When you think of San Diego, you probably don’t think of a city at the forefront of conceptual art. But the artifice and materialism often associated with Southern California has offered a nutritive substrate for the visual artists to thrive, making UCSD a world-renowned hub for conceptual and contemporary visual art.
However, the academic world of art is not always immediately accessible to the public, so that’s where UCSD’s ArtPower organization comes in. Part of ArtPower’s mission, according to their website, is to “supplement and enhance the academic investigation of our students through collaborative explorations in the performing arts and film” and “add to the artistic and cultural life of the La Jolla and San Diego communities.”
Luckily for us, ArtPower is -- and has been for some time -- taking on music. On Oct. 26, 2016, the organization launched its American Routes music series, which brings American masters of craft to UCSD’s campus. While Porter’s Pub closed two years ago and the Che Cafe just barely managed to stay alive this past year, ArtPower is doing its part to keep music alive at the Loft and the Price Center.
Featured travelers on American Routes have included the Jones Family Singers, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton (who sold out the Loft) and New Orleans Swamp Donkeys. On Thursday, April 27, at 8 p.m., Aoife O’Donovan will join Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge for an American Routes night billed as Release the Hounds (tickets available here).
At the Price Center East Ballroom, “a night of intrepid songwriting and acoustic innovation” will take place as O’Donovan opens with just herself and an acoustic guitar. Lage and Eldridge will follow that up with a mixture of folk, bluegrass and jazz, and then all three will close out the night on stage together.
It’s a special collaboration that has even The New Yorker touting its brilliance, and we all have ArtPower to thank for bringing all three of these artists to our backyard.
Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. He now plays in the Lulls and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Facebook or contact him directly.