Montalvo Announces 19/20 Carriage House Series

Art enthusiasts gathered last night (May 22) at Montalvo Arts Center for an exclusive members-only unveiling of its 2019-2020 Carriage House Theatre Concert Series line-up. The historic Silicon Valley venue announced a thrilling roster of performers from Meow Meow to The Second City, from Pablo Cruise to Loudon Wainwright III, tributes to The Beatles, Cream, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and an appearance by NPR's hit radio show and podcast "Selected Shorts." The season launches in October, offering a stellar line-up of theatre, comedy, magic, Grammy Award nominees/winners performing jazz, bluegrass, pop, rock, classical, new age, folk, Hawaiian music, and more. Tickets are now available to Montalvo members, and go on-sale to the general public beginning May 30. For more information or to purchase tickets, the public can visit or call 408-961-5858.

The season kicks off in the fall with: legendary rock supergroup The Hit Men (Oct. 3), three-time Grammy-nominated Acoustic Alchemy (Oct. 9), Pablo Cruise and his surf-soul hits (Oct. 20), Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito (Oct. 25), famed singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell (Nov. 6), the fiery spirit and rock legacy of The Music of Cream (Nov. 7), The Subdudes and their intoxicating blend of roots music (Nov. 9), Asian-influenced jazz band Hiroshima (Nov. 10), original compositions and arrangements by the progressive California & Montreal Guitar Trios (Nov. 13), and all-time hits of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers revisited by Classic Albums Live (Nov. 21)

Back by popular demand, David Benoit's Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown with Vivace Children's Choir (Dec. 7) will return to Montalvo, followed by A Peter White Christmas featuring Rick Braun & Euge Groove (Dec. 15) and the joyous acoustic sounds of Windham Hill's Winter Solstice (Dec. 21).

Grammy-winning folk musician Loudon Wainwright III (Jan. 29) launches the new year with a hybrid of songs, spoken word, and solo theatre, followed by the fiery Flamenco style of Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra (Feb. 5), veteran stand-up comedian Tom Papa (Feb. 7), Hawaiian music group Waipuna (Feb. 13), and an evening of funny and moving readings presented by hit public radio series and podcast Selected Shorts (Feb. 29).

Spring takes flight with the eclectic musical scene of Steel Betty (Mar. 14), the rousing and reflective Irish ballad music of The High Kings (Mar. 21), and The Masters of Hawaiian Music: George Kahumoku Jr., Jeff Peterson, and Nathan Aweau (Mar. 22). Also on the lineup: The Second City with their all-new, all-hilarious revue "Laughing for All the Wrong Reasons" (Mar. 29), award-winning jazz pianist and composer Justin Kauflin(Apr. 2), Late Night Catechism's seasonal iteration of Sister's Easter Catechism (Apr. 4), Meow Meow and her many talents (Apr. 9), the mystifying illusions of Vitaly (Apr. 16), 2018 Songwriter's Hall of Fame inductee Steve Dorff (Apr. 17), Graham Parker and his signature blend of genres (Apr. 18), contemporary jazz icon Keiko Matsui (Apr. 19), Grammy-nominated rock photographer Ethan Russell (Apr. 23), Yesterday & Today's Interactive Beatles Experience (Apr. 24), all-female country group Farewell Angelina (May 10), and the inventive Brubeck Brothers Quartet (May 14).

In chronological order, Montalvo's 2019-2020 Carriage House Theatre Concert Series is as follows:

The Hit Men - Legendary Rock Supergroup

7:30pm, Thursday, October 3, 2019
Reserved: $59 || Premier: $65

Known as real legacy performers, The Hit Men have played and recorded for decades alongside the likes of Frankie Valli, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Three Dog Night, The Turtles, The Who, and other mega-star acts of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Declared by The Iowa Source as "an intoxicating ride through the most magnificent years of rock 'n' roll," The Hit Men present the greatest, from Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," intertwined with fascinating backstories from their days rubbing elbows with rock royalty.

Acoustic Alchemy

7:30pm, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Reserved: $55 || Premier: $62
For the past 30 years, three-time Grammy-nominated group Acoustic Alchemy has been at the forefront of contemporary jazz. Recognized for a unique sound that embraces a panoply of styles, including straight-ahead jazz, folk, rock, world music, and more, these musical innovators have made a career of pushing the limits of the acoustic guitar's potential. With dozens of top-shelf jazz-fusion classics like "Mr. Chow," "The Beautiful Game," and "Wish You Were Near," Acoustic Alchemy has been applauded by critics for its "good compositions, sparkling clean musicianship, and nice variety" (All About Jazz).

