Entertainment & Events

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido Announces 2019/2020 XXV Anniversary Season

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Celebrate the XXV Anniversary Season at Southern California’s Premier Arts Center July 18, 2019 – May 21, 2020

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) has announced their “2019-20 XXV Anniversary Season” featuring an exceptional line-up of acclaimed performers. Through its presentation of internationally renowned talent, the Center is a premier performing arts venue in the Southern California market.  

Happy Anniversary! The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is celebrating its 25th year this coming season. The anniversary season has more concerts planned than in recent years with very exciting artists, including Buddy Guy on the Great Green in August. We also have four outstanding museum exhibitions scheduled, beginning with Edgar Degas in July. I am very excited about the 25th Anniversary Year. I hope to see you often at your Center for the Arts, Escondido!

The Center’s Executive Director, Jerry Van Leeuwen

The Center’s XXV Anniversary Season debuts on Thursday, July 18, 2019 with our first-ever outdoor concert in our Great Green and continues until Thursday, May 21, 2020. Events will take place in the 1,523-seat Concert Hall and 404-seat Center Theater.  New this season, events will also take place outdoors in the 3,500-seat Great Green and 388-seat Lyric Court. 

“Our 25th Anniversary is almost here!  We’re planning an exciting and diverse lineup of new experiences and old favorites to share with you,” said Cynthia Weir, Board Chair.  “Bring your family and friends to discover something new, create great memories, and celebrate 25 years of fabulous performances, visual and creative arts, and community connections here at the California Center for the Arts!”

Performing Arts 2018-19 Season Lineup

Natalia Lafourcade

Thursday, July 18, 2019; Great Green @ 8 PM

Enjoy a concert under the stars on the Great Green, with award-winning Latin artist Natalia Lafourcade.  Natalia Lafourcade is one of the most influential emerging Latin artists in the last twenty years. Lafourcade was born in Mexico City, Mexico into a family of famed musicians and writers. She quickly began making her own music quickly found success under the tutelage of Loris Ceroni mixing pop with bossa nova, rock, and Latin rhythms giving Lafourcade the base for her unique sound.

Panteon Rococo

Sunday, July 28, 2019; Great Green @ 8 PM

With a mix of Rock, Ska, Reggae, Punk, Cumbia and more Panteon Rococo has established itself as one of the most important bands of Mexican Rock, projecting the best of Latin Ska Mexico to every corner of the world, carrying a full proposal awareness, peace and dancing.

Buddy Guy // Jimmie Vaughan // Charlie Musselwhite

Thursday, August 8, 2019; Great Green @ 8 PM

Buddy Guy — eight-time Grammy Award winner, Kennedy Center and National Medal of Arts honoree, inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — is forever an icon of Chicago blues. For Jimmie Vaughan, he’s dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. Charlie Musselwhite may be the only musician to get a huge ovation just for opening his briefcase. Fans know that’s where he keeps his harmonicas and they’re about to hear one of the true masters work his magic on the humble instrument. Catch these three blues icons in one night!

Sammy Miller and the Congregation

Sunday, August 11, 2019; Lyric Court @ 7:30 PM

Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission to put the generosity back into jazz and bring art back to the people.  They play joyful jazz – music that feels good. It’s a style that entertains, enriches, but most of all uplifts.

Ethan Bortnick

Friday, September 13, 2019; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Ethan’s live concerts are filled with surprises and talent that dazzle audiences and fill them with a sense of wonder and awe. People leave Ethan’s shows feeling elated, transformed, uplifted, and inspired, saying it was the best show they have ever been to, hands down. Audiences around the world have laughed, cried, sang, danced, and experienced some of their most exciting and memorable moments at Ethan’s shows. This is a must-see for the entire family!

Zoppè Family Circus

  • Thursday, September 26, 2019 – Greet Green @ 7:30 PM
  • Friday, September 27, 2019 – Great Green @ 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, September 28, 2019 – Great Green @ 2 PM & 6 PM
  • Sunday, September 29, 2019 – Great Green @ 12 PM & 4 PM

The Zoppè Family Circus emerged from humble beginnings more than 160 years ago to become one of the legendary circuses in all of Europe. And like many good legends, it began with a boy and a girl falling in love.

