For Immediate Release: Experience the Power of Performance at One of Southern California’s Premier Arts Centers

Escondido, California — :

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Announces 2015/2016 Season  Featuring The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, Ben Folds with the San Diego Symphony,  The Chieftains, Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, & Anaïs Mitchell,  Cheyenne Jackson: Music of the Mad Men Era, José González with yMusic,  MOMIX: Alchemia, The Cat in the Hat, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra,  Storm Large & Le Bonheur: Songs of Seduction and Obsession,  San Francisco Comedy Competition, Shaping Sound, The TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays,  International Guitar Night, The Big Friendly Giant, Legends: Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono,  Las Cafeteras, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Neave Trio, Michelle Cann, Ladino Soul, Alex Holcomb,  and Many More!
September 23, 2015 – May 8, 2016

California Center for the Arts, Escondido
340 N. Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, CA 92025

Hot on the heels of an incredibly successful 20th Anniversary season, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) is thrilled to announce its forthcoming 2015/2016 season featuring an exceptional line-up of acclaimed performers, including The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, Ben Folds with the San Diego Symphony, The Chieftains, Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, & Anaïs Mitchell, Cheyenne Jackson: Music of the Mad Men Era, José González with yMusic, MOMIX: Alchemia, The Cat in the Hat, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Storm Large & Le Bonheur: Songs of Seduction and Obsession, San Francisco Comedy Competition, Shaping Sound, The TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays, International Guitar Night, The Big Friendly Giant, Legends: Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono, Las Cafeteras, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Neave Trio, Michelle Cann, Ladino Soul, Alex Holcomb, and many more! Through its presentation of internationally renowned talent, the Center is a premier performing arts venue in the Southern California market.

The Center’s 2015/2016 season debuts on Weds, Sept. 23, 2015 and continues until Sun, May 8, 2016, and events will take place in both the 1,523-seat Concert Hall and 404-seat Center Theater. Please see the 2015/2016 performance schedule below, and for additional information about the Center, please visit

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed comments on the upcoming season, “As the cultural heart of North County, the Center brings a variety of events and audiences to our City, adding to our local economy and enriching the lives of our community.”

The Center’s Executive Director Jerry VanLeeuwen comments, “The Board of Trustees and staff are excited to bring another diverse and compelling season of entertainment to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. After last year’s overwhelming response from both our local community and that of greater San Diego, the entire Center has effectively been revitalized. We heard from our patrons again and again that it was the most exciting year yet. I am confident that our 2015-16 season will build upon that success and elevate the enthusiasm for the Center’s programs even more.”

“Stone Brewing Co. has been a long-time supporter of the Arts and other nonprofit organizations in our region,” says Greg Koch, CEO & Co-founder, Stone Brewing Co. / Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. “When we moved to our current home in Escondido nearly a decade ago, it seemed like a natural fit for us to begin working with the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. In the last two years, Stone has shown additional support for the Center, aligning with their mission and endeavors that are making a positive impact on the community.”

Coming up on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, please join the Center for a special Season Preview Party. Members of the media and Center members are invited to a hosted reception from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, and the public is welcome from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Executive Director Jerry VanLeeuwen encourages A&E enthusiasts residing in the San Diego metro area to come visit one of the country’s singular venues, and hear all about the Center’s 2015/2016 season. Live music from the Tolan Shaw Band, samples from local favorites Stone Brewing Co., Sushi Yama, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Ali Baba Family Restaurant, and a cash bar will be provided. All attending press, please RSVP directly to me at

Alongside other celebrated Escondido attractions and facilities such as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Mayo Clinic, Stone Brewing Co. and many others, the Center is thrilled to continue placing Escondido on the national map as a cultural mecca of the arts and invention. In addition to the diverse programming for their stages, the Center remains steadfast in their mission to provide standout educational and family-friendly offerings, captivating museum exhibitions, free community festivals and more.

Please see the comprehensive performance schedule below for the Center’s 2015/2106 season:

Performing Arts 2015/2016 Season Lineup

San Francisco Comedy Competition: Semi-Final Round
*Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

The legendary San Francisco Comedy Competition has discovered an array of comic superstars including Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis C.K., and more. Reigning champ, Kabir “Kabeezy” Singh, will host this outrageously hilarious showcase featuring ten semi-finalists who will each perform an 8-12 minute set. The audience’s applause will help the judges determine who advances to the finals.

Generously sponsored by Stone Brewing Co.

