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Marquis Series

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The Coe College Marquis Series has a long tradition of bringing high quality entertainment and outstanding lecturers to the Cedar Rapids community - the kinds of performances that you would typically have to travel to major metropolitan areas to experience and enjoy.

Marquis Series patrons can purchase individual tickets to each event for $15 for the general public, $10 for students (18 and under) and seniors (55 and older). No charge for Coe College students, faculty and staff. For ticket information, call the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday. Tickets may be purchased online by clicking here, over the phone, or in person at the Box Office.

The Marquis Series is funded by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920. The purpose of the series is to bring entertainment and educational presentations to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community.

2016-17 Marquis Series

Sarah McKenzie Quartet

Sarah McKenzie Quartet
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
7:30 p.m. - Sinclair Auditorium

Australian pianist-singer Sarah McKenzie is one of the greatest discoveries of recent years. She earned a bachelor's degree in jazz at Perth's West Academy of Performing Arts and recorded two critically acclaimed albums for ABC records "Don't Tempt Me" (2010) and "Close Your Eyes" (2012), winner of Best Jazz Album ARIA award. She then took part in the Umbria Jazz Festival competition and was awarded a rare full scholarship to attend the iconic Berklee College of Music in Boston. Upon graduation she was immediately snapped up by Impulse! Records, releasing her debut album "We Could Be Lovers" for the iconic label. The Australian version of "We Could Be Lovers" was awarded with the prestigious Bell Award as Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2015. With her full-bodied touch on the piano and her delicate yet soaring vocal finesse, McKenzie has performed on jazz music's most iconic stages, including Monterey, Marcia and Dizzy's in New York, as well as the top clubs in Europe.


Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney – Poet, performer, librettist
January 21, 2017
7:30 p.m. - Sinclair Auditorium

Douglas Kearney's collection of writing on poetics and performativity, "Mess and Mess and" (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher's Weekly called "an extraordinary book." Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney's second book and National Poetry Series selection, "The Black Automaton" (Fence Books, 2009), "flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning." "Someone Took They Tongues" (Subito Press, 2016) collects several of his libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. He was the guest editor for 2015's "Best American Experimental Writing" (Wesleyan). He has received a Whiting Writer's Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation and others. He teaches at California Institute for the Arts in Santa Clarita. Kearney will be performing "Them Loud-Assed Colored Silences," which combines experimental spoken word/vocals, fractured hip-hop video narration, digital turntablism, and sociocultural shade-throwing to amplify poems from Douglas Kearney's "bold, earth-bound, and often bloody" "Buck Studies" (Fence Books). In collaboration with Val Jeanty (SoundChemist), this performance is AfroFuturism with a boot set firmly in the rubble of Right Now.

Christian howes

Christian Howes – Performer, educator, composer
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7:30 p.m. - Sinclair Auditorium

Since 2011, performer, educator and composer, Christian Howes was voted #1 in the Downbeat Critics Poll ("Rising Stars/Violin"), named among the top three jazz violinists in the JazzTimes critics poll, and nominated for Violinist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association. He received the Residency Partner Award through Chamber Music America for outreach programs in schools, earned a USArtists grant through the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was invited by the U.S. State Department for two tours to visit Ukraine and Montenegro. The Minneapolis Tribune called Howes "arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz." His recent release on Resonance Records, "Southern Exposure" earned recognition in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Downbeat and Jazz Times, as well as a six-night run at Lincoln Center in April, 2013. Howes is the founder of "Creative Strings," a non-profit organization with a mission to expand music education through the creation of online curriculum, an annual summer conference, and dozens of visits to schools annually teaching improvisation, contemporary styles and related subjects.

W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell - Comic and television personality
This event, originally scheduled for Oct. 28, has been rescheduled for Saturday, Mar. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium.

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host of the CNN docuseries "United Shades of America." Bell may be best known for his critically acclaimed, but criminally short-lived FX comedy series, "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell." The comedian sits on the advisory board of Race Forward, a racial justice think tank, and Hollaback, a non-profit movement to end street harassment. Bell is also proud to be the ACLU's Ambassador of Social Justice. The New York Times called Bell "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." Bell is also the host of "Kamau Right Now!", a public radio talk show that airs on KALW in San Francisco. "Totally Biased" was executive produced by Chris Rock, who became a fan after seeing a performance of Kamau's one-man show, "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour," which he will be performing on the Sinclair stage. (Please note that this performance will likely include adult themes and strong language, and it is intended for mature audiences only.)