Patton Oswalt

Saturday, October 12, 2019; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

A comedian, actor, and writer, Patton Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows (including Parks and Recreation, for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award), Oswalt continues to choose work that inspires him and entertains audiences.

Taimane – Elemental Tour: A Visual & Musical Experience

Saturday, October 19, 2019; Concert Hall – 7:30 PM

Now is your chance to catch ukulele virtuoso, songwriter and rising star, Taimane, in fresh and full blossom as she brings her full palette of artistic color to Escondido for a one-night-only performance on October 19th. Born and raised in Hawaii of hapa Samoan descent, Taimane is renowned for both her pyrotechnics on the four-string island staple and prowess in using music and movement to paint vibrant images that elicit deep emotional response.

OK Go: The Live Video Tour

Wednesday, October 30, 2019; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

OK Go, the rock band famous for their wildly creative videos, brings their unique magic to the stage in 2018. As you might expect from the pioneering band who danced on treadmills and in zero gravity, this show is unlike any you’ve seen before: it’s a film screening and a rock concert rolled into one.

Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience

Saturday, November 16, 2019; Center Theater @ 2 PM & 7:30 PM

Producing the world’s first and #1 “Stunt Dog Show” since 1999, starring dogs that have been rescued from pounds and shelters!  As seen on the Tonight Show, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, the Queen Latifah Show, NatGeo Wild’s “World’s Greatest Dogs”, top trick dog on the CW’s “World Dog Awards”, Animal Planet’s “Funniest”, “Amazing Pets”, and a winner on “Pet Star” with Mario Lopez.

Roost Rising! Featuring Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno & Liz Vice

Sunday, November 17, 2019; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Artists from across the roots musical landscape gather for a night showcasing some of our best young, contemporary talent!  Matt Andersen is a powerhouse performer with a giant soul-filled voice, blues in his bones and commanding stage presence.  Since moving to the US from her native Guatemala, Gaby Moreno has achieved remarkable success – she won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist, was nominated for an Emmy and has shared the stage with music luminaries such as Bono and Andrea Bocelli.  Liz Vice has drawn comparisons to some of the greatest female soul singers of all time and both her albums (There’s A Light in 2015, Save Me in 2018) debuted on Billboard’s Gospel chart.  The evening features both stripped down individual performances and a collaborative finale.

An Evening with Sophia Loren

Sunday, November 24, 2019; Concert Hall @ 4 PM

Synonymous with grace, beauty and artistry, Oscar-winning actress Sophia Loren will captivate audiences with an intimate onstage conversation and Q/A. The prolific career of this legendary star spans over five decades earning a remarkable array of notable accolades, including the first Academy Award presented for a foreign-language role with “Two Women.” Decades later, in 1991, Loren received an Honorary Award from the Academy in acknowledgement of her indelible contributions to world cinema.

Together On Stage: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin

Thursday, December 5, 2019; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter is a gifted singer and songwriter who began her career as a folk-influenced performer in the Washington, D.C. area, but found favor on country radio in the ’80s and ’90s, taking her emotionally intelligent songs to a mass audience. In an era when female singer-songwriters are ever more ubiquitous, Shawn Colvin stands out as a singular and enduring talent. Her songs are slow-release works of craft and catharsis that become treasured, lifetime companions for their listeners.

Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores

Friday, December 6, 2019; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

“¡Vívelo!” merges different rhythms and dance styles such as folkloric dance, contemporary, Spanish dance, and African-inspired movements. Mexican musical ensemble Son Luna provides the traditional music of Veracruz, Mexico, and dance troupe Jóvenes Zapateadores showcase the evolution of Son Jarocho roots with different rhythms and dance styles. Masterfully displaying dance genres from the region and beyond, this large scale production provides strong entry points for presenters seeking a highly energetic folkloric piece.

Etienne Charles: Creole Christmas

Thursday, December 12, 2019; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles adds a new twist to the holidays with music from his dynamic Creole Christmas album. Featuring classic selections from the Caribbean, American, and European holiday songbooks, Charles and his ensemble celebrate the Christmas season with unique interpretations of pieces from Charles’ diverse musical roots.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019 – Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019 – Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

Broadway Director Neil Goldberg, has searched the world to assemble the most unique cast of incomparable cirque artists and theatrical talent to wow audiences nationwide. This critically-acclaimed extravaganza is a BROADWAY MUSICAL AND NEW CIRQUE ADVENTURE WRAPPED INTO THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY.