Pablo Cruise

7:00pm, Sunday, October 20, 2019

Reserved: $65 || Premier: $69

In the 1970s, Pablo Cruise's blend of melodic California soft rock and lite jazz fusion dominated the Top 10 lists. With surf-soul hits like "Whatcha Gonna Do?" and "Love Will Find a Way," the band thrilled audiences with electrifying live concerts that showcased the perfect mix of compositional and instrumental skill. After a long hiatus, Pablo Cruise reunited in 2005 to bring back their powerful combination of down-to-earth vocals with infectious grooves. Since reuniting, the band has released two CDs and a DVD documenting their exceptional live shows.

Pasquale Esposito

8:00pm, Friday, October 25, 2019
Reserved: $58 || Premier: $65

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "splendid" and "a charismatic and dulcet-toned singer," Italian-born tenor Pasquale Esposito is a PBS star and international crossover recording artist renowned for his pop-opera delivery of songs. Due to popular demand, Esposito returns to Montalvo to perform a variety of contemporary Italian, Neapolitan, English, and Spanish standards along with pop-inspired pieces and some of his own original compositions.

The Rodney Crowell Trio

7:30pm, Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Reserved: $53 || Premier: $59

For four decades, the music of legendary Houston-born singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell has honored the country's past while adding a rock 'n' roll punch. A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, his legacy has made him an icon among giants and earned him the title of "The Godfather of Americana" (NPR). As part of this tour, Crowell will perform twangy two steppers, hard-driving blues rockers, dusty cowboy ballads, and windblown prairie gems.

The Music of Cream

7:30pm, Thursday, November 7, 2019

Reserved: $53 || Premier: $59

Formed in 1966, Cream was a British rock power trio consisting of drummer Ginger Blake, guitarist/singer Eric Clapton, and lead singer/bassist Jack Bruce. With mega-hits like "Strange Brew," "Sunshine of Your Love," and "Crossroads," the rock explosion of Cream was like no other, making them the blueprint for every subgroup to follow. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the band's earth-shaking debut album, their musician descendants come together to celebrate the band's reign over the psychedelic frontier. Kofi Baker (son of Ginger), Malcolm Bruce (son of Jack), and Will Johns (Eric's nephew) will unleash the lightning that electrified a generation as they share personal insights, stories, and rare family footage and photographs in honor of the Cream spirit and legacy.

The Subdudes

7:30pm, Saturday, November 9, 2019
Reserved: $56 || Premier: $63

Over the course of 25 years and 10 albums, The Subdudes quietly became one of America's national music treasures. Known for mixing soulful R&B swagger with cheeky rock 'n' roll attitudes and warm folky harmonies, this New Orleans-formed group showcases some of the sharpest musicianship and ensemble playing ever heard. More than a just a concert, the "dudes" leave you feeling like they're having a party...and you were lucky enough to be invited.


7:00pm, Sunday, November 10, 2019

Reserved: $62 || Premier: $69
As the Asian-influenced jazz band Hiroshima approaches the 40-year benchmark, it continues to offer incomparable smooth-as-silk sounds, which fall somewhere between R&B, pop, world music, salsa, and jazz, integrating Japanese instruments and musical traditions. Hiroshima has toured with the likes of Miles Davis, sold over four million albums worldwide, and continues to produce truly innovative, hypnotic music.

California & Montreal Guitar Trios

7:30pm, Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Reserved: $44 || Premier: $49
Described as "virtuosos with no apparent limitations to what they can summon from their instruments" (The Calgary Herald), the California & Montreal Guitar Trios will join forces at Montalvo for a performance that fearlessly crisscrosses genres. Hailed by Los Angeles Times as "winning, energetic, and highly accessible," the groups take acoustic guitar performance to an entirely new level, expertly blending the sounds of steel-stringed and nylon-stringed guitars in an exciting performance that features original compositions and new arrangements of progressive rock, world, jazz, and classical music.

Classic Albums Live Presents:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes

7:30pm, Thursday, November 21, 2019
Reserved: $58 || Premier: $65
This fall, Classic Albums Live will rock the Bay Area with its electrifying performance of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1979 album Damn the Torpedoes, featuring hit songs such as "Refugee," "Don't Do Me Like That," and "Here Comes My Girl." Relying on the music itself and a group of peerless musicians, Classic Albums Live has delighted thousands of music lovers across North America with its thrilling live covers of some of music's greatest albums - note for note, cut for cut - without gimmickry and cheesy impersonations.

