The Center Presents: Holidays at the Palladium
Join us in celebrating the holidays and the return to live performances at the Center for the Performing Arts! And help us welcome some new artists as well as returning artists to the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana! Get your tickets to one or ALL of these shows at thecentrepresents.org.
Who’s On Deck?
The Palladium // Friday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. ET
Drawing from his many years as keyboardist for Dennis DeYoung (Styx) and lead keyboardist for Mannheim Steamroller, John Blasucci and Luminare have created a new and exciting musical experience that will take audiences on an unforgettable journey through the holiday season and beyond.
Luminare is made up of world-class musicians whose international credits include Foreigner, Chicago, Camerata Strumetale Italiana, Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio Giuseppe Tartini di Trieste, “Rock of Ages,” “American Idol” and “The Voice,” to name only a few. The band’s debut album, “That Star,” showcases their powerful blend of rock, pop, classical and folk music on the original title track and Christmas classics such as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “What Child Is This,” “We Three Kings,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Joy to the World.”
Janelle Morrison: Many years of combined experiences are obviously the binding agent of this particular ensemble, but how would you describe Luminare and what all of you bring to your audiences?
John Blasucci: I like to say that I’ve taken my nearly two decades with rock star Dennis Young and my time with iconic Mannheim Steamroller and put those two worlds together into a new kind of rock holiday concert. It’s a modern twist to what’s been done and is relevant to today’s audiences. Luminare has a high-energy rock edge with a holiday flavor, and we definitely made room for beauty and for people’s hearts to explode with the holiday feeling.
JM: “Little Drummer Boy” is a mind-blowing arrangement. Its energy is so contagious, and I feel like we’ll be rocking out in our seats. What has it been like to be back on tour and to sense that energy for yourselves?
Blasucci: When we got on stage to record the promotional video, from the first note that we played there was an [energy] on that stage and everyone was kind of taken aback. We realized that what we are doing is amazing and that the musicians assembled for this group have a chemistry, a magic and energy and love that that will flow from the stage.
JM: What is it about the Palladium that is bringing you back to perform again?
Blasucci: It is a bucket-list performing arts center. I love how it’s personalized and how people can be seated behind us and really become a part of the stage and, by extension, a part of the performance.
Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour 2021
The Palladium // Saturday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m. ET
A popular annual tradition at the Center, saxophonist and bandleader Dave Koz’s holiday concerts feature stellar special guests performing fresh, lively arrangements of seasonal favorites in a high-energy show for the entire family. This year’s tour features Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun and Rebecca Jade.
In a career spanning three decades, Koz has earned nine Grammy nominations and sent nine albums to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. An entrepreneur and restaurateur, he also hosts two radio programs: the syndicated “The Dave Koz Radio Show,” on the air over 20 years, and “The Dave Koz Lounge” on SiriusXM.
JM: Dave, it’s great to have you heading back to Carmel—in person!
Dave Koz: It’s been a number of years in a row that we’ve come to Carmel, and it really is one of our favorite stops.
JM: Last year, you shared with me the genesis and stories behind your album “A New Day” and how it helped carry you and the contributing musicians through 2020. Please remind my readers and your fans how special that collection of work is, as well as your latest groove-intensive album “The Golden Hour.”
Koz: When everything was starting to shut down in the back half of March , and once the shock wore off a little bit, I was like, well, what am I going to do with this time? I intuitively started to listen to music that made me feel better, and so it was my feel-good musical heroes that inspired me to get off my couch and make some music. “A New Day” was a two-month project from start to finish, which is very short, typically, for me when making albums. The project was really about corralling all this pent-up energy from the musicians that collaborated with me and banding together to create something really special. I’m really proud of that album, and it’s unlike any album I’ve ever made and hope to never have to make another album like that. I made a left turn and made an album called “The Golden Hour,” which was released in June of this year but was made in September of 2020. It was done in-person over three days with live musicians in the studio again. I’ve never made an album quite like that ever before either, so [these two albums] are interesting bookends to my COVID experience.
Christmas With the King’s Singers
The Palladium // Sunday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. ET
Touring with a special holiday show, the King’s Singers have represented the gold standard in a cappella singing on the world’s greatest stages for over 50 years. Comfortable in a sweeping range of styles and genres, the six-member group continues to push boundaries while honoring its origins in the British choral tradition.
Committed to creating new repertoire, the ensemble boasts over 200 commissioned works by many leading composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Its extensive discography has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award and a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.
JM: Fifty years is a wonderful lineage! I know you joined the group in 2012. Tell me a little bit about how you came to be a member of the King’s Singers.
Christopher Bruerton: I think there’s an element of luck because it kind of depends on when the person decides they want to leave. For example, if I reflect on my own journey, I grew up in New Zealand and decided that if I didn’t give it [a professional music career] a go, I would wonder, “What if?” So, I booked a one-way ticket in 2010 to England. It just so happens that my first year of singing in [England], the first baritone Phillip Lawson decided to call it a day after 18 years, and it so happens that it was all about my timing and being around for people to hear me sing.
I was the first non-English-born member of the group, but my mother was from England, so I have a British passport, which is very handy.
JM: How have you pulled yourself through 2020, and how has it affected the group now that you’re back out there touring?
Bruerton: We certainly reflect on  all the time because we somehow managed to get through it, and again, there was a little bit of luck involved. I also think one of the big questions we asked ourselves early on was, “With people dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, how do you achieve post-traumatic growth on the flip side?”
There are different options available to you, and some are less palatable than others, but ultimately, you have to choose to come out of things finding silver linings and finding areas of development. We found ways to grow and to remain relevant in the public eye. We also felt a responsibility as leaders in the a cappella world to encourage others who were even less fortunate than us.
We found ways to engage with our fans, and in many ways social media was our only outlet. We tried to collaborate with as many people as we could and found new ways to engage with people online. We decided not to feel sorry for ourselves but to be kind to one another—looking out for each other’s mental health and well-being.
I think the message is for us to also look out for those who aren’t as fortunate, and that has really brought the world together because there’s this enormous sense of commonality. We’ve all had to endure [the pandemic] and find ways to keep our head above water or thrive a bit if we can. Throughout history, people have always found that music can be a healing bond. I think we’ve got this opportunity to remind ourselves how much we’ve missed each other and that when you listen to music, it really can put things into perspective. From the artist’s point of view, being on stage, and from the audience’s point of view—hearing live music and letting it wash over you and get to your core—there’s nothing quite like it.