GSU’s Rialto lines up 14 performances for next season of Power & Spirit


Georgia State University (GSU) Rialto Arts Center is a cultural staple of downtown Atlanta, sitting on the corner of Forsyth and Luckie Streets for over a century. Each year, the arts center releases a theme for its upcoming season, and the team recently announced its new concept – Season of Power & Spirit.

Lee Foster on the debut of the 2022-23 season. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones.)

On June 22, Executive Director Lee Foster took the stage to introduce the significance of the new theme and give a taste of upcoming shows this year.

“What is power and spirit? Power is energy. Power changes minds, power changes the mind, power changes hearts,” Foster said. “Power must be directed by the mind. Spirit is that higher nature that teaches ultimate truth and promotes healing and unity.

She continued, “This season’s artists are both global and local representations of artistic excellence that move human emotion towards unity, inspiration and change.”

The season will kick off Sept. 15 and run through April 21, featuring 14 bands taking the stage at the historic downtown Atlanta Art Center. Performances will cover the full range of art – jazz, a capella, dance, opera and more.

A preview of “Traces”. (Photo courtesy of the Rialto Center for the Arts.)

The Power & Spirit Season will begin with a one-man performance with Étienne Minoungou entitled “Traces: a speech to African nationswhich tells the story of a man’s return to Africa. The show is in French, with English subtitles.

An all-female a capella group from Zimbabwe, called nobuntuwill also travel to Atlanta this fall to present their original performances with traditional music and instruments, combined with minimalist drumming and dance.

“Nobuntu is an African concept that values ​​humility, love, purpose, unity and family from a woman’s perspective,” Foster said. ” All [believes] that music is the most important and original wheel of change. It is the means of expression for a new generation of young singers to transcend racial, tribal, religious, gender and economic boundaries.

To close 2022, the Rialto will continue its 25-year-old tradition – the Annual Holiday Concert — bringing together more than 200 students and teacher performers from the GSU School of Music.

The Martha Graham Dance Company, the oldest dance company in the United States, will visit the Rialto on February 5. (Photo courtesy of Rialto Center for the Arts.)

The new year will start with a power couple Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.a seven-time Grammy Award-winning couple and former members of The 5th Dimension. The duo are experts in their craft and have been performing together for over 50 years.

People can also expect shows from:

  • Jane Monheita two-time Grammy-nominated singer who will perform jazz and pop songs from The Great American Songbook.
  • Arturo Sandoval10-time award-winning Latin jazz musician and composer.
  • Martha Graham Dance Companythe oldest American dance company, will present modern dance pieces by the famous dancer and choreographer Martha Graham.
  • Mavis Staples, six-time Grammy Award winner and recognized musician in the Rock & Roll and Blues Halls of Fame. The Lamont Landers Band will open for Staples.
  • The Tribute to Johnny Mercerfeaturing Joe Gransden of the GSU Jazz Band, will perform tunes written by the Georgia-born composer and four-time Oscar winner.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Songs We Love, a New York-based jazz band that takes viewers through the history and spirit of the genre.
  • Dorrance Dance Companyan award-winning tap dance company based in New York.
  • “Our City” The Operaan adaptation of the play by Thornton Wilder, features small-town American life in the early 1900s.

The 2022-23 season will end on April 21 with an acclaimed batsman Jeff “Tain” Watts and the GSU Jazz Band. For a week before the concert, Watts will work with the university’s jazz band to create an unforgettable show.

If you’re looking for artistic enrichment before this fall, check out Rialto’s free virtual performing arts series, “Feed your senses.” Every third Wednesday at noon, people can tune in for a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process from art experts.

Tickets for the 2022-23 season will go on sale in person and online August 24. Click here to find out more about the next season of Rialto power and spirit.


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