David Benoit: Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown

5:00pm, Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reserved: $55 || Premier: $59
Grammy-nominated pianist/composer/arranger David Benoit is one of the founding fathers of contemporary jazz, and he owes it all to Charlie Brown. More than 50 years after the classic animated special first aired, piano maestro David Benoit - who has been the composer for the new Peanuts TV specials for over a decade - pays tribute to Charlie Brown with his own Christmas originals along with the beloved Vince Guaraldi classics. Joined on stage by the Vivace Children's Choir of San Jose, the festive David Benoit: Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown is a holiday tradition at Montalvo sure to sell out.

A Peter White Christmas featuring Rick Braun & Euge Groove

4:00pm & 7:30pm, Sunday, December 15, 2019
Reserved: $59 || Premier: $66

Alongside Rick Braun and Euge Groove, premiere jazzman Peter White "blends impeccable taste and admirable fluidity" (All About Jazz) in his annual fun-filled show featuring festive arrangements of holiday favorites. Audiences will celebrate the season with one of contemporary jazz's most versatile and prolific guitarists, performing in A Peter White Christmas.

Windham Hill's Winter Solstice

3:00pm & 7:00pm, Saturday, December 21, 2019

Reserved: $50 || Premier: $56

The joyous acoustic music of Windham Hill's Winter Solstice comes alive in a festive performance hailed as "Full of life and brilliant" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Commemorating the 35th anniversary of the label's multi-platinum selling Winter Solstice album series, founder and Grammy-winning guitarist Will Ackerman will join Grammy-nominated singer/fiddler/pianist Barbara Higbie, guitarist Todd Boston, and cellist Mia Pixley to honor this special time of year with the songs and sounds of the season.

Loudon Wainwright III

7:30pm, Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Reserved: $44 || Premier: $49

This winter, Loudon Wainwright III will bring his deeply personal, hilarious, and profound music to the Montalvo Arts Center. Perhaps best known for playing Captain Calvin Spalding, the "singing surgeon" on M*A*S*H, Wainwright is a Grammy-winning folk musician, as well as an actor and composer. He has released more than two dozen albums, penned topical tunes for NPR's All Things Considered, and recorded several songs for the soundtrack of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Wainwright's songs have been covered by performers such as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, and Earl Scruggs.

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra

7:30pm, Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Reserved: $52 || Premier: $59
German-born Ottmar Liebert is a multi-faceted, Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling guitarist whose gorgeous stylings blend world music with New Age. Known as the pioneer of "Nouveau Flamenco" style, Liebert's global success flows from his cultural background and powerful wanderlust. Backed by his band Luna Negra, Liebert harnesses the emotional fire and mournful tonalities of traditional flamenco music, while blending it with subtle rhythms of jazz and the melodic song structures of pop.

Tom Papa

7:30pm, Friday, February 7, 2020
Reserved: $43 || Premier: $48
Veteran stand-up comedian Tom Papa has enjoyed success in film, late night TV, radio, and podcasts. From regular appearances on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to his nationally syndicated radio show Live From Here, Tom Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country. Known for his uniquely optimistic and undeniably hilarious outlook on life, his latest show has been welcomed by critics, who called it "one of the strongest, funniest, deftly-delivered hours of comedy" (Laugh Spin) and "one of the smartest sets one might hope for" (Exclaim!).


7:30pm, Thursday, February 13, 2020

Reserved: $43 || Premier: $48
The Hawaiian word waipuna translates into "spring water," an essential resource for supporting life. Similarly, the Hawaiian music group, Waipuna, has sustained a steady pulse of creative energy, connecting to ancestors while striving to nurture generations to come. Since bursting upon the music scene in 2008, Waipuna has been at the forefront of Hawaiian contemporary music, with seven Na H?k? Awards to their name. The band is an exciting collaboration of three talented individuals: David Kamakahi, Kale Hannahs, and Matthew Sproat, each from celebrated Hawaiian musical families.

Selected Shorts: Unexpected Encounters

3:00pm & 7:30pm, Saturday, February 29, 2020

Reserved: $45 || Premier: $50

Conceived in 1985, Selected Shorts was a weekly public radio show with a simple premise: take great stories by well-known and terrific writers and have them performed by actors of stage and screen. Today, it is one of New York City's premier reading series, and the podcast consistently ranks as one of the most popular on iTunes. At Montalvo, Selected Shorts will present Unexpected Encounters, an evening of funny, moving readings about unlikely connections. The characters in these stories may be lonely, but they've got blind dates with destiny ahead of them...and it's anyone's guess what could happen next!

