The 2024-25 season at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts includes 23 professional performances – including world music, classical, contemporary cirque, Americana/bluegrass music, modern dance, and jazz.

When patrons return in the fall, they will notice a revitalization to the Atrium. This summer, the Weis Center’s HVAC and architectural lighting systems are being updated with new LED lighting and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems to align with the university’s sustainability practices. As part of this project, the Atrium also received some aesthetic updates to refresh the space, which has been in use for 36 years. This exciting two-phased renovation will continue in the summer of 2025 when the corridors and front entrances will also be updated.

Tickets go on sale to the public on July 8 for subscribers (5+ performances, 20% discount) and on August 8 for single tickets. At that time, patrons may call 570-577-1000, go online at Bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or use a mail-order form available at Bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

The fall season kicks off on Friday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by acclaimed bluegrass artist Sierra Hull. Hull is widely regarded as a master of the mandolin. She is a two-time Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter, recognized for her most recent projects, 25 Trips (2020) and Weighted Mind (2016), and is also the six-time recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Mandolin Player of the Year, the first woman to ever receive this distinction.

Classical music takes center stage on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. when Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs with pianist Garrick Ohlsson. They will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9, Jeunehomme, Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 as well as a new work by composer and six-time Grammy winner Billy Childs.

Contemporary cirque returns to the Weis Center with Machine de Cirque’s Ghost Light: Between Fall and Flight on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Award-winning Guinness World Record-holder Maxim Laurin performs a spectacular duet with Guillaume Larouche on a spinning teeter board that brings audiences into the elusive world between fall and flight. Ghost Light features a blend of breathtaking acrobatic feats, poignant choreography and a saturated lighting design.

Americana singer-songwriter Charly Lowry performs on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Charly Lowry, a musical powerhouse from Pembroke, N.C., is proud to be an Indigenous woman belonging to the Lumbee/Tuscarora tribes. She is passionate about raising awareness around issues that plague underdeveloped and underserved communities.

Then, in a free, non-ticketed outdoor event, Cirque Kikasse performs on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 12 noon and 4 pm on the Weis Center Plaza. Cirque Kikasse presents SANTÉ!, a dynamic circus show with high-level acrobatics, contagious energy and breathtaking balances, all on an extraordinary food-cirque truck. The performers arrange furniture that turns into a balancing tower 30 feet off the ground, playfully and inefficiently clean the truck and trampoline and react to an overflowing popcorn machine. This fun concept will give thrills to even the most seasoned in the audience.

In the first of several jazz events, Lakecia Benjamin Quartet performs on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. One of the most sought-after and revered saxophonists in the world, Lakecia Benjamin was voted 2020 DownBeat Critics Poll’s Rising Star, alto saxophone, and Up and Coming Artist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Known for her charisma and dynamism as a player and as a composer, she has an inimitable skill of fusing traditional conceptions of jazz, hip-hop and soul. Her latest album, Phoenix, was nominated for three Grammy awards.

Contemporary Dance troupe RUBBERBAND performs their work Ever So Slightly on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Los Angeles native Victor Quijada brings together classical dance composition and West Coast hip-hop like no one before him. Bursting onto the scene with his Montreal-based company in 2002, Quijada’s dance technique, the RUBBERBAND Method, is taught in some of the most prestigious dance schools and conservatories from Los Angeles to London. Ever So Slightly explores the behavioral mechanisms and reflexes we develop against the ceaseless flow of irritants that bombard us in our daily lives. Most of us long for calm and resilience and ask how do we get to a zone where noise and aggressiveness no longer have a place?

Classical ensemble Quartetto di Cremona performs on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. Winner of the 2019 Franco Buitoni Award, Quartetto di Cremona is among the world’s preeminent string quartets, noted for its lustrous sound, refined musicianship and stylistic versatility. According to The Strad, its Lincoln Center debut in 2022, “was distinguished by splendid balance, abundant color and a relaxed mastery of all the musical elements.”

Jazz pianist Sean Mason performs on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. When Sean Mason speaks about music, the notes fall into place. The cadence of his ideas unfolds with deliberate tempo, each exploring and resolving tension like an inspired chord progression. On his debut album, The Southern Suite, he emerges as a guiding luminary, shining his introspective command as both a pianist and composer through the historic lens of jazz to create a work that distills the essence of the genre for our time, even as it points the way forward.

Sister Sadie performs on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Sister Sadie is a wildfire of raging hot bluegrass combined with breathtaking instrumental drive and awe-inspiring vocals. Comprised of original members Deanie Richardson (fiddle) and Gena Britt (banjo and vocals), and newcomers Jaelee Roberts (guitar and vocals), Dani Flowers (guitar and vocals) and Maddie Dalton (acoustic bass and vocals), Sister Sadie has combined the varied talents of each woman in the lineup to create something that is far more than the sum of its parts.

Alex and Olmsted’s Jim Henson Foundation grant-awarded MAROONED! A Space Comedy comes to the Weis Center on Saturday, November 16 at 4 p.m. MAROONED! is an innovative new puppet show that features music from the Voyager Golden Record and takes place at the outer reaches of space. An astronaut crashes on an uncharted planet. Will she be able to survive strange creatures, an anomalous atmosphere and isolation in order to find her way home?

Tab Benoit brings Delta blues to Central PA on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tab Benoit is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist who has built a remarkable 30-plus year career on the foundation of his gritty and soulful Delta-swamp blues. He’s acquired a devoted legion of fans along the way as well as five Blues Music Awards, including B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (twice), and an induction into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Pablo Giménez Spanish Ensemble brings flamenco and classical guitar to the stage on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Giménez performs as a soloist, in chamber music ensembles and as an accompanist for flamenco dance and song. He is also the artistic director and guitarist of the Pablo Giménez Spanish Ensemble and flamenco company Corazon de Granada.

