Bucks Live! Presents Variety of Music, Movies, Lectures and More
Myriad of cultural events take place through May in the Zlock Performing Arts Center and other venues on the Newtown Campus
Bucks County Community College, which has been bringing unique cultural events to the region for more than 50 years, proudly presents the spring lineup of Bucks Live! performances coming to Newtown from February to May.
“This is our third year for Bucks Live! and it keeps growing every year, “ said Pete Chiovarou, director of community programming and college events. “Thanks to the support of the community, we’re becoming a larger presence each season as we become known for bringing affordable shows to Bucks County that you can’t see without traveling to Manhattan or Philly.”
More Concerts than Ever Before
For example, Philadelphia jazz legend Odean Pope brings his “tenor terror” sax to Newtown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, in the Kevin and Sima Zlock Performing Arts Center. And the Bucks County Community College Jazz Orchestra swings into the Zlock with its Big Band sound at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.
Other musical events included the Melissa Aldana Quartet, led by the winner of the 2013 Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition (pictured), which performed February 8.
Acclaimed vocalist Keith Spencer returned February 23 with “The Paul Robeson Songbook: A Negro Spiritual and Gospel Celebration” in honor of Black History Month.
The Bucks Blues Explosion took place March 9, featuring Bucks County’s own Steve Guyger & the Excellos. Lead singer of Black 47 Larry Kirwan performed a solo show “Ireland: A History in Song” March 16.
Radio BUX, the college’s student-run internet radio station, presented “Rock the Zlock” March 30, featuring The Real Fugitives and The Weekday All-Stars.
And three-time Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin performed April 12. The saxophonist and composer is best known for his collaboration and friendship with the late David Bowie, with whom he worked on the album Blackstar.
More than music: speakers, movies, shows
However, Chiovarou is quick to point out that Bucks Live! is much more than just music.
The popular Wordsmiths Reading Series brings the voices of local, regional and national authors to Bucks. A tribute to the late Pamela and Herb Perkins-Frederick takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, in the Orangery building. Earlier, author and poet Brenda Hilman read from her works April 13 in the Zlock Performing Arts Center.
Rising comedian Dulcé Sloan, the newest correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” took to the Zlock stage April 27.
The popular Bucks Live! Speaker Series resumed with “Harlem Renaissance” February 15, as Professor Margaret Montet (pictured) presented her multimedia presentation about the cultural impact of this vibrant city-within-a-city. Also “Lilana Velasquez: Dreams & Nightmares” appeared on April 16, detailing her 2,000-mile journey from Guatemala to the United States at age 14 to escape abuse and poverty. And the Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscape Lecture on April 28 featured a presentation about “Longwood Gardens: Grand Return of the Fountains.”
Family fun returned with “Snowkus Pocus: Enchant the Spring” on March 24. The performance included dazzling acrobatics and ballet in the style of “Cirque du Soleil.” In addition, the Disney favorite “Moana” was screened on April 28, featuring a sing-a-long during the movie and photos with the character Moana after the movie.
And Movie Mondays resumed with the 2008 version of “A Raisin in the Sun” on February 19 in honor of Black History Month, followed by “Can You Dig This,” a documentary exploring the urban gardening revolution, on March 26. The series concluded with “Generation Start Up” on April 23, a documentary chronicling the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who launched their own firms in Detroit.
Purchase tickets online or in-person
Tickets to Bucks Live! events can be purchased online at www.bucks.edu/tickets or at the door. Bucks County Community College is located at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., where there is ample free parking. The Zlock Performing Arts Center, located in the Gateway Center building, is equipped with audio-loop technology for the hearing impaired.
Bucks Live!, a series of innovative programs to inform, inspire, and enrich the life of greater Bucks County, is brought to you by Bucks County Community College’s Cultural Affairs Committee. To learn more about concerts, movies, lectures, poetry readings, plays and other events, visit www.bucks.edu/live or call 215-968-8087.