Weekender: Celebrations, Concerts and a Play Coming Up at Mondavi

Grammy Award Winning Duo Rodrigo y Gabriela Perform Sunday; Pride Events

Grammy Award winning duo Rodrigo y Gabriela will perform at Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis, on Sunday.

Davis Pride returns with colorful crosswalks, events

In 2015, after a 10 year hiatus, the board of the Davis Phoenix Coalition revived the community celebration event formally known as the Lesbian and Gay Picnic Day. Davis Pride is an all inclusive family friendly celebration for members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. Events this year include:

Saturday, June 3: The free Skate with Pride, 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Park, Fourth and C streets.

Sunday, June 4: The annual Run for Equality begins at 8 a.m.

Sunday, June 4: The ninth annual Davis Pride Festival kicks off after the run, with a community fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Central Park, and live music – including a drag revue – from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free to this family-friendly event.

Friday, June 23: A Ride with Pride bike party excursion meeting at Central Park at 6 p.m.

People of many ages chalk out a crosswalk in Davis
Volunteers work on drawing colorful crosswalks on Fifth Street as part of the annual Davis Pride events. (Wendy Weitzel/photography)


Learn more here.

On the UC Davis campus, find out about a Queer Flower Garden. See the video from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences below.


Mental Health Break with Therapy Fluffies is back with new date

Thursday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Take a mental health break and sit down with a therapy fluffy to draw their portrait. Borrow a page from Roy De Forest’s work and incorporate googly eyes. Get a little silly. Boop a floof and feel less stressed. Plus, learn about on-campus resources from SHARED, a club aimed at supporting the physical and mental health of UC Davis Aggies.

Special thanks to Lend A Heart Animal-Assisted Therapy.

Multi-colored dog received attention from young woman


Ongoing:'Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985' at Manetti Shrem

Through July 15

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics, and to the story of California art.

The exhibition integrates paintings and films by Henderson that offer new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afro-futurism and surrealism. Challenging the protocols and propriety of art-making in the 20th century, these works depict scenes of anti-Black violence as well as utopian visions and questions of self-making. Curated by Sampada Aranke (Ph.D. ’13) and Dan Nadel.

Read more about Henderson and this exhibition here.

'Examining Speech and Song Surrogacy in the Yorùbá Dùndún Talking Drum'

(Ethno)musicology forum:  Kristina Knowles; June 1, 4 – 5:30 pm, Room 266, Everson Hall

The Yorùbá dùndún drum serves dual purposes as a musical instrument and speech surrogate. This talk shares a series of interdisciplinary studies that explore the dùndún’s ability to acoustically represent Yorùbá speech and song and potential factors that may contribute to the successful decoding of drum messages. The first half of the talk will focus on results from a set of acoustic analyses conducted on a corpus of Yorùbá speech and song excerpts and their representation on the dùndún, focusing on microstructural correlations in pitch and rhythmic features. The second half will discuss a cross-cultural behavioral study exploring the role of individual differences in language and musical expertise on the effectiveness of speech and song surrogacy recognition.

Kristina Knowles is a music theorist with research specialties in rhythm and meter, music and time, music theory pedagogy, 20th-century music, and music cognition. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music theory and music cognition at ASU, and has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences in the fields of music theory and music cognition, including the Society for Music Theory, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and the European Music and Analysis Conference. Her most recent publications include chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Time (2022) and Expanding the Canon: Black Composers in the Music Theory Classroom (2023) and an article in Contemporary Music Review (2022) on rhythm and meter in works by George Crumb. Currently, she is working on several multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects as well as a larger project examining experiences of time in music.

At the Pitzer this week and next

Valente Lecture: Olin Hannum on writing for wind ensemble 

June 1, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Recital Hall. Ann E. Pitzer Center

Olin Hannum (B.A. music ‘09) is the Associate Director of Bands at Oregon State University. In that capacity he oversees and directs all aspects of the Athletic Bands program, including the Oregon State University Marching Band, Rhythm and Beavs travel band, Basketball Bands, and other ensembles. In addition to the Athletic Bands program, Hannum conducts and directs the Wind Symphony, and teaches other courses in music.

