Strathmore Music Center has added 24 new performances to its 2011-2012 season, and it has snagged some big names.
For its Spring Gala on April 21, the center has enlisted Dionne Warwick, the soulful songbird who brought “Alfie,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “Say a Little Prayer for You” into the musical archives.
“We wanted to augment the programming with some different areas,” said Shelley Brown, the vice president of programming and artistic director for the center. Brown saw the Costner band at a booking fair. “The band is awesome. Costner is outfront all the set. And it took a year to book them,” Brown said.
Brown is extremely pleased to present an evening April 22 with Billy Collins, the former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. “This is a nonmusical presentation of readings and humor. They’ll talk about their lives and writing. And Mary Oliver doesn’t appear publicly very often,” Brown explained.
Strathmore, as well as other established venues, are seeing increased competition with the opening of the Fillmore in Silver Spring and other places. “It is going to be a more competitive environment. We are trying to attract different kinds of music and stay ahead.”
For the 2011/2012 season Strathmore will have 54 performances in the main hall and 100 dates over its whole campus near White Flint.
Other acts that have been added to the schedule are: Allen Toussaint and the Aaron Neville Quintet on Nov. 30; Dave Koz and Friends on Dec. 5; Jim Brickman on Dec. 7 and Bryan Adams on January 23. Also booked are Ramsey Lewis on Dec. 9 and Yasmin Levy on Feb. 14.