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July 1, 2014 (Escondido)--California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) reaches a major milestone this year, celebrating its 20th Anniversary season with an exceptional line-up of acclaimed performers, including The Blind Boys of Alabama, Garrison Keillor, Merle Haggard, Pink Martini, Jake Shimabukuro, Harlem Gospel Choir, Whose Live Anyway, La Santa Cecilia, Kathleen Madigan, Pilobolus, Peking Acrobats, Jazzreach with Metta Quintet, Sirena Huang, Paul Galbraith, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Lúnasa with Special Guest Karan Casey, Alberta Ballet, Jiayan Sun, Venice Baroque Orchestra, 2Cellos, Han Bin Yoon, and many more.

Following a three-year hiatus from presenting internationally renowned talent, the Center returns this fall 2104 as a revitalized tour-de-force in the Southern California market.

The Center's forthcoming 2014/2015 season features premier performances exhibited through an eclectic lens engaging a widespread audience of concertgoers. The season debuts on Fri., Oct. 10, 2014 and continues until Sun., May 31, 2015, and events will take place in both the 1,523-seat Concert Hall and 404-seat Center Theater. Please see the 2014/2015 performance schedule below, and for additional information about the Center, please visit

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed comments on the forthcoming season, "As Escondido's cultural icon, the Center draws audiences to our city, driving the economy and showcasing our investment in the arts."

The Center's Executive Director Jerry VanLeeuwen adds, "Our new season will reestablish and advance the Center as an essential component of arts and entertainment in San Diego. Our vibrant lineup, along with our art museum and community events, provide so many opportunities for people to experience the power of performance. I wish it were October already."

Alongside other celebrated Escondido attractions and facilities such as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Mayo Clinic, Stone Brewing Company and many others, the Center is thrilled to continue placing Escondido on the national map as a cultural mecca of the arts and invention. In addition to the diverse programming for their stages, the Center remains steadfast in their mission to provide standout educational and family-friendly offerings, captivating museum exhibitions, free community festivals and more.

Below is a comprehensive performance schedule below for the Center's 20th Anniversary season:

Performing Arts 2014/2015 Season Lineup

La Santa Cecilia

*Friday, October 10, 2014

Center Theater @ 7:30pm

La Santa Cecilia won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock Album and are known for their rousing performances that passionately combine Latin culture with rock and world music.

Intimate Classic Series, Violin

Sirena Huang

*Sunday, October 19, 2014

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Master Class

Studio One @ 11:00am

Since her solo debut at age 9, Sirena Huang has played with some 40 orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as for heads of state and royalty. With the glide of her bow, the young prize-winning violinist channels centuries of history and tradition.

Jake Shimabukuro

*Friday, October 31, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Declared by Rolling Stone as a "musical hero," ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro has earned praise from rock icon Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam as well as comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.


*Saturday, November 15, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Master Class

Concert Hall @ 10:00am

A Guinness World Record holder and Grammy nominee, the globally renowned dance company Pilobolus has performed on the Oscars, Oprah, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, showcasing their signature flipping, swinging, flying, and lifting all the while challenging the way we think about dance.

Intimate Classics Series, Guitar

Paul Galbraith

*Sunday, November 23, 2014

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Master Class

Studio One @ 11:00am

Internationally-renowned as a brilliant innovator of the classical guitar, Paul Galbraith masterfully expands the limits of his instrument. By exchanging the traditional guitar for the eight-string Brahms Guitar, which he helped develop, Galbraith found the ideal instrument with which to interpret the classical transcriptions from his personal repertoire.

"A Merri-Achi Christmas"

Mariachi Sol de Mexico

*Friday, December 5, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico presents a colorful celebration of Mexico's Christmas traditions, embracing the romanticism of Mexico's land, culture, and people. This show includes seasonal song and dance along with select Mariachi classics.

Pink Martini

*Sunday, December 7, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Formed by pianist Thomas Lauderdale in 1994, Pink Martini is an American band with international flair and a penchant for the nostalgic. Known as the "little orchestra", Pink Martini's globally-inspired repertoire is wildly diverse, crossing genres of classical, Latin, jazz, and old-fashioned pop.

Merle Haggard

*Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

A Country Music Hall of Famer, Grammy Award winner, and most recently Kennedy Center Honoree, Merle Haggard is a country music icon and living legend. Haggard and his songs retain the grit, heart, and honesty that first won him fans and the standing as "the poet of the common man."

