On behalf of the entire staff, I welcome you to the McAninch Arts Center. We are so happy you are here and welcome you to our MAC family and hope you feel at home. We want this to be your home to unplug and connect to an evening filled with laughter, music, dance, or theatre. We strive to inspire you through unique and inspiring theater experiences. We hope to transcend your expectations with excellent service and special pre and post-show engagement opportunities that help you connect to the artists and art forms more deeply. While you are here, don't forget to take some time to visit the Cleve Carney Museum of Art in the Lobby to experience cutting-edge contemporary art or enjoy our full-service concession area.
When you leave, please stay connected to us by joining us on Facebook (AtTheMac) or by joining our e-newsletter to find out about added shows, events, and special offers (www.AtTheMAC.org). This year we challenge you to try something new at the MAC and expand your cultural palate. We invite you to join us for our free Global Flicks Film Series in February, to attend one of our student productions, or to join us this summer for the Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop Exhibition.
We are thrilled that you have joined us, and if you should need anything during your visit, please don't hesitate to ask any of the staff, and we will do our best to accommodate you. We know you have many choices, and we are grateful you chose us. We sincerely hope you have a wonderful time and look forward to entertaining you.
Enjoy the show!
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents touring initiative provides an affordable opportunity to present great jazz programming, featuring up-and-coming musicians who have been identified as rising stars by JALC. The initiative also allows for expansion of the mission of JALC “to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy.”
Songs We Love was first presented as the 2016 Season Opener at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Songs We Love is a journey through the first 50 years of jazz song. Under the musical direction of Riley Mulherkar, three guest vocalists join an all-star band made up of New York’s rising stars. Combining their distinct talents, the group will sing their way through four decades of music, beginning with the early blues and jazz of the 1920s and ending in the early 1950s. Iconic singers to be explored include Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.
Jazz at Lincoln Center is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio programs, television broadcasts, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, jazz appreciation curricula for students, music publishing, children’s concerts and classes, lectures, adult education courses, student and educator workshops, a record label, and interactive websites. Under the leadership of Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman Clarence Otis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of events each season in its home in New York City, Frederick P. Rose Hall, and around the world. For more information, visit jazz.org.
IMG Artists is a global leader of performing arts, social media, and festival and events management. For more than thirty years, the company has set the standard for excellence across fields of artist and celebrity management, touring, dance and attractions, festival and event management and cultural consulting. Their specialists in offices across four continents offer unparalleled international reach and depth of experience to the company’s artists, clients and partners.
Trumpeter and bandleader Riley Mulherkar has been recognized as a “smart young trumpet player” by The New York Times, praised by The Wall Street Journal as an artist “to keep an eye on,” and is a 2020 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award for his work as “an original bandleader, composer, arranger, educator, community activist and advocate for jazz and the arts.” Mulherkar works with a number of leading artists of our time, including Wynton Marsalis, Anna Deavere Smith, and Alan Cumming, and is a founding member of The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet that creates the rarest of hybrids: music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Mulherkar also serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at Joye in Aiken, bringing leading young talent to the historic city of Aiken, South Carolina.
With a voice that embodies grace and passion and a personal style that sways effortlessly from jazz to R&B to gospel, Shenel Johns has emerged as one of the shining stars of her generation. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Johns has been performing since she was fourteen years of age, and has developed a distinctive, eclectic style that has increasingly caught the attention of her peers and some of the industry’s top performers. Johns received a B.A. in music management from the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School of Music and studied performance with such jazz legends as Rene McLean, Jimmy Greene, and Nat Reeves. She has shared the stage with music royalty including Curtis Fuller, Hank Jones, Dionne Warwick, and Sheila Jordan, and has performed and recorded with an impressive array of leaders in the field. In 2016, Johns completed a musical residency at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha in Qatar and, several months later, honored Billie Holiday as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s New York production of Billie and the Boys. She has also paid tribute to another of her idols, Lena Horne, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s famed Appel Room. Most recently, Johns was the winner of the Riga Jazz Stage Competition in Riga, Latvia, and was featured in the Hartford Jazz Festival’s Ella Fitzgerald Tribute.
Young South African jazz vocalist Vuyo Sotashe (vocals) is gradually making his mark in the New York jazz scene. Sotashe moved to NYC in 2013 after being awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master of Music degree at William Paterson University. Since then, he has gone on to win first prize at the very first Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2014, and performed on the festival's main stage in February of 2015. More recently, he won the Audience Prize Award and placed second overall at the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in 2015, held at the annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In the same year, he placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal competition, where he was the very first male vocalist ever to place in the competition's finals. Vuyo is also the winner of the biggest music scholarship competition in South Africa, the South African Music Rights Foundation Scholarship, where he performed for the former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Vuyo Sotashe is currently performing around New York City with the noted drummer Winard Harper, whose credits include work with Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, and many other legends in jazz.
Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Brianna Thomas grew up surrounded by music. Under the guiding hand of her talented father, at the age of eight she won her first of thirteen trophies from various district and regional talent shows and was soon performing for a variety of black tie affairs and as a guest on local radio stations, eventually touring Europe with the Peoria Jazz All-Stars. Thomas is the youngest person ever to be inducted into Peoria’s African-American Hall of Fame at the age of thirteen in 1996. Thomas’ singing is deeply enriched by an understanding of the masterful voices of jazz past, including Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dianne Reeves. She has performed at the Montreux, North Sea, and Umbria Jazz Festivals and in venues ranging from the Bahamas to Geneva, Switzerland. Thomas was a resident in both the 2001 and 2002 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead programs, an international artist-in-residence program with a focus on original compositions at the Kennedy Center. Legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller hails her as “a marvelous new artist who has all it takes to reach the top of the jazz profession and music in general.”
Andy Clausen is a New York-based trombonist, composer, producer, and educator. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Clausen has served as principal conductor and Artistic Director for Jazz at New York Youth Symphony since 2016, and in 2021 joined the faculty of The New School as an Artist in Residence and professor of trombone and composition. As a composer, Clausen has worked in a variety of formats, from orchestral and large ensemble commissions, classical and jazz chamber music projects, to numerous film, television, radio, and podcast productions. Clausen has appeared at such wide-ranging venues as Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks, Coachella, The Kennedy Center, Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Pitchfork Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez
Evan Harris is a New York-based saxophonist and composer whose passion for jazz has informed his “vividly evocative” (Words About Music) sound on the saxophone. Harris leads his own ensemble, the Evan Harris Quintet, which performs his original compositions, drawing inspiration from the panoramas and cityscapes that have shaped his recent past. The Evan Harris Quintet has appeared in New York City, as a headline act at the 2019 DC Jazz Festival, and across Australia for a national album launch tour, presenting Harris’ debut album Skylines. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Harris has established himself with performance credits ranging from Miguel Zenon’s Identities are Changeable to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Wynton Marsalis Quintet. At the formative age of 26, Harris has been acknowledged with a number of accolades, including the title of 2018 Young Australian Jazz Musician of the Year. Having graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Music, Harris was awarded the University Medal, a credit recognizing the most distinguished graduate. He subsequently completed a Master of Music (Jazz Studies) degree at The Juilliard School in 2018.
Photo credit Oliva Chindamo
Mathis Picard is a French-Malagasy pianist, composer, producer, and bandleader who currently resides in New York City. Rooted in the tradition of live acoustic performance while incorporating the latest technology, Picard creates his own musical style influenced by his multi-national background. Picard, who began playing the piano at the age of three, was immediately passionate about music's healing quality and now focuses on sharing that passion globally. Picard currently leads a solo project, a trio project and his orchestra, The Sound Orchestra. Picard has had the honor of working with artists such as Ron Carter, Lillias White, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour, Daniel J. Watts, DJ Kindness, Braxton Cook, Veronica Swift, Etienne Charles, and more.
TJ Reddick is an American musician and educator, as well as a graduate from The Juilliard School. He currently resides in New York City, which has led to collaborations with artists including Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chick Corea, Jon Batiste, Nicholas Payton, Alicia Olatuja, Will Downing, Mwenso and the Shakes, and many more. He has performed at many venues including Radio City Music Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Balboa Theatre, Adrienne Arsht Center, Smalls, The Blue Note, Smoke, the Marciac Jazz Festival, Belize Jazz Festival, Jacksonville Jazz festival, Jacksonville Bethel Baptist Church, Greater Refuge Temple, Mattox Revival Center, and City Tabernacle. Reddick believes art shapes and gives color to the world we live in, and that art plays an integral role in building communities.
New York City-based acoustic/electric bassist and composer Barry Stephenson (bass) has been acclaimed as “one of the most sought-after bassists on the scene today.” Released in 2020, Barry’s The Iconoclast was nominated for the NAACP Image Award® for Outstanding Jazz Album (Instrumental), and was notably the only independently-produced album in a category that included work by Jon Batiste, George Burton, Christian Sands, and Immanuel Wilkins. Stephenson has performed and toured extensively with TV personality, musician, and bandleader Jon Batiste and Stay Human, including regular appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and performances at a variety of festivals, including the Monterey, Montreaux, Montreal, Newport, North Sea, Umbria, and Playboy Jazz festivals. He has also performed at rock festivals including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Stephenson has been featured on recent episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Godfather of Harlem. Stephenson has performed with many internationally-recognized jazz, blues, and soul artists, including Nicholas Payton, David Sanborn, Seal, the late Freddie Cole, Diane Schuur, the late Henry Butler, Mark Whitfield, Cyrille Aimee, Etienne Charles, and Theo Croker.
McAninch Arts Center acknowledges and gives grateful thanks to those donors who have contributed in support of the MAC mission and vision. This list of donors reflects contributions made from July 1, 2021 – Jan. 30 2023. While we carefully prepared this list, we recognize that errors may have occurred. Please accept our apology if you are not properly represented on this list and contact the College of DuPage Foundation at (630) 942-2462 so we may correct our records.