The Center for the Performing Arts 2023-24 schedule is slated to be a diverse presentation of musical genres with a mix of newcomers and old favorites.
“We’ve managed to curate what I think is going to be a really diverse set of performances throughout the entire season starting earlier than we have in the past with shows in August,” said Jeff McDermott, president and chief executive officer of the Center for the Performing Arts. “We have a great mix of everything from jazz, pop, rock, comedy, country, classical, songbook, international family, you know, all in the past with bringing back some favorites or bringing a lot of new stuff. I would say that the programming isn’t done. We know as we have done in the past that we’ll continue to add significant shows throughout the season. There’s lots of different types of artists who work on shorter windows and time.
“You have three and four months out rather than nine to 12 months out, and so we’ll be bringing in those opportunities as we go as well.”
In particular, McDermott said comedians tend to be booked three to four months out.
McDermott said he is eager to have Katharine McPhee and her husband David Foster perform Nov. 4. The couple were on the schedule twice but was postponed because of the pandemic, and then the third scheduled appearance in 2021 was canceled.
“We’re glad to get them back on our schedule,” McDermott said.
On Oct. 20, Harry Chapin at 80 features members of the Chapin family singing the late singer’s classics.
“I’m a big Harry Chapin fan, so I’m excited for that,” McDermott said.
The action kicks off early with August solo performances by rockers Chris Daughtry (Aug. 9) and Ben Harper (Aug. 15), both making their debut appearances at the Center for the Performing Arts.
Spyro Gyra will be the headliner at the Carmel Jazz Festival Aug. 12.
Other first-timers on the 2023-2024 schedule include The Police drummer Stewart Copeland (Oct. 19), Bruce Cockburn (Nov. 1), singer-songwriters Meshell Ndegeocello (Nov. 18), New Orleans sax great Branford Marsalis (Jan. 26, 2024) and Indiana singer Carrie Newcomer (March 9) in The Tarkington.
Copeland’s Police Deranged for Orchestra features a 28-piece orchestra, three vocalists and a rock trio with Copeland on drums. It is packed with Police hits such as “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Message in a Bottle.”
McDermott said returning to the Palladium are favorites from seasons past, including the Righteous Brothers (Oct. 6), jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (Oct. 21) and singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby (March 9, 2024).
The Little Mermen: The Ultimate Disney Tribute Band will have two performances Nov. 5.
Tribute acts performing will include Wish You Were Here: The Sight and Sound of Pink Floyd (Oct. 14) and Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute (April 20, 2024)
“We really like bringing in tribute bands if they are high quality,” McDermott said.
A.J. Croce, son of the late singer Jim Croce, will perform “Croce Plays Croce” March 30, 2024, at the Palladium.
“We had A.J. Croce in at The Tarkington (in March 2022) and thought we would get 500 people and we doubled that and added a second show,” McDermott said. “We are looking forward to bringing him to the Palladium for one big show.”
McDermott said the Holiday Series is always special.
“Dave Koz has become a perennial favorite,” McDermott said. “We’ll bring him back here every year as long as he wants to keep coming back.”
Koz & Firelds Christmas Tour will stop Dec. 5. Some other holiday concerts include Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas, Nov. 30; The Midtown Men: Holiday Hits, Dec. 1; and Jon McLaughlin & Friends: Home for the Holidays, Dec. 8
The season will close with Michael Feinstein performing with a yet-to-be-announced special guest May 17, 2024.
The season presents live education events free for area students and school groups in matinees. Shows include Animaniacs (Oct. 5), Mad River: Keep Marching (Jan. 18, 2024) and Sammy Miller and the Congregation (April 19, 2024).
For the full schedule, visit thecenterpresents.org.