Gospel Quartet Kings Return performs on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Dynamic and soothing four-piece vocal group Kings Return takes pride in crafting a diverse yet supremely cohesive a cappella sound. The blend of their unique vocal timbres is so rich and smooth that, at times, it sounds more like a full choir than four men. Their brand of rhythm and blues is entwined with free moments of jazz, soulful bursts of gospel and bright touches of pop — all built on a solid, classical foundation.

World music from Brazil comes to Central PA when Heloísa Fernandes Quartet performs on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The work of Brazilian pianist and composer Heloísa Fernandes is the sound of a woman free to study literature, poetry, nature and the classical, jazz and Brazilian musical worlds, and to let them shape her identity and flow into compositions. Strong and original, ancient and modern, her sublime creations blossom with rhythmic vitality and melodic delicacy. With her skill as an improviser, she searches for emotional depths and soars with joy. “Fernandes is beyond categorization,” wrote the Post and Courier of her American debut. “She is herself, and I’ll always be interested in any music she cares to explore.” In addition to herself, the quartet includes Toninho Carrasqueira (flute), Sidiel Vieira (bass) and Ari Colares (percussion).

Bluegrass ensemble Henhouse Prowlers perform on Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Founded nearly two decades ago, this Chicago-bred quartet finds itself at the intersection of performance, diplomacy and education. Onstage, the group’s performances give audiences a sense of how much they love what they do. In recordings — including 2023’s Lead and Iron, released via Dark Shadow Recording — the band explores their collective life experiences through songwriting and intricate instrumentation. While bluegrass is the undeniable foundation of the Henhouse Prowlers’ music, the band bends and squeezes the traditional form into a keenly developed sound all its own.

Jazz drummer Nate Smith performs on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Smith’s visceral, instinctive and deep-rooted style of drumming has led to three Grammy nominations. Smith fuses his original compositions with an eclectic mix of music, including everything from jazz to rhythm and blues and hip-hop to pop. His latest album, Kinfolk 2: See the Birds, is the highly anticipated follow up to his 2017 Grammy Award-nominated album, Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere. Smith’s videos have been viewed by millions of people, underscoring his popularity as one of the most influential drummers of his generation.

Esmé Quartet performs on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Praised for its warm sound and powerful stage presence, the Esmé Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany, by four musicians who had been friends since their youth. The Esmé Quartet brings together four brilliant and distinct musical personalities to form a cohesive, close-knit group that is passionately dedicated to the string quartet repertoire.

World music from Ukraine will be presented by DakhaBrakha on Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. Reflecting fundamental elements of sound and soul, Ukrainian “ethno-chaos” band DakhaBrakha creates a world of unexpected new music. The group is original, outstanding and authentic at the same time, and its name means give/take in the old Ukrainian language. Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African and Ukrainian traditional instrumentation, the quartet’s astonishingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture.

Houston Ballet II graces the stage on Friday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. Houston Ballet II is the second company of Houston Ballet, America’s fourth largest ballet company. Comprised of a stellar array of young dancers from around the world, Houston Ballet II is under the direction of Artistic Directors Julie Kent and Stanton Welch AM. They will perform: Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote, Act II, A Dance in the Garden of Mirth and Sleeping Beauty, Act III.

Neave Trio comes to the Weis Center on Sunday, March 30 at 2 p.m. Since forming in 2010, the Grammy-nominated Neave Trio, including violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov and pianist Eri Nakamura, has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-edge performances. Gramophone praised the trio’s “taut and vivid interpretations,” while The Strad called out the musicians’ “eloquent phrasing and deft control of textures” and BBC Music Magazine described the performances as balancing “passion with sensitivity and grace.”

Back by popular demand, Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion will perform world music on Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the greatest musicians of our time. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, and as one of India’s reigning cultural ambassadors.

The season ends with a blues performance by Ruthie Foster on Friday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. Renowned for her ability to weave together a tapestry of diverse musical influences ranging from gospel and blues to folk and soul, Ruthie Foster’s musical odyssey has taken her from singing in churches in rural Texas to earning multiple Grammy nominations, gracing the stage of New York’s Beacon Theatre with the Allman Brothers, and collaborating with icons such as Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. With her milestone tenth studio album, Mileage, released by the legendary Sun Records, Foster continues to tell stories that reflect her personal triumphs, losses, and the universal human experience.

Season Brochure
The season brochure is now available at Bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

A limited number of hardcopies are available upon request. To request a hardcopy brochure, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or e-mail [email protected] and one will be mailed at no cost.

Hardcopies will be available throughout the Susquehanna River Valley region in early June.

Sponsors
The Weis Center’s 2024-25 season is supported by the following season-level sponsors: Bucknell Sports Properties, The Daily Item, Seven Mountains Media, Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation and WVIA.

Event sponsors include Martha and Alan Barrick, Centre Daily Times, Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate, Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, Nancy and Sam Craig, Evangelical Community Hospital, Clayton and David Lightman, Teri MacBride and Steve Guattery, The News Item, Press Enterprise, Service 1st Federal Credit Union, Gary and Sandy Sojka, Standard Journal, Stone State Entertainment, ViaMedia, Williamsport Sun Gazette, Karl Voss and Chanin Wendling family, PAHomepage/WBRE/WYOU and WNEP.

Grant funding for the season includes Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Tickets
Tickets go on sale to the public on July 8 for subscribers (5+ performances, 20% discount) and on August 8 for single tickets. At that time, patrons may call 570-577-1000, go online at Bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or use a mail-order form available at Bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

Follow the Weis Center on Facebook (Facebook.com/WeisCenter) and Instagram (Instagram.com/Weis_Center) for the most current news and updates.