Opening Acts 2011–2012
For the third year, the Opening Acts program invited a team of Stanford students to collaborate with Lively Arts staff to curate, present, and produce opening sets for some of our main stage performances. In past seasons, student curators have paired spoken word with funky jazz; contemporary dance with athletic chamber music; and original bluegrass with classic string quartets.
Stephen Henderson is a co-terminal student from Hana, Maui, Hawaii. He is majoring in Music, Science and Technology with an emphasis in Cognitive Neuroscience and Audio Engineering. He has been an independent recording artist, singer/songwriter and producer since the age of 15. In 2010 he co-founded The Red Couch Project in Kimball Hall, and served as the Studio Manager and Arts Theme Associate there. He currently serves as the Musical Director and Soundtrack Producer for the Stanford Student Organizing Committee for the Arts. He is completing an honors thesis and did research with the Center on Longevity and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, focusing on Alzheimer”s disease and music. He will be completing his Masters Degree in the spring in Music, Science and Technology.
Alex Simon, class of 2014, is double majoring in Film & Media Studies and English. She is an active member of the Stanford Improvisers and the Stanford Film Society, and is the head of SFS’ film workshop. Her most recent project, Range of Sight, won Best Picture at the 2011 Stanford Film Festival. She is the film director for Project Not Alone, a series of short documentaries from Anjna Patient Education that provides patients at free health clinics with information about chronic disorders. She is also currently producing a feature film entitled Nature Boy.
Lexie Frosh, class of 2014, is considering majors in Music and Political Science. She plays viola and spent a month with the Banff Festival Orchestra in Alberta, Canada this summer. While she loves studying and listening to classical music, Lexie also enjoys folk, jazz and funk, and hopes to try new styles on her instrument. At Stanford, Lexie is a co-founder of Stanford Financial Literacy for Youth and a member of Students for a Sustainable Stanford.
Opening Act for Chucho Valdés And His Afro-Cuban Messengers
Aishu Venkataraman and Delhi Fresh
Aishu Venkatarman, violin
Eric Hirschhorn, saxophone
Adrian Foy, keyboard
Rain Gregorio, bass
Wyatt Johnson, drum set
Mojito (Regina Carter)
Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock)
Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris)
Aishwarya (Aishu) Venkataraman ('14) began her training in Suzuki violin as a child and at age four, began learning the Carnatic or South Indian style of music under the tutelage of T. N. Krishnan. Aishu went on to study jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music, and is currently pursuing her second Bachelors degree (in Biophysics) at Stanford. Delhi Fresh is her five-piece jazz combo that blends the harmony and repertoire of modern jazz with the tradition and improvisational techniques of South Indian classical music.
Opening Act for Angélique Kidjo
The Chicago Collective:
I - DIVERGENCE
II - CONVERGENCE
III – EMERGENCE
REACHING WATER is a three movement intermedia performance created by the Stanford Student group The Chicago Collective. It was commissioned as a reflection and reactionary piece to the development of the afro-musical form. The piece focuses on the co-evolution of afro-pop/ afro-fusion music within the continents of Africa, North America and South America, particularly highlighting the themes of divergence, convergence and emergence. It is a fusion of spoken word, music and dance, which hopes to convey the influence that Angélique Kidjo and the music that she represents has had on the world. Drawing upon deep collective emotional history and stylistic influence of the cross Atlantic afro musical tradition, Reaching Water is a look at the external forces which played a role in the evolution of modern afro-music and a product of the souls and ideals of the diasporic African community which forged the music into an emergent force.
THE CHICAGO COLLECTIVE was formed by members Jessica Anderson (‘14) and Tyler C. Brooks (‘14) in the fall of 2011, member Kadesia Woods (‘14) joining in the winter of 2012. Though all members are from the city of Chicago, their musical palette is a worldly range of traditional and contemporary styles in the African American and African diaspora. They believe their music to be a fusion of styles of the African diaspora and their lyrical themes to be ambassadorship—in their case, an ambassadorship from Chicago—for voicing issues that affect the global diasporic community. Jessica Anderson is an African and African American Studies major, Tyler is aprospective Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity major, and Kadesia is majoring in Biology at Stanford University.
Opening Act for the St. Lawrence String Quartet All-Beethoven Program
SHORTS from the MFA PROGRAM in DOCUMENTARY FILM & VIDEO
A DIFFERENT COLOR BLUE
Film by Melanie Levy / Running time: 3:59
In a dusty art studio tucked away in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district artist Charles Curtis Blackwell pours over works of beauty and remarkable spirit. A Different Color Blue is the story of a man who, despite a brush with tragedy that would alter his life forever, finds hope in the most unlikely of places.
MELANIE VI LEVY holds an MFA from Stanford’s program in Documentary Film & Video and a BFA in drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed with the Atlantic Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons Stu- dios and has collaborated on projects with Ping Chong & Company, The Aper- ture Foundation, Concentric Films and Axis Films. Productions include Leav- ing Paradise: the Jews of Jamaica, The Secret Life of Beards (Winner Artistic Vision Award Big Sky Documentary Film Festival), A Different Color Blue (Winner Best Student Documentary, Palm Springs International Shorts Festival), and My Name is Sydney (2009).
TUNED IN Film by Kevin Gordon / Running time: 5:22 Naturally produced radio signals surround us all the time but are invisible to the human ear. This film explores the world of one natural radio enthusiast and his journey to capture these sounds.
KEVIN GORDON spent several years working in public interest law before turning to filmmaking as another tool for social change. He worked as an as- sociate producer and field producer on a 13-part documentary series for Dis- covery and has also worked on productions for PBS and Facebook. Kevin re- cently completed his MFA in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford. He is based in San Francisco and is a graduate of Yale University.