Arts Forward- February 2023 Newsletter

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Live arts news to love

The first Tuesday of every month, we share Arts Forward, the Performing Arts Houston newsletter.

Love and live arts are in the air! To show how much we care, we’ve got lots in store for you this spring, including a gala, new works by four Houston artists, a new Arts Wordle, and more. Plus, we’re making it easier than ever to access your digital tickets (hello, Apple Wallet).

In this issue:

  • New. Now. Only here.
  • DTH at Jones Hall, in our community, and with Performing Arts Houston on CBS Sunday Morning
  • Digital tickets get an upgrade
  • Performing Arts Houston’s 2023 Kaleidoscope Ball
  • A familiar face on Great Day Houston
  • Encore Magazine, the Spring Issue
  • Upcoming performances
  • From our friends at DACAMERA



New. Now. Only here.
On February 24-25, we present the best of all worlds—new works by Houston artists and stories from our community, waiting to be heard. It’s all part of New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project, Performing Arts Houston’s program to support and sustain working artists in our city.


New/Now is anyone who:

  • Loves live arts in all its forms—music, dance, theater, and multi-media
  • Supports Houston’s performing arts ecosystem
  • Enjoys the unexpected and surprising
  • Wants to know the stories and artists of our city


About the program

Composer and cinematographer J.E. Hernandéz is a Mexican-born, Houston-based composer focused on elevating personal and cultural narrative. Desert Shelter, for string sextet and choreography, is inspired by the struggles and resilience of migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in search of a better life.


Born in Karachi and raised in Saudi Arabia, Tazeen Zahida writes plays in English and Urdu. Through her work, Tazeen intends to bring hard-to-tell (yet enthralling) stories to life. And The Clay Pot Speaketh is a hybrid musical pantomime and tableau. South Asia’s most beloved folktale, the tragic love story of Sohni and Mahiwaal is presented from a totally new perspective


Anthony Brandt is a composer, researcher, author, educator, and Artistic Director of Musiqa, an award-winning new music ensemble. Diabelli 200 is part musical performance, part scientific experiment. The music follows the form of a theme and variations based on the theme of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. In a live collaboration, neuro-engineer Pepe Contreras-Vidal and his University of Houston Brain Center team map (and project) brain activity of the performers.

Born and raised in Luanda city, Angola, Vivalda Ndula became one of the voices of the new generation of Angolan musicians. As an activist, singer-songwriter, percussionist, and dancer, Ndula is a significant cultural and international impact on Angolan music today. Mbandu Ni Mbandu, meaning “Side By Side,” encourages us to embrace our extraordinary qualities as individuals.


DTH at Jones Hall, in our community, and with Performing Arts Houston on CBS Sunday Morning
This past week, Dance Theatre of Harlem returned to Jones Hall, bringing audiences to their feet with performances of ballets by Robert Garland, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and William Forsythe.


They weren’t the only special guests. Performing Arts Houston welcomed CBS News on Friday to record an exclusive Q&A with DTH Artistic Director Virginia Johnson and capture rehearsal and performance footage at our iconic home theater. The feature segment airs on CBS Sunday Morning this February 26.

In an extension of their week-long December Education Residency, Dance Theatre of Harlem company members took time out for a student master class with Houston area students, a walking tour of Houston’s Freedmen’s Town in the Fourth Ward, explored archival materials in the African American History Research Center, and celebrated the performances with a fashion forward cast party with Performing Arts Houston visionary members.

Digital tickets get an upgrade
Starting later this month, ticket buyers will receive a text message including a link to new digital tickets that:

  • Can be added to Apple Wallet
  • Can be shared via text in an instant
  • Scan 30% faster at the door
  • Give quick and easy access to performance details and Google Maps


If you prefer using the current e-tickets shared by email and saved to your account—no problem—those will continue to work as well. Keep an eye out for additional details in email reminders for your upcoming performances.

2023 Kaleidoscope Ball Kickoff
Performing Arts Houston supporters came together on January 26 to kick off the 2023 Kaleidoscope Ball: An Evening in the Garden District, to be held on Saturday, April 1 at the Wortham Center.


Proceeds from the Ball support Performing Arts Houston’s presentations and education and community engagement programs. The evening features a silent auction, live entertainment, Garden District-inspired drinks and bites by Jackson and Company, an after-party, and so much more. It’s a true fête for live arts, full of joie de vivre!


A familiar face on Great Day Houston
Performing Arts Houston President & CEO Meg Booth enjoyed a feature interview on Great Day Houston last week. Meg talked with host Deborah Duncan about the important role Performing Arts Houston plays in our community, upcoming performances, and more!
Encore Magazine Spring Issue
Check out the latest edition of Encore Magazine and be sure to pick up a copy of your own at a performance!


The magazine includes program materials for upcoming performances, including the world premiere works of New/Now, and more.



Upcoming Performances
Desert Shelter Listening/Visioning Session

February 24, 2023

Friday 5:30 PM

Cullen Alcove, Wortham Center

Performing Arts Houston and ALMAAHH host a community conversation with local artist & composer J.E. Hernández. FREE REGISTRATION

New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project

February 24-25, 2023

Friday & Saturday 7:30 PM

Cullen Theater, Wortham Center

The best of all worlds. New works by Houston artists. Stories waiting to be heard.

Mnozil Brass: Gold

February 26, 2023

Sunday 6:30 PM

Cullen Theater, Wortham Center

Tickets selling fast!

Austria’s “Brass Gods,” known as the Monty Python of the music world, play the greatest hits of their 30-year career.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Delusions of Space Enthusiasts

March 6, 2023

Monday 7:30 PM

Jones Hall

Very few tickets remain!

Houston’s personal astrophysicist returns.

Ragamala Dance Company

March 10

Friday 7:30 PM

Cullen Theater, Wortham Center

“Ragamala shows how Indian forms can be some of the most transcendent experiences dance has to offer,” (The New York Times).

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: 60th Anniversary Celebration

March 14

Tuesday 7:30 PM

Jones Hall


A genuine New Orleans institution embodying the joie de vivre of the Crescent City celebrates 60 years of transformative music.

Randall Goosby

March 15

Wednesday 7:30 PM

Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center


American violin soloist Randall Goosby “plays like an angel with nothing to prove,” (LA Times). His Houston debut features works by Beethoven, Ravel, and more.


From our friends at DACAMERA
3-time GRAMMY Winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album
Cécile McLorin SalvantFriday, February 10, 8:00 PM
Cullen Theater, Wortham Center 

“The reigning jazz vocalist of her generation”


Cécile McLorin Salvant’s most recent recording Ghost Song topped the list of the Best Jazz Albums of 2022 in The New York Times, Slate and JazzWise, and made the lists of NPR and PopMatters. With 3 GRAMMY Awards and 5 nominations, Cécile McLorin Salvant has emerged as one of the most prescient and fearless voices in music today.



Thank you for reading!