Carnegie Hall’s 2018–2019 season is upon us, and we are looking forward to a variety of exceptional programming and exciting new projects. Listed below are jazz, pop, and world music highlights in the coming months.
A major programming highlight to note for this fall, Carnegie Hall has appointed mandolin virtuoso, vocalist, and composer Chris Thile to hold the 2018–2019 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. Throughout the season-long residency, Thile focuses on his performance and compositional skills, revealing the unique art of a performing composer as well as the evolution of collaborative composition. An essential voice in American music today, Thile is a multiple Grammy Award–winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and—since 2016—the host of public radio’s popular Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion).
Kicking off his residency on October 23, Thile is joined in Zankel Hall by singer-songwriter friends Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, for a program entitled The Song of the Week Show, highlighting original songs he wrote for and premiered on Live from Here. On November 28, Thile gives two back-to-back solo concerts on the same night in Weill Recital Hall, featuring an original piece commissioned for the occasion by Carnegie Hall, as well as works by Bach and other selections. In March, Thile is joined by guest artists for Chris Thile and Friends: My Love is in America, exploring bluegrass’s Scots and Irish roots in a concert in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage that opens Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America festival. Culminating the series in a very special event in May, Thile leads his longtime bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers for the groups’ first-ever double bill performance together.
Another programming anchor for the season, from March 9–April 15, Carnegie Hall presents Migrations: The Making of America, a citywide festival that traces the movements of people, both to and within North America, from different origins and backgrounds who helped to shape and influence our American cultural heritage. The festival will celebrate their many contributions with musical programming at Carnegie Hall and multidisciplinary offerings at over 60 leading cultural institutions across New York City.
At Carnegie Hall, concerts will celebrate the American musical traditions that flourished as a result of three migrations: the crossings from Scotland and Ireland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1881 and the National Origins Act of 1924, and the Great Migration—the exodus of African Americans from the South to the industrialized cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1917 into the 1970s. With performances of bluegrass, old-time, klezmer, Yiddish musical theater, the Great American Songbook, blues, jazz, and more, highlights include an evening of traditional Scots, Irish, old-time, and bluegrass music with Chris Thile; a special double bill with Scottish songwriter and poet Karine Polwart and banjo player-songwriter Kaia Kater; American klezmer clarinetist and bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman and his trio; and From Shtetl to Stage: A Celebration of Yiddish Music and Culture. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton traces the path of African rhythms from their arrival in the Caribbean through their journey to New Orleans and throughout the United States. With a roster of guest artists including tenor Lawrence Brownlee, Pastor Smokie Norful, Toshi Reagon, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, jazz pianist Jason Moran and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran draw upon their own family lore and the historical record of the Great Migration, shining a light on an epic event that changed the sound of America forever.
Other notable performances this season include the much anticipated return of legendary Senegalese singer Youssou NDOUR on October 20; singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash continues her exploration of musical Americana as curator and host of American Byways—a two-concert series featuring Anna & Elizabeth, The Low Anthem, Karine Polwart, and Kaia Kater; soulful vocalist and songwriter Deva Mahal performs as part of the WFUV Live at Zankel Hall series; A Night of Inspiration with acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew leading uplifting music from diverse traditions; and Steven Reineke and The New York Pops with their remarkable five-concert series celebrating America’s popular music from Broadway to film scores, early rock ’n’ roll to holiday classics.
Single tickets for Carnegie Hall presentations go on sale Monday, August 20 at 8:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by phone at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800), or online at carnegiehall.org. Subscription packages are currently available.
If you need further information related to these or any other Carnegie Hall presentations, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you at the Hall in a few short months!
All performances take place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage unless otherwise noted.
Click the date of a performance for complete program information.