Christmas with Lúnasa with Special Guest Karan Casey

*Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Lúnasa, an "Irish music dream team" as dubbed by Folk Roots magazine (UK), brings a Celtic Christmas celebration to the Center with Grammy-winning guest vocalist Karan Casey, who has been described as one of the most innovative and provocative voices in traditional and contemporary Irish music.

Special Christmas Show

Blind Boys of Alabama

*Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

The five-time Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama mix gospel-tinged versions of seasonal favorites along with soulful classics in a joyous evening of stirring music.

Peking Acrobats

*Saturday, January 10, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

The Peking Acrobats are masters of agility and grace, defying gravity with awe-inspiring gymnastic displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. Accompanied by live musicians and high-tech special effects, the acrobats bring the excitement of a Chinese Carnival to the stage!

Intimate Classics Series, Piano

Keyboard Conversations®, Concerts with Commentary

Jeffrey Siegel

*Sunday, January 11, 2015

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

According to the LA Times, "Jeffrey Siegel has everything: massive technique, musical sensitivity, character and the ability to communicate." The brilliantly polished concert-with-commentary format includes brief, captivating remarks introducing dynamic performances of piano masterpieces, and concludes with a fast-paced Q&A.

JazzReach Featuring Metta Quintet

*Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:00pm

Master Classes

*Monday, January 19, 2015

Studio One @ 3:00 - 8:00pm

*Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Studio One @ 3:00 - 8:00pm

*Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Concert Hall @ 3:00 - 5:30pm

JazzReach is fiercely dedicated to the performance, promotion, and teaching of jazz music. This mission is personified by the Metta Quintet, a critically-acclaimed ensemble who will present a three-day jazz intensive for local high school jazz band students. The culmination of the students' efforts will be showcased on-stage with the Metta Quintet in this can't-miss concert!

Alberta Ballet

"Fumbling Towards Ecstasy"

*Sunday, January 25, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

The Alberta Ballet, a troupe of 30 classically trained dancers, traces the deeply spiritual odyssey of a woman's life from first romantic encounter to mature love in the "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" portrait ballet, featuring the sounds of musical icon, Sarah McLachlan.

Intimate Classics Series, Piano

Jiayan Sun

*Sunday, February 1, 2015

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Praised for his "technically flawless, poetically inspired, and immensely assured playing" (Toronto Star), China-born Julliard-trained pianist Jiayan Sun has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, among other prestigious halls. With a passion for early music, he often plays the harpsichord and pianoforte.

Garrison Keillor

*Thursday, February 5, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

True to his award-winning radio form, legendary humorist and author Garrison Keillor delivers hilarious anecdotes with his signature "down comforter voice", dry sense of humor, charisma, and wisdom.

Harlem Gospel Choir

*Sunday, February 15, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Master Class

Studio One @ 11:00am

The world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir's dynamic vocals, infectious enthusiasm, and glorious harmonies will inspire audiences to tap their feet and clap their hands throughout this high-energy celebration of American gospel.

Venice Baroque Orchestra

*Friday, February 27, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is one of the world's premier ensembles devoted to period instrument performance, with a focus on bringing freshness, joviality, and experimentation to early music.

Kathleen Madigan

*Friday, March 6, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Hailed by Jay Leno as "one of America's funniest female comics," late-night talk show circuit veteran Kathleen Madigan has starred in multiple HBO and Comedy Central specials and was nominated for a "2014 American Comedy Award" for "Best Concert Comic."


*Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

The boundary-breaking duo 2CELLOS rose to fame after their cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" went viral, which led to joining Sir Elton John's worldwide tour and a stint on the TV series GLEE. Their genre-bending concerts, crossing between classical and film music to pop and rock, leave listeners spellbound.

Intimate Classics Series, Cello

Han Bin Yoon

*Sunday, May 3, 2015

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Within a year of picking up the cello, Han Bin Yoon won his first competition, which led to solo appearances with the San Diego Youth Symphony. Performing locally and abroad, the young cellist's success continues, recently earning "Second Prize" at the "2013 Young Concert Artist International Auditions."

Whose Live Anyway

*Saturday, May 30, 2015

Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Join the cast from the Emmy-nominated TV show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" for a night of unforgettable improv comedy and song that will leave you laughing for days. Bring your suggestions to the show; you may have a chance to perform on stage with the cast!

Choral Arts 2014/2015 Season Lineup

Music of Light

*Saturday, October 25, 2014

Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Join the Center Chorale for a captivating evening of musical illumination as they sing Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal) accompanied by the Festival Chamber Orchestra. The Center Chorale will present works centered on the theme of light, including local composer Stephen Sturk's composition "Arise and shine for your light is come" in a shimmering blend of chorus and handbells.

Songs in the Courtyard (Center Children's Chorus)

*Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lyric Court @ 3:00pm

The Center Children's Chorus will perform an outdoor concert celebrating fall. Music and movement connect children together in this new season of creative expression and a special ice cream sundae tops it off.

A Choral Yuletide (Center Chorale and Center Children's Chorus)

*Saturday, December 6, 2014

Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Songs of the holiday season, both classic and contemporary, are sung by The Center Chorale and Center Children's Chorus.

Beethoven the Great

*Sunday, March 1, 2015

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Don't miss the Center Chorale's phenomenal tribute to one of the most influential composers in the history of classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven. Two of Beethoven's works, the Choral Fantasy and the Mass in C Major, will be featured accompanied by a Festival Orchestra, piano and vocal soloists.

Songs of America (Center Children’s Chorus)

*Sunday, May 17, 2015

Center Theater @ 3:00pm

The Center Children's Chorus presents songs from America's patriotic and folk heritage giving us an opportunity to make connections with history through music and art.

Museum Exhibitions 2014/2015 Season Lineup

The Art of Fantasia and Other Disney Classics: The David Yaruss Collection

*July 26 - August 31, 2014

The Museum @ California Center for the Arts

Enjoy this unprecedented debut collection of over 250 original Disney animation cels, concept sketches, painted backgrounds and storyboard drawings featuring beloved Disney characters including Pinocchio, Snow White, Peter Pan and Mickey Mouse in the Art of Fantasia and other Disney Classics. These masterpieces from the Golden Age of Animation are shared by local San Diego collector, David Yaruss whose passion for collecting was first ignited in 1975 at one of the first Comic-Cons, held in the basement of the El Cortez hotel. Yaruss credits that experience with changing his life forever and kick-starting his passion for collecting original Disney animation art, comics, historical items and books that has grown into a collection he characterizes as "too precious not to share."

Additional information for the following museum exhibitions will be available in the coming months:

Colores de la Muerte: A Day of the Dead Festival

*October 2 - November 9, 2014

Honoring a tradition with its roots deep in pre-Columbian Mexico, the Center welcomes art celebrating Día de los Muertos. Join us in recreating an installation of ofrendas, originally created by artist Eloy Tarcisio, that's been with us for 20 years. In collaboration with the Mingei International Museum, The University of Tijuana CUT, Centro Cultural de Tijuana (Cecut), Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (IMAC), Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta) and the Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.

Strauss Collection

*January 22 - February 22, 2015

Second Spring

*March 21 - April 26, 2015

Annual Community Events

Independence Day & Fireworks Spectacular featuring 1st Marine Division Band, The Fabulous Woodies, Woodstock Mud, and The Soultones. For more information, please visit:

*July 4, 2014

WOW Performances featuring The Saxations (September 3, 2014 @ 4pm & 7pm), Bill Magee Blues Band (December 3, 2014 @ 4pm & 7pm), The Lacemakers (March 4, 2015 @ 4pm & 7pm), Herb Martin & Friends (April 1, 2015 @ 4pm & 7pm), and more!

*Every First Wednesday of Every Month

Jazz Jam Sessions featuring Herb Martin & Friends or The Society Boys. For more information, please visit:

*Every Friday in August 2014

Cine en el Parque featuring movies such as Selena, School of Rock, The Soloist, and Calle 54. For more information, please visit:

*Every Saturday in September 2014

Dia de los Muertos featuring Ballet Folklorico Tierra Caliente & Mariachi los Caballeros de San Diego. For more information, please visit:

*November 1, 2014

Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland Festival; for more information, please visit:

*December 6, 2014

1st Marine Division Band Anniversary Concert


About the California Center for the Arts, Escondido

With a mission of bringing people together to discover, create and celebrate both the visual and performing arts, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the cultural center of North San Diego County.

The Center's unique campus includes a 1,523-seat concert hall, a 404-seat theater, a contemporary art museum, art and dance studios, and a full-service conference center with meeting and banquet facilities. The Center also runs an extensive education program and produces free community events, such as the Jazz Jam Sessions, Holiday Tree Lighting, Day of the Dead, 4th of July and WOW First Wednesdays performances.

The Center is located at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. The Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 988-4253. Tickets can also be purchased online. To learn more, including performance dates, times and ticket information, visit .


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