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!
October 4-JAMIL BYROM
Jazz, Funk & Soul
A drummer noted for his immaculate timekeeping and his sartorial sharpness. Jamil endorses Pro Mark drumsticks, Evans drumheads, and Sabian cymbals.
He has a BA degree from Alcorn State University; also, the winner of the esteemed Guitar Center annual Drumoff 2005/2006. For the last 17 year he has held the drum throne at Friendship West Baptist Church.
Jamil has been blessed to share the stage with artists Roy Hargrove, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell, Erykah Badu, Joe McBride, Dave Hollister, LaShawn Pace, Vickie Winans, Tower of Power, Pieces of Dream, David "FATHEAD" Newman, Wessell Anderson, Alvin Battiste, Onzy Mathews, N'Dambi Tonya Blunt, The Turtle Creek Choral, and many others.
One of the most active and influential of all Texas musicians, Dallas born drummer, Jamil Byrom, is famed for both his music and style, remaining to this day a respected and in demand musician to the highest caliber.
October 18-KING KIE
Kie grew up listening to artists like Marvin Gaye, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. At a young age, she developed a passion for music that invoked powerful emotions to the listeners. It was at that point that she realized she wanted to make music that inspired passion like those who inspired her.
Kie began her musical journey by singing in church choirs and on praise teams.
Kierra had always been a lover of words and writing (poetry), but at the age of 14, she began to write her own songs. Soon after, she was encouraged to enter the very first song she had written into the GMA writing competition and ended up being the 2007 winner of "Gospel/Urban/Hip Hop Song of year".
Kie is currently enrolled in college and still writing and singing in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. She is still just as passionate and serious about her craft as the day she began, if not more! With her God-given talent and undying dedication, this young woman won't stop until the name "Kierra Gray" is associated with greatness!!
November 1-Mariachi Rosas Divinas
Dia De Los Muertos
Mariachi Rosas Divinas seems an appropriate name for this divine all female group. Rosas Divinas have broken the mold when it comes to the beloved style of mariachi music. As the first and only all female mariachi in the DFW Metroplex and one of few in the Country, being different is not all that difficult. Lipstick smudges brass mouthpieces, long fingernails work perfectly for strumming guitars and glossy dark hair flows down the back of brightly coordinated outfits. Breaking away from traditional stereotypes, these vivacious women bring life back into a traditional music which began in the small pueblos of 19-century Mexico.
Desiring to perform the mariachi music she played in her hometown of Taos, New Mexico, Director Tabitha Sanchez Barrientos, sought out to find a team of like-minded musicians. “Playing with passion is the most important element when playing mariachi music,” she says ”But a commitment to musical precision is what we strive to be known and respected for.”
Bringing the heart-felt style of mariachi music with their precise musical execution is what sets these young women apart in a male dominated genre. “It’s musical integrity along with their rich, beautiful sound that makes them like no other mariachi group you’ve heard before,” says Grammy winner and Producer, Pete Orta. “These girls take the time to make everything they do special.” All who see them perform agree that their enthusiasm and musical creativity breaths life into familiar trios, rancheras and traditional boleros.
“Nothing about this group is typical,” says Louis Constancio, founder of Find A Mariachi. “They are different from anything mainstream but they are also different in the world of mariachi and it’s because each member brings a special element to the group.”
Lead violinist, Karen Gerardo, graduate of Booker T Washington, former member of the Dallas Young Strings and current Principal Violinist with Irving Symphony Orchestra says, “I heard the group and immediately saw the potential for greatness. Here I am 11 years later with a resume I could have only dreamed of at this stage in my career. The opportunities have been absolutely priceless.” From being the first mariachi to ever play in the Gran Caymen Islands to sharing the stage with legends such as Fito Olivares, Graciela Beltran and Ozomatli, Rosas Divinas have been captivating audiences since their very first performance in 2005.
Opportunities such as these and many others have opened doors they never expected. Month long performances at the State Fair of Texas, a recent week long performances at the WinStar Casino Resort in Oklahoma Texas followed by another week long Mariachi Tour in Chicago Illinois, and still, no one seems to resent the long hours rehearsing and performing. “You work hard to be the group you want to be and when the opportunities come you’ll be ready.” Says Director, Tabitha. Making sacrifices for the music they love is nothing new for these Divine Roses.
Lead Guitar Alexia Quintero played her first gig with the group in 2011 at The House of Blues in Dallas, “I was only supposed to help with a few gigs but here I am 6 years later!” She says. “I continued to perform even while going to Law School and people would worry saying I needed a break. I would explain that performing and making music was part of my break! Yes, it is a lot of work but we always have so much fun together and that’s rejuvenating.”
“That’s the thing about this group,” says Tabitha, “We work hard but we also care deeply for one another, we hang out and talk for hours, sometimes all you hear is laughing. We are like family and you can feel it in our music.”
