THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Event Calendar

Mar
18
Fri
Reilly @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Mar 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Voted Celtic band of the year by Wisconsin Area Music Industry for 2019 and 2015, Reilly have garnered a reputation for being an interactive, get-off-your-chair act. The band’s travel circuit around the Midwest continues to grow along with their reputation for being a highly respected and professional level group. National programs such as Good Morning Ireland, Blarney on the Air, and Paddyrock internet radio have featured Reilly and Celtic Radio Music Network rates them as five out of five stars. Their ability to adapt Celtic music to an American rock audience, and include unexpected rock favorites into their set, makes them the perfect eclectic choice in today’s watered down and predictable Celtic scene.

Being a strong part of the Irish and non-Irish musical community throughout the Midwest, Reilly have appeared regularly at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest, The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center in Milwaukee, Manhattan, IL Irish Fest, Will County, IL Celtic Fest, Bastille Days in Milwaukee, City of Indianapolis events, Harley-Davidson festivals, River Rhythms in Milwaukee, countless St. Patrick’s parades and activities, Bradley Center events, and at far too many Irish pubs and non-Irish locales around the Midwest to mention. They’ve shared the stage with Gaelic Storm, Flogging Molly, Enter the Haggis, The Prodigals, Barra MacNeils, Seven Nations, The Bridies, Luka Bloom and more. Members of Reilly are also involved with community and social outfits such as the Wisconsin Area Music Industry and the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin—Milwaukee Chapter.

Reilly celebrates Celtic musical heritage and their own American upbringings in both the live setting and on record. They provide a lively musical feast for those who enjoy a bit of nostalgia, a dose of modernism, and a full pint of fun and good will.

“For our first Irish Festival we could not have picked a better band. They not only play lots of “Irish songs” but throw in more popular songs that were influenced by the Irish. Great energy and musicianship.” –Jim, Central WI Celtic Fest president

Band Information HERE | Band Videos HERE

Date: Friday, March 18
Time: 7
PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 6 PM
Price/Tickets: FREE
Location: Fountain City
Mar
20
Sun
Sliding Into Seniorhood Play Reading
Mar 20 @ 2:00 pm
Staged play reading at by playwright Kim E. Ruyle

May be an image of textThe paths of six intriguing characters intersect as they navigate the unpredictable and challenging twists and turns of aging. On the slide into seniorhood, they encounter relationships and experiences, some painful, some sensual, and some just downright silly. When all is said and done, will they find that life has left them with anything more than simple memories?

The play was the Grand Winner of 2020/2021 Original Playwrights Full-Length Competition (Shawnee Playhouse/Pennsylvania Council of the Arts) and was produced in Pennsylvania in September.
Date: Sunday, March 20
Time:
2 PM
Price/Tickets: FREE
Location: Cafe 1906
Mar
22
Tue
Lighthouse Big Band: Vocalist Night
Mar 22 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Listening to music is an emotional experience. Music makes us feel something, and brings out feelings we didn’t know we had, and can do so without words.
But when words and music are put together, we get an experience that goes beyond instrumental music. You get a story, a situation, or even a string of nonsense words that produce a feeling.

The Lighthouse Big Band has invited some of our favorite vocalists to join us for an evening of musical stories, told by the band and the singers. Come join vocalists Dave Janke, Erin Krebs, Corynn Latta, Janet Planet, and Eva Thelen with the Lighthouse Big Band in the Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club for a most entertaining evening!

Date: Tuesday, March 22
Time:
7 PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 
6 PM
Price/Tickets: 
Free Admission
Location: Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club

The Lighthouse Big Band, a 20+ year mainstay in the music scene, is now also honored to be a resident ensemble at Thelma.

A WAMI nominee for Best Big Band, the band plays a variety
of genres in the big band style. The Lighthouse Big Band performs music including traditional big bands/dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz, contemporary big bands like Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, as well as big band versions of rock/fusion music.

The LBB has long been the house band for the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, and has appeared in concert and dance venues throughout the state backing such jazz stalwarts as Tom “Bones” Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, Kevin Mahogany, Eugene Rousseau, Tony Scodwell, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Bergman, Janet Planet, and the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev.

“The Lighthouse Big Band is honored to be a part of the area arts community, presenting listening opportunities, promoting learning opportunities and preserving this great art form,” says Brad Curran of Curran Music Studios and leader of the Lighthouse Big Band.

Band Information HERE 

Apr
12
Tue
Lighthouse Big Band: Through the Decades
Apr 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The “Big Band Era” transformed popular music in the United States throughout the first half of the twentieth century.

