FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Livermore Valley Arts
Contact: Ruth Egherman (925) 583-2306
Livermore Valley Arts Announces Exciting 2023 Summer Season &
A Pop Rock Music Legend at The Bankhead
Livermore, CA – (February 9, 2023) –
Livermore Valley Arts is thrilled to announce its bustling 2023 summer season in Downtown Livermore, as well as a star treat before the warmer months! Kicking off the summer party, The Bankhead is excited to welcome female heavy hitters of comedy Paula Poundstone making a welcome return visit to Livermore on June 10 and “the funniest woman in the world” (Judd Apatow) Maria Bamford on July 21. The girl power this summer continues, this time with music, as acclaimed pianist and composer Keiko Matsui and “five women who know their way around a bandstand” Mustangs of the West also make triumphant return visits to The Bankhead, on August 4 and August 19 respectively. Capping off all these fabulous performances will be an event for the family, as ‘America’s Favorite Mystifier’ and America’s Got Talent Finalist Mike Super will bring all the Magic and Illusion on August 25. As if this stellar lineup wasn’t enough, LVA is also elated to announce an absolute music icon as an addition for this spring, before the summer season opens: one-half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist, the John Oates, will be rocking The Bankhead on April 14 in an acoustic set. Rounding out the spring and summer, Courtyard Concerts will also be returning, helping to kick off Tri-Valley weekends with a toast and some cool music in the stunning Madden Courtyard at The Bankhead. All of these exciting performances will be at the beautiful Bankhead Theater in Downtown Livermore. Tickets to John Oates, the 2023 Summer Season, and the 2023 Courtyard Concert Series will be on sale to members only beginning February 9 and on sale to the general public beginning February 16, 2023.
Kicking off summer 2023 at The Bankhead will be the side-splitting comic genius herself, Paula Poundstone, known for her smart, observational humor and spontaneous wit that has become the stuff of legend. Paula can be heard weekly as the host of the comedy podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, and as a regular panelist on NPR’s comedy news quiz Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Also an author, Poundstone’s second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness (Algonquin 2017) was one of eight semi-finalists for The Thurber Prize for American Humor, the highest recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States. The audiobook was one of five finalists for the Audio Book of the Year AUDIE award. Groundbreaking in so many ways, Paula was the first female comic, in its then 73rd year, to perform at the White House Correspondents dinner. She was the first female standup, in its then 5th year, to win the ACE award for Best Comedy Special on Cable television. She is recognized in innumerable lists, documentaries, and literary compendiums noting influential standup comedians of our time, and The Bankhead cannot wait to welcome her back with open arms to crack up the Tri-Valley on June 10.
The next month on July 21, The Bankhead will be presenting another force of female comedy, Maria Bamford, who Stephen Colbert called his “favorite comedian on earth” and Judd Apatow said is “the funniest woman in the world.” Maria is the first female comic to have two half-hour “Comedy Central Presents” specials, as well as two well-received specials on Netflix called “The Special Special Special” and “Old Baby.” Awarded Best Club Comic at the American Comedy Awards and Breakout Comedy Star at the Montreal Comedy Festival, her critically acclaimed work includes her web series “The Maria Bamford Show” (featured at MOMA NY), “Ask My Mom” (recommended by The New Yorker), and her Netflix series “Lady Dynamite” (2 seasons). Beyond the screen, Maria’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, LA Weekly, and The Onion. She has 5 hours of stand-up available on iTunes that includes her latest recording “20%.” Maria has contributed comedic voiceovers for such animations as Netflix’s “Big Mouth” and “BoJack Horseman,” Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time,” PBS’s Emmy-winning series “Word Girl,” Nickelodeon’s “Kung Fu Panda” and “Legend of Korra,” and the international hit “Talking Tom and Friends.” For her mental health advocacy, she’s been presented with The OCD Foundation Illumination Award and featured at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, The Chautauqua Institution, and the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics Symposium.
Music kicks off August while the girl power continues, with acclaimed pianist, composer, and humanitarian Keiko Matsui‘s transcendent and haunting melodies, which have made her a worldwide icon in contemporary smooth jazz. Known for her original compositions, Matsui’s music transcends boundaries, creating a unique melting pot of musical influences that have earned her a devout and enthusiastic international audience. A consummate artist freely at home in any musical context, she borrows from such diverse idioms as jazz, classical, rock, blues, and traditional world music to create timeless, passionate, and emotional melodies that speak a universally appealing language. Matsui made her US recording debut with “Drop of Water” in 1987 and was twice named Best Female Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year. Of the 20 albums she has released, seven have appeared in the contemporary jazz Top 10 including “Deep Blue,” which reached number one in 2001 and topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts for three consecutive weeks, making her the first Japanese artist to achieve this honor. Additionally, “Dream Walk” (1996) remained on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart for over 15 months and further cemented her reputation as a force to be reckoned with. Her release “Soul Quest” celebrated her 25th anniversary in the music business and was acclaimed by The Washington Post as “one of her most accomplished and appealing.” Over the years, Matsui has collaborated and shared the stage with numerous musical luminaries, including Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, and Bob James. This dynamic, creative icon of music is coming back to Livermore on August 4.