Portrait in black and white of man in jacket and white shirt

Hannum is an active composer, with works for wind ensemble, brass ensemble, and various solo instruments. His works have been performed around the country, and are published through Murphy Music Press. In addition to his composition work, Hannum is a sought-after arranger for marching ensemble. His arrangements have been performed by competitive and non-competitive groups at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels across the west coast.

Hannum is a brass player, holding a degree in French horn performance from UC Davis. He has notably appeared with the Golden State Wind Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Wind Ensemble. In addition to ensembles, he holds recording and live credits from a performing career in the Sacramento and Bay Areas.

Hannum is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and serves as the chapter sponsor for the Theta chapter. He is a member of CBDNA and NAFME.

Musics of the World

June 1, 2 – 4 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Performers include Gamelan, Mariachi, Bluegrass and Old Time String Band and Samba School. 

Musics of the World Performance includes musicians playing various instruments
Courtesy photo

Percussion Ensemble UC Davis

June 2, 4 – 5 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The program includes Thierry De May: Table Music (1985), Mario Bertoncini: Tune (1965) for Amplified Cymbals and other works.

Musician playing percussion instrument on darkened stage
Courtesy photo.

Student Recital: Jacob Green, Saxophone

June 2, 6 – 7:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The program includes William Bolcom: Selection from the Concert Suite, Michael Nyman: Shaping the Curve, Jeffrey Hoover: Gabriel and three jazz tunes.

Rita Sahai and UC Davis celebrate 20 years of Hindustani vocal music

June 4, 3 – 5 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The Hindustani Vocal Ensemble of UC Davis featuring Rita Sahai, vocalist and UC Davis lecturer in music.

Woman with dark hair in red cultural costume on stage
Rita Sahai (Som Sharma/Photo)

Jazz Big Bands of UC Davis

Tuesday, June 6, 7 p.m., Ann E. Pitzer Center

UC Davis's own Jazz "Big Bands" present songs from the Great American Songbook as well as a few contemporary works and sometimes feature student vocalists too. Tunes by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and many others are often presented.


9th Annual DFS Film Fest at Manetti Shrem

Friday, June 2, 7 – 9 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Join the Davis Filmmaking Society for its annual student-run film festival celebrating student films.

Organized by the Davis Filmmaking Society. Co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra: Fate & Alter Ego

Saturday, June 3, 7 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

Conductor directs orchestra on stage

This program features Philip Glass’s popular first concerto for violin, with his iconic sound: open, full of motion, and yet without a lot of tonal changes. The soloist is Chase Spruill, who is a champion of Glass’s violin music. This contrasts with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony: regal and full of dueling themes, and which also features one of his best waltzes.  

Philip Glass’s First Violin Concerto was his first piece written for the concert hall. Unlike many of his previous works — operas, film scores, and more — the piece is thrilling on its own without added audio-visual elements. The piece features a moving first movement, a romantic second, and a rousing finale that fades gently away like a wonderful memory. As the composer said in a biography, “I composed the piece in 1987 thinking, let me write a piece that my father would have liked […] A very smart nice man who had no education in music whatsoever, but the kind of person who fills up concert halls. They’re the people that keep the whole business going.”

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth is — to borrow a phrase from Star Wars — a duel of fates. He half-attempted suicide only a year before by wading into the ice-cold Moscow River, hoping to catch a fatal illness. Tchaikovsky struggled with how he was viewed by the public (which he feared suspected his homosexuality), and his Fifth Symphony might reflect this struggle.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Rodrigo y Gabriela: In Between Thoughts...A New World Tour with special guest Bahamas

