Join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center for free lunchtime entertainment at the new Arts District Showcase at the Meyerson. On select Fridays, members of the DSO as well as performers from around the Dallas Arts District and the Dallas arts community will liven up the afternoon with music, dance and theater.
Bring your own food or purchase sandwiches and snacks in the Meyerson lobby.
Performances will begin at 12 Noon. Don’t forget a business card to participate in a drawing for prizes and tickets at each event!
May 31 - Euphonious (Brass Quintet) at 1PM
Dennis Gonzalez a Dallas based musician/composer, artist, broadcaster, writer, educator and actor, who directed the music program La Rondalla for eight years. He has recorded more than 50 jazz CDs and LPs. Since 1980 he has travelled around world to music festivals, concerts, workshops and television presentations. You can stream the entirety of his album on Bandcamp.
Chris Curiel is a Dallas based trumpeter that has been part of the creative music scene for over 20 years. Also, as a working musician in jazz, rock, funk and blues his style has become a fusion of his own. His group Swirve where he uses effects on his horn has been a Dallas staple in the avant/improv scene for over 16 years.You can stream the entirety of his album on Bandcamp.
Thaddeus Ford is a sixth generation jazz musician from New Orleans, a 2017 City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Artist Grant Recipient and a 2017 DOMA nominee. You can stream the album in its entirety on Bandcamp.
Gaika James was born in New Orleans, but didn’t stay there too long. He began his journey as a musician in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he began to learn and study the Trombone. Oklahoma wasn’t a place that he would stay around for a long time, either. In 1989, his family moved to Dallas, and he’s been here ever since. Gaika has performed with Toby Keith, Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin to name a few. You can view YouTube video here.
Kevin Butler, a Dallas based tuba player that covers many styles from trad jazz to electric punk funk electrifying his instrument to create new sounds. His group Hirsute has recently been a real treat for the creative listener.
JUNE-AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC MONTH
JUNE 14 - GENO YOUNG
After discovering his love of music at an early age and later graduating from Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, ground zero for other internationally known artists such as: Erykah Badu, Edie Brickell, Norah Jones and Roy Hargrove, Geno moved on to the next phase of his musical evolution and enrolled in Howard University, where he studied music and further developed the necessary skills and contacts that would enable him to follow in the footsteps of one of the most prolific singer/songwriter/producers of our time, fellow Howard University alum- Donny Hathaway.
His formal education concluded, Geno toured the world as musical director, arranger, and producer for Erykah Badu. He wrote and produced the hit songs "Times a Wastin’" and "Orange Moon" on her 2001 release- “Mama's Gun”. “Touring with Badu was kinda like a school for the best and brightest in the soul music scene…It was an amazing experience. She showed me how to be a consummate professional.”
His 2004 solo debut, “The Ghetto Symphony” allowed Geno to further his personal development as an artist and a performer. “The Ghetto Symphony album was really my introduction as a solo artist. I had done a lot of writing and producing for other artists and just wanted to let a portion of my voice be heard. It definitely was a success because it reached a worldwide audience and the music seemed to affect those who heard it in a positive way. I would have never guessed that an album that was totally “indy” would have garnered that kind of attention.”
With the June, 2010 release of his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Ear Hustler”, Geno hopes to showcase his musical and lyrical growth. The difference between the two albums is basically, a matter of time passing and the world evolving.
JUNE 28-LIZ MIKEL
Liz Mikel is a multifaceted artist that has been a staple in the DFW Arts scene for more than 20 years. Her love of performing, warmth, magnetic presence and dynamic voice has endeared her to audiences worldwide. Like a painter with a blank canvas, she makes every performance an original.
An accomplished actress and vocalist, Liz has transitioned seamlessly from stage to television, studio recordings, cabaret and feature films.
Ms. Mikel has toured both nationally and abroad and has worked along side some of the industry's biggest celebrities.
Her recurring role as Corrina Williams on NBC's Emmy Award winning series, Friday Night Lights, tugged the heartstrings of viewers and critics alike. She had audiences laughing in the star packed, Martin Lawrence blockbuster, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, playing the wife of the late Michael Clark Duncan. In the Spring of 2012, she was cast in the newest film by comedian/director, Ben Stiller, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, due for release later this year.
Liz had the prestigious honor of being personally invited by Activist/ Playwright, Eve Ensler to participate in the star-studded 10th anniversary of the Vagina Monologues. In addition to performing her selected monologue, she was also chosen by Ensler to stand in for Oprah Winfrey in her absence.
As a vocalist, Liz has opened for Erykah Badu, Branford Marsalis, Issac Hayes, Joan Rivers, Gennifer Flowers, Chrisette Michele, Ledisi and her friend, Blues legend, Lucky Peterson.
New York's Jim Caruso added Liz's powerhouse prowess to his Best Of Cast Party at Town Hall along side Jane Monheit, Lisa Lampanelli, Linda Lavin and Marilyn Maye.