As the United States reeled from the Great Depression, big band music became increasingly popular. Led by bandleaders like Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Chick Webb, the big band era thrived throughout the 1930s, inspiring new popular swing dances like the jitterbug and the jive.
During World War II, big band music dominated the airwaves. Popular vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra brought a new element to the jazz orchestra sound. By the late 1940s, however, the swing era was coming to a close. New York musicians and bandleaders developed a new style called bebop, a complex form of jazz, that gained popularity for a time. Although the big band genre never regained the popularity it had at its peak, younger musicians like trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Buddy Rich started their own big bands, continuing the tradition during the following decades. On this evening Lighthouse Big Band will be performing music of these favorite big bands for your listening and dancing enjoyment!
Come join us in the Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club for another entertaining evening of big band jazz!

Date: Tuesday, April 12
Time:
 7 PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 
6 PM
Price/Tickets: 
Free Admission
Location: Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club

The Lighthouse Big Band, a 20+ year mainstay in the music scene, is now also honored to be a resident ensemble at Thelma.

A WAMI nominee for Best Big Band, the band plays a variety
of genres in the big band style. The Lighthouse Big Band performs music including traditional big bands/dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz, contemporary big bands like Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, as well as big band versions of rock/fusion music.

The LBB has long been the house band for the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, and has appeared in concert and dance venues throughout the state backing such jazz stalwarts as Tom “Bones” Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, Kevin Mahogany, Eugene Rousseau, Tony Scodwell, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Bergman, Janet Planet, and the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev.

“The Lighthouse Big Band is honored to be a part of the area arts community, presenting listening opportunities, promoting learning opportunities and preserving this great art form,” says Brad Curran of Curran Music Studios and leader of the Lighthouse Big Band.

Band Information HERE 

Apr
21
Thu
Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland Presentation
Apr 21 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

A PowerPoint presentation and discussion of Wisconsin jazz musicians led by author/musician Dr. Kurt Dietrich

Although New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are often considered the epicenters of American jazz, this extensive, upbeat compilation of jazz musician biographies details Wisconsin’s rich association with the genre since its inception in the early 1900s. Join author/trombonist/educator Dr. Kurt Dietrich as the Jazz Appreciation Month celebrations continue with a PowerPoint presentation of his book, Wisconsin Riffs. Iconic musicians Bunny Berigan, Woody Herman, Les Paul, and Al Jarreau all hailed from Wisconsin, as have many other influential players, composers, and teachers. Wisconsin Riffs features these musicians side-by-side-from the world-renowned to obscure regional artists-to portray a comprehensive history of jazz in Wisconsin.

Dietrich will talk about his book Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland and his upcoming book about jazz legend Al Jarreau, a native of Milwaukee and a 1962 graduate of Ripon College. Wisconsin Riffs, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, profiles more than 100 Wisconsin connected jazz artists. Amazon describes the book as “an extensive, upbeat compilation of Wisconsin’s jazz musicians.” Some musicians, like Berigan, Herman, Paul and Jarreau, are well-known. Some of the musicians left Wisconsin to make their lives on the coasts and others such as Janet Planet, John Harmon and Ben Sidran are well-known to local audiences.

Date: Tuesday, April 21
Time:
7 PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 
6:30 PM
Price/Tickets: 
Free Admission
Location: Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club

Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland will be for sale and can be autographed 

Donations to the Thelma-FdL Jazz Festival-Lighthouse Big Band  Jazz Education Fund are gladly accepted

Kurt Dietrich retired as Professor of Music and Barbara Baldwin De Frees Professor of Performing Arts at Ripon College at the end of the 2018-19 school year, where he taught since 1980.  Dietrich graduated from Lawrence University, where he studied with Marge Irvin, Derald DeYoung and John Harmon and played in the band of the legendary Fred “Prof” Schroeder.  He received his master’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied trombone with another legend, Chicago Symphony trombonist Frank Crisafulli, as well as playing in the bands of John Paynter.  He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Ripon College Professor Dietrich directed the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Ensemble, taught brass instruments and a variety of courses.  He was trombonist with Matrix, with which he recorded for RCA, Warner Brothers, Pablo and Summit Records.  He continues to do freelance playing, in both jazz and classical groups.  His first book, Duke’s ‘Bones:  Ellington’s Great Trombonists, was published in 1995.  His second book, Jazz ‘Bones:  The World of Jazz Trombone, appeared in 2005.  He has also contributed to Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Black Music Research Journal, International Dictionary of Black Composers and other publications.  He regularly writes reviews of books and recordings.  Dietrich was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education in 2006.  His most recent book, Wisconsin Riffs:  Jazz Profiles from the Heartland, was released in April 2018 by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.  Currently, with the cooperation of the Jarreau family and Jarreau management, Kurt has completed writing a biography of the great jazz/pop/R&B singer Al Jarreau.

