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

September

Gordon Lightfoot, September 30

Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian treasure. He has recorded more than 200 songs over the past five decades, helped define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 70s, and influenced the sound of such artists as Dan Fogelberg, Jimmy Buffett, Jim Croce and Ron Sexsmith. In 1976, Lightfoot wrote and recorded “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” a  haunting ballad about the death of 29 men aboard the Queen of the Lakes during a gale on the “big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee.’ ” The song made the November 1975 sinking of the Fitzgerald one of the most well-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. In spite of its unlikely subject matter, the song climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard pop charts and remains one the most stirring topical ballads ever written, and a highlight of every Lightfoot concert Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. in the Christopher Cohan Center’s Harman Hall. More on the show

October

Get The Led Out, October 1

On October 1st at 7:30pm, Cal Poly Arts presents, “GET THE LED OUT” in the Cohan Center. From the bombastic and epic, to the folky and mystical, GTLO captures the true essence of Led Zeppelin’s studio sounds in all its depth and glory. Celebrate the British supergroup’s mythic career in a spectacular big concert setting with an awe-inspiring live performance, filled with the songs that shaped a generation. More on the performance

Classics in the Cohan 1, October 4

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. 8 p.m. in the Christopher Cohan Center’s Harman Hall. San Luis Obispo Symphony’s 54th Season kicks off with violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn performing Tchaikovsky’s difficult and fiery concerto on the 1720 “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius violin that inspired the 1998 Academy award-winning film “The Red Violin.” More on the concert

Basetrack, October 4Basetrack

On Saturday October 4, 2014, Cal Poly Arts will present, Basetrack at 8:00pm in Spanos Theatre. Musicians, actors and an action-filled video screen make up Basetrack, the Internet sensation that is now a live, multimedia theatre experience focusing on the intense personal experiences of Marines deployed in Afghanistan, their comrades, and their families in a moving, apolitical documentary that depicts the human side of war and those most affected.
More on the show

‘Aida,’ October 11 and 12

Saturday, Oct.11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 12 at 2 p.m., Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental “Aida,” the opera of operas, comes to Cal Poly. Join the Citywide Arts Collaboration that resurrects the exoticism of ancient Egypt on the main stage in the Christopher Cohan Center’s Harman Hall! Witness the return of the pharaohs, armies of soldiers, slaves, priests and priestesses all set to the beauty of Verdi’s lush score. “Aida” is the ultimate grand opera experience featuring a full orchestra, choruses, ballets, soaring arias, and an internationally acclaimed cast of opera singers all woven into a pageantry of politics and passionate love triangles. Citywide Arts Collaboration featuring: Ballet Theater San Luis Obispo, Central Coast Children's Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, Deyo Dances CORE and Studio@ —Ryan's American Dance. Two performances.
More on the opera

Branford Marsalis, Marsalis Well-Tempered, October 15

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Cal Poly Arts presents a performance from Branford Marsalis and Marsalis Well-Tempered in the Cohan Center at 7:30pm.
Renowned Grammy Award–winning saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis joins the highly celebrated Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in a performance of stirring Baroque masterpieces by Albinoni, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and others. A pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show

Cirque Zuma Zuma, October 17Cirque Zuma Zuma

The Cirque Zuma Zuma is coming to Cal Poly on October 17, 2014. The show starts at 7pm on Friday night in the Cohan Center. With live music and percussionists, the talented cast of amazing acrobats delivers an action-packed show, combining the mysticism of Africa with the excitement and athleticism of a theatrical cirque performance in the ultimate celebration of music, dance and rituals from the continent. More on the show

‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ October 18

Saturday, Oct. 18 at 9:55 a.m. The Met: Live in HD program was developed as a way to reach existing audiences and to introduce new audiences to opera through new technology. Met Music Director James Levine conducts a spirited new production of Mozart’s masterpiece, “Le Nozze Di Figaro” (“The Marriage of Figaro”), directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in a 19th-century manor house in Seville, but during the gilded age of the late 1920s. Broadcast of the 4-hour opera starts at 9:30 a.m. in Christopher Cohan Center’s Harman Hall.
More on the opera

The Stepcrew, October 21

With a cast of 11 performers, The StepCrew includes four touring members of Ireland's traditional music moguls, The Chieftains. This completely unique and high-energy extravaganza of music, song, and three styles of percussive dance is an exciting Celtic journey and the group is coming to Cal Poly on October 21st at 7:30pm in the Cohan Center. More on the performance

