News & Information

SacWorldFest kicks off 2014 arts season



SambaDá, hailed as one of the West Coast's top Brazilian bands, headlines SacWorldFest.

SacWorldFest, a weeklong celebration of the region’s diversity in music and dance, will highlight Sacramento State’s autumn offerings of arts and entertainment events.

The fall lineup includes a classic award-winning drama, the musical phenomenon that is FeNAM, the best offerings by Art Department faculty, and contemporary dance featuring choreography by University faculty, students and guest artists.


A staple of Sacramento’s annual Artober celebration, SacWorldFest will celebrate its seventh year with a move to the Sac State campus, where performances will be presented at the University Theatre as well as other stages and venues nestled under the campus’s many shade trees.

With the move and SacWorldFest’s new partnership with Sac State, this celebration of music, dance and art from around the world will expand to a full week of activities and presentations, beginning with a gala fundraiser at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the University Theatre. The evening will include a social hour, a raffle, various ethnic foods and, of course, plenty of music and dance.

More activities are scheduled at Sac State and throughout the city over the following week, culminating with a Global Village on Sunday, Oct. 5, on the Sac State campus, with most acts located in and around Serna Plaza. Those will include the festival’s headliner, SambaDá, considered one of the hottest Brazilian bands on the West Coast.

More information is available at

Theatre & Dance

Sac State’s dance students will get the season started with “Choreographers Collective,” a mix of dance moves choreographed by the students themselves. The terpsichoreans will perform at Solano Hall Dancespace at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11, 8 p.m. Sept. 12 and 13, and 2 p.m. Sept. 14.

Wealthy but shy Catherine has a charming suitor. But her stern father thinks the lad is only after her money. Is the love real? And will Catherine follow her heart or be swayed by her father? Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s 1947 drama The Heiress is based on the Henry James novel Washington Square. It won a Tony in 1995 for best revival of a play and had another successful Broadway run last year. Sacramento State’s production is directed by Professor Michelle Felten on the main stage of the University Theatre, and has performances at 8 p.m. Oct. 22-25, 31 and Nov. 1; 2 p.m. Oct. 26 and Nov. 2; and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30.

Quiara Alegria Hades’ 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Water by the Spoonful follows an Iraq War veteran struggling with life, and four other individuals who hook up in an online chat room for recovering drug addicts. Director Roberto Pomo, who wrote and directed last year’s Che Guevara and the Dispossessed, says Water by the Spoonful examines families in their many manifestations, including biological ones and those that form in cyberspace. Performances are at Playwrights’ Theatre at 8 p.m. Nov. 12-15, 21 and 22; 2 p.m. Nov. 16 and 23; and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20.

Autumn will conclude with examples of what our talented dance faculty can do. “Faculty Dance Concert” will feature our instructors and special guest artists, using a spectrum of music to choreograph works performed by Sac State students and alumni on the main stage of the University Theatre. Performances will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11; 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13; and 2 p.m. Dec. 14.

All Theatre and Dance productions performed at 6:30 p.m. are $8 general, $5 children. All other performances are $12 general, $10 students and seniors, and $8 children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or

For more information on the Theatre & Dance Department and events, visit or call (916) 278-6368.


Sacramento State’s nationally recognized Festival of New American Music – aka FeNAM ( – returns Nov. 7-16 (although no concerts are scheduled Nov. 11) with a stunning lineup of artists performing the wide variety of music embodied by this genre.

This year’s free festival opens with an 8 p.m. gala at the Music Recital Hall featuring loadbang (bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone and baritone voice), pianist Lara Downes and the Rootstock Percussion Trio, who will also be featured in solo performances throughout the festival.

Sac State graduate Charles “Chase” Spruill returns to campus at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, for a violin recital. Spruill was a founding member of Sac State’s Camerata Capistrano baroque ensemble, performed with Sacramento group Citywater and has a permanent residency with the Providence String Quartet in Rhode Island.

Other scheduled performers include the Mana Quartet and the Fidelio Trio.

Two prestigious pianists are lined up for this autumn’s edition of Sac State’s Piano Series (

Faina Lushtak is first up, Saturday, Oct. 25. Lushtak began studying piano and composition at the age of 6 and made her professional debut at 10. A professor of music at Tulane University’s Newcomb Music Department, Lushtak also heads the piano division and is on the faculty of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.

James D’León takes the stage Saturday, Nov. 22. The native of South Korea began playing the piano at the age of 4 and performed his first solo recital at 5. In 2009, he was selected as an International Steinway Concert Artist on the New York and Hamburg, Germany, rosters, and he has performed through the United States as well as in England, Ireland, Italy and Germany. D’León has been praised for his artistry, with one critic saying he performed with “exciting pianism and powerful emotion.”

Both recitals are at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $20 general, $15 students and seniors.


Ken Okulolo performs Thursday, Nov. 6.

The World Music series ( presents four concerts this fall.

Vocalist Pantula Rama takes the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. Rama has performed since the age of 8 and has music degrees from Andhra University. She will be accompanied by M.S.N. Murthy on violin and Patri Satishkumar on mridangam.