Storm Large & Le Bonheur: Songs of Seduction and Obsession
*Thursday, September 24, 2015
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Center audiences will recognize the unmistakable velvety purr of Pink Martini’s lead vocalist from last season’s sold out show. This year, vocal superstar Storm Large returns with her fearless band, Le Bonheur, to perform rock goddess anthems, Broadway tear-jerkers, tunes from the American songbook, and her own originals. In this spellbinding performance, expect an unrestrained and impassioned exploration of love, desire, and truth. The Times (UK) summed up her sizzling talent as “an intoxicating and unmissable cocktail of power and vulnerability.” This show contains mature content.

Generously sponsored by Stone Brewing Co.

The Cat in the Hat
*Sunday, September 27, 2015
Center Theater @ 12:00pm & 3:00pm

You’ll recognize the rhyme and have a fun-filled time during this fast-paced play about a brother, a sister, and their unexpected visitor. The mischievous Cat in the Hat transforms a dull, rainy day into a madcap adventure that Sally and her brother will never forget, thanks to some tricks (and a fish) and Thing One and Thing Two. Dr. Seuss’s classic tale comes alive in this engaging stage adaptation recommended for grades pre-K through 4th.

The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill
*Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Led by 20-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, The Time Jumpers are an assemblage of some of Nashville’s most sonically gifted musicians. Formed in 1998, The Time Jumpers quickly built a monumental following while earning two Grammy nominations. With unprecedented talent and a strong affinity for western swing, the 10-member group continues to expand the richness and vigor of country music.

Generously sponsored by Stone Brewing Co.

Cheyenne Jackson: Music of the Mad Men Era
*Saturday, October 17, 2015
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Cheyenne Jackson — star of Broadway, Glee and 30 Rock — dazzles in Music of the Mad Men Era. Punctuated by big and brassy numbers, sensuous Bossa Nova, and tender, scaled-back guitar-and-voice renditions of classics, Jackson’s Music of the Mad Men Era has been lauded by critics. The New York Daily News said that Jackson has, “it all and he showed it all: the voice, the moves, the quirky self-effacing humor. He gleamed like Don Draper’s Brylcreemed hair.”

Shaping Sound
*Thursday, October 22, 2015
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Shaping Sound is an electrifying mash-up of dance styles and musical genres brought to life on stage by a company of contemporary dancers who rose to fame on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars. Audiences of all ages will marvel at the exhilarating collaboration of this jaw-dropping dance troupe whose explosive choreography, dynamic rhythm, speed, and physical strength give shape and form to sound.

MOMIX: Alchemia
*Saturday, October 24, 2015
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

MOMIX, the exceptionally inventive company of dancer-illusionists, will present Alchemia, a riveting multimedia spectacle exploring themes of invention, beauty, sensuality, and humor. This new work about the art of alchemy was born of the untamed mind of MOMIX’s choreographer Moses Pendleton. Alchemia manipulates the four classic elements: earth, air, fire, and water, to create a visually arresting theatrical experience full of whimsy, sensuality, beauty, and intrigue.

Intimate Classic Series
Neave Trio
*Sunday, November 22, 2015
Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Hailed by critics for their “heart-on-sleeve performances” (Classical New Jersey), the Neave Trio is considered one of the finest emerging chamber ensembles. The award-winning trio is comprised of violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov, and pianist Toni James. The group has achieved international success with a repertoire that includes Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and more. They are currently Trio-in-Residence at San Diego State University.

The TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays
*Thursday, December 3, 2015
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Home for the Holidays is a magical experience that will dazzle, delight and captivate all ages. Australia’s platinum-selling rockstars of opera will perform their unique seasonal selections of traditional and contemporary favorites. With soaring versions of “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” “Amazing Grace,” “Feliz Navidad,” and many more, Home for the Holidays is the perfect way to celebrate the spirit of the season.

Intimate Classic Series
Michelle Cann
*Sunday, January 10, 2016
Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Piano phenom Michelle Cann has been described as “an athletic powerhouse who can sweep the listener off his or her feet (Southampton Press).” Cann’s mastery of the piano has been recognized nationally and internationally with top prizes in the International Russian Piano Music Competition, the Blount Young Artists National Competition, and the 2014 Wideman International Piano Competition. Her repertoire includes emotional interpretations of Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and more.

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra
*Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Sharing DNA with Flight of the Conchords and hailing from the home of The Hobbit movies, New Zealand’s Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra is in demand for their winning combination of hilarious Kiwi humor, disarmingly small instruments, and sublime musicality. The infectious musical and comedic ensemble includes 10 dynamic performers rocking the four-string with a charming swagger and style. The band’s number one rule is: “If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t know the words, sing along!”

