"SPAC on Stage," a popular new initiative that put audience members right on the stage with the performers, will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer.
Elizabeth Sobol, president and CEO at SPAC, announced Friday that the area's largest outdoor entertainment venue will once again try to make things a bit smaller and more intimate, at least part of the time. The series begins on Aug. 6 and will be held over the next three Mondays in August.
"This year's lineup represents both an eclectic mix of genres and cultural diversity, bringing vibrant musicians to Saratoga from different parts of the world," Sobol said in a press release. "Black Violin, who were unable to perform last year due to the hurricane, will bring their stereotype-challenging presence across classical, hip-hop, rock and R&B genres. Russian Renaissance, Nu Deco Ensemble and H'SAO will also surprise audiences with their electrifying and genre-crossing performances."
Russian Renaissance will open the series on Aug. 6, while rounding out the schedule are the Nu Deco Ensemble on Aug. 13, Black Violin on Aug. 20 and H'SAO on Aug. 27.
Russian Renaissance won the $100,000 top prize at the 2017 M-Prize Competition for musicians playing chamber music. They also perform tango, folk and jazz, and use Russian instruments such as balalaika, domra/domra alto, button accordion and balalaika contrabasso.
The Nu Deco Ensemble is a virtuosic and electric chamber orchestra known for performing different types of music to create various forms of multi-media experiences. Based in Miami, the group blends masterful musicianship with a wide range of repertoire from classical to pop.
Black Violin has appeared at three Super Bowls as well as Barack Obama's presidential inauguration. A mixture of classical, hip-hop and R&B, the group has performed with the Eagles, Tom Petty, Kayne West, Aerosmith and Aretha Franklin. Their 2015 album, Stereotypes, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart.
H'SAO is a Montreal-based group known for blending the sounds of modern and traditional African musical influences. On stage, the group is also sets itself apart by offering energetic performances combined with catchy choreography and warm interactions with the audience.
Tickets to "SPAC on Stage" range from $40-$50, and become available at www.spac.org on Monday, April 2 at 10 a.m.