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"(Venice Baroque Orchestra is) one of the world's most adventurous and dramatic period-instrument ensembles." -NPR

"Harlem Gospel Choir are Angels in Harlem." -Bono, U2

February 3, 2015 (Escondido) -- The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) proudly presents two inspirational evenings from renowned groups the Harlem Gospel Choir and GRAMMY®-nominated Venice Baroque Orchestra with Avi Avital. The world-renowned performers will bring their brilliant performances to the Center's Concert Hall and Center Theater on February 15, 2015 and February 27, 2015. The Harlem Gospel Choir will also offer a Master Class in the Concert Hall at 4 pm the afternoon of their performance. The Choir will teach the class a number from their show, and the class will perform that number onstage with the Choir during the performance. For additional information, please visit http://artcenter.org/education/master-classes

Regularly performing contemporary gospel with a touch of jazz and blues, the world famous Harlem Gospel Choir has been America's premier gospel choir for more than two decades. The Choir's dynamic vocals, infectious enthusiasm, and glorious harmonies inspire audiences to tap their feet and clap their hands throughout a high-energy celebration of American gospel. Blues, soul and rock-and-roll all have origins in black gospel music, and the Choir joyfully presents modern gospel classics as performed in the black churches of Harlem today.

Harlem Gospel Choir has performed alongside superstars such as Bono, Diana Ross, Lyle Lovett, Josh Groban, and Sinead O'Connor. They have performed for three Presidents (President Barack Obama, President Jimmy Carter, and President Nelson Mandela), two Popes (Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI) and have recorded with the likes of Sir Keith Richards, The Chieftains, and Trace Adkins. Together, the ensemble has toured the globe, thrilling audiences with the incredible power of black gospel music.

Stone Brewing Co. is a proud presenting sponsor of the Harlem Gospel Choir performance at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

*The Harlem Gospel Choir performs at the Concert Hall on February 15, 2015. More information can be found on http://artcenter.org/event/harlem-gospel-choir/

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. Nominated for a GRAMMY® for "Best Classical Solo Vocal Album" for their recording of Porpora arias with Philloppe Jaroussky, the ensemble deftly interprets thrilling Italian Baroque concertos by Vivaldi, Marcello, and Geminiani. Highlights of Venice Baroque's 2013-14 season include extensive tours of Europe, the United States and Asia, concerts with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux in France and Belgium, performances with cellist Gautier Capuçon, and tours with recorder player Maurice Steger and violinist Giuliano Carmignola.

The orchestra's virtuosity is highlighted by a selection of mandolin concertos featuring acclaimed Israeli soloist Avi Avital. Recognized by The New York Times for his "exquisitely sensitive playing" and "stunning agility", Avital is one of the world's most exciting musicians and is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY® nomination in the category, "Best Instrumental Soloist" (2010), for his recording of Avner Dorman's Mandolin Concerto. The musician has performed at renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Wigmore Hall in London, and has appeared as a soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Berliner Symphoniker.

*Venice Baroque Orchestra with Avi Avital performs at the Center Theater on February 27, 2015. More information can be found on http://artcenter.org/event/venice-baroque-orchestra/

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 http://www.artcenter.org .



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