Irish Christmas in America

Wednesday, December 18, 2019; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Celebrating its 15th year, the hugely popular holiday show “Irish Christmas in America” brings a fascinating performance of music, song, dance and stories of seasonal Irish traditions.

David Foster

Monday, January 27, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

David Foster’s first round was as a studio musician, arranger, and recording artist. His second round was becoming one of the most successful songwriters and record producers in history — shepherding albums that have collectively sold in the hundreds of millions. For his third round, Foster is gearing up to take on Broadway with several projects. These include writing the music for a new musical about the iconic, animated character Betty Boop, which will be directed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell.

International Guitar Night

Wednesday, February 19, 2020; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Each year, International Guitar Night’s founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world for special concert tours of North America highlighting the diversity of the acoustic guitar.  For their special Anniversary Tour, Brian has put together his most eclectic lineup yet:  Guest host Mike Dawes (England) and his incredible two-hand contemporary style is joined by German Lopez and his sweet, high-pitched timple from the Canary Islands; electrifying jazz virtuoso Olli Soikkeli from Finland and Hawaiian Slack Key master Jim Kimo West.

Black Violin: Impossible Tour

Friday, March 6, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

Black Violin is led by classically trained string players Wil B. (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin). Joining them onstage are DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes. The band uses their unique blend of classical and hip-hop music to overcome stereotypes while encouraging people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds to join together to break down cultural barriers.

Whose Live Anyways?

Thursday, March 12, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY? is 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. Cast members Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray will leave you gasping with the very witty scenes they invent before your eyes. Audience participation is key to the show so bring your suggestions and you might be asked to join the cast onstage! WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY? showcases some of the improv games made famous on the long-running TV show as well as some exciting new ones, featuring musical direction by Bob Derkach.

Joan Osborne // The Weepies

Friday, April 3, 2020

Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM


Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation — both a commanding, passionate performer and a frank, emotionally evocative songwriter. A multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy nominee, the soulful vocalist is a highly sought-after collaborator and guest performer who has performed alongside many notable artists, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, and Mavis Staples, to name a few.  Singer-songwriters Deb Talan & Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met, and soon formed indie band The Weepies.  On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than 1.5 million records with over 54 million streams on Spotify, 25+ million views on YouTube, and over 110k social media followers.

Chris Botti

Thursday, April 9, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall In Love, Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist.  His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop muisc and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy Awards.  Most recently, his latest album Impressions won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental.  Performing worldwide and selling more than four million albums, he has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.

Bollywood Boulevard: A Live Multi-Media Concert Journey Through Hindi Cinema

Wednesday, April 15, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

The vibrancy, emotion, and heart-pounding beat of Hindi cinema comes to the stage with Bollywood Boulevard. Dance, live music, storytelling, and stunning visuals come together to create a non-stop journey through over 100 years of Bollywood. Moving from the era of black and while films to today, the music, costumes, choreography, and artwork each reflect the essence of each time period. For lifelong fans, it is a trip down memory lane. For novice fans, it’s an insightful and engaging introduction to the world’s largest film industry.

Jane Monheit

Saturday, April 18, 2020; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalist-musicians.

The Villalobos Brothers

Friday, May 1, 2020; Center Theater @ 7:30 PM

Villalobos Brothers – Publicity Images – 2019

The ensemble’s virtuosic performances have delighted audiences throughout Latin America, India, Russia, Canada and in more than 30 states across the US. They have performed in historic venues and events including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Latin Grammy Awards, Davies Symphony Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, the Ford Theatre in Hollywood, the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations, the New Victory Theatre on Broadway, San Jose Jazz Fest, Celebrate Brooklyn, the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, the Blue Note Jazz Festival and the Apollo Theatre.

Napoleon Dynamite: A Conversation with Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez & Jon Gries

Friday, May 8, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

This unique evening includes a full screening of “Napoleon Dynamite” followed by a lively, freewheeling, moderated discussion with fan-favorite cast members; Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Efren Ramirez (Pedro) and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico).

