Live From Around the World: Jorgensen’s spring schedule

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UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts will be continuing its event schedule for the 2020-2021 season with virtual performances streaming from around the world. 

According to a press release, there will be a variety of performances ranging from Grammy-award winning music influencer Ben Folds live streaming from Australia, to Arcis Saxophone Quartet live streaming from Munich, Germany. Live streaming from the Jorgensen stage will be multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile. 

“I’m … looking forward to Ben Folds,” Jorgensen Director Rodney Rock said. “He’s a quirky artist who was huge a few years back. He performed at Jorgensen back in 2005 and again in 2006 or 2007. Hugely popular with [UConn] students back then … Now he’s getting ready to release a new recording this summer so we were able to take advantage of the timing to bring him back on the digital stage. There are hundreds of alums anxious to see him again and I even think students today will be drawn in to his art and music.” 

The performances this spring will feature a variety of music ranging from chamber to contemporary to genre-bending music, according to a press release. The chamber performances are sponsored by the Lenard Chamber Music series and will include the Kronos Quartet: “50 for the Future,” and the Arcis Saxophone Quartet.  

Because of the pandemic, it’s been impossible for foreign artists to be brought in and many U.S. based ensembles are not performing, according to Rock. However, he said he has identified some artists, like the Arcis Saxophone Quartet, who will live stream from Munich, Germany in a performance space near them. There are also some artists in New York City who are open to the possibility of a one-man show, where they can live stream from their apartment, another space in the city or travel to Connecticut and live stream from the Jorgensen stage. 

“Artists thrive on the energy they get from a live audience. Some will shy away from a live stream situation because they just don’t feel comfortable performing in a virtual format even though they know there is an audience out there.”

Rodney Rock, Director, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts

“All in all, you just have to nose around to see who might be willing to consider a live streaming situation,” Rock said. “Artists thrive on the energy they get from a live audience. Some will shy away from a live stream situation because they just don’t feel comfortable performing in a virtual format even though they know there is an audience out there.” 

Rock also said he was very excited about the sponsorship of the moderated Feb. 4 Q&A with Patrisse Cullors. It was part of a new speaker series Jorgensen is hosting called Arts and Activism, which aims to bring artists in to educate and spread awareness about social justice issues. Since Jorgensen has a long history of co-sponsoring events with the cultural centers, this new Arts and Activism series creates more opportunities to bring in activists and other individuals involved in social justice and human rights issues.  

Part of this series has Jorgensen co-sponsoring the Digital Media and Design program’s inaugural Diverse Perspectives 2021 Speaker Series: Amplifying Black Voices in Hollywood. The one-day summit will run from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST on Feb. 19 and will feature Black leaders from various areas of the film industry. According to the registration page, it will “examine [the film industry’s] changing landscape by exploring efforts to increase diversity in all aspects of Hollywood from screenwriting, to development and production, producing and directing, and visual effects and post-production.” 

For more information on individual events and what’s to come for Jorgensen this spring, be sure to check out their website at jorgensen.uconn.edu. 

Thumbnail photo courtesy of @jorgensenuconn on Instagram.

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