Celebrated EV Lakeshore Music changes location SanTan Sun News

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By Bridgette Redman
Donor

The dream of two Valley Jazz supporters will open in October.

Bob and Gretchen Ravenscroft built the new 30,000 square foot performance hall named after them at 8445 E. Hartford Drive in the Scottsdale Perimeter Complex.

The first resident company to perform there will be Lakeshore Music, which is leaving the Tempe Center for the Arts. The opening show, The Kenny Barron Trio, is sold out.

Lakeshore founder and artistic director Woody Wilson says the anticipated sales for the season are impressive. Of the 1,800 places available for the season, only around 500 remain.

“It’s a wonderful new building,” Wilson says. “It’s 200 seats, that’s what we had at the TCA and I’m delighted with it.”

Wilson says the Ravenscrofts have supported Lakeshore since its founding in 2009 and during the pandemic.

“So when Bob said he was going to build a theater in Scottsdale and asked if we would like to come with him, I said, ‘Alright,’ Wilson recalls.

“We’ve been at TCA for a long time and we’ve seen the ups and downs of the building. I helped pass the arts tax, which supports building now. My contact with Tempe still remains, but I just moved to another building.

Wilson says the building is more high-tech than the others. It is a recording and listening facility with a sound system that it calls unrivaled.

“It incorporates the Constellations sound system, which is a leading sound system for buildings and places around the world,” Wilson said.

“No expense has been spared to make this room a video center and a broadcasting center. There is a sound studio behind the hall itself. It has everything new. It’s exciting in terms of acoustics and fidelity.

Ravenscroft director David Bauer agreed the location was the couple’s dream.

“They had the desire to establish a venue that achieves the highest quality experience of music and artistic excellence,” said Bauer.

“Ravenscroft embodies their heart and passion for presenting the arts and music at the highest level of excellence possible. At the heart of who Bob and Gretchen are is that they want music and the arts to be presented in a way that calls attention to God or draws people to the creative wonder that God places in artists and the musicians.

Bob Ravenscroft is a lifelong art lover. The couple’s non-profit foundation, Music Serving the Word, is committed to showcasing the arts in meaningful ways. Bauer says the building is helping the Ravenscroft do this.

“We are inheriting a series that is already well established, that has a good track record and a good dynamic and we are able to host something that is already ready,” said Bauer. “It made sense for us to partner with Woody. (The series) will create a sensation in the community and provide him with a spectacular place to bring all his clients who have followed him for years.

Bauer says the venue allows for video and video mapping on the side and back walls.

“What sets us apart from a lot of other places is that this particular place was built with the highest level of commitment to architecture and design when it comes to acoustics,” Bauer added.

“The technology that has been implemented and integrated into the space is unique. It creates an immersive experience for the audience.

In addition to the 200-seat concert hall, the venue is home to Jazzbird, a lounge that, starting Fridays in October, will host music from popular and emerging local musicians. They will serve light meals and a selection of local wines and craft beers.

“The Jazzbird is a suspended space on Friday nights when we do our weekly work,” says Bauer. “Once a month we have another series called Jazz for the Soul. It’s a relaxed, performance-oriented space where you can come and enjoy food and drink, sit in a beautiful lounge environment, and enjoy a beautiful stage with audio, video and lighting capabilities that will serve you well. also to create an immersive bar experience. It’s a complete jazz show stage experience, much like a New York jazz club. “

Lakeshore’s opening reception is at Jazzbird, which can accommodate approximately 100 clients.

Wilson says their season hardly happened. During the pandemic shutdown, Wilson’s wife Carol died of complications from cancer.

She will be honored during the first of nine piano-centric performances. Carol never missed a performance.

“Each of these shows has a great pianist,” Wilson says.

Season tickets went on sale May 24. They are slightly more expensive because it costs more to put artists in hotels and feed them in Scottsdale.

“We want people to come and see this beautiful facility,” Wilson says. “It’s remarkable that people actually have the means to build a building like this and take risks,” Wilson says.

“The Ravenscrofts have been an integral part of the Phoenix jazz and music scene for many years. They are one of the leading jazz music philanthropists in the United States. Asking someone to step in and build a building like this with their own money is quite remarkable nationally. “

Bauer agrees that the building will be a major boon for jazz enthusiasts.

“If they’re looking for something more than a gig with sound, but something that really makes you a part of the whole performance – this will be the perfect place to get it, ”Bauer said.

Ravenscroft Room

Scottsdale Perimeter Complex

8445 E. Hartford Drive, Scottsdale

lakeshoremusic.org


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