Greek music will be presented by the Hohlax Trio at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. Formed on the Greek island of Amorgos, the trio has performed in Athens and Cyprus, and has toured California. The group includes Sac State alumna Jaime Smith on the violin, bouzouki player Orestis Koletsos and guitarist Apostolis Kounis.

The GYANI Indo-Jazz Fusion Group performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. The group blends the ancient Hindustani musical style with American jazz. Performers include American saxophonist George Brooks and renowned vocalist, harmonium player and composer Binay Pathak.

Baba Ken Okulolo & the Nigerian Brothers re-create the folk and palm-wine music they heard as children, played under the full moonlight. The group’s harmonious voices, lilting guitars and traditional percussion instruments create authentic African sounds. The concert is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6.

All concerts are at the Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $15 general, $12 seniors and $8 students.

Sac State welcomes two guest artists this autumn.

Acclaimed classical singer Susheel Bibbs performs at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12. Winner of the Laid Foundation Award in voice, Bibbs will perform with Sacramento resident, pianist and music educator Jacqui Hairston. Tickets are $10 general, $7 seniors and $5 students.

Concert saxophonist John Sampen offers a free performance at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15. Sampen has premiered saxophone versions of music by Lutoslawski, Stockhausen and Tower. He will be joined by composer/electronic musician Mark Bunce.

Both concerts are at the Music Recital Hall.

Sac State’s music students will present instrumental and vocal works in a range of styles in concerts throughout the semester:

  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, and Monday, Nov. 3.
  • Symphony Orchestra: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, and Tuesday, Dec. 9.
  • Concert Band: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, and a combined concert with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10.
  • Jazz Ensembles (Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival performers): 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.
  • Latin Jazz Ensemble: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5.
  • University Choirs: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; and the “Procession of Carols” (30th anniversary – $15, $10 and $7), 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7; all three performances at Sacred Heart Church, 39th and J streets.
  • Opera Theatre: “Find Your Light,” an exciting evening of arias, duets and ensembles from opera and musical theater, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.
  • Vocal Jazz Ensembles (multiple Downbeat award winners): 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5.
  • String Project recital (children instructed by Sac State music students): 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8 (free).
  • Camerata Capistrano (baroque ensemble, 10th anniversary season): 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 11th and K streets.

Except where noted, all performances are at the Music Recital Hall with ticket prices of $10 general, $7 seniors and $5 students. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or

For more information on the Music Department and its events, visit or call (916) 278-5191.

Fine Arts and Design

The University Library Gallery will turn to the Sac State art faculty for its fall exhibit “The Metaphysics of Time Perception.” The display will feature works by eight full-time Art Department professors – Rachel Clarke, Andrew Connelly, Sarah Flohr, Ian Harvey, Tom Monteith, Robert Ortbal, Scott Parady and the late Daniel Frye, who died in July.

“The scale of work is quite large, with about 15 works total,” says exhibit curator Diana L. Daniels of the Crocker Art Museum. Oil, mixed media, installations and small metal sculptures are just some of the media that will be on display.

The exhibit runs Sept. 4-Dec. 13, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.


"Homage: The Platinum Experience," an exhibition of works by photographers Anita Scharf, Mary Swisher and Valerie Wheeler, runs Sept. 4-Oct. 18 at the Library Gallery Annex. (Photo: Mary Swisher)

Next door at the Library Gallery Annex, the intriguing artistry of platinum print photography will be displayed by three photographers in “Homage: The Platinum Experience.”

The exhibit of works by Anita Scharf, Mary Swisher and Valerie Wheeler run Sept. 4-Oct. 18, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

Platinum printing is an alternative film photographic process. Most film papers have a silver compound coating to capture the light image. A platinum coating captures more information from the negative, creating a black-and-white print with more detail and tonal range. The show will include about a dozen pieces from each photographer, some of them large pieces measuring 12 by 15 inches.

Regular hours for both Library galleries are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Sac State art instructor Chuck Owens will exhibit his recent ceramic sculptures at Kadema Hall’s Robert Else Gallery, Sept. 2-25.

That’s followed by the annual series of Advancement to Candidacy shows, featuring four solo shows by students in the second year of their master’s in studio art. The shows run Sept. 29-Oct. 24.

An exhibit in memory of Daniel Frye runs Oct. 27-Nov. 21. It will include works by his students and is curated by a former student, Kim Thompson, who is teaching jewelry courses in the Art Department this year.

Gallery hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Witt Gallery will have one-week exhibits of student art throughout the semester.

The Design Department joins the American Institute of Architects Central Valley Chapter to sponsor the keynote lecturer for Sacramento’s Architectural Festival, Oct 10-19. Scott Paterson is a project lead at IDEO, a global design consultancy, who specializes on the intersection of technology and space in mobile applications, embedded interfaces and physical environments. He also has developed interaction projects including touch-enabled badges and large-scale digital walls.

Paterson will speak at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, in the University Union, Hinde Auditorium. This is the first time the Design Department has co-sponsored the speaker for the festival, which will offer tours, competitions and consultancy.

For more information on the Library Gallery, visit or call (916) 278-4189. Information about the Art Department and its events is available at or (916) 278-6061. Information on the Design Department is available at or (916) 278-3962.

For media assistance on any of Sacramento State’s events or arts programs, call the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho