June 30, 2017 | Jim Townsend
University of Houston-Clear Lake Bayou Theater will present 10 performances for its 2017-18 season, a mix of classical, blues, bluegrass, South Asian and distinctly Texas music. Season passes went on sale July 1. Single ticket sales begin Aug. 1.
Mercury: The Orchestra Redefined, a popular draw at Bayou Theater, kicks off the season Aug. 31, with a fusion of Johann Sebastian Bach’s fugues and Astor Piazzolla’s Argentinian tango – the first of four performances. Other evenings in the Mercury series will feature Brahms and Mendelssohn in October, the Italian Baroque masters in April and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in May for a Mother’s Day matinee.
For fans of Appalachian folk, New Orleans blues, ragtime horns, stand-up bass and steel slide guitar, the Bumper Jacksons will visit in January to kick off the theater’s Blues and Bluegrass series. The multi-Grammy-nominated duo of Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent will bring one of the nation’s best bluegrass bands to Bayou Theater in February. And two-time Grammy-winning Brave Combo will mix polka, blues, zydeco and Colombian-folk cumbia on April’s stage.
The Texas Artist Spotlight series shows just how diverse Texas music is. The series opens Oct. 21 with the Texas New Music Ensemble in a performance of contemporary art music created by Texas composers. In November, Houston-based group Riyaaz Qawwali will bring its lively rhythmic cycles, gripping melodies and improvisational poetry to introduce the audience to its modernized version of a South Asian musical genre that dates to the 13th century. Then on Valentine’s Day, the Quebe Sisters (rhymes with “maybe”) brings their blend of Texas swing and tight harmonies to Bayou Theater – in a fusion that can be described as Andrews Sisters meet Bob Wills with Commander Cody and Asleep at the Wheel.
Tickets can be purchased separately with discounts for advance ticket sales. Ticket prices vary by performance; UHCL students with a valid ID receive further discounts. Theater-goers can enjoy all 10 shows for $150 per person or $100 with a UHCL student ID.
Season passes can also be purchased for all the shows in each series: Mercury Orchestra $64/adult or $44/student; Blues and Bluegrass $51/adult or $36 student; and Texas Artist Spotlight $45/adult or $30/student.
“We’ve expanded our season to include two new series with an exciting mix of music and performers,” said Alex Malone, the theater’s managing director.
Series sponsorships are also available, Malone said. “The arts are a vital part of any thriving community and subscribing is just one way to support your local arts community.”