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Part II - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jennifer Holliday
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Part II - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jennifer Holliday

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For 20 years, the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival has brought a plethora of amazing artists to the city of Newport News. To mark this monumental milestone in honoring the legacy of our "First Lady of Song", we are proud to present two unforgettable concerts with iconic figures in Jazz music. 

On Friday, April 20th, join us at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater for an amazing night with Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Jane Monheit. Drawing inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald herself, you can hear the emotion in Jane's soul-stirring voice. Opening for the evening is singer/songwriter and Richmond-native, Jon Bibbs.

On April 27th, we bring to you the legendary Jennifer Holliday. She catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie "Melody" White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical.  She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded her to move to New York City, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll's Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist.  Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as Lisa Knowles on the Fox TV dramedy, Ally McBeal.  She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning Grammy® Awards for her mesmerizing performances of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going” (1982) and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (1985).  Ms. Holliday has also received rave reviews for her first album in two decades, The Song Is You (2014).

You can see both of these women of jazz this year for the 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival. Now offering a combo pack to see both shows for a discounted price. The Combo Pack is only available when purchased over the phone (757-247-8950) or in-person at the box office. It cannot be purchased online.

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Part I - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jane Monheit featuring Jon Bibbs
Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

Part I - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jane Monheit featuring Jon Bibbs

FinalFullFlyer.jpg

For 20 years, the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival has brought a plethora of amazing artists to the city of Newport News. To mark this monumental milestone in honoring the legacy of our "First Lady of Song", we are proud to present two unforgettable concerts with iconic figures in Jazz music. 

On Friday, April 20th, join us at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater for an amazing night with Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Jane Monheit. Drawing inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald herself, you can hear the emotion in Jane's soul-stirring voice. Opening for the evening is singer/songwriter and Richmond-native, Jon Bibbs.

On April 27th, we bring to you the legendary Jennifer Holliday. She catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie "Melody" White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical.  She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded her to move to New York City, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll's Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist.  Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as Lisa Knowles on the Fox TV dramedy, Ally McBeal.  She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning Grammy® Awards for her mesmerizing performances of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going” (1982) and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (1985).  Ms. Holliday has also received rave reviews for her first album in two decades, The Song Is You (2014).

You can see both of these women of jazz this year for the 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival. Now offering a combo pack to see both shows for a discounted price. The Combo Pack is only available when purchased over the phone (757-247-8950) or in-person at the box office. It cannot be purchased online.

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CANCELLED - Taylor McFerrin ft. Chantae Cann - 3Sixty Concert Series
Mar
10
8:00 PM20:00

CANCELLED - Taylor McFerrin ft. Chantae Cann - 3Sixty Concert Series

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Unfortunately, the 3Sixty Concert scheduled for March 10th with Taylor McFerrin and Chantae Cann has been cancelled. Refunds will be given to those who have purchased a ticket to this event and the promotional contest  has now ended. Thank you to everyone who participated. We apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your continued
support. 

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The 4th Annual "Ladies In Red" Concert & Award Show
Mar
3
6:00 PM18:00

The 4th Annual "Ladies In Red" Concert & Award Show

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Myra Smith presents the 4th Annual My Sister's Keeper: Ladies in Red Concert and Award Show. The event will celebrate women in Hampton Roads who have made a positive impact on those around them. The event will begin with a red carpet reception at 6:00 PM and the on-stage performance will begin at 7:00. Tickets are $15.

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Masego featuring Melanie Faye - The 3Sixty Concert Series
Jan
13
8:00 PM20:00

Masego featuring Melanie Faye - The 3Sixty Concert Series

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On January 13th, the 3Sixty Concert Series will begin with a hometown hero that has been taking the music scene by storm. We welcome Masego back to Hampton Roads to kick off the concert trilogy, brought to you by 3Sixty Management and Consulting. Opening for the evening is Melanie Faye, whose soulful bluesy guitar performances have gone viral. Join us in celebrating these bright young stars. Tickets are general admission and doors will open at 7:30.