Steel Betty

7:30pm, Saturday, March 14, 2020

Reserved: $43 || Premier: $48

Born of the eclectic musical scene of Austin, Texas, Steel Betty coalesces its diverse musical influences in a style deemed "New Age, Old Time." Weaving together bluegrass, folk, blues, Tex-Mex, and classic country, the band is a hip, virtuosic trio, proud to share their Texas sound with the rest of the country. Featuring all acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies, the toe-tappin' sounds of Steel Betty are best described as "old-fashioned hoedown music with progressive nuances" (

The High Kings

7:30pm, Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reserved: $43 || Premier: $48
The heirs of Ireland's folk heritage, The High Kings first exploded onto the Irish folk music scene in 2008. Charting a brave course for a bright new era of Irish ballad music - equal parts rousing and reflective - they sing the songs of yesteryear in a contemporary style and arrangement that remains true to the original. The High Kings boast incredible versatility and skill, playing 13 instruments between the four of them. Together, they have moved the Irish ballad tradition in the here and now, carrying along with them steadfast older fans while simultaneously bringing the music to a new audience.

Masters of Hawaiian Music:
George Kahumoku Jr., Jeff Peterson, and Nathan Aweau

7:00pm, Sunday, March 22, 2020
Reserved: $51 || Premier: $57
Three masters of the Island sound will come together to bring listeners an evening of Hawaii's lilting and lovely folk styles of the 19th century. With a focus on Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) culture, master slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr., multi-instrumentalist Nathan Aweau, and guitarist Jeff Peterson will showcase the widely overlooked era of cowboys in the tropics. Known as "Hawaii's Renaissance Man," Kahumoku is a four-time Grammy and multiple Na H?k? Award winner that loves the full sound and lower bass tones from his jumbo 12-string. Peterson is known for his development of a unique and transcendent voice on the guitar while being deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage. He was first introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a paniolo on the Haleakala Ranch. With the addition of Aweau and his versatile sounds, the trio will share and celebrate their long-established love for Hawaiian culture and music.

The Second City presents Laughing for All the Wrong Reasons

7:00pm, Sunday, March 29, 2020

Reserved: $52 || Premier: $58
Aside from being the first name in comedy, The Second City is known for slaying countless audiences and helping launch the careers of generation after generation of comedy's best and brightest. Hailed as "a comedy empire" by The New York Times and "a comedy powerhouse" by The Chicago Tribune, the comedy juggernaut returns to Montalvo for an evening of uproarious sketch comedy. Their all-new, all-hilarious revue, Laughing for All the Wrong Reasons, breaks nearly every rule they made famous and features the next generation of comedy superstars.

Quincy Jones presents Justin Kauflin Trio

7:30pm, Thursday, April 2, 2020

Reserved: $39 || Premier: $44

Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, producer, and Quincy Jones Artist Justin Kauflin is an undeniably rare talent whose music moves critics to effusive praise, and captivates audiences with pure joy. After losing his sight at the age of 11, he devoted his life to the piano. He received top honors at jazz festivals across the US and began performing professionally by age 15, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio. At age 23, Kauflin produced, composed, and performed on his first album, Introducing Justin Kauflin. Today, he performs worldwide, has recorded on 31 albums, composed the film score for critically acclaimed documentary Keep On Keepin' On, published 29 original compositions, and produced four albums.

Late Nite Catechism: Sister's Easter Catechism

7:30pm, Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reserved: $52 || Premier: $58

Audiences will silence their cellphones, spit out their gum, and sit up straight for the return of America's beloved ruler-wielding nun. Part audience participation event, part spontaneous stand-up routine, Late Nite Catechism is a laugh-out-loud series of shows inspired by the 1960s-era Catholic school experience. Its various iterations have reigned for years off-Broadway and in Las Vegas where audiences have been schooled with side-splitting humor. Sister's Easter Catechism will tackle seasonal questions about pet heaven and the significance of those adorable baby chicks.

Meow Meow

7:00pm, Thursday, April 9, 2020
Reserved: $69 || Premier: $75

Described by The New York Post as "a diva of the highest order," post-post-modern chanteuse Meow Meow has hypnotized, inspired, and terrified audiences globally with unique creations and sellout seasons. Her specialties are Weimar repertoire and French chanson, all performed with heavenly vocal stylings and a devilishly witty sensibility. From taking the stage in Spain to Canada, London, and across the United States, The Telegraph UK emphasizes that "there is, in fact, nothing that this woman cannot do."

Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders

7:30pm, Thursday, April 16, 2020
Reserved: $58 || Premier: $65

From bringing pictures and drawings to life, to erasing people from their own driver's licenses, master illusionist Vitaly has mystified fans all over the world. Hailed by The New Yorker for being "undoubtedly impressive," Vitaly's signature illusions leave audiences awestruck in his stage show, An Evening of Wonders. As a keen observer of human behavior, Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders offers a show that is far more than magic. Going beyond illusion, audience members will experience the sensation that nothing is impossible.