The Dunwells, October 24

The DunwellsComing to Spanos Theatre on October 24th at 8:00pm, The Dunwells are a pop-rock vocalist group. With an exhilarating blend of English rock and American roots music, these British folk rockers from the pubs of England absolutely fired up the PAC audience when they opened for Los Lonely Boys two seasons ago – and Central Coast fans have been clamoring for them ever since.
More on the concert

Parents & Family Weekend Concert, October 24

Photo of female singer holding a microphone.Friday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. marks the season-debut performance by the Music Department's major performing ensembles. These include the Symphony, Arab Music Ensemble, University Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Cal Poly Choirs. W. Terrence Spiller, chairman of the Music Department, will serve as master of ceremonies for the 2-1/2 hour musical extravaganza in the Christopher Cohan Center’s Harman Hall.
More on the concert

Faculty Chamber Ensemble Fall Concert, October 25

On Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Davidson Music Center, Room 218, members of the faculty perform masterworks of chamber music — beloved gems and less-known works alike. Come hear what is possible when our faculty artists put into practice what they teach! Tickets are $5 at the door. More on the show

The Met: Live in HD —  Verdi’s ‘Macbeth,’ October 26

A scene from Macbeth,On Sunday, Oct. 26, star soprano Anna Netrebko delivers her searing portrayal of Lady Macbeth, the mad and murderous mate of Željko Lucic’s doomed Macbeth, for the first time at the Met. The curtain rises at 2 p.m. in the Christopher Cohan Center. Adrian Noble’s chilling production of Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy also stars Joseph Calleja as the noble Macduff and René Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts. Run time: 3 hours, 13 minutes. More on the opera

Diavolo, October 28

On October 28th, Cal Poly Arts will present Diavolo at 7:30 p.m. in the Cohan Center. Known as Los Angeles’ “wild child,” Diavolo is a contemporary company of hip daredevil dancers, cavorting on pitching wheels, goliath walls and other unique architectural creations — fusing ballet and contemporary movement with acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts and hip-hop in a major Cirque-style show. More on the show

 

November

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, November 1Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

On Saturday, November 1 Cal Poly Arts presents the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at 8:00pm in the Cohan Center. Celebrating their 42nd season, this Grammy Award-winning classical music ensemble is known for its collaborative leadership style in which the musicians, not a conductor, interpret the score. Their program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 and violin soloist Jennifer Koh playing the Bach Violin Concerto. A pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the performance

Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music, November 2

On November 2 in the Cohan Center, Cal Poly Arts presents Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music at 3:00pm. This worldwide phenomenon celebrates the Julie Andrews classic film musical on the PAC big screen – in all of its glorious full-screen Technicolor – for a family-fun experience complete with hand props and subtitles so the whole audience can sing along! Charmian Carr, who played “Liesl,” will emcee the event. Start working on your Lederhosen and nun habits now for the big costume competition!  (Suitable for ages 5+). More on the show

Chicago, November 4-5

Come out to the Cohan Center at 7:30pm on November 4th or November 5th to watch the spectacle that is, Chicago. Chicago has everything that makes a Broadway musical great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. Winner of six Tony Awards and thousands of standing ovations. Don’t miss this razzle-dazzle evening of theatre! (Adult content – may not be suitable for children under age 15). Pre-show lecture scheduled for this performance. More on the performance

Dorothy Riess, November 16

Dorothy RiessOn November 16, Cal Poly Arts presents Dorothy Riess in the Cohan Center at 3:00pm. Considered a "living legend" by those who have heard her artistry, “Dr. Dorothy's” organ program will feature an interesting, eclectic mix of original compositions, transcriptions and classical organ repertoire, including Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B minor, Stravinsky's "Petrouchka," and Wagner’s "Pilgrim's Chorus" – delivered with unique interpretations and dramatic flair. More on the show

King Lear, November 18

On Tuesday, November 18th at 7:30pm, King Lear will come to the Cohan Center. With its tempestuous poetry, touches of humor and moments of heart-rending simplicity, Shakespeare’s ultimately tragic King Lear is one of the deepest artistic explorations of the human condition. This riveting evening is performed by one of England’s premier theatre companies on a traveling Elizabethan stage. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show

December

Audra McDonald, December 3Audra McDonald

On Wednesday December 3, Audra McDonald is coming to Cal Poly. The performanc, which begins at 7:30pm,  will be held in the Cohan Center. Winner of five Tony Awards and two Grammys, the barrier-breaking Broadway legend and charming “Live From Lincoln Center” host dazzles audiences with favorite showtunes and songs from her new album, Go Back Home – her most personal recording to date. More on the show

