The Bankhead Theater in Livermore will host nearly a dozen performances in October, including the highly anticipated return of the bluegrass trio The Wailin’ Jennys, blues guitarist Robert Cray, and jazz master Branford Marsalis and his quartet.
“An Evening with Danny Glover,” a Rae Dorough Speaker Series presentation featuring the acclaimed actor, producer, and community activist, will lead off the month on Friday, Oct. 1, followed by the ninth-annual Taste of Africa festival sponsored by the Cheza Nami Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 2, and the Filipino Barrio Fiesta on Sunday, Oct. 3.
The Wailin’ Jennys, featuring singer-songwriters Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody, and Heather Masse, will cap a busy first four days of the month on Monday, Oct. 4. The Wailin’ Jennys have released five critically-acclaimed albums, including the Juno-winning release, “Bright Morning Stars.”
Cray, a five-time Grammy Award winner, returns to the Bankhead stage for the fifth time on Thursday, Oct. 21. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011, Cray is credited with creating a new generation of blues fans with his distinctive guitar sound on more than 20 studio releases. He has been called a modern blues poet, combining his signature blend of rock, rhythm, and blues with smooth vocals to deliver stories that touch the heart of his listeners.
Marsalis and his quartet will appear on Monday, Oct. 25. Acclaimed early as a saxophonist, Marsalis, former musical director for “The Late Show with Jay Leno,” has built on his talents as a musician, composer, bandleader, and educator to attract a broader audience to the world of jazz.
The theater will also host a variety of Big Band music, comedy, family shows, and Livermore Valley Opera vocalists during the month.
Comic mime Tape Face, best known for his stint on “America’s Got Talent,” will perform on Thursday, Oct. 7; Cirque Mechanics will present a new acrobatic show, “Birdhouse Factory,” on Saturday, Oct. 23; and matinee and evening tributes to Big Band leader Benny Goodman are set for Sunday, October 24.
Del Valle Fine Arts will present pianist Mark Anderson on Saturday, Oct. 16, and the Livermore-Amador Symphony will perform an outdoor “Picnic with the Pops” on Oct. 23.
The final weekend of the month will feature “The Daily Show Writers Comedy Show” and an afternoon screening of the Mel Brooks spoof “Young Frankenstein” for a laugh-filled start to Halloween.
Tickets for all shows are available at livermorearts.org, by calling 925-373-6800, or at the box office.