Steve Dorff

7:30pm, Friday, April 17, 2020
Reserved: $44 || Premier: $49

In addition to establishing himself as a gifted film and television composer, Steve Dorff has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in music history. The 2018 Songwriter's Hall of Fame inductee has more than 40 BMI Awards, an American Music Award, and three Grammy and six Emmy nominations to his name. Artists such as Barbara Streisand, Kenny Rogers, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Anne Murray, George Strait, Garth Brooks, and countless others have recorded his compositions. At Montalvo, he will perform and discuss memorable hits, including Kenny Rogers' "Through the Years," Anne Murray's "I Just Fall in Love Again," and Eddie Rabbitt's "Every Which Way But Loose."

Graham Parker

7:30pm, Saturday, April 18, 2020
Reserved: $44 || Premier: $49
Since he burst onto the 1970s music scene in London, Graham Parker has been slinging a Signature Sound across continents and airwaves that has rightly earned him a spot in the pantheon of truly original and influential figures of rock 'n' roll. Since his early days with English rock band The Rumour, Graham has coupled punk's energy with a deeply rooted love of American R&B, country, and soul music. Known for his renegade spirit and unique ear for songcraft, The Guardian has noted that "his band's spiky sound has echoed through artists from Elvis Costello to REM."

Keiko Matsui

7:00pm, Sunday, April 19, 2020
Reserved: $65 || Premier: $69
Acclaimed pianist, composer, and humanitarian Keiko Matsui is an icon of contemporary jazz beloved around the globe, with more than 1.2 million albums sold in the United States alone. A master storyteller, Matsui crafts exquisite compositions replete with lush harmonies and global rhythms. Her haunting melodies and gentle grooves have won her a diverse and adoring fan base of New Age and jazz fusion enthusiasts. Described as "a master on the piano" (JazzTimes), Matsui will perform selections from her 2019 release, Echo, for listeners at Montalvo.

Ethan Russell: The Best Seat in the House

7:30pm, Thursday, April 23, 2020
Reserved: $40 || Premier: $44
Only a handful of people can claim that they have been backstage with The Rolling Stones at Altamont and on the roof of Apple Records when The Beatles performed - Ethan Russell is one of them. In 1968, Russell was a young American living in London with nothing but a Nikon camera and a desire to become a writer. A few years later, he was one of the foremost music photographers in the world, and the only rock photographer to have shot album covers for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. Presented by the Grammy-nominated rock photographer, director, and author himself, The Best Seat in the House will guide audiences on a behind-the-scenes journey through music history as Russell shares his extraordinary life through a historic collection of photos, a soundtrack of rock classics, and the perspective of a thoughtful and intelligent writer. Hailed by The Sacramento Bee for his ability to "transport the audience back in time and into the veritable lap of rock royalty," this multimedia showcase truly is the best seat in the house.

Yesterday & Today - The Interactive Beatles Experience

7:30pm, Friday, April 24, 2020
Reserved: $55 || Premier: $62

Doing away with the floppy wigs, costumes, and fake accents, brother musicians Billy, Matthew, and Ryan McGuigan concentrate solely on recreating the energy and spirit of the world's most popular band with a unique all-request performance format. Performing songs only submitted by the audience prior to the concert, Yesterday & Today is as much a tribute to fans as it is to The Beatles themselves. Together, the McGuigan brothers have created something that reminds audiences of the importance of family and the connection that music provides in everyone's lives.

Farewell Angelina

7:00pm, Sunday, May 10, 2020
Reserved: $57 || Premier: $63

Named after the haunting Bob Dylan song, Farewell Angelina is an all-female country group featuring four powerhouse vocalists, dynamic songwriters, and accomplished instrumentalists. Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as "wickedly smart songwriting delivered with a healthy dash of sass," and deemed "a superstar act with killer songs" by Roughstock, the group's blend of heart-stopping harmonies over blazing double violins and guitars has drawn comparisons to the Dixie Chicks and earned them soaring praise. Farewell Angelina has opened shows for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Maroon 5, and Trace Adkins, to name just a few.

Brubeck Brothers Quartet

7:30pm, Thursday, May 14, 2020
Reserved: $49 || Premier: $55

2020 marks the centennial year of jazz giant Dave Brubeck. To celebrate his legacy, his sons Chris and Dan Brubeck, who performed with their father for decades, join forces with their Brubeck Brothers Quartet for an evening of story and music. Although the Quartet is best known for its style of "straight-ahead" jazz, its concerts also integrate the influences of funk, blues, and world music. The Quartet's uncompromising music reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.

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