Lawrence University presents: 2023-24 Performing Arts Series

Join us for an unforgettable journey through the musical performing arts as our Performing Arts Series showcases exceptional jazz, classical, brass, string, and world music performances.

Founders profile portrait


Friday, September 22, 2023 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

“An idiosyncratic quintet featuring versatile chamber music players who double as singers and songwriters.” – The New Yorker

Merging the talents of conservatory trained musicians in New York City, Founders is a “defiant, brilliant, virtuosic quintet” captivating audiences everywhere. Combining classical, folk music, original compositions and pop arrangements, Founders is re-defining the role of the classical ensemble for the next generation.

This event is part of the New Music Series.

Buy Tickets for the Performing Arts Series!

Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone during the academic year at 920-832-6749.

Sponsored by:

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Fatoumata Diawara profile image

Fatoumata Diawara

Wednesday, October 4, 2023 • 8 p.m. • Harper Hall

“One of the most inventive and dynamic performers in Africa. At her best, she mixes delicate solo work with high energy songs, dance routines, social comment and African-edged reworkings of classics.” – The Guardian

Fatoumata Diawara is a renowned African musician, celebrated for her innovative and authentic sound. With deep roots in Mali, she represents the voice of young African women, blending tradition with forward-looking vision. Her dynamic live performances exude energy, captivating audiences with her hypnotic stage presence. Fenfo, her Grammy-nominated album, showcases her unique storytelling abilities, addressing universal themes of respect, love, migration, and building a brighter future for our children.

Boston Brass profile portrait

Boston Brass, with Lawrence University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band

Saturday, October 14, 2023 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

For over 30 years, Boston Brass has offered a distinctive musical experience, blending classical arrangements, jazz standards, and original brass compositions. With their lively and humorous stage presence, they engage audiences of all ages, bridging the gap between classical formality and enjoyable entertainment. Boston Brass aims to provide a diverse range of musical styles in innovative arrangements, fostering a friendly and fun atmosphere.

Alicia Olatuja Quintet profile portrait

Alicia Olatuja Quintet

Friday, November 3, 2023 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

“Olatuja possesses a special instrument: a full-bodied tone, precise pitch and personal engagement at the lowest whisper or highest wail.” – Downbeat

Listening to acclaimed vocalist, composer, and arranger Alicia Olatuja, is truly an unforgettable experience. Olatuja gained global recognition for her stunning vocal performance during President Obama’s second inauguration, and has been praised in the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone.” Olatuja combines the earthy with the sublime, bringing a grounded relatability to genres as lofty as classical, as venerated as jazz, and as gritty as R&B. Her debut album, Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women, celebrates female composers.

Magos Herrera Quartet profile portrait

Magos Herrera Quartet

Saturday, November 4, 2023 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

“One of the great modern singers of our time.” – Latin Jazz Network

A dazzling jazz singer-songwriter, producer, and educator known for her sultry voice and unique presence in the Latin American jazz scene, Magos Herrera’s style effortlessly blends contemporary jazz with Ibero-American melodies and rhythms, transcending language barriers. With nine albums and collaborations with renowned producer Javier Limón, she has received accolades and performed at prestigious venues and festivals worldwide. Recognized by Forbes as one of the most creative Mexicans in the world, Herrera has received a Grammy shortlist nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album (Distancia, 2009) and a Berklee College of Music’s Master of Latin Music Award.

Escher String Quartet profile portrait

Escher String Quartet

Friday, February 2, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

The Escher String Quartet is acclaimed for their insightful music and beautiful tones. They have been recognized as a former BBC New Generation Artist and have received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. They have performed at prestigious venues like the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall, and Wigmore Hall. In New York, they are season artists for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Currently, the quartet is extensively touring the U.S., including notable venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Bohemian National Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Harris Theater. They are also performing in international locations such as Wigmore Hall, St. John in the Virgin Islands, and San Miguel De Allende in Mexico.

Heron Valley profile portrait

Heron Valley

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 • 8 p.m. • Harper Hall

Hailing from Scotland, Heron Valley’s style is rooted in Scottish and Irish traditional music. The four-piece group features Abigail Pryde on fiddle, guitar, and vocals; Keith Morrison on keys; Alastair Maclean on bagpipes and whistles; and Callum Cronin on bass and guitar. Their diverse backgrounds create an eclectic sound that has received recognition for their singles and a nomination as an Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017. Heron Valley has performed at notable festivals including Festival Interceltique de Lorient and Tiree Music Festival.

Blue Note 85th Anniversary Graphic with Quintet profile portrait

Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary Celebration, starring The Blue Note Quintet

Featuring Gerald Clayton, Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer

Saturday, February 17, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Blue Note Records celebrates their 85th Anniversary with a U.S. Tour featuring The Blue Note Quintet, honoring the label’s history and showcasing their current roster. Led by Gerald Clayton, a six-time Grammy nominee and renowned pianist, the group includes Joel Ross on vibraphone, Immanuel Wilkins on saxophone, Kendrick Scott on drums, and Matt Brewer on bass.

Zakir Hussain profile portrait

Zakir Hussain with Sabir Khan and Debopriya Chatterjee

Saturday, April 6, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Two-time Grammy Award-winner Zakir Hussain enjoys fame not only in his native India but the world over. The Chicago Tribune says, “if there is such a thing as a tabla superstar, Zakir Hussain is it.” Hussain’s incredibly loyal and large fan base is composed of enthusiasts young and old, valuing all musical types and genres. Hussain’s 2023-24 offerings include a Classical Indian trio with Sabir Khan on sarangi and Debopriya Chatterjee on bansuri, two of India’s most accomplished traditional instrumentalists.

David Portillo profile portrait

David Portillo, tenor with Craig Terry, piano

Friday, April 26, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Praised by Opera News for “high notes with ease, singing with a luxuriant warm glow that seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage with abandon,” American tenor David Portillo has established himself as a leading classical singer of his generation. In 2022-23, David Portillo will showcase his talent for concertgoers and in a range of notable projects, including performances as Tamino in The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte with The Dallas Opera, Nadir in The Pearl Fishers with Austin Opera, and assume the title role in Handel’s Jephtha with Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque.

Terri Lyne Carrington profile portrait

Terri Lyne Carrington: New Standards

Friday, May 10, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

“Carrington [has] phenomenal expertise and versatility as a drummer and composer, as well as [the] ability to lead and accentuate the talent she surrounds herself with.” – NPR

Terri Lyne Carrington, an interdisciplinary artist and NEA Jazz Master, is a multiple Grammy Award-winning musician, activist, and educator. Over the past decade, she has tirelessly advocated for inclusivity and amplified the voices of women, trans, and non-binary individuals in jazz. Her latest project, New Standards, is a groundbreaking endeavor that aims to showcase women composers in unprecedented ways. This fall, New Standards will be released as a lead sheet book of jazz compositions exclusively composed by women, an album featuring 11 selected pieces from the book performed by an all-star band and special guests, and a dynamic multi-media exhibition.