Apr
26
Tue
Lighthouse Big Band: The Jazz Arranger, A Tribute to Sammy Nestico
Apr 26 @ 6:15 pm – 9:00 pm

Jazz Appreciation Month continues as we welcome the FdL High School Jazz I ensemble as our opener at the earlier start time of 6:15. They will perform a half hour set until 6:45, followed by the Lighthouse Big Band starting at the usual 7:00pm hour.

If asked to name a jazz composer, lots of people might be able to name Miles Davis or Duke Ellington, but there are many more famous jazz composers who deserve recognition and admiration for their contribution to this amazing art form. Tonight’s performance will feature compositions and arrangements by the late, great Sammy Nestico, as arranged for big band. Anyone who has played in a jazz band in middle school, or high school, or college, etc. has played music by Sammy. The Lighthouse Big Band has a special connection with Sammy and are honored to present this tribute to a jazz master! Come join us in the Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club for an inspiring evening of big band jazz!

Date: Tuesday, April 26
Time:
6:15 PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 
6 PM
Price/Tickets: 
Free Admission
Location: Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club

The Lighthouse Big Band, a 20+ year mainstay in the music scene, is now also honored to be a resident ensemble at Thelma.

A WAMI nominee for Best Big Band, the band plays a variety
of genres in the big band style. The Lighthouse Big Band performs music including traditional big bands/dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz, contemporary big bands like Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, as well as big band versions of rock/fusion music.

The LBB has long been the house band for the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, and has appeared in concert and dance venues throughout the state backing such jazz stalwarts as Tom “Bones” Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, Kevin Mahogany, Eugene Rousseau, Tony Scodwell, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Bergman, Janet Planet, and the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev.

“The Lighthouse Big Band is honored to be a part of the area arts community, presenting listening opportunities, promoting learning opportunities and preserving this great art form,” says Brad Curran of Curran Music Studios and leader of the Lighthouse Big Band.

Band Information HERE 

Apr
30
Sat
Fond du Lac Jazz Festival
Apr 30 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Fond du Lac Jazz Festival returns after a brief hiatus.

The return of the Festival is the culmination of the Jazz Appreciation Month events presented at THELMA in partnership with The Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, Inc. and the Lighthouse Big Band. 

The festival, which began in 1983, is among the longest running jazz festivals in the state of Wisconsin. The 2022 Fond du Lac Jazz Festival headliner is the renowned vocalist Steve March-Torme, presenting “Torme Sings Torme,” a tribute to the music of Steve’s dad, the legendary Mel Torme. 

The festival will also feature the return of saxophone artist Brian Lydeen. Lydeen, former leader and co-founder of the Lighthouse Big Band, and now asst. professor of music at the University of Mary in North Dakota, will be showcased again with the LBB for the first time in 5 years.

Evening Schedule:

7 PM – 8 PM: Special Guest Brian Lydeen, former leader of Lighthouse Big Band, now teaching and the University of Mary in North Dakota, performing with Lighthouse Big Band

8:30 PM – 10 PM: Steve March-Torme performing “Torme Sings Torme” – Steve Sings the songs made famous by his dad (Mel Torme) with classic arrangements by the Marty Paich Dek-Tette. The band, especially assembled for this occasion, will be playing the original Marty Paich arrangements in accompaniment of Steve.

Date: Saturday, April 30
Time:
7 PM – 10 PM
Bar Opens:
6 PM
Price/Tickets:
$25 Non-Member | $15 Members
Location: Great Hall

Donations to the Thelma-FdL Jazz Festival-Lighthouse Big Band Jazz Education Fund are gladly accepted

May
6
Fri
Jacob Miller
May 6 @ 8:00 pm

Jacob Miller is an artist that creates with intention and integrity. Preferring lyrical precision over flashy production, Miller’s skillful yet effortless guitar style serves as a modern take on the established yet expansive genre of Singer-Songwriter. With unusual candor and intent, Miller stands apart for his thoughtful musicality and timeless sound.

Starting as many do by singing in church, it didn’t take long for Miller to become intrigued by the idea of exploring music. After being gifted his first guitar at 12 and learning some basics, Miller says his younger self “immediately identified music as a way to emote” as he started to “put words to things [he] was unable to articulate before.” Playing in his first band at 14, he went on to gig for groups that played everything from alt-rock, metal and even electronic music. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until his late teens when he discovered 1920s country-blues recordings, citing influences like Blind Boy Fuller and Lonnie Johnson, as well as 1960s American Folk Revival that he found his true musical home.

From his small town Wisconsin background, years studying the regional music of the Appalachians, to his present roots in Portland, OR, Miller has had the opportunity to absorb diverse cultural settings and grow musically through each experience. Though his own personal sound tends to stay within the general bounds of singer-songwriter, that doesn’t mean Miller isn’t drawing inspiration elsewhere. It’s evident that his culmination of experiences from playing country-blues to jazz have become embedded into the fabric of his music. In this way, his style is a reflection of his learnings, creating an approachable nature while balancing subtle sophistication.

