The Arts: Quick Center plays producer for one memorable night of music

The Arts: Quick Center plays producer for one memorable night of music

In April, the Quick Center for the Arts presented From the Spring of Song – A Tribute to Bill Evans, a look back at the sublime, unforgettable work of the late jazz pianist. Despite personal struggles and tragedy, Evans broke new ground with his trios, expanding the role of bass and drums into new frontiers of sound and rhythm. The Quick Center decided it was high time to pay tribute to his genius and created this fresh, new production through a collaboration with the Bill Evans estate, faculty, and staff.

The well-received evening played like old home week, featuring internationally known Brian Torff, Fairfield professor of music, on bass and Quick Center Business Operations Manager Kurt Leon on drums. At the piano was Nick Sanders, a young New York musician whose style is both wholly original and yet reminiscent of Evans and other masters of the genre. Sanders returned to the Quick Center’s Wien Experimental Theatre this November for two performances with his own Nick Sanders Trio.

The concert was just one of many wonderful performances throughout the season, including a sold-out opening night with John Pizzarelli and Jane Monheit and a breathtaking evening with violinist Hilary Hahn.

Arts highlights
•  The University presented internationally renowned musician José Feliciano (“Light My Fire,” “Feliz Navidad”) with the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Award for Excellence in the Arts in September 2013, just before the beloved singer-songwriter took the Quick Center stage for an evening of some of his favorite tunes before an appreciative audience. Feliciano joined composer Stephen Sondheim, actor Jason Robards, ballerina Gelsey Kirkland and others in the pantheon of recipients of the University’s highest arts honor.

•  More than 500 students were among the happy ticketholders to An Evening with America Ferrera, the eighth annual Students Forum, a collaboration between the Quick Center’s Open VISIONS Forum and the University’s Division of Student Affairs. Ferrera, star of television’s Ugly Betty and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films, did not disappoint, regaling fans with stories from the arts as well as her humanitarian work on behalf of women and children around the world.

•  The Bellarmine Museum of Art and the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery hosted concurrent exhibitions featuring stunning prints by Ernest Roth, James McNeill Whistler, and several other artists working in Venice in the first half of the 20th century in Winter 2014. The Bellarmine’s In the Wake of the Butterfly included works by Whistler, John Ferguson Weir, Otto Henry Bacher, and more, while the Walsh’s Reflections & Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940 offered Roth, John Taylor Arms, Emanuele Brugnoli, Fabio Mauroner, and others. These exhibitions were enhanced by an interactive iPad app and audio tours (recorded by students) for selected works.

•  The Bellarmine Museum of Art presented lectures with noted art experts through the generosity of the Robert Lehman Foundation and the Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureships in Art History series. Free and open to the public, these talks provided insights into Pueblo pottery, Athenian antiquity, Renaissance and Baroque masterworks, printmakers working in Venice, and Venetian glassmaking techniques throughout the year.