Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Week Ahead: Dec. 9 to 15

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY

What: David Benoit

Where: Jazziz Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 7 and 9 p.m.

Cost: $50-$95

Contact: 561/300-0730, jazziz.com/nightlife

Jazz pianist and composer David Benoit has an enviable resume, having performed for three U.S. presidents (Reagan, Clinton and Bush Sr.) and numerous other world dignitaries; charted more than 25 albums since 1980; and received three Grammy nominations. The eclectic smooth jazz pioneer, who has enjoyed collaborations with symphonies and pop artists ranging from Patti Austin to Kenny Loggins, will be releasing a new album in 2015, but tonight’s special performances at Jazziz honor an American cultural institution that has found its way into Benoit’s music since at least 1985: Charles Schulz’ “Peanuts.” For decades, he has carried the torch of original “Peanuts” composer Vince Guaraldi across albums such as “Here’s To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years” and “Jazz for Peanuts.” At these intimate Jazziz engagements, he’ll focus on selections from the enduring musical special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” including “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas is Coming.”

THURSDAY

What: Takacs Quartet

Where: Kravis Center

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25-$75

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

In terms of its cachet if not its music, Budapest’s Takacs Quartet comprises some of the biggest rock stars in the string-quartet world. They have toured with Hungarian folk groups and drama companies, played 14 dates with prized poet laureate Robert Pinksy, and scored a live reading of Philip Roth’s “Everyman” with Philip Seymour Hoffman. This past September, Meryl Streep joined them onstage for another live reading of “Everyman,” and in 2012, Gramophone announced that Takacs would be the only string quartet inducted into its first-ever Hall of Fame ceremony, alongside Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The group will bring its humor, warmth and peerless skill to compositions by Haydn, Debussy and Beethoven at this one-night-only appearance at Kravis.

FRIDAY

What: Opening night of Michael Burges and Kathrina Mayer’s Lausberg Contemporary exhibition

Where: Armory Art Center, 1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/832-1776, armoryart.org

German artists continue to share the walls and the thematic spotlight of Armory Art Center, in the second installment of its series on artists represented by Dusseldorf’s Lausberg Contemporary gallery. The artists are markedly different in style and form, reflecting the diversity of their gallery of origin: Abstract artist Michael Burges will feature work from his “Gold” series, employing a specialized technique of reverse glass painting on 75-carat gold leaf canvases. Kathrina Mayer is a photographer who will showcase works from her “Theatrum Familiae” series (pictured) of eccentrically propped and arranged family portraits—which, while staged, aim to capture her subjects’ essences in their most natural habitat. The exhibition runs through Jan. 10.

What: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Where: BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise

When: 4 and 8 p.m.

Cost: $47.50-$88.50

Contact: 954/835-8000, thebbtcenter.com

Rock music—the epic, thunderous, grandiose rock music that only makes sense in flamboyant arena settings full of long-haired middle-aged men with their fists in the air—will never be dead so long as Trans-Siberian Orchestra are keeping the tradition alive. Arguably the most prolific and profitable progressive rock act of the past two decades, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has sold more than 8 million albums and even more concert tickets; indeed, TSO has staked its reputation on its spectacle-driven live shows, which integrate symphonies, lasers, pyrotechnics, video projection and other special effects. The orchestra has also become synonymous for its holiday concept albums, playing different Christmas releases, in their entirety, on each of their winter tours. For this tour, the orchestra will be performing its 1998 release “The Christmas Attic” for the first time live, featuring such epics as “Boughs of Holly,” “Appalachian Snowfall” and “Dream Child (A Christmas Dream).”

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

What: Peter London Global Dance Company

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Dance programs from touring companies are rare enough in South Florida, but showcases of local dance choreography and performance are even more endangered. That’s why institutions like the Peter London Global Dance Company should be cherished. It’s a company that thinks globally and acts locally, with all of the dancers and choreographers comprising this weekend’s “Jazz Love Night” performances hailing from South Florida. London, an honors graduate from Juilliard and a professor of dance at Miami-Dade College, will debut a jazz improvisation piece inspired by calypso music from his native Trinidad and Tobago, and local choreographers Luis Cuevas, Justin Rapaport, Lloyd Knight, Gentry George and Armando Gonzalez will premiere their new pieces as well, at a bargain admission price.

SATURDAY

What: Opera @ the Waterfront

Where: Meyer Amphitheatre, 104 Datura St., West Palm Beach

When: 2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/833-7888, pbopera.org

For years, management at Palm Beach Opera had discussed the possibility of staging a free outdoor concert during season. Last December, those discussions became a reality with the inaugural Opera @ the Waterfront, which drew 2,500 attendees—numbers fit for a pop-music star—to the Meyer Amphitheatre for a free selection of arias and ensembles featuring internationally known vocalists and the company’s orchestra and chorus. The event exceeded expectations and attracted new audiences to the opera; according to marketing director Ceci Dadisman, more than 60 percent of the audience had never attended either a Palm Beach Opera production or a live opera. This year, for the second annual event, Palm Beach Opera’s efforts have been supported by a Knight Foundation arts grant, and the company expects a crowd of 3,000. Attendees will hear a variety of classics from the opera repertory as well as a smattering of musical-theater numbers.

What: No Snow Ball

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: $37.50-$100

Contact: wrmf.com

When it’s December in Florida, the weather outside is rarely frightful—and that’s enough reason to celebrate with a local music festival, aptly titled the No Snow Ball. The annual holiday tradition enters its eighth year with a lineup of pop superstars heard regularly on the festival’s sponsor, the modern pop station WRMF-97.9. Piano-pop sensation Christina Perri (pictured) will headline the festival on the strength of her second album, the Billboard Top 5-charting “Head or Heart.” The impressive bill also includes Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Gaven DeGraw, of “Not Over You” fame; Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz, the infectious fusers of reggae, soul, hip-hop and pop; American Authors, the New York-based rock quartet responsible for the infectious earworm “Best Day of My Life;” and folk-rocking guitarist Matt Nathanson, whose hit “Come On Get Higher” went platinum.

What: Lewis Black

Where: Kravis Center

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $39-$100

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

Comedian Lewis Black’s website is something to behold. In one image on his homepage, he’s positioned himself as King Kong, scowling behind a vintage skyscraper while clutching a damsel, as antique warplanes buzz around him. Another image advertises his membership club, the Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal; it’s an acronym spelling out a result we probably can’t print. And in still another image, advertising his “Black Chanukah Sale,” he’s a regular Bad Santa, clad in holiday raiment and flipping off the camera. Some might say the holiday season, with its intended good cheer, isn’t the time for a standup set by one of comedy’s most irascible, volatile, splitting-vein-in-the-forehead agitators. But I say there’s no better time for Black’s acerbic commentary, complete with riffs about the alleged “war on Christmas” and big lumps of comic coal for the stockings of our politicians.

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