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PJ Morton with Ashley Felder
Dec
15
8:00 PM20:00

PJ Morton with Ashley Felder

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Join us for an unforgettable night of music with one of our hidden gems, Ashley Felder and Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton. His latest project, GUMBO, is available now and has garnered him two Grammy nominations for 2018. See this amazing, multi-talented performer return to the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage.

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Holiday Frost
Dec
8
4:00 PM16:00

Holiday Frost

Holiday Frost is an annual celebration for kids of all ages. Every December, the building transforms into a winter wonderland, with this year's theme being Dreamworks Pictures Rise of the Guardians. Come and travel through the maze, helping the Guardians to defeat Pitch Black with games, activities, crafts, treats, and a little imagination! This event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended.

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9th Anniversary Concert: Eric Roberson featuring Matthew Whitaker
Oct
7
8:00 PM20:00

9th Anniversary Concert: Eric Roberson featuring Matthew Whitaker

Join us for the 9th Anniversary concert! Returning to the center is a member of our DG Family: Singer/Songwriter Eric Roberson. We are also proud to welcome, accomplished pianist, Matthew Whitaker to the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage! Tickets are $35 and are available below. 

For more information about Eric Roberson, click here!

About Matthew Whitaker

Born in 2001 in Hackensack, NJ, Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for playing music first began at the young age of 3, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard.


At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond—in its 80+ year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.


Matthew has had years of music instruction, currently studying classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of the Lighthouse Guild in NYC. It is the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the US. He also attends the Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Jazz Program.


He previously studied at The Harlem School of the Arts and was a member of both the Jazz House Big Band and the Organ Messengers at Jazz House Kids in Montclair, NJ.
Matthew has received the “Outstanding Soloist Award” from Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. He was also recognized by the Harlem International Film Festival, which named him “Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen.”
He’s already toured both here in the US and abroad, performing before The Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in NYC, and on other world renowned stages, including: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC; SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts & Ali Cultural Arts in Florida, and at international venues in France, Italy, Morocco, and Japan.


In 2010, Matthew was a winning participant in the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” competition, as part of Amateur Night at the Apollo. A year later, at just 10 years old, he was invited to perform at Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame. He returned to the Apollo for FOX TV’s revival of SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO in 2016, where he won the audience over with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s classic “I Wish.” Among the many artists that inspire him, Matthew calls Stevie Wonder one of his musical heroes.
In January 2017, he was named one of the 17 people to watch in New Jersey by The Record, one of New Jersey’s largest newspapers.

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The Spirit of Taikoza Japanese Drum Ensemble Sponsored by Newport News Arts Commission
May
4
10:00 AM10:00

The Spirit of Taikoza Japanese Drum Ensemble Sponsored by Newport News Arts Commission

Taikoza - The Spirit of Taikoza: The Japanese Drum Taikoza presents a unique and exciting program using Japanese Taiko drums (that weigh up to 200lb) and bamboo flutes. The program will take you on an unforgettable journey that engages students in the discovery of different regions and seasons of Japan. Students will get a chance to see, and at times play, the ancestral drums. Taikoza hopes to open the students’ eyes to the richness of the Japanese culture and spark an interest in other cultures. This program will educate students in a fun way and the experience will stay with them for life.

GradeS: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 « Audience Size: 350 SOL Highlights: History: Pre-Post World War II, Asia, Colonial, Trade, Imperialism Music: Polyrhythmic, Culture, Pentatonic scale, Story, Ballad, Flute, Drum, Taiko

 

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19th Annual EllaFest Concert Finale: Featuring Lizz Wright
Apr
22
8:00 PM20:00

19th Annual EllaFest Concert Finale: Featuring Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright is a vocalist and composer who synthesizes R&B, jazz, folk, blues, and gospel. In 2000,Wright joined the vocal quartet In the Spirit. The group was quickly hailed as the best jazz group in the city, which motivated Wright to hone her craft all the more. Two years later, the Verve label signed her as a solo artist. Her impressive singing style was captured on her 2003 debut, SaltDreaming Wide Awake, for which she shifted to Verve Forecast, followed in 2005. After making a guest appearance on the Toots Thielemans album One More for the Road in 2006, Wright released her third album, The Orchard, in 2008. In 2010, she returned with Fellowship, a gospel-heavy set that featured guest performances from kindred spirits Me'Shell Ndegéocello and vocalist Angélique Kidjo. After a move to Concord, she released Freedom & Surrender, in 2015. Her fifth album, it included versions of Nick Drake's "River Man" and Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody."

