Scroll down to browse through performances, lectures and other campus events open to the public.


Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, March 1Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo

On March 1, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo is coming to Cal Poly’s Cohan Center at 7:00pm. The celebrated all-male “drag ballet corps” brings an evening of hilarity and awe back to SLO with its unique combination of ballet, parodies and physical comedy, along with true pieces designed to show off the performers' impressive dance abilities.
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Cal Poly Choirs’ Winter Concert, March 7

Cal Poly alumna and acclaimed soprano Kathleen Magee Querec will return to her alma mater as guest artist in the Cal Poly Choirs’ Winter Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.Titled “Romance and the Romantics,” the concert will feature works on the theme of love by composers from the Romantic period of the 19th century and those from the modern era.PolyPhonics will open the program with a set of pieces from Johannes Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes.” Two performances of Edmund Waller’s poem “Go, Lovely Rose” will follow, set to the music of Halsey Stevens and Eric Whitacre. The set will also include a world premiere by Cal Poly music major Corey Hable, on a text by Arthur Rimbaud titled “Et le Poète dit” (“And the Poet Said”).The University Singers’ program includes “Five Hebrew Love Songs” by Eric Whitacre, Franz Schubert’s “Lebenslust” (“Joy of Living”), and David Dickau’s rendition on the Henry Heveningham poem “If Music Be the Food of Love.” More on the concert

Nice Work If You Can Get It, March 11

On March 11 at 7:30pm, Cal Poly Arts presents, Nice Work If You Can Get It in the Cohan Center. Broadway's new Nice Work If You Can Get It is a sparkling, madcap tale that combines laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic! Get ready for this 1920s-era feel-good musical, complete with extravagant dance numbers, glittering costumes and classic Gershwin hits like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Fascinating Rhythm.” More on the show

'Just Jazz' Concert, March 13

Cal Poly’s jazz bands will display the innovation of jazz and its tradition during the Just Jazz concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13, in the Spanos Theatre on campus. “An important part of jazz for any musician is staying true to its tradition and expanding its boundaries,” said Paul Rinzler, director of jazz studies at Cal Poly. “The element of surprise is always present, because jazz is improvised.” The concert will feature the best student jazz musicians at Cal Poly in two big bands and two jazz combos. The big bands’ “wall of sound” comes from four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, a rhythm section and vocalist. More on the concert

HAPA, March 14

On Saturday, March 14th, Cal Poly Arts presents HAPA in Spanos Theatre at 8:00pm. The New York Times calls Hapa “the most successful Hawaiian music troupe in recent history.” The group’s mellow fusion of traditional Hawaiian sound and folksy rock combines with harmonies and fluid guitar, charming fans around the globe. More on the show

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles, March 16Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles is coming to Cal Poly on March 16th at 7:30pm. The show will be held in the Cohan Center. Broadway’s multimedia spectacular is a stunning musical journey through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. This note-for-note theatrical event is filled with classic Beatles hits, such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude,” and so many more. More on the performance

Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli, March 19

On March 19th at 7:30pm Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli are coming to the Cohan Center on the Cal Poly campus. Master pianist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli pay homage to Nat King Cole, whose smoky, smooth vocals spawned a long string of solid hits, starting with "Straighten Up and Fly Right" in 1943. Current jazz giants Lewis and Pizzarelli have crafted a tribute to the titan of 1950s vocal pop, his hits ("Unforgettable," "Smile," "Nature Boy," "Route 66"), and those singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own careers. More on the show


On Saturday, March 21, 2CELLOS are coming to the Cohan Center at 8:00pm for an unforgettable performance. Having toured with Elton John and collaborated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among other popular artists, these two Croatian cellists have achieved sensational international success by taking the instrument to a new level. Their innovative, passionate style breaks down the boundaries between different genres of music – from classical and film music to pop and rock, re-imagining the music for the cello. This will be a performance you do not want to miss.
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Altan, March 27

