Best-of performers to return to Doudna Fine Arts Center

Samantha Middendorf, Entertainment Editor

Mixed in with a slew of new artists on the Doudna Fine Arts’ slate, the 2014-15 season will also give audiences a chance to see familiar faces return to the stage.

This season, Doudna will feature a combination of both up and coming performers and fan-favorite performers of the past.

Dan Crews, director of patron services at Doudna, said the returning performers were chosen with the help of Doudna concertgoers during the 2013-14 season.

“People could vote for who their favorite performer was,” Crews said. “Once we tallied those votes we were able to come up with a list of those we wanted to invite back.”

These “Best-Of” returning artists include Pokey LaFarge, Gaelic Storm, Thodos Dance Chicago, contemporary-bluegrass band the Depue Brothers Band and Switchback.

Pokey LaFarge will be the first “Best Of” performer of the season when he brings in his friends on the Central Times Tour, Sept. 15.

“Pokey is bringing four other artists with him to share the stage, so that will be a lot of fun,” Crews said.

LaFarge’s guests include American roots musicians, Joel Savoy & Co., Dom Flemmons, Loot Rock Gange and The Tillers.

Switchback will also bring special guests Robinella and the Twangtown Paramours when they perform at Celebration, April 25.

“They will be sharing the stage and playing together Celebration weekend,” Crews said. “Each artist will be featured at Celebration and doing their own set as well.”

Crews said acoustic band Gaelic Storm was voting favorite.

They will return to Doudna’s concert hall Oct. 6.

“Although it’s not the same show as last year, Thodos Dance Chicago will return to do a story called ‘A Light in the Dark,’ about the life of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan,” Crews said.

Last year, Thodos Dance Chicago performance was based upon “The White City” a novel about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Thodos Dance Chicago will perform their new act Oct. 10.

The Depue Brothers Band will perform a special Christmas-themed show Dec. 10 in the Dvorak Concert Hall.

Doudna will open its season Sept. 6 with a performance by Louisville jazz band Small Time Napoleon.

Small Time Napoleon is the first performance of the new and emerging artist series.

Classical ensemble, Sonic Escape, will take the stage of the recital hall Jan. 24.

Doudna will also host several other acts besides those apart of the ‘Best Of’ and New and Emerging Artists series.

The Midwest Trombone Euphonium Conference will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

The finale of the conference will feature Alex Iles, Nov. 2 in the Black Box Theater.

Tango dance and music presentation, “Song of Eva Peron” will take place in The Theatre Feb. 1.

The Legendary Count Basie Orchesta will open the 56th Annual EIU Jazz Festival Feb. 6 at the Dvorak Concert Hall.

Joseph Cashore will present his program “Simple Gifts” feature marionettes he has been designing and performing with for more than 30 years Mar. 3 at the Recital Hall.

Tickets for all Doudna events can be purchased at the Doudna Box Office.

Samantha Middendorf can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]