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GW Lisner Auditorium Announces 2013-14 Season

New Leadership, Renovated Auditorium and Increased Number of Performances Mark Exciting Progress of Historic D.C. Venue
July 29, 2013

202-294-3087; [email protected]
Michelle Sherrard
202-994-1423; [email protected]

WASHINGTON— George Washington University announced a diverse line up of vocalists, world music, rock, dance and discussions for the 2013-14 season at Lisner Auditorium. The season announcement comes on the heels of a major renovation of the historic downtown auditorium.

Artistic highlights of the new 2013-14 season include “This American Life” host Ira Glass in concert with dancers from the Monica Bill Barnes and Company Feb. 8, 2014;  the Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club featuring original members for the first time in 15 years Oct. 8; the return of the popular Flamenco Festival in a week-long series March 8 – 15, 2014; Jil Aigrot in EDITH, a tribute to Edith Piaf to honor the 50th anniversary of her death on Nov.3; and the return of best-selling author David Sedaris on Oct. 8. See the full performance calendar below. Please note new concert dates will be added throughout the season. Go to for the most up-to-date information.

“Lisner has presented some of the best artists representing pop, rock, folk, soul, jazz and world music for more than 70 years,” said Maryann Lombardi, executive director of Lisner. “Our roots lie in that diversity and I am excited to further that rich tradition in the next season.”

The 70-year-old historic venue is in an exciting period of growth under the leadership of Maryann Lombardi, who was appointed the new executive director and director of partnership development in 2012. She has overseen significant investments in renovations with state-of-the-art sound and light upgrades, a new Maplewood stage floor, re-upholstered seats, new carpets and other interior improvements. (See a time-lapse video of renovations.) In addition, Ms. Lombardi has grown the staff with new positions in production, programming, marketing and the box office.

“I am thrilled to represent this historic venue at a time of growth and opportunity. With a renovated interior and a state-of-the-art upgrade in sound and lighting, the venue is in the best shape of its life,” Ms. Lombardi said. “Lisner has such a rich history. I am delighted to build the administration and production team, and to grow our line up by presenting more world-class artists, innovative up-and-comers and exploring new genres of the arts for the venue. The number of events at Lisner has increased 22 percent during the 2012-13 season and I am determined to continue this trend in the new season.”

Lisner’s upgrades are the most recent examples of the university’s commitment to the arts through its Arts Initiative. A number of important partnerships and programs are supported under this initiative, including: the National Civil War Project, a multiyear, nationwide partnership of four universities and four professional theater organizations; a new building that will house The Textile Museum and a new George Washington University Museum, and the Phillips Collection Partnership and Fellowship, which brings contemporary artists to campus for a “Conversations with Artists” lecture series and also supports a postdoctoral fellow in modern art.

2013-14 Season Calendar of Lisner Presentations

The US Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus
Monday, September 30, 8 p.m.
Considered one of the most versatile and inspiring musical organizations in the world, The United States Army Field Band has thrilled audiences of all ages for more than six decades.  Its members, selected by highly competitive audition, represent some of the finest musical talent in America and have earned the title, “The Musical Ambassadors of the Army.”  
This concert is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
Featuring Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, Guajiro Mirabal and Barbarito Torres
Tuesday, October 8, 8 p.m.

For the first time in 15 years, original members Guajiro Mirabal, Aguaje Ramos, Barbarito Torres and Omara Portuondo embark on a US Tour with a stop Lisner. After winning a GRAMMY® for their self-titled album in 1997, an Oscar-nominated documentary a year later and a series of international tours, the group and their music became one of the primary catalysts in the re-emergence of the Latin sound into the musical mainstream.  
Tickets $35, $45, $60 and $70.

David Sedaris
Friday, October 18, 8 p.m.

Bestselling author David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers.  The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.  His latest book entitled “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” hit shelves late Spring 2013.
Tickets are $35, $40 and $45.

Idan Raichel Project
Tuesday, October 22, 8 p.m.

The Idan Raichel Project is known around the world for its ambitious cross-cultural collaborations that changed the face of Israeli popular music reflecting a stew of cultures and traditions, including Jewish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Latin American and Eastern European roots.   Since the release of their first international album, The Idan Raichel Project have become global ambassadors representing a hopeful world in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs.
Tickets are $30, $35, $40 and $45

“Tango Fire —Flames of Desire”
Saturday, October 26, 8 p.m.

Choreographed by critically acclaimed Argentine choreographer and dancer German Cornejo, the sensational Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires performs their new show “Tango Fire— Flames of Desire” featuring, ten torrid dancers, one of Argentina's finest young singers and a quartet of brilliant musicians.  Although the steps are refined by Cornejo, Tango Fire Company is unique in the world of Tango due to creative freedom given to individual couples for their solos.  
Tickets $30, $35, $40 and $45.

Remembering the 50th anniversary of the death of legendary singer Piaf
Sunday, November 3, at 7 p.m
Edith Piaf remains one of France’s most popular international stars renowned for her performance of ballads and chanson music, and Jil Aigrot pays tribute to one of France’s greatest stars.  After an encounter with Ginou Richer author of “Edith Piaf, My Friend,” Jil Aigrot was cast as the voice of Piaf in the acclaimed movie, “La Vie En Rose.” Reviews of her work as an interpreter of the work of Piaf in the movie and on the concert stage have resulted in worldwide acclaim.
Tickets $25, $30 and $35

Anoushka Shankar
Friday, November 15, 8 p.m.