Cal Poly Arts will present Altan in Spanos Theatre on March 27th at 8:00pm. Come out to experience this memorable group. The Boston Globe has described them as “the hottest group in the Celtic realm!” For more than 25 years, Altan has been one of the most important live acts to play traditional Irish music on the world stage and remains a favorite of Central Coast Celtic lovers. More on the show


Mamma Mia, April 6

Mamma MiaOn April 6th, Mama Mia is coming to the Cohan Center for a 7:30pm show. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! More than 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story, and the music that make MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good musical and the world’s No. 1 show! The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship – where every night, everyone’s having the time of their lives! Don't miss your chance to experience this classic musical show. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show

St. Lawrence String Quartet, April 9

Cal Poly Arts will present the St. Lawrence String Quartet on Thursday, April 9th. The show will begin at 7:30pm in Spanos Theatre. One of the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation, the SLSQ is known for its interpretive spontaneity and fierce musical commitment. The acclaimed musicians will perform their “Haydn Discovery Session" – an in-depth exploration of the famed composer’s extraordinary string quartets.
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IRA Glass: Reinventing Radio, April 12

Come out to the Cohan Center on Sunday, April 12th for an evening with IRA Glass. The creator of the public radio show, “This American Life,” talks about his program and how it's put together, mixing stories from the show – live onstage – and combining his narration with pre-taped quotes and music, re-creating the sound of the show as the audience watches. The presentation on Reinventing Radio will begin at 7:00pm. More on the speaker

Lila Downs, April 14Lila Downs

On Tuesday, April 14th, Cal Poly Arts presents Lila Downs. Theshow will take place in theCohan Center and will begin at 7:30pm. With a stunning, smoky voice and a multicultural vision, this Grammy winner has become one of the most innovative masters of Mesoamerican music on both sides of the border. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show

Cal Poly's Open House, April 16-18

The 22nd annual event, themed “This is the Mustang Nation,” will give attendees an opportunity to explore the enriching aspects of the Learn by Doing philosophy at Cal Poly, one of the nation’s top polytechnic universities, while sampling life in San Luis Obispo, which media mogul Oprah Winfrey dubbed America’s Happiest Town in 2011. The three-day event begins Thursday, April 16, for all prospective students and their parents and supporters with a Club Preview Night at Farmers’ Market on five blocks of Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo.Admitted Students’ Preview Day on Friday, April 17, helps incoming students learn about Cal Poly degree programs and courses, hear from the leaders of the university’s six colleges, and meet faculty, staff and current students. The campus opens its doors to the community Saturday, April 18, to exhibit the talents and accomplishments of its vibrant student population. The public is invited to enjoy food, games and booths prepared by more than 200 student clubs and organizations. Special events include a Poly Royal parade, a Kids’ Fair, the Cal Poly Truck and Tractor Pull, a rodeo and live music. More on Open House

Adonis Puentes, April 17Adonis Puentes

On April 17th at 8:00pm, Adonis Puentes is coming to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre. Adonis Puentes opens up the marvelous world of Cuban music to his audiences the second they hear his rich voice and all-acoustic orchestra. Puentes' vocals are surrounded by syncopated Cuban rhythms, deep bass lines, jazzy horn arrangements, and melodic piano and guitar when the other players kick in with their tight, multi-layered arrangements. (This is a high volume performance) More on the show

Cal Poly Open House Concert, April 17

Three Cal Poly music ensembles featuring more than 100 of the university’s finest student musicians will perform at this year’s Open House Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 17, in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center. The Cal Poly Symphony, conducted by David Arrivée, will feature works for symphonic orchestra, including “Palladio” by Karl Jenkins, “Oblivion” by Astor Piazolla, and Monty Norman’s theme from the James Bond films. The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Andrew McMahan, will perform a selection of wind band masterworks including “Strange Humors” by John Mackey. This piece features Cal Poly 2012 music alumnus Jonathan Withem on the djembe, a rope-tuned, skin-covered goblet hand drum originally from West Africa. The University Jazz Band I, directed by Paul Rinzler, will perform “Wind Machine” by Sammy Nestico, “Smack Dab in the Middle” by John Clayton, and “Some Skunk Funk” by Randy Brecker.More on the concert