Mikel received rave reviews in both her Off-Broadway and Broadway debuts as the all knowing muse/madam, Hetaira, in the Douglas Carter Beane musical, Lysistrata Jones. She is a proud member of the Dee and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center.
JULY 12-JACOB METCALF
Jacob Metcalf is a postmodern composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dallas, Texas. Metcalf's debut album Fjord (2016) received positive responses from the international press community and music lovers alike for its art-folk compositions. The eleven song collection ranges from wistful, unhurried ballads to swirling, majestic orchestrations, sometimes within the same song, and all set to Metcalf’s inviting vocals and non-linear story-telling. Highlighting eastern sounds and western orchestra, Fjord reads like a love letter to humanity, for splintered people living in a fractured age.
Hear Fjord in its entirety on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, Youtube, 180 gram vinyl, CD, and more.
Metcalf is writing album number 2, Monitors, slated for release in summer 2020.
JULY 26-POPPY XANDER
Theater Pop, Chamber Rock
Poppy Xander is a composer, keyboardist, and chamber rock band leader/vocalist from Dallas, Texas. Over the last several years, she has performed her own compositions extensively in North Texas, Chicago, California, Virginia, and Mexico and at notable events including ARTOPIA, Deep Ellum Arts Festival, and Steampunk November.
In 2015, Poppy Xander released her first full band EP, “Little Ghosts” which followed her solo debut “Snake in the Grass” (2014). Xander’s compositions and songs are heavily influenced by classical giants like Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy whom she studied from the age of seven until she received her Bachelor in Music from the University of North Texas. The songs on both albums use a variety of genres from classical themes to crowd-pleasing polkas, rock, and Rhodes powered waltzes.
Xander’s live shows are filled with storytelling and theatrical energy that conveys the wild range of characters in her songs that inspire the imagination and empathy of her listeners. Xander also performs as a featured musician with a variety of acts including magicians, burlesque dancers, folk, pop, and rock groups. In 2016, Xander has released a music video for her single, “Sonny” and continues to compose, tour, and collaborate.
SOUTHERN DALLAS RESIDENCY YOUNG MUSICIAN PROGRAM TEACHING ARTISTS
AUGUST 9-THADDEUS FORD
Thaddeus "Fabulous" Ford, II was born into a family of Jazz musicians in New Orleans. Thaddeus began playing the trumpet at age 8 under the demanding instruction of his father, Thaddeus Ford, Sr., a professional trumpeter with the U.S Marine Corp Band for 15 years. The instrument was not taken very seriously by young Thaddeus until age 14. It was then that he met trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis at a workshop at his high school, St. Augustine. Thaddeus immediately went to his father, who was in attendance and said, "...that's what I want to do!" His father suggested that he get in contact with his grandfather, saxophone legend Clarence Ford, Sr., who played with Fats Domino throughout the 50's and 60's. Unfortunately, Thaddeus didn't take heed to his father's suggestion for another year and a half. It was the summer of 1994 that he decided to audition for The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a performance arts high school whose alumni include the Marsalis brothers, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard and many others. As a student, he was exposed to some of the most talented young musicians the city had to offer. He studied with New Orleans premier trumpeter and educator Clyde Kerr, Jr. and Ronald Benko of the La. Philharmonic Orchestra. It was at a NOCCA master class that he also met mentor and friend trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis.
In 2001, he formed his first group, The Continuum. He adapted the name as way to pay homage to his father who passed away in 1999 and also had a band by that name. For the next three years The Continuum grew from virtually unknown to one of the most sought after club and private function draws in the city of New Orleans. It was during this period that he had the pleasure of joining his mentor Delfeayo Marsalis' band.
In 2004, Thaddeus relocated to Dallas, TX. Since then he has taken the Jazz community by storm performing with the likes of Shelly Carrol, Freddie Jones, Red Young, LeMark Gulley, Yashi Vaughn, Future Soul Soundclash, Noni Dressler, Arthur Riddles, Hash Brown, Marchel Ivery, Victor Cager, Miss Marcy, Lynn Ross, Dave Burris and many more. He can regularly be found lending his joyful New Orleans sound to unsuspecting bands and patrons at various clubs around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Thaddeus is currently based in the Dallas area and maintains an international itinerary, the most recent being a three month residency at the House of Blues and Jazz in Shanghai, China. In 2013, on the eve of a "world premier" concert in Dallas, Thaddeus suffered a heart attack at age 35. For health concerns, a year was taken off from performing (and playing the trumpet in general). In October 2014, a comeback was launched, along with an Indigogo campaign to raise funds for his debut EP "The Secret Place". Thaddeus resumed his local itinerary, fully recovered. In 2016, Mr. Ford traveled the country with GRAMMY winning Gospel star Kirk Franklin (with musical director Shaun Martin of Snarky Puppy) for Franklin's "Twenty Years In One Night" tour. Currently, Thaddeus is composing new music, developing a youth summer Jazz workshop, a jazz curriculum for elementary schools, a 501-3(c) organization as well as collaborating with an array of local talent on recording and performing projects.