Arts & Culture

Singletary Signature Series High on Star Power


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2010) − The stars are aligning for this year's Singletary Signature Series at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. In a season that includes pop, jazz and classical music concerts, as well as international dance productions, Kentucky audiences will have the opportunity to catch jazz greats like Dave Sanborn and Branford Marsalis, the award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, premier violinist Itzhak Perlman and rockers like Chris Isaak and UK alumnus Glenn Kotche.

But the impressive line-up is not a surprise to Michael Grice, director of the Singletary Center. "When you have fantastic sponsors, smart, enquiring audiences and a superb concert hall, bringing the world’s finest performing artists to Lexington isn’t all that difficult."

The 2010-2011 season will open with the phenomenal composer Marvin Hamlisch, in concert with UK Symphony Orchestra. Hamlisch has won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards. His groundbreaking show, "A Chorus Line," received the Pulitzer Prize. Hamlisch, composer of more than 40 motion picture scores including the Oscar award-winning score and song for "The Way We Were," holds the position of principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and San Diego Symphony. Marvin Hamlisch will take the Singletary stage, as part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival, Oct. 2

Next up for the Signature Series line-up will be the Dave Sanborn Band, led by the six-time Grammy award-winning saxophone player. Internationally renowned as one of the greatest saxophone players of all-time, Sanborn is an artist whose music has inspired countless other musicians while creating a body of work that spans the genres of rock 'n' roll, r&b, pop and jazz. Credited for helping define the saxophone's modern sound, he has worked with such music legends as Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon and James Taylor. Presented as part of both the Alltech Fortnight Festival and the UK Spotlight Jazz Series, the Dave Sanborn Band will play Oct. 9.

Closing out the busy month of October is a celebrated Philippine dance troupe, the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company. Through the years, this colorful and energetic company became the first Filipino group to break onto Broadway; the first non-American dance company to perform at the New York State Theater of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and the first Filipino cultural group to perform in Russia and China. Created in 1957, the dance company is tasked to research and preserve indigenous Philippine art forms in music, dance, costumes and folklore, and to restructure this exploration to evolve repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater. The Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company will grace the Singletary Center with a performance Oct. 28.


Jazz star power returns to the stage in November as the popular saxophonist Branford Marsalis swings into town. The noted saxophonist is a man of numerous musical interests, from jazz, blues and funk to such classical music projects as his fall 2008 tour with Marsalis Brasilianos. He continues to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, composer, and head of Marsalis music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world's most promising new and established artists. A three-time Grammy award-winner, Marsalis recently took the 2010 Drama Desk award for "Outstanding Music in a Play" for his work on the Broadway revival of August Wilson's "Fences" and is a current Tony award nominee. The Branford Marsalis concert, also part of the Spotlight Jazz Series, is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Wrapping up 2010, Chris Isaak comes to the Singletary Center this December. From his 1985 debut to this latest effort, Isaak has tunefully and artfully explored the good, the bad and the ugly of love, as well as other matters of profound human interest. He has consistently delivered, both onstage and in the studio on a series of accomplished albums from "Silvertone," "Chris Isaak," "Heart Shaped World," "San Francisco Day," "Forever Blue," the largely acoustic "Baja Sessions," "Speak of the Devil," "Always Got Tonight" and 2009's "Mr. Lucky." Isaak's newest CD balances the ecstasy of romance with the agony of heartbreak. In addition to the studio and concert stage, Isaak has starred in his critically acclaimed Showtime musical comedy series, "The Chris Isaak Show," and the newly developed "Chris Isaak Hour" on the Biography Channel. Chris Isaak will command the stage on Dec. 11.

In 2011, the Singletary Signature Series welcomes UK alumnus and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche back to his alma mater for Bang on a Can All-Stars with Glenn Kotche. Formed in 1987 by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe, Bang on a Can's mission is to give the most persuasive and exciting performances of the most genre-defying music in the world. Described as part rock band and part amplified chamber group using cello, keyboard, electric guitar, bass and drums, each concert's players bring otherworldly experiences back to their life with the All-Stars to help create an intense, hard-rocking approach to performance. A master percussionist, Kotche is part of the Grammy award-winning modern rock group Wilco. Bang on a Can All-Stars with Glenn Kotche will rock the Singletary Center Jan. 30, 2011.

Classical music superstar Itzhak Perlman comes to the Bluegrass next March for a concert with UK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Nardolillo. The reigning virtuoso of the violin, Perlman performed in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Not new to presidential recognition, President Reagan granted the violinist the "Medal of Honor" and President Clinton awarded him the "National Medal of the Arts." Perlman also performs as a conductor with leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. The recipient of four Emmy awards and 15 Grammy awards, Perlman devotes considerable time to education in his participation in the Perlman Music Program and his teaching at the Juilliard School, where he holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair. The concert featuring Itzhak Perlman is March 5.

The Moscow Festival Ballet will return to Lexington to close out the Singletary Signature Series with "Sleeping Beauty." A crowning jewel of Marius Petipa's career, "Sleeping Beauty" is often considered the finest achievement of the classical ballet. Tchaikovsky penned the music for the ballet based on Charles Perrault's well-known fairy tale. "Sleeping Beauty," the first of Petipa's classics to be seen in Western Europe, was presented under the title "The Sleeping Princess" by Serge Diaghilev in London in 1921. Remounted in 1939 in Great Britain, the ballet has been considered the foundation of classical ballet repertory in that country ever since. Adopted worldwide, a performance of the leading role remains a kind of initiation rite for aspiring ballerinas. Moscow Festival Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty" dances onto Singletary's stage March 24.

Tickets prices vary for 2010-2011 Singletary Signature Series performances and are on sale now. The Singletary Center also is offering a 4 for $64 sampler package of four tickets to Dave Sanborn Band; Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company; Bang on a Can All-Stars with Glenn Kotche; and "Sleeping Beauty" by the Moscow Festival Ballet.

Tickets to Singletary Signature Series shows can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at (859) 257-4929, visiting online at, or in person at the venue.