- The New York Pops and Music Director Steven Reineke kick off their 2018–2019 season on October 19 with an electrifying program titled Roll over Beethoven: A Different Kind of Orchestra. Special guest Frankie Moreno joins the orchestra to take audience members back to the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, celebrating the greatest hits of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, and more. Additional performances this season include Song and Dance: The Best of Broadway, a concert highlighting memorable moments in musical theater featuring the New York Theatre Ballet and Essential Voices USA on November 16; Broadway star Ashley Brown returns to the stage for Under the Mistletoe, a festive holiday program of classic and contemporary carols on December 21 and December 22; Unforgettable: Celebrating Nat Cole and Friends on February 8, honoring the musical legend’s centennial with special guest Billy Porter. The orchestra culminates the season on March 15 with special guests Storm Large, Ashley Park, Ryan Shaw, and Ryan Silverman in a program titled Movie Mixtape: Songs from the Silver Screen, celebrating the iconic themes that have captivated generations of movie lovers.
- On October 20, Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and activist Youssou NDOUR makes his eagerly anticipated return to Carnegie Hall, his first headlining appearance at the hall since his Perspectives series in the 2005-2006 season. Named one of the world’s 50 great voices by NPR, the Senegalese superstar’s vibrant vocals anchor powerful songs that have made him the world’s leading performer of mbalax, his country’s music that fuses classic African praise-singing, percussion, and guitar-based pop.
- Kicking off his residency as the 2018–2019 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair, Chris Thile is joined by fellow singer-songwriters Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan for Chris Thile: The Song of the Week Show on October 23, a performance highlighting original songs he wrote for and premiered on public radio favorite Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion).
- Michael Feinstein returns to Carnegie Hall on October 24 as artistic director of his three-concert Standard Time with Michael Feinstein series in Zankel Hall, bringing his unparalleled insight into the world of popular song, performing alongside special guest artists. Additional performances take place on February 6 and March 27.
- Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto honors his musical heroes and mentors—such as Eddie Palmieri, Chico O’Farrill, Michel Camilo, Henry Threadgill, and Steve Coleman—with his 17-piece orchestra on November 10 in Zankel Hall. Showcasing some of the world’s best Latin jazz musicians, Prieto’s compositions mix lush and jubilant melodies with polyrhythms that display a range of musical vocabularies from Latin jazz to classical chamber music.
- Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash continues her exploration of musical Americana as curator and host of American Byways—a two-concert series that celebrates our wide-ranging musical heritage, from Appalachian music to the blues and beyond. Kicking off the series on November 3 in Zankel Hall is a double bill featuring Anna & Elizabeth, a vocal duo that embrace the timeless folk ballad tradition, and The Low Anthem, a Providence-based band that blends clear, pure vocal harmonies with dashes of electronica and ambient sounds to create a unique brand of spare, subtle, and deeply eloquent music. The second concert in the series, also part of the Migrations: The Making of America festival on March 23, features multi-award–winning Scottish songwriter, spoken word performer, and essayist Karine Polwart in a performance of traditional music as well as her own compositions. Kaia Kater is also on the program, performing traditional songs influenced by the Canadian folk music of her parents and the years she studied and performed Appalachian music in West Virginia.
- On November 17 in Zankel Hall, Stelios Petrakis Cretan Quartet performs the energetic and often hypnotic dance music of Crete. Led by lyra player Stelios Petrakis, the ensemble plays on traditional fiddles, lutes, and bagpipes. Their repertoire includes arrangements of traditional pieces and new compositions by Petrakis that reflect a range of Mediterranean and Eastern influences.
- Acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew leads uplifting music from diverse traditions in A Night of Inspiration on December 15. Special musical guests and an outstanding instrumental ensemble are just two of the components that create this unforgettable night of music.
Winter / Spring 2019 Highlights: January—May
- Clarinetist, composer, and bandleader Anat Cohen—along with musical director, arranger, and composer Oded Lev-Ari—presents an intercontinental mix of songs on January 12 in Zankel Hall. Featuring a world premiere by Lev-Ari, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and material from the ensemble’s latest recording, Happy Song, the Anat Cohen Tentet engages audiences with thrilling musical excursions that draw on Cohen’s diverse sonic loves, from Brazilian music to African grooves, from vintage swing to touching ballads.
