Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Located on the Eastside of San Antonio, The Carver Community Cultural Center is a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary performing/visual arts center that offers artistic presentations and outreach programs to the community. It has also become a thriving hotspot for educational, social and cultural services catering to the African-American community and Downtown San Antonio.
For more than 75 years, the Carver has brought plenty of talent through its doors including vocalists Aaron Neville and Poncho Sanchez, bassists Christian McBride, Stanley Clarke, and Esperanza Spalding.
This season, expect to see plenty more. Performances include a rock blues icon, Robert Cray, who is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation,” several all-female dancing and musical ensembles, two world-class drummers and a Tony Award-winning artist whose dancing style has revolutionized the art form of tap.
“This year possesses an extraordinary line-up! Patrons will enjoy each performance and the passion each artist brings to our stage,” said Yonnie Blanchette, Carver Community Cultural Center executive director in a statement.
Highlights of the 2015-2016 Performance Season include:
Urban Bush Women, Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8 p.m
Since 1974, the Urban Bush Women dance company has fought to destroy society’s assumptions about females, people of color and body shaming by mixing music, text, contemporary dance with history, culture and traditions of African-Americans and the African Diaspora (A dispersed people). Don’t miss out on the performance.
Robert Cray, Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 8 p.m.
The Carver is proud to welcome a five-time grammy award winner to their stage. With 15 grammy nominations, millions of record sales, thousands of sold-out concerts, blues guitarist Robert Cray will take command of the Carver Stage. Considered an icon in blues music, he is credited with reinventing the style with his distinct style.
The Jones Family Singers, Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 8 p.m.
This family of Gospel singing has inspired church congregations and festival gathering for more than 20 years. The group consists of five sisters, two brothers and their dad. According to the Wall Street Journal, they “infuse their joyful reverent songs with elements of vintage soul and R&B.”
The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
This festival is the longest consecutively running jazz festival on the planet. This tour features six jazz masters including Raul Midón on vocals and guitar; Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano sax; Nicholas Payton on trumpet; Gerald Clayton on piano; Joe Sanders on bass and Justin Brown on drums.
The Renaissance Guild, Friday, Jan. 29 – Sunday, Jan. 31; Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
The Renaissance Guild is San Antonio’s Black Theatre Company. The troupe presents an original musical piece called Divas Of Westwood. Johnnie Phillip’s Eastwood, Don Albert’s Keyhole Club and what would eventually become the Carver Community Cultural Center were part of The ‘Chitilin’ Circuit: a pre-civil rights era network of venues. These three locations celebrate the circuit and a tribute to divas that sang on those stages including Dinah Washington, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn and many more.
Jazz in Pink, Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 8 p.m.
This all-female jazz ensemble is here to jam. Originated and trained by highly regarded keyboardist, Gail Jhonson, Jazz In Pink showcases each and every player in the band, including contemporary flautist, Althea Rene; bassist Robin Bramlett; drummer Dee Simone; and guitarist Angela Swan. Who says girls can’t play?
Tamara Adira ~ Arte y Pasión, Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 4 p.m.
Arte y Pasión is a company known for pushing the limits of Flamenco and Spanish dance. Led by dancer and artistic director Tamara Adira, each performance is composed of independent artists who join forces to create one of the most contemporary dance companies in the nation.
Lisa Fischer, Friday, April 29, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Rolling Stones fans, rejoice. This singer and songwriter that sang backup to the iconic rock band has made a career for herself. Her rise to fame happened in 1992, when she won a grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “How Can I Ease the Pain.” Lisa has made music with many other bigwigs in the industry, including Tina Turner, Beyonce, and Alicia Keys.
Alfredo Rodriguez, Friday, May 13, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Record producer Quincy Jones discovered Alfredo at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival in 1996. Under Jones’ guidance, Alfredo rapidly rose to the top. This pianist has appeared on many prestigious stages. In 2010, Rodriguez was asked to collaborate with Academy Award winning Chinese composer, Tan Dun, Siedah Garrett and Quincy Jones to compose the English-version of the theme song, “Better City, Better Life,” for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
An Evening with Savion Glover and Jack DeJohnette, Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Tap dancing prodigy Savion Glover and Jack DeJohnette, of the most renowned jazz drummers in the industry, join forces to bring this performance to The Carter. A blend of precision and rhythm will stun audiences with the vibes they will deliver. (Literally. Drums and tap dancing produce sound vibrations.)
Sheila E., June 4, 2016 at 8 p.m.
The Carver’s season concludes with the rhythms of world-class drummer/percussionist and Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter, Sheila E. who’s vigor has made her an icon since the ’90s. She’s shared the stage with Gloria Estefan, Ringo Starr, Lionel Richie, Prince and Marvin Gaye.
Season subscriptions for the 11 performances are available for only $300 per seat and available through the Carver Box Office. For additional season subscription information, please call the Carver Box Office at 210.207.2234. Discounts are available for students, teachers, seniors, military and groups. Individual tickets may be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets by calling 800.745.3000, online at ticketmaster.com or at the Carver Box Office located at 226 N. Hackberry. The Carver Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and two hours prior to curtain call.
For more information about performances or individual artists, visit thecarver.org or call (210) 207-7211.
*Featured/top image: Patrons enter the Carver Community Cultural Center. Photo by Scott Ball.