Jazz, R&B, Neo-Soul, Funk, Reggae, Latin, y mas
“Carmen The Band is a Neo-soul band founded in 2019 at Booker T. Washington HSPVA, at the heart of the Arts District in Downtown Dallas. Carmen’s vocalist and songwriter, Gabriella Torres, created the band while collaborating with her fellow musicians and peers in Booker T.’s music ensembles. From there on, Gabriella found multiple venues and restaurants for the band to perform at, all while writing and creating new music with her bandmates. Over the past five months, Carmen The Band has won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life; with their unique sound taking inspiration from Jazz, R&b, Latin, Funk, and Reggae, while being able to switch from English, to Spanish, and Portuguese. Rather than the usual four-piece band, Carmen The Band includes woodwinds and brass instruments, arranging the perfect horn section.
Carmen The Band enjoys putting out their own takes and fresh perspective in today’s day and age of modern music, and their authentic sounds and arrangements differentiate them from the rest.”
DECEMBER 6-VERDIGRIS ENSEMBLE
Founded in 2017, Verdigris Ensemble has quickly established itself as “among the most creative and effective storytellers in North Texas” (TheaterJones) and the “crème de la crème of the area’s professional choral voices” (Dallas Morning News). the Dallas-based professional choir is dedicated to bringing choral music to the modern audience through creative concert programming, unconventional use of space, and collaboration. Focusing on story-driven musical narratives, the Verdigris Ensemble commissions new works, collaborates with interdisciplinary artists, inspires new audiences, and invests in the next generation of musicians.
Verdigris Ensemble has been hailed by audiences and critics for its ability to deeply engage audiences. Its performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields, in collaboration with world-renowned Bang on a Can All-Stars, Julia Wolfe, and SOLUNA Festival, was hailed as “powerful” (Dallas Morning News) and performed with “brilliant cohesion.” (TheaterJones)
Past projects include World Premieres of Nicholas Reeves’s Betty’s Notebook and David Ross Lawn’s Faces of Dallas, Texas Premieres of Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields and Mason Bates’s Mass Transmission. Past collaborations include SOLUNA Festival, Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum, Avant Chamber Ballet, UTA Planetarium, Temple Emanu-El, Texas Theatre, Oak Cliff Film Festival, and more.
During its 2018-19 season, Verdigris Ensemble collaborated with W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy in a 4-week outreach residency culminating in a performance that world premiered Meredith Tompkins’ How I Learned To Fly, a choral piece of music that set Greiner students’ poems to music. Verdigris Ensemble also launched its first annual ION Young Composer Competition, a competition designed to foster, encourage, and find Dallas’ unique choral voice through passion, exploration, and innovation.
Verdigris Ensemble Mission
Enrich our community by gathering musicians from around the country to perform diverse choral music at the highest level.
Inspire audiences through innovative choral programming that engages more than just the ear of the listener.
Invest in the next generation of musicians, offering free concert admission to students and teachers of music and engaging school music programs through educational outreach.
DECEMBER 20-DAmON CLARK
Jazz, R&B, Soul, Neo-Soul, Rock, Classical, Opera
First time listeners of Damon K. Clark will wonder: "Where the hell have you been all my life?” The Dallas singer’s virtuoso versatility is phenomenal. Puccini to Monk with the greatest of ease? Absolutely, and with a depth of musicality and artistry that makes every performance a revelation. - Modern Luxury Dallas
If you've been fortunate enough to attend one of Damon K. Clark's previous Kessler Theater performances, then you're already fully aware of his extraordinary talent and expertise. Every one of his shows brings a new element of surprise. - The Kessler Theatre
Damon K. Clark is a jaw-dropping talent, a gifted vocalist whose talents are near-unmatched locally. Jazz is his chosen realm and it's easy to understand why: Performing live before bare-bones jazz set-ups, his absurd range is given the front-and-center showcase it so ridiculously deserves. - Dallas Observer
You must hear jazz vocalist Damon K. Clark. He’s simply the most gifted male vocalist in DFW. Incredible. - D Magazine
Gifted Dallas-based jazz artist Damon K. Clark is a favorite of Kessler Theater audiences in Dallas, with his sophisticated arrangements, excellent choice of material, and absolutely stunning vocal skill set. - Jazz Corner
This was our first informal show. We didn't even have a stage, a marquee or a bar, but we had electricity, and we agreed to have the after-party for Wynton Marsalis' concert. At 10:30 p.m., nobody was there, but by midnight, every jazz cat in the city showed up with their instruments. When Damon K. Clark started singing at 1:30 a.m., I started tearing up because mentally it clicked that this was finally real. - Edwin Cabaniss, Owner of The Kessler Theatre