- A multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Jonathan Wilson has made his mark as a producer and sideman by working with musicians as diverse as Roger Waters, Father John Misty, and Erykah Badu. On February 23 in Zankel Hall, Wilson will perform songs with his recent recording Rare Birds, eloquently exploring a wide range of emotions, featuring his distinctive vocals and colored by lush instrumentation. This concert is presented in partnership with WFUV.
From March 9–April 15, Carnegie Hall presents Migrations: The Making of America, a citywide festival that traces the journeys of people from different backgrounds and cultures who shaped and influenced the evolution of American culture. The festival will celebrate the many contributions—cultural, social, economic, and political—of the people who helped to build this country with musical programming at Carnegie Hall and multidisciplinary offerings at over 60 leading cultural institutions across New York City and beyond.
Migrations: The Making of America festival presentations at Carnegie Hall include:
Scots-Irish and Irish Migration
- Opening Carnegie Hall’s Migrations festival on March 9, Chris Thile and Friends: My Love is in America focuses on traditional Scots, Irish, and American folk music—including old-time and bluegrass—and explores the evolution of these traditions and their continued impact on one another.
- A special double bill on March 23—in collaboration with creative partner Rosanne Cash—featuring Karine Polwart and Kaia Kater, looks back to Scottish and Canadian roots while creating a progressive and thrilling new brand of music. Karine Polwart is a multi-award-winning Scottish songwriter, poet, and essayist. She performs traditional music, as well as her own strikingly original, deeply personal songs. Kaia Kater was born of African-Caribbean descent in Quebec. Her marvelously original music is influenced by the Canadian folk music of her parents and the years she studied and performed Appalachian music in West Virginia.
- The Gloaming—an ensemble that embodies the soul and history of Irish/Celtic music—performs on April 6 in Zankel Hall. By incorporating elements of jazz and contemporary music while remaining true to a lasting tradition, the group brings a freshness and vitality to traditional Irish music that defies labeling.
Russian and Eastern European Jewish Migration
- On March 14 clarinetist and mandolinist Andy Statman brings his unique fusion of klezmer, bluegrass, and jazz music to Zankel Hall. Statman has been a major figure in both Jewish music and bluegrass circles for more than four decades.
- From Shtetl to Stage: A Celebration of Yiddish Music and Culture celebrates the journey of Yiddish culture from Old World to New through music, song, poetry, and drama on April 15. A company of extraordinary Yiddish talent as well as stars of the classical, folk, and theater worlds mix chestnuts from the Yiddish theater and folk song repertoire with Yiddish-tinged vaudeville, art song, classical music, and klezmer—plus a scene from the Tony Award-winning show Indecent, introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel.
The Great Migration
- Trumpeter Nicholas Payton traces the path of African rhythms from their arrival in the Caribbean through their journey to New Orleans and on to Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York. He explores how the music of New Orleans became, in a sense, the world’s first popular music and how its greatest practitioner—Louis Armstrong—became one of the first pop stars. On March 16 Payton brings his performance to Zankel Hall, allowing audience members to hear how swing, bebop, R&B, hip-hop, and more share a DNA that connects people around the world.
- On March 30, a roster of guest artists including tenor Lawrence Brownlee, Pastor Smokie Norful, Toshi Reagon, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay join Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran as they draw upon their own family lore and the historical record of the Great Migration to compose tableaux that explore a continuum of music from rhythm and blues to gospel, classical to Broadway, work songs to rock ’n’ roll. Experience the ingenuity of these artists as they take a journey from the American South after emancipation to all points North, West, and beyond—shining a light on the epic event that changed the sound of America forever.
- On April 13, vocalist Deva Mahal brings her masterful songwriting to Zankel Hall, performing tracks off her debut recording Run Deep, an album of pulse-pounding soul with a decidedly modern edge. Taking inspiration from the idea of strength through vulnerability, Mahal connects with her audience with raw honesty, rich musicality, and emotionally searing songs of love and loss, and the power of the human spirit to overcome.
A complete schedule for Migrations: The Making of America will be announced later this year. For the most up-to-date information on festival performances and events at Carnegie Hall and partner institutions, visit carnegiehall.org/migrations over the coming months.
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.