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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.

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.

2014-15 Marquis Series

Savoy Family Cajun Band

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
7:30 p.m. Sinclair Auditorium

Marc and Ann Savoy and their sons, Joel and Wilson, are each strong individual musicians collaborating to play hard-core Cajun music laced with earthy sensuality. The Savoy Family Cajun Band has taken the old Cajun tunes, revived them, and returned them to new life. Marc and Ann have been recording and performing together since 1977. Traveling all over the world, they have appeared in prestigious venues including the Newport Folk Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and others. Marc and Ann appeared on the PBS series "American Roots," and Marc has received the National Heritage Fellowship Award. Joel was founding member of the Red Stick Ramblers and today has his own record company, while Wilson, a member of the Grammy-nominated Pine Leaf Boys, appeared on HBO's "Treme" series. Combining each member's raw talent, the Savoy Family Cajun Band brings the energy of southwest Louisiana dance halls to the Sinclair stage.

Photo by Guy Vivien

Prazak Quartet

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
7:30 p.m. Sinclair Auditorium

Vaclav Remes (violin), Vlastimil Holek (violin), Josef Kluson (viola) and Michal Kanka (cello) make up the Prazak Quartet, one of today's leading international chamber music ensembles. The group was established in 1972 while its original members were students at the Prague Conservatory. After just two years of collaboration, the Prazak Quartet received the first prize at the Prague Conservatory Chamber Music Competition. The group has been making a home on music stages worldwide ever since, with regular appearances in major European musical capitals such as Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Madrid, London, Berlin and Munich. The Prazak Quartet now records exclusively for Praga and has made over 20 recordings for the label. In North America, the quartet has performed in New York (Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington and more. The quartet will be playing an all-Czech program at Coe, featuring music by Ryba, Janacek and Smetana.

Step Afrika!

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
7:30 p.m. Sinclair Auditorium

Founded in 1994, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Step Afrika! now ranks as one of the top 10 African-American dance companies in the United States. They blend percussive dance styles practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities, as well as traditional African dance and influences from a variety of other dance forms. Integrating songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation, Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. In its home of Washington, D.C. and cities around the world, the company holds workshops, residency programs and art education activities for K-12 and college students. Performances have been described by audiences as "a jubilation of rhythm and spirit that harks back to the essence of dancing: people moving together in harmony for the greater good."

Shalini Kantayya

Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015
7:30 p.m. Sinclair Auditorium

A Brooklyn-based filmmaker, Shalini Kantayya refers to herself as an eco-activist, tech-head, sci-fi fanatic and humanist. She finished in the top 10 out of 12,000 filmmakers on Fox's "On The Lot," a Steven Spielberg show in search of Hollywood's next great director. She uses film to explore human rights at the intersection of water, food and energy. The mission of 7th Empire Media, Kantayya's production company, is to create a culture of human rights and a sustainable planet through wildly imaginative media. Kantayya created her science-fiction film, "A Drop of Life," after finding alarming statistics that two-thirds of the world's people will not have adequate access to clean drinking water by the year 2027. Making a real-world impact, the film was used as a tool to organize for water rights in 40 villages across Africa. It won Best Short at Palm Beach International, a Crystal Dior nomination at Tokyo Shorts, and it was broadcast on national television in India and the U.S. In this gripping film screening and interactive talk, Kantayya fuses personal and political to explore the mounting worldwide water crisis, helping audiences to see water as a basic human right and inspiring them to make change.