A few weeks later on August 19, Mustangs of the West will also be returning to the Tri-Valley. As the poets often say, there is a time for everything and–once again–it is time for the Southern California band Mustangs of the West to make a break for daylight. The all-female quintet first made waves in the burgeoning Los Angeles music scene, starting in the late 1980s. When the Mustangs (as they were known then) appeared, they immediately turned heads and developed an energetic following that tagged them as leaders of a new musical brigade. Now named Mustangs of the West, band members have reunited to take up where they left off in the mid-’90s and make good on their early promise. Original Mustang and lead guitarist Sherry Rayn Barnett is again playing music with lead vocalist/guitarist Suzanna Spring and bassist/vocalist Holly Montgomery, joined by new members Aubrey Richmond (fiddle/vocals) and Suzanne Morissette (drums/percussion/vocals), on their new album TIME, released in 2020. Working with noted producer/engineer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, The Neville Brothers), Mustangs of the West sounds like a band now in the top tier of musicians who can blend a variety of styles into one of their very own. To hear band members talk about their present incarnation is to tune into five women who are dedicated to defining their new destiny with the commitment it takes to share it with the world. Bassist Holly Montgomery feels the new album title is very telling. “We picked TIME as the album title as a way of saying that we are only now coming into our own and sound better than ever before.” As Suzanne Morissette (drums/percussion/vocals) also says “The combination of our different backgrounds makes for a cool blend of styles. It’s one of the band’s greatest strengths.” For Mustangs of the West, this record and reunion is the reward for their belief in what they’d found together. The band had taken a 20-year break and has returned to show themselves stronger, with the thought that it is never too late to be your best, proving again that time really does take care of those who believe.
Right before the school year starts, families are invited to spend some time at The Bankhead with
Mike Super—Magic and Illusion. The only magician in history to win a live magic competition on primetime U.S. network television, Mike Super is the winner of NBC’s hit TV show PHENOMENON, and a top finalist from America’s Got Talent. He’s also appeared on numerous TV shows in the U.S. and abroad, and he has amazed Howie Mandel, Kim Kardashian, Louie Anderson, Howard Stern, Jeffery Katzenberg, Ariana Grande, Tina Fey, Heidi Klum, Nick Cannon, Penn & Teller, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Raven-Symone, Train, Kenny Chesney, and Criss Angel to name but a few! Mike’s ever-growing popularity has garnered him many prestigious awards and honors, and his other accomplishments include being named Entertainer of the Year, Best Performing Artist of the Year, Best Novelty Performer of the Year, and he was voted America’s Favorite Mystifier on PHENOMENON. Despite all of this success, Mike humbly insists it is the loyalty of his fan base that has been most rewarding. His legions of fans call themselves “The Superfreaks” and they number in the millions, with the secret to his success being his natural ability to entertain and fascinate people. He has pioneered a new form of magic with his own inimitable, down-to-earth style and personality, bringing the art of magic back to the people; he transcends the “trick” and connects personally with his audience on a level they can relate to. Whether it’s through television, stage, or simply one-on-one, Mike Super’s personality and humor reach out and enchant the public both young and old, making him one of the most sought-after mystifiers in the world. Mike has astonished millions including theatergoers, Disney audiences, military families, and the Hollywood elite, and The Bankhead is enthused to bring him to the Tri-Valley to delight our community right in their backyard on August 25.
Before the official summer party, The Bankhead is elated to announce a pre-summer concert that is truly icon status. John Oates is one-half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The American Songwriters Hall of Fame, and recipient of the prestigious BMI Icon Award, as well as numerous American Music, MTV awards, and multiple Grammy nominations. Since forming his creative partnership with Daryl Hall in the early 1970s, they have gone on to record 21 albums, which have sold over 80 million units, making them the most successful duo in rock history. They have scored 10 number-one records, over 20 Top 40 hits, and have toured the world for decades. Their involvement in the original “Live Aid” concert and the groundbreaking “We Are The World” charity recording have further established them as legendary artists, who have personally and through their music, stood the test of time. Since embarking on a solo career in 1999, John has recorded seven solo albums: Phunk Shui, 100 Miles of Life, Mississippi Mile, The Bluesville Sessions, Good Road To Follow, Arkansas, and most recently, Live from Nashville with the Good Road Band. In addition, his 2017 autobiography Change of Season released by St. Martin’s press became an Amazon best seller. Recently, John and his wife Aimee partnered with the streaming broadcast service NugsTV and co-producer Drive Entertainment Group to create a virtual celebration of stories and songs called “OATES SONG FEST 7908,” inspired by a live series of shows that they created in 2010 at the historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, as a free streaming concert with all donations and proceeds going to FEEDINGAMERICA.ORG. The broadcast featured an all-star roster of artists who volunteered their songs and performances to help families without food across the nation and engage us all in the fight to end hunger. In addition to important causes, John continues to tour the world with Daryl Hall, and perform solo as both a musician and public speaker. He also produces, collaborates, and develops new artists and has recently completed a series of songs for the upcoming feature film “Gringa” to be released soon. The Bankhead is ecstatic to bring a music legend of this level to Downtown Livermore on April 14.
Rounding out the spring and summer months, LVA also has a schedule of Courtyard Concerts that will be the perfect place to kick off a Friday Happy Hour with a drink in hand and good music vibes in the beautiful Madden Courtyard at The Bankhead. The lineup includes Michelle Lambert on March 10, The LK Project on Thursday, April 13, Jenny Madrigal on May 12, KNR on June 9, and Matt Finders & Friends on August 11. These 5:30 pm concerts are a great way to enjoy good weather in a relaxed setting, enjoy some local artists and talents from right here in the community, and head into the weekend on a high note. All courtyard concerts are on Fridays unless otherwise noted.
The Bankhead Theater keeps COVID safety protocols in place with enhanced air circulation and no touch ticketing. Proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry at ticketed performances unless noted as part of a contractual obligation with the artist. Tickets for all shows in the 2022-2023 and 2023 Summer Bankhead Presents season are available online, by calling 925-373-6800, or at the box office windows. For a complete list of events, visit livermorearts.org.
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