The Bobs, April 18

The Bobs will be coming to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre on Saturday, April 18th for an 8:00pm show. With their vocal mastery and an irreverent sense of humor, The Bobs are the pinnacle of a cappella music. Called “a band without instruments,” The Bobs use just their voices and body percussion to fill a room with an orchestra of harmonious sound and comedy, performing unique covers and original tunes. More on the show

All-State Music Festival Concert, April 19

The Cal Poly Music Department will host the Cal Poly All-State Festival Concert, featuring some of the state’s best high school musicians, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19, in the Performing Arts Center’s Harman Hall. Dave Eshelman, trombonist, composer, big band leader, recording artist, and jazz educator, will be the Festival Jazz Band director.The Festival Wind Orchestra will be conducted by husband-and-wife team Heidi Johanna Miller and James Patrick Miller. Tickets to the concert are $12 and $14 for the public and $9 and $12 for senior citizens and students. Pricing includes all Performing Arts Center fees, and event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are sold at the Cal Poly Ticket office between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849). More on the concert

Faculty Chamber Ensemble Concert, April 24

Members of the faculty will perform as part of the Faculty Chamber Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24. The event will include masterworks of chamber music, including beloved gems and less-known works. The evening shows what is possible when faculty artists put what they preach into practice. Tickets are $5 at the door. The event was rescheduled from the original April 3 performance.

Paul Taylor Dance Company, April 25

Paul Taylor Dance CompanyPaul Taylor Dance Company will be coming to the Cohan Center for a performance on Saturday, April 25th at 8:00pm. Over his six decades as a world-renowned choreographer, Paul Taylor’s work covers an amazingly wide palette: from the lovely, warmly human to the terrifyingly grotesque to everything between those two poles. The range of emotions is extraordinary, full of vitality and often filled with wicked humor. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the performance

Gary Beard & Ryan Anthony, April 26

Cal Poly Arts will present Gary Beard & Ryan Anthony on Sunday, April 26th. The show will be held in the Cohan Center on the Cal Poly campus. This organ/trumpet duo will bring a unique and energetic blend of instrumentation to the PAC in this Forbes Pipe Organ Series afternoon concert, including music by Pachelbel, Mozart, Albinoni, and Faure, plus music by film composer Ennio Morricone, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. More on the show


Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: Visions of Cape Breton & Beyond, May 3

Natalia MacMaster & Donnell LeahyAt 7:00pm on May 3rd, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are coming to Cal Poly for a performance. The show will be held in the Cohan Center. Electrifying Celtic fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and husband Donnell Leahy – each a much beloved musician – highlight the unique talents, influences and stories of the gifted Leahy clan when their children share the stage. Celtic dancers and singers from their hometowns of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Lakefield, Ontario join the “First Family of Fiddlers” in a celebrated musical and personal journey. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the performance

The Assad Brothers: 50th Anniversary Tour, May 14

Assad BrothersThe Assad Brothers are coming to Cal Poly on Thursday, May 14th at 7:30pm. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them and invited renowned artists, such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, to work with them. Don't miss out on this showcase of talent held in the Cohan Center at Cal Poly. A pre-show lecture is scheduled.
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“Whose Live Anyway?” May 28

Cal Poly Arts will present, “Whose Live Anyway?” on May 28th in the Cohan Center. The show will begin at 7:30pm. Stand-up is fun, improv is funnier! Following their two sold-out performances at the PAC in seasons past, Ryan Stiles and his band of madcap comic mischief-makers are back with a hilarious new evening of star-quality improvisation and plenty of audience participation. A perfect way to cap off the 2014-15 season! More on the show

Whose Live Anyway?
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Music Dept. Performances