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WMPAC launches its first ever fall mini-series

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North Wind has utilized his background as an electrical engineer for a one-of-a-kind virtual reality DJ performance. PHOTO COURTESY OF WMPAC

WARREN MILLER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

BIG SKY – The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center is known throughout Montana for bringing world-class talent and performances to its campus during the winter months; and this year is no different, with the WMPAC launching an inaugural fall mini-series that will bring an additional three performances to Big Sky during the notoriously quiet time between summer and ski season.

“We designed this series specifically for the local community,” said John Zirkle, executive director of WMPAC. “We wanted to give people who live here year-round opportunities for an exciting night out for their families during what’s normally a sleepy time of year.”

In addition to adding a fall lineup, WMPAC has introduced a discount fall package deal to ensure that three nights of entertainment still fit within every budget. Prices for all three shows are $29 for adults and just $19 for students, before taxes and fees.

“It’s three shows for less than the price of two,” Zirkle said. “Our goal was not just to energize the off-season, but to make it seriously affordable and easy for families to take advantage of.”

The first performance was North Wind, a virtual reality DJ, who took the stage Tuesday, Oct. 1. North Wind is the alias of Ray Li, an electrical engineer and electronica musician who creates his own instruments that seamlessly blend technology and music. A keyboard responds to a hand hovering over the keys rather than striking them, and a wired glove initiates different beats with the clench of a fist or flick of a finger; and the music is coordinated with a light show.

The Cashore Marionettes come to WMPAC on Saturday, Oct. 12, featuring puppeteer Joseph Cashore who has been performing for over thirty years, including a performance at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and is one of the premier practitioners of the artform. Imaginative and masterfully handled, his marionettes are capable of a remarkable degree of emotion and humor. The performance will be perfect for families with young children, particularly those looking for a night of storytelling and entertainment that doesn’t involve screen time.

Che Apalache rounds out the fall mini-series with their fresh take on bluegrass. Led by a North Carolinian who emigrated to Argentina, Che Apalache blends the sounds of traditional Appalachian bluegrass with Latin American rhythms, forming a hybrid they’ve dubbed LatinGrass. When banjo legend Béla Fleck saw them perform last year, he was so impressed that he immediately signed on to produce their next album. That album, “Rearrange My Heart,” was released in August. The band comes to WMPAC on Nov. 2 as part of their US tour.

“With this new fall lineup, WMPAC provides cultural experiences for Big Sky year-round. The center is really woven into this community, and our whole team is incredibly proud of that,” Zirkle said.

Each show begins at 6:30 p.m., runs approximately 75 minutes and is appropriate for all ages.

Visit warrenmillerpac.org for tickets and more information.

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