery. Free with museum admission.
Ted Poor with Tom Collier and Dan Dean, 7:30 p.m. May 11. The School of Music and the Improvised Music Project Festival present a performance in the Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theater by guest drummer Ted Poor, known for his work with trumpeter Cuong Vu, in concert with Tom Collier, chair of percussion studies, bassist Dan Dean and students from the UW Jazz Studies Program. It’s the final installment of this years Mallethead Series. The Seattle group Operation ID, whose five members have strong ties to the UW Jazz Studies Program, opens with a set of its self-christened “bionic synth-pop.” Tickets are $5-$10, cash or check at the door.
- Next week: “Queering the Art Museum,” with the Simpson Center.