Lawrence University presents: 2024-25 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.

Sō Percussion with Caroline Shaw profile

Sō Percussion with Caroline Shaw

Friday, October 18, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting, with composer Caroline Shaw
For two decades, Sō Percussion has revolutionized 21st-century chamber music, praised for blending precision with anarchy by The New Yorker. Admired for their live performances’ telepathic communication, they explore percussion’s vibrant repertoire. Their collaborations span classical, pop, indie rock, dance, and theater, expanding artistic boundaries. Sō’s commitment to education fosters community engagement, showcasing the vast possibilities of contemporary art. Continuing their partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, they unveil a new song collection, alongside Grammy-winning Narrow Sea and co-composed Let the Soil Play its Simple Part.

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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Grupo Bella profile

Grupo Bella

Monday, October 28, 2024 • 8 p.m. • Harper Hall

Founded in 2011, Grupo Bella, a versatile ensemble from Los Angeles, showcases exceptional musicianship and a broad repertoire. Rooted in Mariachi tradition, they embrace diverse styles from various Latin American and American cultures. Committed to outreach, they conduct workshops on folk music’s history and cultural importance across Mexico and Latin America, aiming to preserve traditions and inspire future generations. Led by founder Vanessa Ramirez, an acclaimed singer, Grammy Award-winning vocalist, and Grammy-nominated composer, Grupo Bella embodies a fusion of tradition and innovation, fostering cultural appreciation and musical evolution.

René Marie Quartet

René Marie Quartet

Friday, November 8, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

In a span of two decades, 11 recordings, and countless stage performances, vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer, and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by  Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B, and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

Sean Jones Quartet profile

Sean Jones Quartet

Saturday, November 9, 2024 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Music and spirituality converge in the multifaceted career of Sean Jones, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist. Raised in Warren, Ohio, his journey from church choir to jazz stages reflects his versatility and dedication. Whether leading an ensemble or collaborating, Jones excels across genres. A former lead trumpeter for Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and member of SFJAZZ Collective, his leadership cultivates talent and produces acclaimed recordings. Notable collaborations include performances with jazz luminaries like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Jones's legacy, spanning eight albums on Mack Avenue Records, including 2017’s Sean Jones: Live from the Jazz Bistro, underscores his enduring impact on contemporary jazz.

Larry & Joe profile

Larry & Joe 

Wednesday, January 29, 2025 • 8 p.m. • Harper Hall

This dynamic duo is composed of Larry Bellorín of Monagas, Venezuela, a legend of Llanera music, and Joe Troop, a Grammy-nominated bluegrass musician from North Carolina. The two fell into step together when the pandemic sent Troop back home to The Tarheel State after ten years in South America, the same state where Bellorín happened to end up as an asylum seeker. Their unique blend of Venezuelan and Appalachian folk on the harp, banjo, cuatro, fiddle, guitar, maracas, and whatever else fits in the van, unites their own unique cultures and traditions, while bringing music to the forefront of social movements.

Isidore String Quartet profile

Isidore String Quartet

Friday, February 7, 2025 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Adrian Steele and Phoenix Avalon (violin), Devin Moore (viola), and Joshua McClendon (cello)
Formed in 2019, the Isidore String Quartet, winners of the 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2022, aims to refresh classical repertoire. Influenced by the Juilliard String Quartet, they approach music with a fresh perspective. Originating from the Juilliard School, they regrouped at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in 2021 under Joel Krosnick’s mentorship. The quartet received coaching from luminaries including Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween, and Miriam Fried. Committed to revitalizing established works and embracing innovation, they bring a dynamic energy to their performances, embodying their ethos of treating tradition with innovation and the new with reverence.

Matt Wilson's Good Trouble Quintet

Matt Wilson’s Good Trouble Quintet

Saturday, February 22, 2025 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Matt Wilson (drums), Tia Fuller (alto saxophone), Dawn Clement (piano and vocals), Jeff Lederer (tenor saxophone and clarinet), Ben Allison (bass)
Matt Wilson, a jazz luminary, boasts thirteen albums as a leader and over 400 collaborations with jazz icons like Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, and Pat Metheny. Named 2018 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, his album Honey And Salt clinched the Album of the Year Award. With consecutive 5-star reviews from Downbeat for Honey And Salt and Beginning of a Memory, Wilson’s mastery shines. Beyond drumming, he’s a revered educator, dedicated to bridging music and people. Passionate about jazz’s outreach, he strives to inspire individuality and creativity in students, fostering a vibrant connection between audiences and music.

Yumi Kurosawa Trio profile

Yumi Kurosawa Trio

Wednesday, April 2, 2025 • 8 p.m. • Harper Hall

Yumi Kurosawa, steeped in traditional Japanese music, mastered the Koto from youth, ascending swiftly in her art. Embracing Western contemporary music since her teens, she fuses its essence into her solo Koto, enriching her craft. Expanding her repertoire, she collaborates with Western instrumentalists, notably violinist Naho Parrini and percussionist Yousif Sheronick in this trio. Their program showcases Yumi’s new compositions alongside reimagined classics, bridging diverse musical traditions. The trio format allows for expansive performances, revealing the depth and breadth of Yumi’s artistry. Through dynamic interplay, they evoke a myriad of emotions and dimensions, demonstrating the harmonious fusion of seemingly disparate instruments in their ensemble.

Roomful of Teeth profile

Roomful of Teeth

Friday, April 4, 2025 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Roomful of Teeth, a double Grammy-winning ensemble, pioneers new vocal compositions for eight voices. Through collaboration and innovative technologies, they push the boundaries of vocal expression. Their latest album, Rough Magic (New Amsterdam Records, 2023), employs groundbreaking recording and spatial techniques. At the 66th Grammy Awards, they secured Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for Rough Magic, while William Brittelle’s composition Psychedelics, featured on the album, earned a nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. This event, part of the New Music Series, celebrates their ongoing commitment to redefining vocal music’s possibilities and represents their continued excellence in the contemporary music landscape.

Michelle Cann, piano

Michelle Cann, piano

Friday, April 18, 2025 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Hailed as “exquisite” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and “a pianist of sterling artistry” by Gramophone, Michelle Cann has risen as a sought-after pianist. She debuted with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2021 and performed concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and more. Highlights of her 2023-24 season include appearances with symphony orchestras in Charlotte, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Québec, Sarasota, and Winnipeg, alongside recitals in New York City, Portland, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Denver. Cann also holds teaching and performance residencies at the University of Indiana South Bend and Meany Center for the Performing Arts, University of Washington.

Kneebody profile


Friday, May 2, 2025 • 7:30 p.m. • Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Adam Benjamin (keyboard), Shane Endsley (trumpet), Ben Wendel (saxophone) and Nate Wood (drums/bass).
For nearly two decades, Grammy-nominated Kneebody has crafted its distinct genre, blending explosive rock energy with nuanced chamber ensemble playing. Their compositions, rich with improvisation, defy convention, guided by a unique cueing system. Emerging from The Eastman School of Music and Cal Arts in the vibrant LA music scene of 2001, the band’s collective leadership fosters innovation. Each member, a leader in their own right, has garnered individual acclaim while Kneebody’s reputation flourishes worldwide, drawing a dedicated fan base.