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2015-16 Classical Piano Series

2:30 p.m. on Sundays

Reserved Seating

James Tocco

Sun. Sep 27, 2015

James Tocco will begin the season as he returns for the third time to the Xavier Music Series. His playing has been described as "lively" and "unstoppable." Tocco performed in 1987 and made his first encore performance in 2010. The pianist’s illustrious career, which began as a child prodigy, includes performances with the world’s greatest orchestras. Tocco currently serves as Eminent Scholar in Chamber Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

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Momoro Ono feat. Santa Ono

Sun. Nov 1, 2015

Pianist Momoro Ono will perform with a guest appearance from his brother and President of the University of Cincinnati, Santa Ono playing the cello. As part of the faculty at Creighton University, he teaches piano and collaborates while filling in extra time with recitals and performances.

Gavin George

Sun. Jan 17, 2016

12-year-old prodigy Gavin George will be the youngest performer ever at the music series. He began formal training at the age of 3½ and made his symphonic debut with the Newark-Granville Symphony at age seven. His talent is described as "of the absolute purest kind" and Gavin "really dreams of being a concert pianist."

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Sara Davis Buechner

Sun. March 6, 2016

Sara Davis Buechner is one of the leading keyboard artists of our time. She has been praised on four continents for her "intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess" (New York Times). Buechner has won many performance awards and is known for her vast repertoire of piano concertos. While serving as principal music consultant to Dover Publications, she is Associate Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia.

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Polina Bespalko

Sun. May 1, 2016

Polina Bespalko will close out the series in her third performance with the music series, having performed in 2006 and 2007. Bespalko has been described as an "amazing virtuoso" and being "complex, vigorous and demanding energetic attitude at piano." Her playing career has taken her around the world including Holland, Czech Republic, and a series of performances broadcast on radio in Sweden. She is a featured artist as she currently serves as the Coordinator for the Xavier University Music Series.

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All programs, dates, times and artists are subject to change.

2015-16 Classical Guitar Series

2:30 p.m. on Sundays

General Seating

Jason Vieaux

Sun. Sep 20, 2015

Jason Vieaux will begin the season as he returns for the fifth time to the Xavier Music Series. NPR describes the Grammy-winning guitarist as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,” and Gramophone magazine puts him “among the elite of today's classical guitarists.” His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

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Irina Kulikova

Sun. Oct 4, 2015

With the rare beauty of her tone and her enchanting presence on stage, Irina Kulikova catches the hearts of audiences across the globe. Soundboard Magazine describes her playing as “some of the most sheerly beautiful playing I have ever heard.” She belongs to that class of musicians that tell something so special with their instrument.

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Gaelle Solal

Sun. Nov 15, 2015

Gaelle Solal is an accomplished guitarist who began playing at the age of 6. She has travelled the world performing in numerous concert halls and has been granted numerous acknowledgements and awards. With a passion for contemporary music, she has delivered many world and regional premieres.

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Michael Partington

Sun. Feb 7, 2016

Michael Partington will show why he is considered one of the most engaging of the new generation of concert players as he premieres new works at this concert. Audiences are put at ease by his charming stage manner and captivated by his musical interpretations. Classical Guitar Magazine describes Partington as “intelligent and articulate young guitarist, one to be welcomed without reservation. "His innate rhythmic understanding and sense for tonal color combine to form some of the most memorable phrasing to be heard on the guitar.

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Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo

Sun. Mar 20, 2016

Giampaolo Bandini and Cesare Chiacchiaretta propose Argentine music through the charm and magic of its most representative instruments, guitar and bandoneon. The duo immediately became an important point of reference in the international concert circuit thanks to their great communicativeness and extraordinary charisma. The duo's music has been described as “a condensing of emotions and real life."

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All programs, dates, times and artists are subject to change.

2015-16 Swing/Jazz Series

3:00 p.m. on Sundays

Reserved Seating

Blue Wisp Big Band
feat. Terell Stafford

Sun. Sep 13, 2015

The Blue Wisp Big Band will perform with guest artist Terell Stafford featured on the trumpet. The Blue Wisp Big Band heralds from Cincinnati and performed at the Blue Wisp Jazz club until its closure in 2014. The group has been considered one of the top jazz ensembles in the city since its origins in the 1980’s. As an acclaimed trumpet player, Stafford has been described as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player.” He has been a part of over 130 albums and numerous Grammy-nominated groups. The Blue Wisp Big Band is stepping away from the norm as they do not typically collaborate with featured musicians. The Cincinnati staple is sure to bring exciting hometown flavor to kick off the 2015-16 series.

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Chris Potter Trio

Sun. Dec 6, 2015
Woodward Theater - 1404 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Saxophonist Chris Potter makes his first appearance at the Music Series. He will be performing alongside two others that make up the Chris Potter Trio. Potter excelled at the saxophone from an early age and has since made a name for himself as one of the best of his generation. Jazz Times describes Potter as "a figure of international renown.” Potter's impressive discography includes 15 albums as a leader and sideman appearances on over 100 albums and received a Grammy Nomination for his solo work on a track titled “In Vogue.”

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Brian Newman Quintet
feat. The 'Nati 6

Sun. Jan 24, 2016

Brian Newman has been praised in publications including the New York Times Magazine for “musical stylings and bespoke fashion that have been described as the eclectic embodiment of both new world punk and old world tastefulness, allowing him to gracefully toe the line between nouveau chic and classic elegance.” He continues to be a popular choice for a diverse array of major brands as a master of ceremonies and bandleader for high-profile special event performances. The Cleveland-born trumpeter and crooner is perhaps best known as Lady Gaga’s jazz bandleader, having most recently collaborated with her and Tony Bennett on the Grammy-winning album, Cheek to Cheek. As a  performer,  Newman is anything but boring as he enraptures audiences with his passionate playing. Opening for the quintet will be the ‘Nati 6 led by pianist Dan Karlsberg.

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Christian Sands

Sun. Feb 28, 2016

Christian Sands returns to perform at the music series nearly a year after performing on the Gallagher stage as the pianist in the Christian McBride Trio. This time as a solo artist, the jazz pianist will demonstrate “rising musicality and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul.” He has appeared twice to perform at the Grammy Awards in 2006 and 2007 and has twice received a Grammy Nomination for best Latin Jazz Piano solo and album. He exemplifies the rising musicality and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul while bringing youthful energy to the stage with every performance.

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Antonio Sanchez

Sun. March 13, 2016

The group Migration will perform led by four-time Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez who is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation.  He has most recently received acclaim for his original score for the Academy Award-winning motion picture Birdman. Sanchez’s playing and composing has been described as “innovative” and “reaching beyond traditional jazz influence.” The Meridian Suite proved to be a “forward-looking jazz masterwork” and perhaps a high point of his career with group members Seamus Blake (tenor sax), John Escreet (piano/Fender Rhodes, Matt Brewer (bass), Adam Rogers (guitar) with vocals added by Thana Alexa. The culmination of these works place Sanchez at the forefront of modern jazz as a virtuoso drummer, visionary composer and inspired musical thinker.

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Fred Hersch

Sun. Apr 3, 2016

Jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch will close the swing series. Proclaimed by Vanity Fair “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade", All About Jazz says that "when it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else." The Cincinnati native balances his internationally recognized instrumental and composing skills with significant achievements as a bandleader, collaborator and theatrical conceptualist. Hersch’s latest trio CD "Floating" (Palmetto) was nominated for two 2015 Grammy awards in the Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Solo categories - two of the eight Grammy nominations he has received. Hersch’s delicate touch is as enticing as ever for all audience members.

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All programs, dates, times and artists are subject to change.