Coe's Marquis Series features renowned jazz musicians, a critically acclaimed comedian, and an award-winning performer and librettist

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2016-08-03 10:45:37 - General

The 2016-17 Coe College Marquis Series features renowned jazz musicians, a critically acclaimed comedian, and an award-winning performer and librettist. All of these outstanding performances will be staged in Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe campus.

This year’s programming opens with Australian pianist-singer Sarah McKenzie, one of the greatest musical discoveries in recent years who has performed on jazz music’s most iconic stages. Comic and television personality W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host of the CNN docuseries, "United Shades of America." He may be best known for his critically acclaimed FX comedy series, "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell."

Poet, performer and librettist Douglas Kearney is an award-winning poet and writer. At Coe, Kearney will be performing "FODDER," which combines sudden opera, live film narration, electronic music and sociocultural commentary to re-present death scenes from science fiction, action and fantasy movies. Closing the Marquis season will be jazz performer, educator and composer Christian Howes. Since 2011, Howes has been 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. His recent release on Resonance Records, "Southern Exposure," earned recognition in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Downbeat and JazzTimes, as well as a six-night run at Lincoln Center.

Marquis Series patrons can purchase individual tickets for $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at coe.edu/boxoffice or by calling the Cox Box Office at 399-8600, Monday - Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (summer hours).

More detailed information on this year's Marquis Series events includes:

Sarah McKenzie Quartet
Saturday, September 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.

Sarah McKenzie Quartet
Sarah McKenzie

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 "FODDER," which combines sudden opera, live film narration, electronic music and sociocultural commentary to re-present death scenes from science-fiction, action and fantasy movies. "FODDER" voices characters whose deaths mark them as disposable to the films' plots, a framework that often mirrors social expendability in the real world.

Douglas KearneyDouglas Kearney

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.

Christian Howes
Christian Howes

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.)

W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell

The Coe College Lecture and Performance Series is funded in part 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 experiences to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community.