LIVE 48 festival arrives at Tempe Center for the Arts



The arts are back: That’s the thought Eileen May, CEO of the Tempe Center for the Arts, wants to evoke with the free 48 LIVE festival this weekend. Rather than calling it a new chapter for TCA, she calls it a “new book”.

“It’s almost like a watershed moment to come together and be able to come back to that and say, ‘It was the moment when the TCA decided to really put local art at the forefront of what it does,” he said. said May.

48 LIVE will take place in the elegant three-story TCA building located on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake. The two-day event begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 5 and continues at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 6, with both evenings ending at 9 p.m.

The lineup includes a variety of artists from the valley representing art in its many forms: colorful art displays, musical acts, performances by local dance groups, and tales from the Arizona Storytellers Project.

“During the pandemic, we focused a lot of our work on supporting local artists and really trying to see how we can elevate their work,” May said. “Once we decided when we would reopen, I wanted to make sure we created space for that local voice. ”

May, who recently moved here from Philadelphia, said one of her goals is to find and support diverse voices in the arts community.

Saturday’s schedule opens with a dance and fitness class taught by Weezy, who coaches dance teams for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. It also includes performances by Tucson-based folk singer Rebekah Rolland, Native American flute player and hoop dancer Tony Duncan, and Jerusafunk, a group that combines elements of traditional Jewish funk and klezmer. The Carvin Jones Band closes Saturday night with their gritty blues.

Those who make it to the TCA on Friday night will be able to see freelance singer-songwriter Danielle Durack and fusion group Cumbia Las Calakas. The former is known for its acoustics and moving lyricism, while the latter channels contagious enthusiasm on stage.

Click to enlarge Las Calakas brings emphatic energy to the scene.  - TEMPE ARTS CENTER

Las Calakas brings emphatic energy to the scene.

Tempe Arts Center

“I’m a huge fan,” May said of Las Calakas, “And I love the energy they bring to a space.”

The final act of Friday night is J. White, a contemporary jazz musician. White is originally from Detroit and studied music in Arkansas, but now lives near Queen Creek.

White first landed in the state nearly a decade ago after finishing second in a California jazz competition that featured participants from around the world. The judges were so impressed with his performance that they offered him a seat at the Arizona Jazz Festival in 2013. After seeing so much love in the West Coast jazz scene, he decided to move to Arizona.

“It’s just one of those places where it’s diverse; it’s a beautiful landscape, ”he says. “I think it’s just a great place to live in general.

As for what fans can expect from his Friday night show, White said he plans to incorporate a mix of covers everyone will be familiar with and original tracks that have been listed on contemporary jazz radio.

“Every time I play I give it one hundred percent,” he said. “It’s energetic, it’s relatable.”

After this weekend, the 48 LIVE series will continue every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with free events until the end of November.

The full program for this weekend’s festival is available on the TCA website. The events will take place at the TCA, located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281.


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