Donald’s notes: Summer Arts, Week 3

Sunday’s update includes a recap of Saturday’s wonderful percussion demonstration, certainly one of the highlights of this year’s festival

This is a roundup of news, reviews and notes from the third week of the CSU Summer Arts program, which is back at Fresno State after a five-year absence. I’ll be updating this post as the week progresses. If you have Summer Arts tidbits or thoughts on a performance you’d like to share, email me at donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com. For the public calendar of events, click here.

Drumfounded

The event: Two world-renowned percussionists, the Brazilian master Mario Pam and Afro-Latin bandleader John Santos, come together Saturday evening in a “Percussion Discussion” at CSU Summer Arts. (The above video is from a rehearsal prior to the lecture.)

The intro: The audience is greeted by Umi Vaughan, the course coordinator (and CSU Monterey Bay professor) who arranged the meeting. “You guys have walked directly into my dream come true,” he exclaims to the audience.

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Vocal variations with Vicki Lewis

“NewsRadio” and “Finding Dory” star is proud of her voice-acting students at CSU Summer Arts

Six things I learned when chatting Thursday afternoon with the delightful Vicki Lewis (“NewsRadio,” “Finding Dory,”), who’s helping teach the CSU Summer Arts “Voice Actors Toolkit” course:

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Summer Arts performance: Vicki Lewis speaks at the John Wright Theatre. Photo / Todd Sharp

1.

She’s got a great way with words. “I tend to wear my fried egg on the outside,” she tells me, referencing the fact that we’re all a bit damaged (something we learned about her at her dramatic Summer Arts lecture). She says she loves connecting with students on a healing level. “I get the most reward out of helping people relate to the human condition.”

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Donald’s notes: Summer Arts, Week 2

Thursday update on the CSU Summer Arts program at Fresno State: a raucous evening of jazz with David Sánchez

This is a roundup of news, reviews and notes from the second week of the CSU Summer Arts program, which is back at Fresno State after a five-year absence. I’ll be updating this post as the week progresses. If you have Summer Arts tidbits or thoughts on a performance you’d like to share, email me at donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com. For the public calendar of events, click here.

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Jazz at Summer Arts: Ernesto Mazar Kindelan, left, David Sánchez and Colin Douglas perform Wednesday night. Photo / Todd Sharp

Sold-out jazz

The scene: the foyer outside the Concert Hall in the Fresno State Music Building, crowded with people hoping to get into the CSU Summer Arts Latin jazz concert.

The excitement: This is the first sold-out event of the Summer Arts season. There’s an artistic electricity in the air, heightened by an air of exclusivity, as people on a waiting list petition the box office worker.

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Donald’s notes: Summer Arts, Week 1

Saturday update on the CSU Summer Arts program at Fresno State: tonight’s event is an evening with Vicki Lewis

This is a roundup of news, reviews and notes from the opening week of the CSU Summer Arts program, which is back at Fresno State after a five-year absence. I’ll be updating this post as the week progresses. If you have Summer Arts tidbits or thoughts on a performance you’d like to share, email me at donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com. For the public calendar of events, click here.

An evening with Vicki Lewis

vickilewissummerartsSaturday’s public event (7 p.m., John Wright Theatre) features actress Vicki Lewis, who is teaching in “The Voice Actor’s Ultimate Toolkit” Summer Arts class. Known for her roles on the TV series “NewsRadio,” “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Lewis is also an accomplished Broadway veteran and voice actor.

At Saturday’s event, Lewis will be doing something similar to an “Inside the Actor’s Studio” format with a discussion of her career, video clips and an opportunity for questions.

(Updated 1 p.m. Saturday, July 1)

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Incubator of artistic creativity

CSU Summer Arts program returns to Fresno with enthusiastic leadership and commitment to firing up the cultural scene

“Is it hot enough for you?” I ask the folks in charge of Summer Arts, and Joanne Sharp, assistant director of the program, surprises me. It’s 106 degrees on this Tuesday, less than a week before the month-long festival is set to open, and I’ve wilted on the short jaunt from the parking lot. Sharp’s response to the Fresno furnace outside?

Keep bringing those triple digits.

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Dance education: The Urban Bush Women dance company performs July 10 at CSU Summer Arts.

This is a woman who, when she arrived at Fresno State over Memorial Day weekend, brought a space heater with her to use at her desk because the air conditioning runs too chilly. She’s the type of person who enjoys the long way when she walks from one building on campus to another, just so she can soak up a bit more of the sun.

“I can’t wait to get back outside,” says Sharp, sitting at a conference table at the program’s headquarters in the Kremen education building.

“She loves the heat,” marvels her boss, Rachel Nardo, the program’s director, who last year at this time was braving cool temperatures at CSU Monterey Bay, where the festival lived for five years.

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