Weekender: Find Afro-Cuban, Pacific Themes For Concerts, Lectures

'Mary Poppins' Screens Free at Pitzer

Two men sitting on couch with red background
Grammy-nominated artists Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez will perform music with Afro-Cuban and Jazz roots Saturday at Mondavi Center. See story below (Courtesy)

Quick Summary

  • Many events are free or low-cost

Magela Herrera Quartet concert Thursday, graduate students Friday

Thursday, Feb. 23, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert, free

Dark-complected woman on left with teal background

Singer, flutist and composer Magela Herrera brings her quartet to campus for a Thursday Shinkoskey Noon Concert of her music and a concert of new pieces by doctoral music composition students (Friday). A native of Cuba, Herrera grew up immersed in her family’s deep ties to Afro Cuban music and also studied classical music at the Conservatory of Music in Havana. She earned degrees in jazz performance from the Norwegian Academy of Music. Herrera is known for bringing those influences together.

The Thursday program includes Magela Herrera, flute and voice; Yorgis Garcia, bass; Yissy Calzadilla, drums; and Edgar Pantoja-Aleman, piano.

The Magela Herrera Quartet: “Works by Graduate Students” will take place Friday, Feb. 24, 5 – 6 p.m. in Recital Hall in the Ann E. Pitzer Center includes new songs by UC Davis graduate student composers—Peter Chatterjee: Escondidom, Trey Makler: Night City, Dean Kervin Boursiquot: Soft Pillow (talk), Joseph Vasinda: Footprints, and Emily Joy Sullivan: Fontanelles. This event is free.

Composer Shuying Li will give Valente lecture

Valente Lecture: Shuying Li, Composer (Assistant Professor of Music, California State University, Sacramento)

Feb. 23, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Room 230, Music Building

Woman with dark hair standing in front of white geometric background

Praised by the Seattle Times as “a real talent” with “skillful orchestral writing, very colorful language and huge waves of sound,” Shuying Li is an award-winning composer who began her musical education in her native China. In her sophomore year at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, she won a scholarship to continue her undergraduate studies at The Hartt School in Connecticut. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and is a research faculty member at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. A passionate educator, Shuying has taught and directed the Composition/Music Theory Program at Gonzaga University. She joined the faculty at California State University, Sacramento in fall 2022.

Recent or upcoming projects include performances by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Chelsea Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia; an opera commissioned by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with librettist Julian Crouch in development with the Houston Grand Opera supported by OPERA America; an orchestra consortium commission by ten orchestras; and two band consortium commissions including a CBDNA West/Northwest Region “Bridgework” Commission. For more information, visit her website.

Guest Lecture: 'Reggae Relations: Indigenous and Black Confluences in Hawai’i' by Sunaina Keonaona Kale [Kanaka Maoli]

Feb. 23, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Room 266, Everson Hall

Sunaina Keonaona Kale [Kanaka Maoli] is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Native American Studies, UC Davis. She holds a doctorate in ethnomusicology from UC Santa Barbara and received her bachelor’s degree in music from UC Davis in 2014. Kale researches reggae in Hawai’i, focusing on how the music relates to Native Hawaiian identity, both locally and globally. Her other research interests include the intersections of food sovereignty and music in Hawai’i. She is a former Charles Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College (2020–22) and received the Robert Walser and Susan McClary Fellowship from the Society for American Music (2019). The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Native American Studies.

2023 Templeton Colloquium in Art History: Pacific Encounters

Friday, Feb. 24, 4 – 7 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

This year’s colloquium takes as its theme an ocean as an art-historical space. Pacific peoples have for centuries connected to one another and to the bigger world, despite vast expanses involved in traversing this region of the globe. The emphasis will be on Hawaiian and Māori societies, which invite deeper consideration of this fascinating global sector and its visual culture.

The speakers are Dr. Ngarino Ellis, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Aotearoa); and Dr. Stacy Kamehiro and Dr. Kailani Polzak, both of UC Santa Cruz. Manetti Shrem Museum Academic Liaison Jennifer Wagelie, whose area of study is the art of the Pacific Islands, specifically Māori, will be the respondent.

Organized and moderated by Professor Michael Yonan. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History and the Manetti Shrem Museum. See the full story on the College of Letters and Science website here.

Music department hosts film screening and costume contest: Mary Poppins

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 – 4:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Everyone’s favorite flying nanny descends on the Ann E. Pitzer Center at UC Davis on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m., when the Department of Music presents a free screening of Walt Disney’s beloved film “Mary Poppins.”

Characters from early 1900s depicted in Mary Poppins movie photo.
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Matthew Garber as Michael Banks, Karen Dotrice as Jane Banks and Dick Van Dyke as Bert in Walt Disney's Mary Poppins (courtesy of Disney Enterprises).

The screening includes a costume contest. Who’s your favorite character? A chimney sweep? A penguin waiter? Mary Poppins herself? Come in costume! Perhaps you or your group will win a fabulous prize!

It is spring 1910. The very British Banks household is in a state of chaos. Their fifth nanny has quit, claiming that the children are completely unmanageable. Mr. and Mrs. Banks are beside themselves as they prepare an advisement for yet another nanny. When the wind shifts, however, a confident, primly dressed woman suddenly descends from the skies, aided by her parrot-headed umbrella. As if by magic, she restores order and brightens the Banks home through her decidedly unconventional methods of child-rearing.  

“‘Mary Poppins’ is a classic that means something new to every generation,” said Professor Carol A. Hess, who teaches an undergraduate class on Broadway and film musicals. “Its songs, performed by theatrical superstars such as Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, offer insight into the characters and also comment on the drama. The score was eventually used in the stage adaptation, which premiered on London’s West End in 2004.”

Originally released in 1964, the film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won five awards including Best Actress (Andrews in her film debut) and Best Original Song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Based on characters from P.L. Travers’ bestselling series of novels, the screenplay was written by Bill Walsh and Don DiGradi with songs by Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the film stars Andrews as Mary Poppins, Van Dyke as Bert, David Tomlinson as Mr. Banks and Glynis Johns as Mrs. Banks.

For more information about the College of Letters and Science’s Department of Music and future performances, visit arts.ucdavis.edu/music.

At the Mondavi this weekend

Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martinez perform Saturday

Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, (music video sample below)

Grammy-nominated artists Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez first worked together on Rodríguez’s 2012 release Invasion Parade. Since that initial recording session, they have had the rare occasion to perform together as a duo, leaving audiences completely mesmerized by their fearless and virtuosic playing. Each artist brings a different approach to the collaboration. Rodríguez was schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana, and his piano playing is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as it is by his Afro Cuban and jazz roots. Percussionist Martinez’s musical training came directly from the streets of the Cayo Hueso neighborhood of Old Havana in which he was raised.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Hinotori: The Wings of Phoenix by Yamato

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

Taiko ensemble in costume performing on stage

Yamato, one of the premiere Taiko ensembles in Japan, returns to the Mondavi Center celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a new production Hinotori: The Wings of Phoenix. The Wings of Phoenix recognizes the incredible challenges we have faced and, as dawn begins to break in the world, we climb new mountains with determination and confidence. This new show captures all of Yamato’s virtuosity, strength, spirit and sheer endurance. Yamato has given over 3,500 performances in 54 countries, bringing their spirit, enthusiasm and abundant joy to over 8 million fans, young and old.   

Find more information and purchase tickets here

Storytelling and Hip Hop Music: Honoring the Legacy of Conscious People

Feb. 26, 2 – 3:30 p.m., The Roberts Family Development Center, 770 Darina Avenue, Sacramento

Sandy Holman, Director of The Culture C.O-.O.P and MR. Lewis, Leader of Rebuilding The Culture and extraordinary hip hop artisan, invite you to a unique event weaving storytelling and historical hip hop music together with the intent to inspire, educate and celebrate rich African history. Utilizing the ancient oral tradition of the spoken word, interwoven with conscious, brilliant and uplifting hip hop music, this intimate gathering will encourage, educate, enlighten and elevate your mind, body and spirit. Partner with them as a sage Elder takes you on a “Sankofa.” MR Lewis cements the experience by sharing original powerful hip hop filled with truth, knowledge, and the call to live your best life. This event is for young and the old and is a loving boost to the heart and soul.

For the continued safety of our community, masks are strongly recommended.

Find more information here

Women of Northern California exhibit at John Natsoulas

Wednesday, March 1, 11 a.m. – April 1, 5 p.m., opening reception March 4, 7 – 9 p.m., John Natsoulas Art Gallery, Davis

The John Natsoulas Gallery, in celebrating Women’s History Month will hold an exhibition:  Women of Northern California: Making Meaning for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. This exceptional exhibit will showcase how women have and continue to develop unique artistic visions that derive from the varied social, political, and cultural experiences that are endemic to this particular region. Northern California is a unique nexus of influences, and the women who are a product of this environment have drawn from diverse sources of inspiration. 

This exhibition and the accompanying publication will contribute to the overdue recognition of many of these outstanding artists. While women have played a crucial role in building the regional artistic community and have pushed art making in new directions, their persisting exclusion from the artistic canon is an issue that needs correcting. This exhibit is a celebration of the strong, influential women who have led the way in establishing and developing artistic movements and media. It will also offer the opportunity to explore the many ways in which these artists have contextualized and represent their experiences living as women in Northern California. Through this examination of both historic and contemporary art, the collection of art will highlight the tenacity of the artistic legacies that women establish, often for other women. By looking at the past and present, we aim to reveal the vision of the future. 

The opening reception for the exhibition will have refreshments and a performance by one of the featured artists – Allison Fall. Come enjoy a night to celebrate seven decades of art by Northern California’s most notable women artists. 

Coming Up

Chris Froh, Percussion

Thursday, March 2, 2023 - 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, a Shinkoskey noon concert, free

Chris Froh, solo percussion and UC Davis lecturer in music

The program includes Javier Alvarez: Temezcal, Philippe Manoury: Solo de Vibraphone from Le Livres Des Claviers, Chris Froh: Elusive A, Steve Reich: Drumming (Part II).

'Musics of the World' winter quarter performance

March 2, 2023 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The performance includes the Gamelan Ensemble, Hindustani Vocal Ensemble, Mariachi UC Davis, Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Bluegrass and Old Time String Band, and Capoeira.

Senior recital: Louie Lee, Clarinet

Friday, March 3, 2023 - 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, free

The program includes Robert Muczynski: Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Heinrich Sutermeister: Capriccio for Solo Clarinet in A Major, Francis Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Art by Cathi Newlin & Toni Rizzo at the Pence Gallery

March 3 – April 30, reception: March 10, 6 – 9 p.m., Pence Gallery

The Pence Gallery unites the fantastic work of sculptor Cathi Newlin and painter Toni Rizzo. Toni Rizzo’s signature style combines serene and psychedelic backgrounds with high realism portraiture. Featuring everything from wild animals to household furniture, her work has a surreal, timeless quality that evokes a feeling of “home.” Cathi Newlin is a ceramic sculptor. She uses real and imagined animals as the theme of her creative work. Both artists have a light-hearted, playful take on artmaking that leads them to explore imagery full of fantasy, surrealism or comedic exaggeration.


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