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Rhonda Ross
Apr
21
8:00 PM20:00

Rhonda Ross

Singer-songwriter, Rhonda Ross, is an international Social-Artist, who explores the social environment around her and her relationship to it - questioning constructions of race, gender, sexuality and spirituality through her lyrics. Her original music lives in the gap between jazz, funk and gospel while her lyrics delve into life's biggest questions and answers. From racism, sexism, and homophobia to the never-ending quest for self-love and deeper spirituality, Rhonda uses her music to ask “In the midst of THIS, how can we still be free?" 

Rhonda's music flows straight from her essence and her bright spirit uplifts everyone in the room. With a crown of natural hair, Rhonda graces the stage with the gravitas and glamour of a modern-day queen.  As the only child of Diana Ross and Motown Founder Berry Gordy, it has become evident that Rhonda not only has the talent, but the significance to carry on her parents’ legacy, all the while establishing her own unique musical destination.
 

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The Three Little Pigs Presented by VA Opera
Mar
18
1:00 PM13:00

The Three Little Pigs Presented by VA Opera

The Three Little Pigs
Music by W.A. Mozart / Words & Story Adaptation by John Davies

This universal classic and its timeless characters provide the perfect backdrop for this pastiche opera, brilliantly interwoven with scenes by Mozart. According to John Davies, “The Three Little Pigs has been produced with regularity in the USA since 1991. It gives me real satisfaction to think that many excellent American singers having wonderful operatic careers today used to be big bad wolves and little piglets.” 

 

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Deep River: The Marian Anderson Story Presented by the Virginia Opera
Jan
27
7:00 PM19:00

Deep River: The Marian Anderson Story Presented by the Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera celebrates Black History Month with a world premiere opera about Marian Anderson’s rise to fame among the world’s greatest concert artists - in spite of experiencing racial prejudice. Ms. Anderson was an important figure in the struggle for civil rights and met each barrier with courage, grace and determination.

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Songs For Janie: Featuring Tamara Wellons
Jan
21
7:00 PM19:00

Songs For Janie: Featuring Tamara Wellons

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Songs for Janie is inspired by Zora Neale Hurston's literary novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God." Tamara's music serves as a 21st Century epilogue to the 1937 story of womanhood, independence, and self-worth.

An inspired evening celebrating Zora Neale Hurston’s 125th birthday, 80th year of her famed novel.

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Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History Presented by Bright Star Theatre
Jan
21
1:00 PM13:00

Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History Presented by Bright Star Theatre

This musical revue provides an energetic and engaging approach to learning about Black History. From songs which carried the secret messages needed to navigate the Underground Railroad, to the powerful anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, to the Beale Street Blues, music has long been an integral part of American history which is celebrated in this production. Bright Star’s professional actor/singers take audiences on a musical tour through hundreds of years of history, sampling songs that spread across centuries and continents, and explaining the history behind these famous ballads, hymns and musical styles. 

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The Unifics in Concert - HR Twelve
Aug
19
8:00 PM20:00

The Unifics in Concert - HR Twelve

Newport News’ own Unifics return for another memorable gift to the community— The finale of the HR Twelve Series. Modo Entertainment and DGCAC present The Unifics, starring Garrett Hall, Charlie Lockhart, Ned Harris and Bruce Johnson.  With a tradition of perfect harmonies the evening will highlight a repertoire ranging from the original classics by Thomas Fauntleroy and the late Al Johnson to the best in old school R&B music.

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Harmony Family Night - Virginia Symphony Orchestra Percussion
May
11
6:30 PM18:30

Harmony Family Night - Virginia Symphony Orchestra Percussion

The HARMONY Project of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church present:

HARMONY FAMILY NIGHT at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

featuring "Meet The Families - Percussion"

Bring your family and friends for fun and fellowship to meet the percussion family of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Experience the fun of a percussion "play-along" with musicians of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

 

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