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Newman Center Unveils 2018-19 Concert Series

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Greg Glasgow

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Newman Center

For its 2018–19 season, DU’s Newman Center Presents Series is calling all jazz fans, dance aficionados and armchair travelers.

Along with healthy doses of dance and jazz, the season — which kicks off Sept. 15 with a special downtown Denver performance by opera singer Kathleen Battle, performing with DU’s own Spirituals Project — features three family-friendly presentations from National Geographic.

“National Geographic has a roster of adventurers and scientists and photographers on a live touring circuit where they present a 60- to 75-minute program with HD video and photos of their experiences,” says Kendra Whitlock Ingram, executive director of the Newman Center. “It’s super family-friendly, and the quality of the video and photos is just extraordinary.”

The National Geographic series kicks off Dec. 13 with a presentation by Kobie Boykins, a NASA engineer who worked on the Mars rover. Other speakers include mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill (Jan. 23), who led a group of elite climbers on a grueling attempt to scale a remote peak in Myanmar, and photographer Steve Winter (March 3), who will share his experiences photographing big cats.

Dianne Reeves
Dianne Reeves

On the jazz front, the Newman Center welcomes guitarist Pat Metheny and his quartet (Oct. 17); the U.S. Army’s Jazz Ambassadors, playing a free concert (Oct. 20); the Turtle Island Quartet with pianist Cyrus Chestnut (Nov. 16); singer and Denver native Dianne Reeves, performing songs from her holiday album, “Christmas Time is Here” (Dec. 6); traditional New Orleans jazzers Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra (Feb. 26); and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning pianist Vijay Iver and his sextet (May 9, 2019).

“The two things that we’ve found the niche for programming in Denver are dance and jazz,” Ingram says. “So those are the two places we usually start with programming. On the jazz side, I always say we fit the artist that plays a thousand-seat venue, even though this year we’re presenting a few artists that have played much larger venues. We’ve been really fortunate to lock them down for our season.”

Ingram put a special focus on female artists for the venue’s 2018–19 dance season, booking such up-and-comers as Camille A. Brown (Oct. 4), Jessica Lang (Feb. 7) and Michelle Dorrance (April 4) — whose “ETM: Double Down” finds eight tap dancers performing on special digital platforms that turn the stage into an instrument.

Okee Dokee Brothers
Okee Dokee Brothers

For the second season in a row, the Newman Center is reaching out to young music lovers. The Student Matinee Series brings students in grades K-12 to the Newman Center for one-hour performances by touring artists during the school day. The Family Series, meanwhile, will feature programming geared for children ages 6 and older, as well as their families. The latter series welcomes the Okee Dokee Brothers on Nov. 4, followed by B — The Underwater Bubble Show on March 14.

Bang on a Can All-Stars
Bang on a Can All-Stars

Other shows on the 2018–19 Newman Center season include “Potted Potter” (Sept. 19–23), a Broadway-caliber parody performance that condenses all seven Harry Potter books into 70 minutes; Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, in a collaboration with pianist Joyce Yang (Nov. 10–11); A Canadian Brass Christmas (Dec. 18); “The Miracle of Indoor Plumbing,” featuring Jad Abumrad, host of Public Radio’s Radiolab (Jan. 12); the globally minded Silkroad Ensemble (Feb. 1); gospel superstars the Blind Boys of Alabama (Feb. 14); Destination Freedom: Black Radio Days, an old-fashioned radio show featuring Denver’s own Flobots (March 22, 2019); and contemporary classical ensemble the Bang on a Can All-Stars (April 12, 2019), in a concert featuring students from DU’s Lamont School of Music.

Season subscriptions are on sale now; single tickets will be available in mid-July. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.



  • Sept. 15: Kathleen Battle: Underground Railroad — A Spiritual Journey, featuring the Spirituals Project (at Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver)
  • Sept. 19–23: Potted Potter
  • Oct. 4: Camille A. Brown and Dancers
  • Oct. 17: Pat Metheny, with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh and Gwilym Simcock
  • Oct. 20: Jazz Ambassadors: America’s Big Band (free concert)
  • Nov. 4: The Okee Dokee Brothers
  • Nov. 10–11: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: An Evening with Joyce Yang
  • Nov. 16: Turtle Island Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut
  • Dec. 6: Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here
  • Dec. 13: National Geographic: Kobie Boykins (Exploring Mars)
  • Dec. 18: A Canadian Brass Christmas
  • Jan. 12: The Miracle of Indoor Plumbing: An Evening with Jad Abumrad
  • Jan. 23: National Geographic: Hilaree O’Neill (Point of No Return)
  • Feb. 1: Silkroad Ensemble
  • Feb. 7: Jessica Lang Dance
  • Feb. 14: Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Feb. 26: Delfeayo Marsalis presents the Uptown Jazz Orchestra
  • March 3: National Geographic: Steve Winter (On the Trail of Big Cats)
  • March 14: B — The Underwater Bubble Show
  • March 22: Destination Freedom: Black Radio Days
  • April 4: Dorrance Dance ETM: Double Down
  • April 12: Bang on a Can All-Stars
  • May 9: Vijay Iyer Sextet