Anoushka Shankar learned the sitar at the feet of her father, legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar, and has since established herself as a formidable creative voice in her own right. She returns to D.C. after sold-out performances in 2010 and 2012.
Co-presented with Washington Performing Arts Society
Tickets are $20, $30 and $40.

Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits and Krar Collective
Thursday, January 16 at 8 p.m.

Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits
With a career that spans the birth of his native Zimbabwe and the advent of both Afropop and the global love affair with African roots music, Oliver Mtukudzi’s quicksilver guitar work, keen ear for melody, and evocative voice have earned him intense adulation at home.  Now accompanied by a mixed ensemble of young and veteran musicians, the artist best known as Tuku, explores subtle new ways of drawing his listeners into greater thoughtfulness.
Krar Collective
Dubbed by critics as “The Ethiopian White Stripes,” Krar Collective performs a rootsy yet contemporary take on traditional music from Ethiopia based on otherworldly modes and driven by hypnotic rhythms.  
Tickets are $25, $27.50 and $32.

One Radio Host Two Dancers featuring Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass
Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 8 p.m.

“This American Life” host Ira Glass has been working with Monica Bill Barnes and Company to invent a show that combines two art forms that - as Glass puts it - "have no business being together - dance and radio."  The result is a funny, lively and very talky evening of dance and stories that brought down the house in its first test run at Carnegie Hall.  
Tickets are $45, $52.50, $60.

Soweto Gospel Choir
Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m.

Formed in 2002, the 52-member choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music, singing in six of South Africa’s 11 official languages.  Accompanied by an exciting four-piece band and percussion section, Soweto Gospel Choir performs with evocative sounds, energetic dancing and vibrant, colorful costumes.  
Co-presented with Washington Performing Arts Society
Tickets are $30, $35, $40 and $45.

Flamenco Festival 2014
Gala Flamenca: Antonio Canales, Carlos Rodríguez, Karime Amaya, Jesús Carmona
Director: Ángel Rojas
Tuesday, March 4 at 8 p.m.

This Gala features some of flamenco’s greatest stars, representing the dance in all its fiery glory.  Directed by Ángel Rojas, this gala brings together four of the world´s most celebrated flamenco dancers: Antonio Canales, Carlos Rodríguez, Karime Amaya and Jesús Carmona.  
Tickets are $35, $45, $55 and $65.

Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena “Lluvia”
Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m.

Eva Yerbabuena is famed for her speed, power and dramatic footwork. Inspired by poetry, this show presents the flamenco superstar at her most elegant, emotive best. Accompanied by four dancers and her critically acclaimed ensemble of musicians she delivers an unforgettable tour-de-force performance, which has left Spanish audiences in raptures.    
Tickets are $35, $45, $55 and $65.

Tomatito Sextet
Tuesday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

José Fernández Torres, known as Tomatito, is best known as the guitarist who accompanied Camarón de la Isla for the last eighteen years of the great singer’s life, collaborating with him on the seminal album La Leyenda del Tiempo (The Legend of Time), and many other essential flamenco recordings.  Tomatito teams up with a group of young musicians carefully selected for their affinity with the gypsy spirit, and brought together to share the intangible magic of flamenco’s captivating rhythm and emotive power. Tickets are $35, $45 and $55.

Johnny Clegg
Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m.

A former Grammy nominee and Billboard music award winner, Johnny Clegg has performed worldwide for over 30 years.   His crossover music blends effortlessly mixing African music with a wider music base and international rock sounds.  In addition, a vibrant blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms has earned him the nickname Le Zulu Blanc —the white Zulu.  
Tickets are $30, $35, $40 and $45.

Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m.
Saturday April 26 at 8 p.m.

With an eclectic score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi, the latest production, Botanica, shows off the endlessly renewable energy of the superb MOMIX performers, with costumes, projections, and custom-made props and puppetry adding an extra dose of fantasy to the elixir. This is dance at its most organic and inventive. The seasons will never be the same.
Co-presented with Washington Performing Arts Society
Tickets are $28, $38 and $48.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow
Featuring the Peabody Chamber Orchestra
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 6 p.m
In his acclaimed “What Makes It Great?” series, former NPR music commentator Rob Kapilow unravels and explores a great musical masterpiece with the audience. Next, the piece is performed in its entirety, followed by a Q and A with the audience and performers. The Peabody Chamber Orchestra joins Mr. Kapilow for this performance focusing on "Spring" and "Summer" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
“Not since Leonard Bernstein has classical music had a combination salesman-teacher as irresistible as Kapilow.” – Kansas City Star
What Makes It Great? is co-presented with the Washington Performing Arts Society
Tickets are $20.

About GW Lisner Auditorium
Built in 1943, GW Lisner Auditorium is an historic, 70-year-old D.C. cultural institution. A vibrant cultural asset to the university and to the city, Lisner has presented John Williams, B.B. King, Emmy Lou Harris, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Indigo Girls, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Washington Ballet, David Sedaris and numerous other world-class artists.

GW Lisner Auditorium is located at 730 21st St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
To purchase tickets or for more information go to