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New Stanford Live season to feature Jazz, world music, dance

After a season focusing on classical music, Stanford Live is planning a lineup with a broader range of dance, jazz, world-music and theater performances.

French choreographer Jerome Bel is planning a trio of pieces; musicians will bring the sounds of Portugal, Africa, Japan and Pakistan to campus; and musical-theater luminaries Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin will make an appearance.

Last season was dedicated to welcoming the new Bing Concert Hall as a fresh hub for classical music. Now, 2013-14 will continue to offer plenty of it. Strings start the season on Sept. 22, with violin great Itzhak Perlman hosting and conducting a concert of up-and-coming young string players from his Perlman Music Program.

Other classical musicians scheduled to perform this season include: the Estonian National Symphony on Nov. 2, the Takacs Quartet on Jan. 25 and 26, violinist Joshua Bell on Feb. 8, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel on March 16, and soprano Deborah Voigt on April 11. As in seasons past, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the choral group Chanticleer will give multiple concerts.

Opera will make an appearance as well. A free live simulcast of San Francisco Opera's production of "Falstaff" will be shown outdoors at the university's Frost Amphitheater on Oct. 11.

Nearly all the Stanford Live events, classical and otherwise, will be held at Bing, where the vineyard seating and theater-in-the-round feel provide an unusual venue for dance. Choreographer Bel will have three evenings to display his work there. On Nov. 13, in "The Show Must Go On," which the New York Times has called a "conversation with the issues of antivirtuosic movement and artifice," untrained dancers and Bay Area professionals alike will take the stage. Pop music and a D.J. will figure prominently.

Nov. 18 brings "Cedric Andrieux," a solo autobiographical piece with Bel himself; and on Dec. 2 Bel is paired onscreen in the "filmed dance dialogue" known as "Pichet Klunchun" with the classical Thai dancer of the same name. Bel will be present to answer questions after the film screening.

More dance comes on Jan. 31 with the Brazilian ballet troupe Grupo Corpo. The troupe will also perform a shortened family matinee on Feb. 1.

Several jazz musicians will also take the yellow-cedar stage at Bing. Early in the season, on Sept. 29, players will conjure up the spirit of New Orleans with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, singer Ivan Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli and drummer Stanton Moore. More New Orleans-style jazz will follow on Oct. 27 with pianist Jonathan Batiste and his band Stay Human.

In world music, the Portuguese-African singer Mariza will perform an evening of Lisbon-style fado music on Nov. 1. Japanese sho player Ko Ishikawa joins cellist Maya Beiser and others in the world premiere of "Linked Verse," a Stanford commission from university composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, on Dec. 7. Asif Ali Khan takes the audience to Pakistan on April 1 with a night of Sufi soul.

World music is an annual affair at the "Harmony for Humanity" concert, which pays tribute to the late journalist and Stanford graduate Daniel Pearl. The free event is Oct. 9.

And no season would be complete without the ukulele. Jake Shimabukuro, whose ukulele playing went viral online a few years back, brings his strings to Bing on April 24.

On a different note, vaudevillian Tomas Kubinek will aim for laughs at the hall with two performances on May 4. The shows come on the heels of LuPone and Patinkin, longtime friends and Sondheim supporters, who will bring their Broadway chops to Bing on April 26. The LuPone-Patinkin pairing is a special event intended mainly for Bing members and sponsors, but Stanford Live promises that a few public tickets will also be available.

Overall, the season runs Sept. 22 through May 16. Subscriptions go on sale June 3, with single tickets on sale starting Sept. 7. For a complete schedule and ticketing information, go to live.stanford.edu or call 650-725-2787.

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