UTC Live! is the successor to the performing arts series formerly known as the Patten Performances, which was inaugurated by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1980 as the Dorothy Patten Fine Arts Series, in honor of one of Chattanooga’s most famous performing artists.
UTC Live! seeks out engaging performances from noted artists that are out of the mainstream. This year’s four events include extraordinary story-telling experiences along with songwriting and musical performance of the highest order.
2023-2024 Season: UTC LIVE!
Saturday, October 28, 2023
UTC Fine Arts Center, Hayes Concert Hall
Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter, recording artist, performer, educator and activist. She has been described as a "prairie mystic" by the Boston Globe and one who "asks all the right questions" by Rolling Stone Magazine. Carrie has 19 nationally released albums on Available Light & Concord/Rounder Records including Until Now, The Point of Arrival and The Beautiful Not Yet. Newcomer has released three books of poetry & essays, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays, The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems and Essays &Lyrics, and Until Now: New Poems by Carrie Newcomer. Her song "I Should've Known Better" appeared on Nickel Creeks' Grammy-winning gold album This Side, and she earned an Emmy for her PBS special An Evening with Carrie Newcomer.
Recent appearances include PBS Religion and Ethics and Krista Tippett's On Being. In 2009 and 2011Newcomer was invited by the American Embassy of India to be a cultural ambassador, resulting in her interfaith benefit album Everything is Everywhere with master of the Indian Sarod, Amjad Ali Khan. In 2013 Carrie traveled to Kenya and the Middle East, performing in schools, spiritual communities and hospitals assisting AIDS patients. In 2015 Carrie's first musical, Betty's Diner: The Musical was produced by Purdue University. In 2016 Carrie was awarded an honorary degree in Music for Social Change from Goshen College. In 2019 she received The Shalem Institutes's Contemplative Voices Award.
In recent years Carrie joined with the author Parker J. Palmer on several projects, including The Growing Edge collaboration which explores growing edges, personally, vocationally and politically. Together they create live events, personal growth retreats, and the highly rated The Growing Edge Podcast that features authors, activists, poets and musicians, and online conversation starters for book and other conversation groups. Spirituality and Health Magazine named Parker & Carrie in the top ten spiritual leaders for the next 20 years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Carrie was involved with many creative online projects, Including the creation of her own streaming studio, Available Light Studios. She helped found a new online concert platform, Mandolin, with her husband Robert Meitus and has continued to perform and present workshops in person and online. Carrie is known for her low and resonant voice "..as rich as Godiva Chocolate" according to The Austin Statesman, for her musical depth and the progressive spiritual content of her songs, poetry and workshops, and for her continued work in justice, spiritual and interfaith communities, and health and hunger organizations. She lives in the wooded hills of South Central Indiana with her husband and two shaggy rescue dogs.
Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance
The Core Ensemble
Friday, February 16, 2024
UTC Fine Arts Center, Hayes Concert Hall
Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has produced and performed new music theatre works based on multicultural, feminist, and humanistic topics with the goal of promoting intercultural understanding; to exploring social justice issues through artistic interpretation; providing education programs for young people and adults, and to offering emotionally impactful cultural experiences that spark conversation and inspire actions that make a difference in promoting equality for all. They are bringing the chamber music theatre work, Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance to the UTC Fine Arts Center on Friday, February 16, 2024.
Celebrating the music and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance era in New York City, Of Ebony Embers examines the lives of three outstanding but very different African American poets - Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay - as seen through the eyes of the great painter and muralist Aaron Douglas. The script was written by Akin Babatunde and the show is also directed by Mr. Babatunde.
Chamber Music Theatre is a unique performance format created by the Core Ensemble, featuring a marriage of theatrical narrative to chamber music performance. Jamyl Dobson portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello, piano and percussion.
The Core Ensemble performs music by African American composers ranging from jazz greats Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus to concert music composers Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker.
Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured nationally to every region of the United States and internationally to England, Russia, the Ukraine, Australia and the British Virgin Islands. The Ensemble was the recipient of the 2000 Eugene McDermott Award for Excellence in the Arts awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has received support from the State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, New England Foundation for the Arts, Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Virgil Thomson Foundation.
DEBATE: Baldwin vs. Buckley
the american vicarious
Thursday, February 22, 2024 (Guerry Center Reading Room)
Friday, February 23, 2024 (Roth Reading Room, 4th Floor, UTC Library, corner of Douglas & Vine)
Saturday, Febraury 24, 2024 (UTC Fine Arts Center, Hayes Concert Hall)
Following critically acclaimed runs in New York City and London, the american vicarious’ radically staged production of the historic debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr. is reenacted over three nights on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s campus.
“Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”
This was the topic on February 18, 1965 when an overflow crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to bear witness to a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America’s most influential conservative intellectual.
The stage was set for an epic confrontation that pitted Baldwin’s call for a moral revolution in race relations against Buckley’s unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy. This historic clash reveals the deep roots and lasting legacy of racial conflict that continues to haunt America. The objective of the american vicarious in restaging this historic debate is not to inhabit such monumental figures as James Baldwin or William F. Buckley, their shoes are too large to fill. Rather, it is to simply place their words, which still resonate 58 years later, within the voice of contemporary artists.
Stagings of the performance will occur on successive nights, Thursday through Saturday, February 22 through 24, 2024 at three very different locations on the UTC campus, each lending its own ambiance as part of the backdrop. The venue offering perhaps a setting closest to that of the original Oxford debate is the Honors College’s Reading Room in the Guerry Center on Oak Street in the heart of the UTC campus on Thursday evening. A more modern setting, including expansive views of Chattanooga, occurs Friday night in the Roth Reading Room on the top floor of the new UTC Library at the corner of Douglas and Vine Streets. Both of these performances are limited to 50 seats. Saturday night’s performance, which includes a reception following the performance for those purchasing one of the 50 on-stage seats, will be in the newly-remodeled Hayes Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center at the corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets.
The Kruger Brothers & Kontras Quartet
Friday, March 22, 2024
UTC Fine Arts Center, Hayes Concert Hall
Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger started singing and playing instruments at a very young age. Growing up in a family where music was an important part of life, they were exposed to a wide diversity of musical influences. The brothers were performing regularly by the time they were eleven and twelve years old, and they began their professional career in 1979. Jens’ and Uwe’s first public performances were as a duo, and in just a few years they were busking on the streets of cities throughout eastern and western Europe.
CBS Records contracted with Jens and Uwe when Jens was just seventeen years old, and shortly thereafter, the Krugers hosted a radio show on SRG SSR, the Swiss Public broadcast group. Several years later, the brothers teamed up with bass player Joel Landsberg, a native of New York City who also had a very extensive musical upbringing in classical and jazz music (studying with jazz great Milt Hinton), thus forming a trio that has been playing professionally together since 1995. Together, they established the incomparable sound that The Kruger Brothers are known for today. The trio moved to the United States in 2002 and is based in Wilkesboro, NC.
Since their formal introduction to American audiences in 1997, The Kruger Brothers’ remarkable discipline, creativity and their ability to infuse classical music into folk music has resulted in a unique sound that has made them a fixture within the world of acoustic music. The honesty of their writing has since become a hallmark of the trio’s work.
In their ever-expanding body of work – Jens Kruger (banjo and vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar and lead vocals), and Joel Landsberg (bass and vocals) – The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh.
In addition to their regular concert schedule, The Kruger Brothers perform these classical pieces regularly with select symphony orchestras and string quartets throughout the country. Their ensemble performances, all of self-composed pieces, include their latest, Roan Mountain Suite, plus Music From the Spring, Appalachian Concerto, Spirit of the Rockies, and Lucid Dreamer.
In 2013, Jens Kruger was named the fourth recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. The prize, created and endowed by Martin, recognizes “outstanding accomplishments in the field of five-string banjo,” Jens was selected by a committee that included Martin, Pete Wernick, Béla Fleck, Alison Brown, J.D. Crowe, Tony Trischka and others.
Jens Kruger has been inducted to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame and has been nominated for Banjo Instrumentalist of the year by the International Bluegrass Musician Association (IBMA) in 2014 and has received commissions for his ensemble compositions that include through the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America.