NVA Announces MANDO BASSO In Off-Night Series 3/16

New Village Arts Theatre is pleased to announce two fabulous music events in the coming weeks. First, on Monday, March 16th, the NVA Off-Night Series continues with an intimate performance by two of North County's most highly-regarded musicians, Gunnar Biggs and Bill Bradbury in MANDO BASSO. Then, on Tuesday, April 7th, due to popular demand, Susanna Kurner and Nathan James will return for the third night of unforgettable Jazz & Blues, with even more special guests on the roster. Both performances begin at 7:30 PM and all tickets are pay-what-you-can, with 75% of the box office going directly to the musicians.

MandoBasso Performance
Monday, March 16, 7:30 pm
New Village Arts Theatre
2787 B State St. Carlsbad
Tickets: Pay-what-you-can

MandoBasso is a duo featuring Gunnar Biggs on bass and Bill Bradbury on mandolin. Biggs and Bradbury first came together as colleagues working on projects at both Palomar College and Cal State San Marcos. Biggs comes from a strong background in jazz and classical performance, Bradbury from a composition and computer music background. Their mutual love of Irish and traditional American music brought them together in this unique pairing of mandolin and bass. MandoBasso performances include arrangements of traditional music, new compositions, classical music repertoire, jazz and ragtime.

GUNNAR BIGGS has been a prominent figure in the musical environment in Southern California for forty years. He recently retired from San Diego State University where he was the Instructor of Double Bass for twenty-five years. He teaches bass at Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College where he recently retired as Director of Jazz Ensembles. Gunnar has a large number of private students and is an active performer, clinician and guest artist. Gunnar received a scholarship to North Texas State University to attend their prestigious jazz program but left his studies early to take a position with the San Diego Symphony at age 19. At age 20, he left the Symphony to go on the road with drummer, Buddy Rich and has performed with major jazz artists ever since including Thad Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Mose Allison, Sheila Jordan, Kenny Barron, Red Norvo, Papa John Creach, Shelley Manne, Jack Sheldon, Don Menza, Charles McPherson, Barney Kessel, Peter Sprague, etc. Although he enjoys notoriety in the jazz genre, Gunnar is active in the classical world as well and has performed with the San Diego Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra and Orquesta de Baja California. Gunnar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and Global Arts from California State University San Marcos as well as a teaching credential in Language Arts.

WILLIAM BRADBURY is an Emmy Award-winning composer who received his doctoral degree in music composition and theory from Cornell University. He is currently Professor of Music and Music Technology in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at California State University, San Marcos. His creative activities include compositions for orchestra, chamber ensembles, soloists, and electronic media and have recently included computer-based multimedia collaborations with other artists: a work with visual artist Deborah Small and actress Dana Case was commissioned for in SITE97, an international art show based in San Diego and Tijuana. Bradbury's most recent large-scale composition, LEAVES for Narrator, Piano and Orchestra, was commissioned in honor of Palomar College's 50th Anniversary and premiered by the Palomar College Orchestra with Dr. Peter Gach as soloist. He has written musical scores for several films including Anza Borrego: Seasons in the Desert for which he received an Emmy Award for composing and arranging in 2001. In 2002, Bradbury was commissioned to write the score for KPBS television's film, San Diego's Coastal Wonder. He is also interested in the history of American music and is an accomplished mandolin player. Bradbury has received grants or commissions from Meet the Composer, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council, and many others.
Carlsbad, CA. Music @ NVA presents an encore evening of the popular jazz and blues concert with Susanna Kurner, Nathan James and Olivia Pierson at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787B State Street in Carlsbad Village beginning at 7:30 PM Tuesday, April 7. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. For information call 760/433.3245 or visit www.NewVillageArts.org.

Susanna Kurner and Nathan James are back for another exciting evening of straight-ahead jazz and roots blues at the 100-seat New Village Arts Theatre. This time they will be joined by the fabulous Olivia Pierson! If you love to really listen to great music, this is the venue!

Susanna Kurner. At the age of 8, Susanna discovered an Ella Fitzgerald record hidden among the John Denver and Beatles albums in her parents' music collection. She instantly became a fan of the amazing jazz great and sought out more jazz and blues musicians to listen to. From an early age, Susanna discovered she had the gift of singing. Her father was in the Marine Corps, so she moved all over the country, experiencing all kinds and styles of music. Finally she chose to pursue classical music, figuring the training would allow her more options. Upon graduation from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City with a bachelor's degree in classical vocal performance, she moved to Los Angeles to study jazz. Since then, Susanna has performed in many venues all around the country. Singing mostly jazz and blues, she occasionally throws in an aria or two at the end of her performances (so stick around!).


Nathan James. As a solo artist, leading a band, or as a sideman for hire, Nathan James is a well respected and experienced artist in his field. For over 12 years now, he has successfully made his living specializing in blues and American roots music. At age 19 he was asked to join the internationally known James Harman band and began touring extensively. Since then he has led an award-winning duo with Ben Hernandez, with whom he won the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN. Also just recently their CD "Hollerin!" has won self produced CD of the year, again at the 2009 IBC in Memphis. With influences ranging from Son House, Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, T-bone Walker, Muddy Waters, to B.B. King, Nathan represents the entire spectrum of blues guitar- from the country to the big city styles.


Although born about two decades ago, vocalist Olivia Pierson already has a firm grasp and understanding of musical styles well beyond her years. She chooses not to just show off technical vocal prowess, but infuses her voice with nuance, artistry, and phrasing. Drawing inspiration from timeless artists such as Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, and Irma Thomas sets Pierson apart from most of her generation. Influences like these help lay a deep foundation for wherever her musical career may lead.

Olivia Pierson is already gaining critical acclaim from such seasoned veterans as James Harman, for having true gift and style in her voice. She is a much welcomed arrival in this roots music genre, which is in need of more female talent. So whether you catch Olivia in a duo setting with Nathan James, or fronting her own band, she will move and inspire you with music that soothes the soul.



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