Sunday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

Mondavi musical artists, man and woman, on dark background
Courtesy photo

Grammy Award winning duo Rodrigo y Gabriela grew up on an eclectic mix of classic rock, heavy metal and flamenco, a rare alchemy of influences that still informs their work today. Not long after the dissolution of their first band, the two musicians set off with their acoustic guitars and ended up in Ireland, where they soon ran out of money and began busking on Dublin’s Grafton Street — a turn of events that led to their crossing paths with Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice, who then asked them to open for him at an early headline show. As they developed their distinct breed of guitar music, Rodrigo y Gabriela quickly gained recognition for their extraordinary live show and made their full-length debut with 2002’s re-Foc. Along with turning out 8 additional acclaimed and kaleidoscopic albums over the years: including Area 52 (a 2012 effort made with a Cuban orchestra), 9 Dead Alive (a 2014 release that spotlighted their more rock-leaning sensibilities) and the 2020 Grammy winning Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Mettavolution, the duo has cemented their status as a globally renowned live act. Among their many successes: performing at The White House for the President and First Lady of Mexico at a 2010 event hosted by Barack Obama; headlining the Jazz World stage at Glastonbury; selling out major venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Sydney Opera House; and performing to massive crowds in such far-flung cities as Tokyo and Paris. 2023 sees the release of their most ambitious project yet, the Advaita Vedanta inspired In Between Thoughts...A New World, which features their signature dual guitar attack augmented by a full orchestra, and a corresponding world tour.

VIP Packages are available. Find more information here

Woodland Community College Student Showcase at Gallery 625

June 2 – Aug. 1

YoloArts is collaborating with Woodland Community College Art Professor Manuel Fernansdo Rios to present this student showcase of drawings and paintings.

This exhibition features exceptional WCC student work including the 2023 Kingsley Merit Scholarship Award finalists, A. A., Carol Butzbach, Andres Marquez, Joey Sable and Daniel Zapata-Kraft.

Coming Up

'Open, Stay' theatre production at Mondavi

June 7, 8, 9, 7 – 8 p.m., June 10, 2 – 3 p.m.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present Open, Stay, a new musical, June 7 – 10 in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Three actors on stage, two drinking from mugs, another on cell phone,.
Ainsley O'Bryan, Chenyu "Jack" Yang and Jenna Rodriguez perform in "Open, Stay" at Mondavi next week. ( Katherine Hung/photo)

Open, Stay is a vibrant contemporary musical that explores romance in all forms - from thrilling first encounters to bittersweet goodbyes. The musical is a collection of ten moments of connection — beginnings, endings and in-betweens, as well as the moments that come long after we part ways. It is an exploration of how we love and how we lose one another, all connected by the need that brings us together — the need for each other.

The production was developed with gender neutrality in mind. The performance encourages casts of different gender expressions and the entire company has been formed through gender-blind casting.

Featuring music and lyrics by Anna DeNoia and arranged/orchestrated by Joshua Villa, the show masterfully weaves together musical genres to create an evening of laughter, romantic resilience and lessons learned. Open, Stay will be directed by Broadway veteran Mindy Cooper with music direction by Graham Sobelman. 

Listen to excerpts from Open, Stay on the show’s website. 

Adult tickets are $15, faculty/staff tickets are $12 and student/senior tickets are $5. Tickets are available at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office in person or by calling 530-754-2787 between noon and 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Tickets are also available online here.

Student Chamber Ensembles

June 8, 12:05 pm - 2:30 pm, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert, free

The program includes Steve Reich: NY Counterpoint for 11 Clarinets and other works. 

Arts & Humanities 2023 Graduate Exhibition

June 8, 11 a.m. – June 26, 6 p.m.

This year’s Arts and Humanities Graduate Exhibition, running June 9 – 25 at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, features student work from across the College of Letters and Science. Thirty graduate students from history, performance studies, English, design, art history and art studio will present their research exploring the pressing issues of our time, including environmental destruction, racism and immigration, while offering both practical and idealistic ways of thinking about and solving problems, or engaging with personal experiences, memory and aesthetic practices.  

At the opening reception June 9 from 6 to 9 p.m., winners of the LeShelle & Gary May Art Purchase Prize, the Keister & Allen Art Purchase Prize, and Savageau Award in the Department of Design will be announced. The following day, on Friday, June 9, art history students will present their theses in the Art History Graduate Symposium from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Find more information about participating students here

Choruses of UC Davis: 'Full Circle'

June 8, 7 – 8 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, $12 Students and Children, $24 Adults (Open Seating)

The program includes Florence Price: Song of Hope, Price: Resignation conducted by undergraduate music major Natalie Laurie, Amy Beach: The Chambered Nautilus for Chorus and Orchestra, Trad. / Arr. J. David Moore: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Hildegard von Bingen: O virtus sapientie, J.S. Bach: Chorale from Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 and Stephen Paulus: The Road Home.

Purchase tickets here

Media Resources

Media contact:

  • Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog Editor, 530-219-5472

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