Brian Regan, December 4

A Center Stage Event, Cal Poly Arts is bringing, comedian, Brian Regan to the Cohan Center on December 4 at 7:30pm. One of the hardest working and most respected comedians in the country – selling out theatres from coast to coast, including a Rotary de Tolosa fundraiser at the PAC – Brian Regan counts Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt and David Letterman among his biggest fans. More on the show

An Irish Christmas, December 15

On December 15, Cal Poly Arts presents An Irish Christmas at the Cohan Center. The Irish Christmasshow starts at 7:30pm. This wildly popular show brings just about everything to the staged story – joy, hope, laughter, friendship and an exuberant celebration of life. Through bright storytelling, Celtic music and dance, seasonal song, and just a bit of “magic,” this holiday event will bring ear-to-ear smiles to audiences of all ages! More on the show

January

The Hot Sardines, January 14

On Wedneday, January 14 The Hot Sardines are coming to the Cal Poly campus. The show will begin at 7:30pm in Spanos Theatre. Move over Dixieland and let The Hot Sardinesthe Sardines play “hot jazz” from the bygone era when live music was king. Bop ‘til you drop to their unique repertoire tinged with a little glamour, a little grit, a bit of Parisian accent, a lot of passion – and even some tap dance! All coolly wrapped into one extraordinary evening. More on the concert


Samite, January 15

Originally from Uganda, Samité's smooth vocals – accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes – have mesmerized audiences around the world. On January 15th, Samite will be coming to the PAC Pavilion at the Christopher Cohan Center for a 7:30pm performance. In the intimate Pavilion, Samité's East African music will touch everyone as he sings the songs of his people. More on the concert

Kathleen Madigan, January 16

For the past 25 years, Kathleen Madigan has been a top-rated comic vKathleen Madiganoice on virtually every late-night TV show and the headliner in several Comedy Central stand-up specials. On Friday, January 16 Kathleen Madigan will be coming to the Cohan Center at 8:00pm. Understated, observational, and absolutely hilarious, Madigan proves why audiences adore her and fellow comedians like Ron White call her “the best.” (Adult content – may not be suitable for children under age 15). More on the show

Christian Elliott, January 25

On Sunday, January 25th, Cal Poly Arts presents Christian Elliott in the Cohan Center at 3:00pm. One of today’s most prominent concert organists, Elliott excels at authentic silent film accompaniment and promises great fun when he returns to the Forbes Pipe Organ, accompanying shorts by Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy and a feature film starring local silent screen star, Colleen Moore. More on the event

FebruaryRoberta Flack

Roberta Flack, February 4

On February 4th, Cal Poly Arts presents Roberta Flack in the Cohan Center at 7:30pm. The show will include “Killing Me Softly,” “The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face),” “Where is the Love,” “Feel Like Making Love,” “The Closer I Get to You,” and more. Internationally hailed as one of the greatest songstresses of our time, this Grammy Award winner remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music, effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape of pop, soul, folk and jazz. More on the performance

The Second City, February 8

On February 8th at 7:00pm, The Second City is coming to Cal Poly’s, Cohan Center. It is the 55th Anniversary tour and it includes Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Will Ferrell, and Ryan Stiles. All great comedians, all alumni of this famed improvisation troupe. Come see SC’s 55th Anniversary Tour, filled with the best comedy created by some of the biggest names in the business, mixed up with brand-new material – some written especially about San Luis Obispo – performed by the red-hot talent of today. More on the show

Memphis, February 9Memphis The Musical

Memphis the musical is coming to Cal Poly’s Cohan Center on February 9th at 7:30pm. From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis where rock 'n' roll was born, comes a hot musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. The 2010 “Best Musical” Tony Award-winner, Memphis is an incredible journey, filled with drama, laughter and roof-raising rock 'n' roll. More on the show

March

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.
More on the performance

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

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

2CELLOS, March 21

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 Red2CELLOS 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.
More on the performance

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

April

Mamma Mia, April 6

On 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! Mamma Mia 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.
More on the show

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 14

On Tuesday, April 14th, Cal Poly Arts presents Lila Downs. The show will take place in the Lila DownsCohan 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

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

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

Paul Taylor Dance Company, April 25

Paul Taylor Dance Company will be coming to the Cohan Center for a performance on Saturday, April 25th at 8:00pm. Paul Taylor Dance CompanyOver 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

May

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

At 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 Natalia MacMaster & Donnell LeahyNatalie 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

The 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 Assad Brothersbenchmark 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.
More on the event

“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!Whose Live Anyway? 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






 



 

 


brochure image

Cal Poly Arts

Mustang

Cal Poly Athletics

PAC Hall

Peforming Arts Center

PolyTix

PolyTix

music promo picture

Music Dept. Performances