Despite often being compared to artists like Paul Simon, Andy Shauf, Chet Baker and others alike, his time performing on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2020 gave Miller the opportunity to break away from likenesses and establish himself as an artist curating his own sound. Garnering praise from both Nick Jonas, who said Miller is “connected to every word he sings,” and James Taylor, who admitted the aspiring artist has “really got something,” Miller was able to draw in fans from around the world for his passion and authenticity.

Alongside “The Voice,” which brought an audience of millions, Miller has also played live for thousands in concert halls, auditoriums, TedTalk events and for festivals like the Treefort Music Festival, Doe Bay Festival and Fisherman’s Village Music Festival. Even so, it’s the ability to connect that Miller strives for, which is best achieved in an intimate setting. “Though I am fond of traditional venue shows, there is something special about connecting with an audience in an intimate listening room or DIY space where it feels like your exchange with the crowd is on a deeper level” he explains.

Connectivity being the underlying purpose behind everything Miller releases, it’s no wonder that many describe his music as “tender” and “evocative.” With a string of singles and an album already out (This New Home, 2019), Miller is ready to usher on a new chapter with the anticipated March 2022 release of his sophomore album, Around My Head. The album will be in collaboration with Patrick Tetreault, Craig Alvin (Kacey Musgraves, Brittany Howard) and Grammy-winning composer/trumpeter, Charlie Porter. Around My Head aims to draw from his past music while establishing a fresh take on his abilities as a songwriter, composer and bandleader.

Band Information HERE | Band Videos HERE

Date: Friday, May 6
Time:
8 PM
Bar Opens: 7 PM
Price/Tickets: $20 ($12 for THELMA Members)
Call or Stop In to Reserve a Table – Bistro Table for Four $120 ($72 for Members), Pub Table for Two $75 ($45 for Members)
Location: Great Hall

Reservations required for tables. Please call 920.921.5410 to reserve your bistro table for four or your pub table for two. Limited number of tables available.
May
10
Tue
Lighthouse Big Band: Tv/Movie Themes
May 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Back by popular request! The band is repeating an earlier, popular theme for this week’s show.

Of all the artistic tools at a filmmaker’s disposal, it can be argued that music is among the most vital — and certainly one of the most powerful. Music triggers memories of events, the people we were with at the time, and the feelings we had in those days gone by. The Lighthouse Big Band is hoping to bring back memories for you with an evening of T.V. and Movie themes, ranging from The Pink Panther, Perry Mason, the Flintstones, and many more. Come join the band for an evening of fun and memories.

Date: Tuesday, May 10
Time: 7 PM – 9 PM
Bar Opens: 
6 PM
Price/Tickets: 
Free Admission
Location: Fountain City Jazz and Dance Club

The Lighthouse Big Band, a 20+ year mainstay in the music scene, is now also honored to be a resident ensemble at Thelma.

A WAMI nominee for Best Big Band, the band plays a variety
of genres in the big band style. The Lighthouse Big Band performs music including traditional big bands/dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz, contemporary big bands like Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, as well as big band versions of rock/fusion music.

The LBB has long been the house band for the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, and has appeared in concert and dance venues throughout the state backing such jazz stalwarts as Tom “Bones” Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, Kevin Mahogany, Eugene Rousseau, Tony Scodwell, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Bergman, Janet Planet, and the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev.

“The Lighthouse Big Band is honored to be a part of the area arts community, presenting listening opportunities, promoting learning opportunities and preserving this great art form,” says Brad Curran of Curran Music Studios and leader of the Lighthouse Big Band.

Band Information HERE 

May
13
Fri
Horace Greene
May 13 @ 8:00 pm

Horace Greene is an indie rock band from Wisconsin. The group is powered by childhood friends Anthony Oakley and Samuel Swetlik, with a vibrant cast of friends/musicians in rotation to bolster the lineup. The music of Horace Greene is mellow yet danceable, teasing elements of disco and psychedelia all while retaining its rock n roll spirit. At the heart of the sound, Oakley’s lyrics are soul-stirring and sincere, navigating themes of loneliness, love, and the human condition. Their latest release “The Diamond Engine,” is a full length album that showcases their colorful mix of influences and further pushes the boundaries of their 60’s-twinged style.

Band Information HERE | Band Videos HERE

Date: Friday, May 13
Time:
8 PM
Bar Opens: 7 PM
Price/Tickets: $20 ($12 for THELMA Members)
Call or Stop In to Reserve a Table – Bistro Table for Four $150 ($90 for Members), Pub Table for Two $85 ($51 for Members)
Location: Great Hall
Reservations required for tables. Please call 920.921.5410 to reserve your bistro table for four or your pub table for two. Limited number of tables available.