Live & Local Fridays kick off fall season Aug. 7 at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts

Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts kicks off its fall season Aug. 7 with its Live & Local Fridays series, and continues with a 40th anniversary season that offers a mixture of music, comedy, political satire and more, and brings to the city such artists as Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Margaret Cho.

Back by popular demand, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ Live & Local Fridays summer concert series showcases Arizona’s hottest musical groups in the cool comfort of the Virginia G. Piper Theater.

Tommy Ash helps kick off the fall season at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Tommy Ash helps kick off the fall season at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. The Phoenix-born artist performs Aug. 14.

Arrive early to enjoy happy-hour drink specials and a rotating selection of regional cuisines from Distrito. The center’s award-winning Store also offers 10 percent off purchases during Live & Local Fridays.

Tickets are $10.

The August lineup includes:

* The Blues Review Band kicks off the fall Live & Local Fridays concert series 8 p.m. Aug. 7.

* Phoenix-raised singer-songwriter Tommy Ash performs a blend of country-western music with rockabilly and Americana at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. She and her acclaimed band recently opened for the legendary Merle Haggard and played several shows with Dwight Yoakam.

* Originally from Mississippi, Teneia Sanders performs tasty pop hooks flavored with a Motown-era vintage vibe at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. The Phoenix-based musician and songwriter has quickly made a name for herself in the indie music scene with her angelic voice, unique guitar rhythms and moving lyrics.

* Founded by Julia Chacon in 2008, Inspiracion Flamenca provides an authentic, powerful flamenco experience, including beautiful costumes, fiery footwork, intricate guitar and soul-stirring vocals. Inspiracion Flamenca performs at Live & Local Fridays 8 p.m. Aug. 28.

The center’s fall season continues with the following events and performers:

* Sept. 19: Sixth annual Brazilian Day Arizona Festival, noon-5 p.m.
The Valley’s largest and most authentic Brazilian Independence Day celebration, Brazilian Day Arizona is a family-friendly event that welcomes people of all ages.

The day-long festival showcases both indoor and outdoor entertainment, including live performances and interactive demonstrations of Brazilian music, dance and martial arts.

Tickets are $12 ($5 for children 10 and under).

* Oct. 8: “An Evening with Jesse Cook,” 7:30 p.m.

Internationally acclaimed musician Jesse Cook has spent a lifetime traveling the globe and absorbing rhythms from the diverse cultures of Africa, Europe and the Americas.

His exotic rumba flamenco is an intoxicating fusion of these musical traditions.

Tickets are $39, $49, $69.

* Talk Cinema showcases sneak previews of award-winning independent and foreign films. Audiences are among the first to see a new movie and discuss it with special guests, similar to the experience that critics and industry insiders have at film festivals.

Talk Cinema films are selected from leading festivals by critic Harlan Jacobson. The selection may be an indie comedy, a provocative documentary or the next breakout hit. Screenings are introduced and followed by moderated conversations hosted by guest speakers.

Films are scheduled for 7 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 13, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 8, April 12 and May 10. Tickets are $17.

* Oct. 17: Margaret Cho brings her “psyCHO Tour” to Scottsdale at 8 p.m.

Beginning with her early days on the scene in Southern California, comedian Margaret Cho has always been the Agent Provocateur of stand-up. She is never one to shy away from a difficult, or even “taboo” topic, and there is no subject off limits. Cho’s socially aware brand of comedy has made her both a thought leader as well as a teacher to those with open minds and open hearts.

Tickets are $39, $49, $69.

* Oct. 23: Chucho Valdes, 8 p.m.

Winner of five Grammy and three Latin Grammy Awards, Cuban pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdes is one the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz. The concert celebrates Irakere, Valdes’ legendary band that revolutionized Cuban dance music and Latin jazz, with a playlist that pulls from four decades of groundbreaking and often awe-inspiring music.

This concert also commemorates the 40th anniversary of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, which opened to the public on Oct. 23, 1975.

Tickets are $39, $49, $69.

* Oct. 26: Octubafest, 7:30 p.m.

Combining performances with commentary from the stage, the concert series showcases the faculty and students of the Arizona State University Herberger Institute School of Music. Octubafest features the ASU Tuba Euphonium Ensemble performing classical “spooktacular” favorites along with festive polkas and marches.

Tickets are $10.

* Nov. 3: Akram Khan Company, 7:30 p.m.

Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today, known for taking human themes and working with others to take them to new and unexpected places. His numerous honors include the Laurence Olivier, Bessie and ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist awards.

Tickets: $39, $49, $69.

* 15th Scottsdale International Film Festival, opening night, 7:30 p.m.

The 15th annual Scottsdale International Film Festival kicks off at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts with screenings throughout the day and night. Celebrate that evening at a reception 6:30 p.m. in the Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium followed by the opening-night film (to be announced) in the Virginia G. Piper Theater.

Tickets: $39 (on sale Oct. 5).

Following opening night at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Scottsdale International Film Festival returns to Harkins Shea 14 Theatre in Scottsdale for four days and nights of screenings of unique film premieres from around the world. Visit for the complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets.

* Nov. 6: “An Acoustic Evening With Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt,” 8 p.m.
Tickets: $49, $69, $79.

* Nov. 7: “Alan Cumming Uncut: An Evening of Song and Stories From Scotland’s Beloved Man-Child,” 8 p.m.

Alan Cumming performs this fall at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Alan Cumming performs this fall at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Tony Award winner Alan Cumming is beloved around the world for his range of iconic performances on stage and screen, from his roles as the Emcee in “Cabaret” on Broadway to the CBS drama “The Good Wife” and appearances in the blockbuster “X-Men” and “Spy Kids” films.

Tickets: $49, $59, $79.

* Nov. 9: ASU Concerts at the Center, “Violin Extraordinaire,” 7:30 p.m.
General Admission: $10.

* Nov. 14: “Broadway: The Big Band Years,” 8 p.m.
Tickets: $29, $39, $59.

* Nov. 15: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, 7:30 p.m.

Hailed as “one of the best pianists in the world,” Jean-Yves Thibaudet captivates audiences around the globe with his thrilling performances, profound artistry, poetic musicality and dazzling technical prowess.

Tickets: $29, $49, $69.

* Nov. 16: ASU Concerts at the Center “Woodwind Spectacular,” 7:30 p.m.
General Admission: $10.

* Nov. 23: ASU Big Band Night, 7:30 p.m. General Admission: $10.

* Nov. 27: The Capitol Steps present “Mock the Vote,” 8 p.m., and also 5 and 8 p.m. Nov. 28.

Returning for their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Scottsdale, The Capitol Steps plan to bring down the House … and Senate … with their unique blend of sharp political satire set to popular music.

Tickets: $49, $59, $69.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located at 7380 E. Second St. in downtown Scottsdale. Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wells Fargo Avenue.

Additional free parking is available at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue and at the Civic Center Library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street.

Visit or call 480-499-8587.

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