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Here's what's coming to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre this spring

With song cycles beautifully exploring challenging historical periods to Celtic trios that just want to have a good time, anyone can be entertained at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre next month
Burlington Performing Arts Centre

The performing arts seek to evoke a wide range of emotions. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is hopeful its March lineup will do just that.

With song cycles beautifully exploring challenging historical periods to Celtic trios that just want to have a good time, anyone can be entertained at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre next month.

On Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m., Stephanie Chou will perform Comfort Girl. Chou, a New York City-based composer, singer, and saxophonist, blends Chinese musical influences with Western jazz and pop. The exquisite outcomes of her music include Comfort Girl, an 80-minute song cycle telling the story of Chinese “comfort women” abducted into slavery by the Japanese army during WWII. Through this production, Chou, who strongly believes in music’s capacity for social change, employs groundbreaking musical fusions to expose audiences to this difficult, yet still-relevant story.

Chou creates powerful cross-cultural connections through her music to engage with spectators. Her music has taken her to Taipei, Beijing and to some of New York City’s most reputable venues, such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre. Comfort Girl is being produced into an opera, a studio album and has been called “A stunning work that…shines light on a dark chapter of history” by DownBeat magazine.

On Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m., Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats will rock the Main Theatre. For patrons wanting to party their way through an exhilarating night of cheering and hollering, this show has everything they are looking for. Lee Rocker – along with his giant upright bass – ascended to rock and roll fame as one of the founding members of The Stray Cats. This Grammy-nominated band has sold over 10 million albums, produced 23 gold and platinum records and created global mega hits such as Stray Cat Strut and Rock this Town, a classic deemed as one of the 500 most important songs in rock by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Much like his band, Rocker has a resume studded with stardom. His feats range from touring with the Rolling Stones to appearing on Saturday Night Live. He has also recorded or performed with George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Willie Nelson. Rocker has also made his mark on Broadway by appearing in the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet in 2012. 

On Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m., The Celtic Tenors will fill the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Main Theatre with their world-class voices. This group is comprised of Irish singers Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson. Together, they perform acapellas, classical arias, chillingly beautiful Celtic harmonies and popular contemporary songs

Despite their polished international reputation as the most successful classical crossover act to emerge from Ireland, this group resists from taking themselves too seriously. Rather, they insist “It’s all about the music, the harmonies and the fun.” This laid-back approach allows them to offer audiences world-class singing without abandoning the personality and fun of genuine performers who simply love what they do.

On Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m., Jazz at Lincoln Centre’s Sing and Swing comes to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Stemming from New York City’s Lincoln Centre, it strives to “entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy.” With this mission in mind, this organization has brought New York City’s finest jazz to every corner of the globe while touching the hearts of many.

Jazz at Lincoln Centre has assembled two rising stars to display their powerful jazz programming. The up-and-coming artists, Bria and Benny, will each use their dazzling trumpet talent and vocal excellence in their production, Sing and Swing. Together, they will celebrate the Great American Playbook while re-living and re-imagining the works of legendary jazz duos such as Judy Garland and Bing Crosby as well as Dean Martin and Peggy Lee. By combining their musical brilliance, Bria and Benny will have audiences singing and swinging to their renditions of songs by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and more.

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