Note: Due to previous commitments — Co-founding member Bret McKenzie is unavailable to participate in this tour.

Ben Folds with the San Diego Symphony
*Friday, February 5, 2016
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Singer-songwriter-pianist-raconteur Ben Folds has earned a reputation as a singular and influential voice in the world of popular music. One of pop and rock’s great piano-playing showmen, Ben’s sound and sensibility — an eclectic mix of rock power, jazz chops, and wry observational songwriting — evokes the essence of classic pop while adding an idiosyncratic infusion of energy and wit. The San Diego Symphony returns to the Center to accompany the bespectacled songsmith who will showcase his brand new piano concerto in addition to performing selections from his catalog.

Generously sponsored by Stone Brewing Co.

Legends: Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono
*Friday, February 5, 2016
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Hawaiian musical greats Keola Beamer and Henry Kapono have joined forces to create a soul-stirring celebration of contemporary Hawaiian music. Beamer is a Hawaiian slack key guitar legend and composer of the best-selling Honolulu City Lights. Kapono is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and 12-time award winner of the Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammys). Beamer and Kapono will be accompanied on stage by hula master, Moanalani Beamer.

International Guitar Night
*Thursday, February 11, 2016
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

International Guitar Night (IGN) is a fiery acoustic extravaganza featuring master performer Brian Gore along with a celebrated cast of guitar luminaries including German guitar virtuoso Andre Krengel, world-renowned fingerstyle innovator Mike Dawes, and Gypsy guitar prodigy Lulo Reinhardt. Formed in 1995 as a forum for the world’s finest guitarists, IGN has garnered critical acclaim since its inception. The San Francisco Chronicle described IGN as a “marvelous mix of virtuosos who astound.”

The Big Friendly Giant
*Sunday, February 14, 2016
Center Theater @ 12:00pm & 3:00pm

In this exciting dramatization of Roald Dahl’s award-winning story, a 15-foot vegetarian giant teams up with Sophie, a young orphan, and together, they devise a plan to save the children of England from child-eating giants. Humongous on humor and large on laughs, Dahl’s whizzcracklingly wacky tale comes to life with puppets and people creating a fantastical world of towering giants and magical adventures. Recommended for grades 2nd-6th.

Las Cafeteras
*Friday, February 19, 2016
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

Las Cafeteras fuses the unique sound of East LA with Afro-Mexican rhythms, zapateado, and powerful lyrics. Their songs tell stories of a community seeking love and fighting for justice in the concrete jungle of LA. The band blends poetry with the regional folk music style of traditional Son Jarocho for a vibrant remix.

The Chieftains
*Thursday, February 25, 2016
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Throughout their storied 52-year career, The Chieftains have secured six Grammy Awards and have been nominated 18 times. The traditional Irish band is led by Paddy Moloney, master of the pipes and tin whistle, and is backed by Matt Molloy on flute, and Kevin Conneff on bodhran drum. The Chieftains have amassed a dizzyingly varied resume — collaborating with the Rolling Stones, The Decemberists, and Ziggy Marley — helping to popularize Irish music across the globe.

Generously sponsored by Stone Brewing Co.

Intimate Classic Series
Ladino Soul
*Sunday, February 28, 2016
Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Crime, passion, murder, and seduction are the dramatic themes woven through Ladino Soul’s repertoire. ‘Ladino’ refers to the language spoken by Spanish Jews, expelled from Spain in 1492. Performed by internationally-acclaimed soprano Ronit Widman-Levy and guitar virtuoso, Angel Romero, the music of Ladino Soul travels through time and space, finding its sails between the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Adriatic Seas, from Spain to Turkey, North Africa to the Middle-East.

José González with yMusic
*Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Center Theater @ 7:30pm

José González’s crystal-clear voice, emotional melodies, and masterfully eloquent classical guitar will be reframed by new chamber orchestra arrangements in a collaboration with yMusic. This Gen Y ensemble will be opening and backing González’s powerful performance for an unforgettable collision of art rock, contemporary classic and indie pop-folk.

Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anaïs Mitchell Together On Stage
*Friday, April 1, 2016
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Grammy Award winner and 2007 AMA “Artist of the Year,” Patty Griffin joins forces with Vista, CA native Sara Watkins, founding member of Grammy-winning band Nickel Creek, and the “fearlessly emotive” (Acoustic Guitar) Anaïs Mitchell for this highly-anticipated national tour celebrating American songwriting. These three accomplished musicians will take the stage together, blending stripped-down folk arrangements and gritty bluegrass with soul-stirring vocals.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
*Thursday, April 14, 2016
Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

With a pioneering spirit rising from its dual home cities, this spectacular ensemble dissolves the divide between ballet and modern dance with a high-octane style that has contributed to Aspen Santa Fe’s soaring popularity and critical success. Their top choreographers, groundbreaking works, and virtuoso dancers have been praised by the Chicago Sun-Times as “simply breathtaking.”

