July 2018 Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts The 2018-19 season for The Center for the Performing Arts was announced last month, revealing a lineup of phenomenal, world-renowned and award-winning acts. In its eighth full season, The Center for the Performing Arts continues to enthrall its patrons with diverse programming featuring world-class performances at the Palladium. The Center’s Vice President of Programming Doug Tatum shared what ticketholders can expect from this year’s lineup and what’s new for The Center this year. “We’re always looking to get the best artists that we can,” Tatum explained. “There are a lot of different factors involved as I put each series together. It’s an ongoing process as each artist is booked, and that has an effect on filling the remaining slots for each particular series. For example, in the Jazz series, we booked the Pat Metheny Quartet early on, and he’s a jazz guitarist, so at that point, I’m not going to look for any other guitarist to put on the Jazz series. What I’m looking to do is balance that off with other instrumentation and other styles of music.” Tatum has been with The Center for nearly eight years and has worked diligently at bringing in top-rated acts while making a concerted effort to book highly-requested artists to appease some of the numerous requests he receives as the VP of Programming. “During my time here, I have collected people’s suggestions,” Tatum said. “Sometimes, it takes a number of years before everything falls into place to book a particular artist. Diana Krall, for example, took several years to get her booked here. People will offer lots of suggestions, but they will also name off artists like Sting or Paul McCartney, iconic artists that appear in arenas and not a 1,500-seat concert hall unless there are some extraordinary circumstances that would allow that to happen. We do look at the suggestions that are within the realm of possibility, and we try to book as many of those artists as we can.” Tatum is enthusiastic about this season’s lineup that includes some returning artists like Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls. “We are happy that we were able to circle back to these artists and book them for a return appearance,” Tatum enthused. “We have some first-time appearances as well this season. Brian Wilson will be appearing here at the Palladium for the first time as will Graham Nash. If you recall, we had David Crosby here this past season. Chris Isaak has been here in concert several times, but this will be his first appearance at our gala as the featured guest artist.” Something new for The Center is an emerging artist initiative that is the brainchild of Tatum and one that he executed several years ago during his 17-year tenure as executive director of the Performing Arts Foundation of Kansas City and the Folly Theater. “This was an idea that I had many years ago in Kansas City,” Tatum said. “The first germination of this idea occurred when a new artist was offered to me, but nobody had ever heard of her. She had just released her first album, and her manager sent me a copy, called me up and asked, ‘What do you think, Doug?’ I replied that I liked what I heard, but nobody had ever heard of this artist, and I remember telling the manager that I thought that I would wait until this artist had put out her second or third CD and had gained a little more recognition. Maybe a couple of years down the road and then I may book her. Well, that artist that I turned down at that time was Diana Krall. That was a painful lesson for me because within a year, she was a superstar, and her career had skyrocketed.” Tatum continued, “That’s when the idea to present young emerging talent that nobody’s heard of came to me, and that is what The Center is going to begin featuring this season. We have handpicked emerging artists that we feel people should know about. In the Jazz Series this year, we’re bringing in a young female singer, Veronica Swift. She has a weekly gig at Birdland, a famous jazz club in NYC, and she’s a terrific jazz singer that reminds me of Ella Fitzgerald.” In the Classical Series, Drew Peterson will be presenting a piano recital, and in the Pop Series, young Canadian pianist and guitarist Royal Wood will be appearing with a bass player in a duo setting. “Royal is an interesting singer/songwriter and has a great voice,” Tatum said. “We’re going to continue to expand upon this initiative every year to present young artists and shine a spotlight on them.” In addition to the returning and emerging artists, Tatum is pleased to bring to the Palladium other great artists like Marcus Roberts, a jazz pianist who’s been blind since early childhood and is bringing with him a 12-13 piece band; David Sanborn, a phenomenal saxophonist who has a new jazz band that will be performing at the Palladium; and Joshua Bell who has performed several times at the Palladium but will be enthralling the audience with his first-ever full recital showcasing his dazzling violin skills. You’re not going to want to miss out on this season’s spectacular presentations at the Palladium! To purchase 2018-19 series tickets, visit thecenterfortheperformingarts.org.