ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet

 “a brass-wielding force of nature”—Los Angeles Times

Celebrated jazz trumpeter and film composer Terence Blanchard pays homage to legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, the inspiration that has influenced Blanchard’s music and storytelling. Featuring the acclaimed trumpeter with The E-Collective and the Turtle Island Quartet, they will present pieces written by Shorter as well as original compositions by Blanchard and members of his band—resulting in “a lush and dramatic soundscape that calls to mind Blanchard’s career as a successful film composer” (New Yorker).

“I’m proud to have a chance to visit some of the music that has shaped my musical identity,” says Blanchard. “Pairing Wayne Shorter’s music with original works from The E-Collective along with the sonic colors of The Turtle Island Quartet has been an amazing experience. Wayne has said before ‘Jazz means I Dare You,’ so why not dare to be creative and pay homage at the same time,” said Blanchard.

Leilehua Lanzilotti and Argus Quartet

Praised for playing with “supreme melodic control and total authority” and “decided dramatic impact” (Calgary Herald), the Argus Quartet has quickly emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile ensembles, winning First Prize at both the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. They will perform an evening of new music by contemporary indigenous artists including  Ahupua’a by 2022 Pulitzer finalist Leilehua Lanzilotti. 

Program: Leilehua Lanzilotti: ko’u inoa, ahupua’ a for string quartet (newly commissioned work), and beyond the accident of time for five voices/percussion; inti figgis-vizueta: mayu: the great river for string quartet and talamh (land) for string quartet

Takae Ohnishi: Spring Night with Vivaldi and Bach

Travel back in time with harpsichordist and UC San Diego lecturer Takae Ohnishi as she teams up with friends from the San Diego Symphony to revel in the joys of a springtime evening in the Baroque era. It is certain to be a lighthearted evening filled with virtuosic performances of some of the great works written for the harpsichord. 

Featuring: Zou Yu and Nihira Awata, violins; Lily Josefsberg, flute, Chia-Ling Chien, cello, PJ Cinque, double bass

Duphly: Chaconne; Rameau: Clavecin Concert No.5; J.S.Bach: Sonata for harpsichord and cello No.3  BWV1029 and Brandenburg Concerto No.5 BWV1050; Vivaldi: Trio Sonata “La Follia” RV63


An Evening with David Sedaris

Master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition, best-selling author David Sedaris returns once again with his acerbic humor, social commentary, and outlandish stories. Slashing through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, he will delight the audience with twists of humor and intelligence as he shares both published stories and works-in-progress.

Come early or stick around post-performance for Sedaris’s legendary book-signing sessions. 

Dream House Quartet

Formed in 2018, Dream House Quartet fuses decades of musical mastery of classical and contemporary forms, featuring luminaries Katia and Marielle Labèque on dueling pianos along with acclaimed composer-guitarists Bryce Dessner (The National) and David Chalmin (Innocence, La terre invisible) performing radical new commissions from visionary composers, including Thom Yorke, and pivotal contemporary works of the last half century. 

Lei Liang with Mivos Quartet

UC San Diego Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor, composer Lei Liang has been collaborating with Scripps oceanographers John Hildebrand and Joshua Jones in exploring the sound of the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic—one of the most inaccessible places to humans on earth. The resulting composition, Six Seasons, combines the sound of the ambient environment (ice, waves, wind), its inhabitants (beluga whales, bowhead whales, bearded seals)—captured by hydrophones deployed at the sea floor—and creative response from one of the world’s leading contemporary music string quartets, Mivos Quartet. 


Lyrically poignant with hip-hop and Latin folk major influences, Fémina is Argentine soul music with a purpose.  The harmony-soaked vocals and electro-folk charisma of the Trucco sisters propels a new project by this acclaimed female powered band and carries messages of equality and empowerment. Hailing from the tiny mountain town of San Martin de los Andes in Argentina, the band’s live shows are often theatrical in nature, and mix a variety of Latin American genres with rap, spoken word and beautiful melodies. A unique and thrilling combo.

This event is part of UC San Diego’s Latinx History Month celebration.

Hasta La Muerte: A Day of the Dead Show with Las Cafeteras and Lupita Infante

With special guest Lupita Infante

Hasta La Muerte is an enthralling new production rooted in the indigenous Mexican practice of celebrating Life and Death, universally known as Día de los Muertos. Honoring the ancestors who came before us, Hasta La Muerte is a passionate, multi-dimensional performance filled with Zapateado, dance, song, altares y flores, and featuring original and new music from Las Cafeteras. With traditional altar on stage alongside the mesmerizing beauty of Folklorico choreography, Hasta La Muerte show is a night of transcendent color and sound, a moving invitation to travel through time, rhythm, and memory.

Special guest Lupita Infante, granddaughter of Mexican ranchera singer and actor Pedro Infante, adds her voice to this special celebration performance. The GRAMMY-nominated singer is known for performing traditional mariachi, norteño and ranchera music.

This world premiere is part of UC San Diego’s Latinx History Month celebration.

Con La Invitada Especial Lupita Infante

Hasta La Muerte es una nueva y fascinante producción arraigada en la práctica indígena mexicana de celebrar la vida y la muerte, universalmente conocida como el Día de los Muertos. En honor de los ancestros que vinieron antes que nosotros, Hasta La Muerte es una presentación apasionada y multidimensional llena de zapateado, danza, canto, altares y flores.

Hasta La Muerte presentará obras originales y nuevas de Las Cafeteras, así como interpretaciones inspiradas de canciones folclóricas tradicionales, tales como “La Llorona”, “La Bruja”, “La Morena”. Con un altar tradicional en el escenario, junto con la cautivadora belleza de la coreografía folclórica, el espectáculo Hasta La Muerte será una noche de color y sonido trascendentes, una conmovedora invitación a viajar a través del tiempo, del ritmo y de los recuerdos.

La invitada especial Lupita Infante, nieta del cantante de música ranchera y actor mexicano Pedro Infante, suma su voz a esta presentación especial de celebración. La cantante nominada al GRAMMY es conocida por interpretar música tradicional de mariachi, norteña y ranchera.

Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

After touring Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest across the country for five years in over 40 live engagements, Wong’s critically acclaimed one woman show is finally captured in her first ever concert film through the dynamic direction of Michael Closson.  An unforgettable tour de force performance. 

Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is Kristina Wong’s raucous and whip-smart take on the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women.  She sets out to single-handedly save them all by the end of her 80-minute film!   She fails fantastically, creating hysterical laughter and a sobering coda. It’s one hell of a roller coaster ride! But don’t worry… it’s all fiction.


Day With(out) Art 2021: ENDURING CARE

UC San Diego is proud to partner with Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art 2021 by presenting ENDURING CARE, a video program highlighting strategies of community care within the ongoing HIV epidemic. The program features newly commissioned work by Katherine Cheairs, Cristóbal Guerra, Danny Kilbride, Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad and Uriah Bussey, Beto Pérez, Steed Taylor, and J Triangular and the Women’s Video Support Project.

From histories of harm reduction and prison activism to the long-term effects of HIV medication, ENDURING CARE centers stories of collective care, mutual aid, and solidarity while pointing to the negligence of governments and non-profits. The program’s title suggests a dual meaning, honoring the perseverance and commitment of care workers yet also addressing the potential for harm from medications and healthcare providers. ENDURING CARE disrupts the assumption that an epidemic can be solved with pharmaceuticals alone, recasting community work as a lasting form of medicine.

Visual AIDS is a New York-based non-profit that utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.