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Momentous jazz coming to INB

Sun., June 28, 2009

The jazz news doesn’t get much bigger than this: Wynton Marsalis is bringing his renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to the INB Performing Arts Center on Sept. 16.

This group consists of 15 of the top jazz soloists and ensemble players in the world, who perform in residence in New York’s Lincoln Center. Add Pulitzer Prize-winner and Grammy-winner Marsalis into the mix as the director and it adds up to the most influential jazz orchestra in the world.

If you’ve never seen trumpeter Wynton Marsalis perform live, you’re missing out on a great musical experience. One of his early-1990s performances at the Bing Crosby Theater (then called The Met) ranks as the best concert I have ever seen in the Bing.

Tickets are now on sale, $30, $37.50 and $50, through TicketsWest outlets (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT,

The other Lincoln Center

Right now, local jazz fans can be forgiven for having a bit of Lincoln Center confusion.

That’s because the other Lincoln Center, the one right here in Spokane, has emerged as a jazz center, too, at least locally.

On Saturday, Spokane’s Lincoln Center hosted the Master Class Jazz Orchestra, a new ensemble combining local jazz professionals with music students, in a swing dancing event.

The Lincoln Center is an events facility at 1316 N. Lincoln that opened in May.

One enormous python

The Jim Rose Circus, which arrives at the Knitting Factory on July 9, is always a wild experience.

Yet Rose may have surpassed himself for this tour. One of the guest stars will be Maurice Le Grand, who is not exactly a human. Maurice is a 160-pound albino Burmese python. Maurice will come out on stage and … well, we’ll just have to see what Maurice does.

This tour has another “snake” as well. The tour is called the “Jim Rose vs. Jake the Snake Roberts Tour,” because it also features the well-known wrestler.

And that’s just the beginning. As the show’s publicists say, “Where else can you see an event that features real barbed wire, frying pans, trash cans, amazing circus stunts, wrestling, live scorpions and an albino Burmese python?”

Tickets are $15, on sale through TicketsWest outlets.

Maurice travels, by the way, with his own “snake butler.”

The MAC’s new hours

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) will go to a shortened summer schedule beginning July 1: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

This is a result of the museum’s well-publicized financial woes. It marks a two-day reduction of the usual Tuesday-through-Sunday schedule, although it is an expansion in hours, which were formerly 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The popular First Friday By Donation special will continue, the first Friday of every month, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Idaho Rep

The Idaho Repertory Theatre, a professional summer theater at the University of Idaho in Moscow, kicks off on Wednesday and continues through Aug. 8.

It will have its traditional mix of comedies, musicals and Shakespeare, along with a tween-friendly musical. Here’s the lineup:

• “Unnecessary Farce” – A door-slamming modern comedy set in a hotel room, by Paul Slade Smith.

• “Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein” – A musical revue featuring some of the most beloved songs in musical history.

• “Chaps!” – A country-tinged musical comedy about a group of British radio performers in 1944, attempting to impersonate American country singers.

• “Romeo and Juliet” – Shakespeare’s timeless story of youthful passion. It will be performed, as usual, on an outdoor stage but will be moved indoors for the final performance on Aug. 8.

• “High School Musical” – The Disney musical sensation, including local teens alongside the professionals.

These shows are performed in repertory, meaning they rotate shows each day. For a full schedule, go to or call the box office at (208) 885-7212.

‘Chess’ in concert

The Spokane Civic Theatre has chosen its annual autumn “in-concert” fundraising show: “Chess,” the musical by the ABBA duo of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. It’s about a Russian vs. American chess championship, with a lovers’ triangle thrown in.

It’s booked for Oct. 30 and 31 on the Civic’s Main Stage, and tickets go on sale Wednesday through the Civic box office, (509) 325-2507 or (800) 446-9576.

‘Spokane Soldiers’ exhibit

Photographer Jed Conklin’s exhibit, “In Iraq: Spokane Soldiers,” will be on display Friday through July 11 at River Park Square’s Atrium, and then it will move upstairs to the Kress Gallery until Aug. 3.

Conklin documented the men and women of the Washington National Guard’s 161st Infantry Regiment while they were in Iraq. The exhibit includes 25 portraits.

The opening night events on Friday, 6 p.m., will include a military color guard, live performance of the National Anthem, remarks by Mayor Mary Verner, and remarks from Conklin and soldiers.

Spokane Arts Awards

It’s time to submit nominations for the City of Spokane Arts Awards.

The Spokane Art Commission is accepting nominations for the categories of individual artist, arts organization, arts in education, individual benefactor, business benefactor and arts community leadership.

Go to the Chase Gallery in Spokane City Hall or for nomination forms. The deadline is Aug. 7.


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