MUSE/IQUE, known for its counter-conventional performances that feel more like parties than formal concerts, wraps “Summer of Sound” 2013 with “Lose Your Senses with Ellis Hall” featuring Hall, Tower of Power’s lead singer and keyboardist who electrifies with his five octave range and tears it up with the Selah Gospel Choir to unchain the soul sounds of great musicians like Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and even Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi on Saturday, August 17, 2013, 7:30 pm, outdoors at Caltech’s Beckman Mall in Pasadena. They join Caltech physicist Sean Carroll and MUSE/IQUE Artistic Director Rachael Worby, who conducts the MUSE/IQUE Orchestra for a pure out-of the-box adventure that also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” with a world premiere of a dance set to the score of Spike Jonze’ critically acclaimed film adaptation of the beloved children’s book. Gates open at 5:30 pm for dinner (ordered in advance) or bring-your-own picnics, with table seating and plentiful free parking.
In signature MUSE/IQUE fashion, Worby adds a twist to the 90-minute concert. “The thrust is pure Motown energy laid down by the master, Ellis Hall, who is blind, like his mentor Ray Charles,” Worby explains. “We are infusing the repertoire with works by some of Ellis’s classical music influences, the hearing impaired Beethoven among them, as we link earlier classical music to the best of American Motown.”
From the vast library of Motown favorites, Ellis performs such Ray Charles hits as Georgia on My Mind, You Don’t Know Me, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Let the Good Times Roll and Hit the Road, Jack, as well as America the Beautiful, Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Stevie Wonder’s My Cheri Amour, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The Selah Gospel Choir presents an a cappella version of the traditional spiritual Swing Down Chariot, popularized over the years by such diverse artists as Elvis Presley, Randy Travis and Ronnie Milsap, and the MUSE/IQUE orchestra performs works by Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi. The evening also pays tribute to Sendak’s classic children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” which has touched millions of souls around the globe since it was published in 1963, with the world premiere of a new dance commissioned for the occasion and set to Carter Burwell’s score for Spike Jonze’ film adaptation of the fanciful and much-loved work. Finally, Caltech scientist Sean Carroll adds his own spin on the science of soul. A gifted science communicator, Carroll is theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity who has appeared on such notable television programs as History Channel’s The Universe, Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report,
MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events, connects master artists with new voices across a limitless range of styles. Its counter-conventional performances, which feel more like parties than formal concerts, link musicians with great thinkers and compelling visual, cinematic and dance artists. In the two years since MUSE/IQUE was founded by Artistic Director Rachael Worby, it has grown from one performance with a handful of devoted followers to a major cultural presence that reaches vast audiences. Its considerable membership currently numbers more than 500 people. In the fall and spring, MUSE/IQUE presents “Uncorked” evenings at unconventional locations, and in the summer MUSE/IQUE features three outdoor “music parties” at Caltech’s Beckman Mall, all curated by the innovative and visionary Worby. Among MUSE/IQUE’s guest artists are Jessye Norman, Charlie Haden, Patti Austin, Mary Wilson, Flea, Rickie Lee Jones, Ellis Hall, Matt Haimovitz, Angela Bassett, Arturo Sandoval and more. Uncorked’s “pop-up” venues have included Pasadena’s Phoenix Decorating Center (where Rose Parade floats are constructed), Art Center College of Design Sculpture Garden, Castle Press (one of the nation’s largest printing presses), backstage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and others. KIDS/IQUE!, a primary element of the organization, serves boys and girls, ages 12 to 18, in the San Gabriel Valley’s network of foster care services by presenting ongoing interactive experiences with professional musicians and other artists designed to compliment the service goals of the foster care facilities even as they allow MUSE/IQUE to reach otherwise underserved youth. Other outreach programs include free and low-cost tickets for students and community groups, and “Free For All,” a free annual concert featuring a fusion of music with family friendly surprises.
Caltech’s Beckman Mall is located at 332 S. Michigan Ave. Pasadena CA 91106. Plentiful parking is free. To reserve a catered dinner that can be picked up on site, please contact Perfect Equation Catering at (626) 529-5585. Concert tickets begin at $10 per person with top tier seating, $96 per person, available to MUSE/IQUE members at the $1,000+ contribution level; students with ID are $10. MUSE/IQUE membership, which ranges from $250 to $2,500, includes a variety of special benefits including priority seating and services. For tickets and membership information, please call 626-539-7085 or visit www.muse-ique.com.