New 'Outspoken Speakers' series featured in Arts & Lectures 2005-06 season

Environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., superstar classical violinist Midori, Grammy-winning mandolinists Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, and Spain's powerful traditional flamenco troupe Noche Flamenca are just a few of the internationally acclaimed artists and speakers on the 2005-06 UCSC Arts & Lectures season.

Kennedy will headline a new "Outspoken Speakers" series featuring lectures and discussions with renowned thinkers about issues relating to science, nature, and the environment. Harvard physics professor Lisa Randall-a brilliant communicator with infectious enthusiasm who has been described as one of "Einstein's intellectual heiresses" by MSNBC-and celebrated nature writer and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams will round out the new series.

Arts & Lectures' ambitious "Global Beat" series will feature Llan de Cubel, an award-winning, Celtic-influenced folk group from the north coast of Spain; the Pablo Ziegler Trio for Nuevo Tango-led by the Argentinean pianist who was a member of the legendary Astor Piazzolla's New Tango Quintet; Peru Negro, an Afro-Peruvian ensemble blending melodic guitar, passionate singing, sensual dancing, and colorful costumes in a carnival atmosphere; and Malian blues-rockers Tinariwen-a group of exiled nomads from the southern Sahara who mix traditional instruments with electric guitars and the sounds of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

"We're bringing international, leading-edge work that, for the most part, you're not likely to see elsewhere," noted director of Arts & Lectures Michelle Witt. "There are also more performances this year reflecting interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships."

Witt added that Arts & Lectures has also expanded its arts education program with the coming season. Last year, the program reached approximately 5,000 local students and adults.

"This year we are doing more community-based projects such as a series of free talks at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and a performance series at the new Santa Cruz family shelter," Witt noted. "Seventy-five percent of the artists we bring this season will go into the community."

"We will also begin a special pilot project with the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County and the National Endowment for the Arts to create a two-week residency with the David Dorfman Dance Company," Witt added. "The company will be giving lecture/demonstrations at many local high schools, as well as a wide variety of community and campus organizations.

The new season will also include a staging of Amy Tan's Immortal Heart by the Word for Word theater company, pianist Christopher O'Riley in a program titled "Shostakovich Meets Radiohead," the So Percussion ensemble, Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY, Tandy Beal's holiday favorite Mixed Nutz!, and the Turtle Island String Quartet performing "A Love Supreme: The Music of John Coltrane."

For a complete season lineup and ticket information, go to the new Arts & Lectures web site at: or call the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.