Intimate Classic Series
Alec Holcomb
*Sunday, May 8, 2016
Center Theater @ 3:00pm

Alec Holcomb’s journey to mastering the classical guitar began when he was six years old. Fourteen years later, Holcomb has accumulated an impressive set of accolades including first prize wins at the 2012 Parkening International Young Guitarist Competition, the 2014 Columbus State University Guitar Competition, and the 2015 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition. Alec has performed on NPR and was selected as a YoungArts Finalist by the National YoungArts Foundation.

Museum Exhibitions 2015/2016 Season Lineup

Writing with Pictures
*July 11 – September 13, 2015

This multi-media exhibition tells the story behind the creation of the picture book: why we love them and their role in the 21st century. This exhibition features original published artwork from local illustrators, and from artists working with local writers. Every picture tells a story!

Remembering Our Ancestors Discovering Ourselves
*October 10 – November 22, 2015

Día de los Muertos announces itself with luxuriant images and unforgettable icons. Local, regional, traditional and non-traditional artists share the exuberance of the holiday while contemplating how memory can reintegrate lost members of families and communities.

The History and The Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb
*January 16 – March 6, 2016

Journey through the history of the African American hair industry and its role in modern culture. From the seat of civilization to the epicenter of the civil rights movement, the comb’s untold story takes the spotlight by way of 400 years’ worth of artifacts, photography, historical accounts and propaganda.

My Hero: Contemporary Art & Superhero Action
*May 21 – August 14, 2016

Discover the secret life of your favorite superheroes in this sprawling collection of international artworks that pays homage to these idols while prompting critical questions about their God-like stature.

Annual Community Events

52nd Annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks Join 20,000 patriotic festival-goers for a day of rockin’ live music, tasty treats, and Fourth of July fun and games for all. After dark, turn your gaze to the sky for a dazzling fireworks display!
*July 4, 2015

First Wednesdays featuring Sister Speak (October 7, 2015 @ 4pm & 7pm), Besos de Coco (January 6, 2016 @ 4pm & 7pm), Highland Way (March 2, 2016 @ 4pm & 7pm), Flamenco Arana (April 6, 2016 @ 4pm & 7pm), and more!
*Every First Wednesday of the Month, September 2015 through June 2016

Jazz Jam Sessions

Jazz up your summer with live music in the moonlight! Whether you sit back and enjoy a glass of wine or pick up your sax and play with the band, the musical talent at our jam sessions will blow you away.
*Fridays in August 2015

Música en la Plaza

New this year, bring your dancing shoes to our Lyric Court and enjoy live music, tacos, tequila, and more. From Cumbia and Bachata, to Salsa and Norteña, these rhythms will move you to get up and dance under the stars!
*Fridays in September 2015

20th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival

Create altars and sugar skulls to celebrate and honor deceased loved ones on this traditional Mexican holiday. Afterward, explore the country’s rich cultural heritage through art, music, and dance.
*Sunday, November 1, 2015

Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland Festival

Celebrate the holidays at the Center! Every December we bring the North Pole to the heart of Escondido with a visit from Santa, real snow, and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
*December 5, 2015

First Marine Division Band Annual Concert

Don’t miss Camp Pendleton’s finest musicians as they return to the Center for their popular annual performance. Each spring, the band presents a new and engaging concert that keeps audiences coming back year after year!
*Spring 2016

smART Festival

Enjoy a vibrant showcase of artwork and performances by Escondido’s students. This celebration of aspiring artists is held in our museum, theaters, and Great Green.
*April 9, 2016



About the California Center for the Arts, Escondido 

A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Center’s creation was sparked by a civic vision—one that recognized the vital role that the arts play in strengthening and uniting the community. Our commitment to enriching lives and improving access to the arts, especially for low-income individuals and families, is exemplified through our extensive educational programming and robust series of free community events. The Center is guided by an enthusiastic Board of Trustees and passionate staff who are dedicated to furthering arts education and access, and to creating programs that provide cultural enrichment for residents of North County and beyond.

You can join this inspiring mission by becoming a donor.  Visit or email to start a conversation about how you or your company can make a difference right here and right now in your arts community.


Media Contact:

Marketing Office |


Back to the news release index

Share This News Release: