A 10th year celebration of the anniversary of the restoration of the Morris Performing Arts Center will take place on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
This special "Thank You South Bend" free show will feature talents from the many types of entertainment that have graced the stage of the Morris over it's history; from Classical to Broadway; Jazz to Celtic and R&B/Motown; with nationally known performing acts who live here in the Michiana region; such as JUNIOR WALKER & THE ALL STAR BAND with veteran All Star Band member DARRYL BUCHANAN, DONI HAGEN, saxophonist DANNY LERMAN, REBECCA WILSON and the MAROON JAZZ CHOIR, Violinist THOMAS HUNTINGTON, Cellist AUSTIN HUNTINGTON, NIKITA ABROSIMO, JOHN BANES, JUSTIN WILLIAMS, South Bend Symphony Choir member Professor TUCK LANGLAND, John Kennedy and KENNEDY'S KITCHEN with CELTIC DANCE and a special appearance by Chicago based jazz singer, Spider Saloff. Mayor Stephen Luecke will make a special appearance. Hosted by SUNNY 101.5 radio personality Tori James, former WSBT news anchor Mike Collins, St. Joseph County Treasurer Sean Coleman, and South Bend City Councilman David Varner. Produced and directed by Ralph Lampkin, Jr.
More information is available at www.MorrisCenter.org.
Originally built in 1921, The Morris is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and completed a restoration and renovation process in 2000 with a completely new stage house and the interior restored to its original vaudeville splendor. The theater hosts a wide variety of concerts, national Broadway touring musicals, symphony, dance, comedians, and is home to the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Broadway Theatre League.
Tickets are free for the event and are available to be picked up at the Morris Box Office. There is a limit of four tickets per person. The Morris Box Office is open regular hours Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and is located at 211 North Michigan Street, South Bend.
The Morris has a seating capacity of 2,564 and is consistently ranked by Pollstar concert industry magazine among the top 100 theaters worldwide. The Morris was awarded a "Prime Site Award" by Facilities Magazine in 2008, 2007, and 2006 (voted on by over 10,000 people in the entertainment industry - booking agents, promoters, talent buyers and special event planners.) The Morris has been been voted the South Bend Tribune Readers Choice Award for "Favorite Entertainment/Live Performance Theater for 7 consecutive years (2003-2009)
Spider Saloff is a regional jazz vocalist favorite who has performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Trio's Restaurant and Jazz Club, the Great American Song Book series produced by Lampkin Music Group, the South Bend Museum of Art, the State Theater with Danny Lerman and Darryl Buchanan, and has received critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. SALOFF was featured with the prestigious Chicago Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. She received the honor of performing the American Premiere of a newly discovered song by the great Billy Strayhorn, "So This Is Love". And as one of the rare officially sanctioned acts of the Gershwin Centennial, her concert, Spider Saloff Sings Gershwin, toured the U.S. and headlined the St. Petersburg Gershwin Festival in Russia. SALOFF has played such renowned jazz and night club venues as New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, Iridium, Joe's Pub, Birdland ,The Russian Tea Room, Michael's Pub, and The Algonquin; Chicago's Gold Star Sardine Bar, The Green Mill and the Fairmont Hotel; San Francisco's Jazz at Pearl's, and Plush Room; and Seattle's Triple door.
DARRYL BUCHANAN developed his musical talents during his high school years in South Bend. DARRYL was discovered and recruited by Motown's legendary sax man Jr. Walker as his opening act to tour the U.S., Canada and Europe. Their last performance was at New York's famed Apollo Theatre. DARRYL has performed with The Temptations, The Supremes, the Legends of Motown, and toured Europe with famed James Brown band leader, trombonist Fred Wesley. He has also performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live and CBS Good Morning America. He currently performs in area clubs and venues with his band "Darryl B. & Reflections," one of the hottest R&B/Motown bands. On August 29, 2009, DARRYL was awarded the certificate of recognition by the City of South Bend, Mayor Stephen Luecke for his accomplishments during his thirty years in music. DARRYL recently released his sixth music CD album with Chicago writer, producer and former NFL player, Don Carlos.
DONI HAGAN was discovered at a young age by Curtis Mayfield and served as studio drummer for Mayfield's Chicago-based Curtom Records. He is an internationally renowned musician, composer and producer with 100+ recording and touring credits spanning a four decade career on the world music scene. His 1987 recording of "Would You Like To Dance" earned him two Gold European sales awards in addition to 4 Platinum and 7 Gold albums, 5 Gold singles and 3 honorable mention certificates from NARAS (Grammys) related to his recordings for other artists. He is credited with composing the drum programs for Marvin Gaye's "Midnight Love" project including the classic track "Sexual Healing."
DANNY LERMAN, a South Bend musician who plays alto and soprano sax, has studied with Charles Atkins who taught Motown Icon, Jr. Walker. DANNY has performed around the world, including Turkey, Israel, Holland, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico. He brought influences and musicians from the countries he visited when recording his newest CD, "Meow Baby." While the tracks swing towards contemporary jazz, urban and adult pop, there are also traces of World Music, Middle Eastern, Latin and South African rhythms. His CD "Danny's Island" reached the Top 20 on the Contemporary Jazz charts of "Radio & Records," and the single, "Take My Breath away," reached the No. 1 position on the playlist of WGCI, Chicago's No. 1 urban music station. DANNY has shared concert bills with Herbie Hancock, Sergio Mendes, Richard Elliot, David Benoit, Eric Marienthal and the Ghetto Boys.
KENNEDY'S KITCHEN plays a great mix of traditional Irish tunes and songs from rowdy and toe-tapping or sweet and sentimental. Their Irish ballads and original compositions will take you to depths and heights of emotions. They have played from Pittsburg to Chicago and from Dayton, Ohio to the Irish Fest in Muskegon, Michigan, entertaining audiences with their own special sound with these instruments: fiddle, whistles, banjo, bouzouki, guitars, bodhran, harmonica and bass.
THOMAS HUNTINGTON, 16-year-old South Bend violinist, has been awarded numerous First Place prizes and International Grand Prize awards. THOMAS made his solo orchestral debut at age 8 with the Grace Community Orchestra as a result of his First Place win in their Concerto Competition, and at age 9 was invited to perform as guest soloist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Most recently he was awarded the Most Distinguished Artist in the 2008 IBLA International Competition held in Italy and made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, New York. He has studied at Juilliard School in New York City with Stephen Clapp and presently studies with Shmuel Ashkenasi in Chicago. This past summer he attended the prestigious Perlman Music Program, Shelter Island, NY, and was invited to participate in the Periman Program's Winter Residency in Sarasota, FL.