Renee Fleming with Special Guest Inon Barnatan

Thursday, May 21, 2020; Concert Hall @ 7:30 PM

One of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist.

Museum Exhibitions 2018/2019 Season Lineup

Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist, Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle

July 20, 2019 – September 15, 2019

Works on paper by French artist, Edgar Degas. Exhibition also includes work from Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

XXV: The Silver Anniversary Exhibition

October 5, 2019 – December 1, 2019

In celebration of The California Center for the Arts, Escondido’s twenty-fifth anniversary season, selections from the Museum’s permanent collection will be on view.

Endangered: Exploring California’s Changing Ecosystems

January 11, 2020 – March 8, 2020

This exhibition focuses on artworks that highlight the beauty and devastation of local flora and fauna through Southern California

Finding Heaven in Hellhole Canyon

January 11, 2020 – March 8, 2020

Explore and admire the beauty of open space through artistic depictions of Valley Center’s Hellhole Canyon.

Campus Creatives: Featuring San Diego’s Fine Arts Faculty

April 4, 2020 – May 17, 2020

Visual arts department faculty members from universities throughout San Diego County will showcase new works of all media.

Annual Community Events (FREE EVENTS)

Hidden City Sounds

Fridays in June, July, August, September2019 (Includes first Friday in October 2019)

Lyric Court, 6 PM- 10 PM

Hidden City Sounds is a brand new summer music series will fill the Lyric Court with music every Friday from June 7th to October 4th! Enjoy a different genre of live music each week along with DJ’s, food trucks, inflatables, and a cash bar.

Food Truck Fridays

Fridays in June, July, August, September2019 (Includes first Friday in October 2019)

Great Green, 6 PM- 10 PM

During this family-friendly event, guests can choose from a rotating lineup of food trucks while being able to listen to free live music and play interactive games like corn hole, giant Jenga and free inflatables for the kids!

56th Annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks

July 4, 2019

Around the Campus, 4pm-9pm

Join 20,000 patriotic festival-goers for a day of rockin’ live music, tasty treats, and Fourth of July fun and games for all. After dark, turn your gaze to the sky for a dazzling fireworks display!

First Wednesdays

Every First Wednesday of the Month, September 2019 through June 2020
(*Excluding the months of December & January)  

Concert Hall, 6pm-7pm

First Wednesdays at the Center happens the first Wednesday of every month and features different amazing artists and performers every month.

Música en la Plaza

Last Fridays of the Month from October 2019 through May 2020

Lyric Court, 7pm-10pm

Dance the night away to live Salsa, Norteño, Huapango, and Cumbia, under the stars in the Center’s beautiful Lyric Court. Held every Friday in September from 7pm-10pm, Musica en la Plaza, brings authentic FREE live music to hundreds of attendees each night.

24th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival

Friday, November 1, 2019

Around the Campus, 6pm-9pm

One of the largest festivals in all of San Diego, the annual Día de los Muertos festival attracts thousands of attendees. Celebrate this iconic holiday with traditional altars, sugar skulls, live music, ballet folklórico, food trucks, family friendly crafts, face painting, and more, all for FREE starting at 6pm.

Winter Wonderland Festival

December 7, 2019

Around the Campus 4pm-9pm

Celebrate the holidays at the Center! Every December we bring the North Pole to the heart of Escondido with a visit from Santa, real snow, and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

First Marine Division Band Annual Concert

Spring 2020

Concert Hall

Don’t miss Camp Pendleton’s finest musicians as they return to the Center for their popular annual performance. Each spring, the band presents a new and engaging concert that keeps audiences coming back year after year!

8th Annual smART Festival

March 2020

Around the Campus, 10am-2pm

Enjoy a vibrant showcase of artwork and performances by Escondido’s students. This celebration of aspiring artists is held in our museum, theaters, and Great Green.

Tickets are currently on sale online at ArtCenter.org or at the Center ticket office at 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, Ca 92025, or by calling 800.988.4253. The ticket office is open Tue. – Sat. 12–6 PM, and Sun. 12–5 PM.

For more information about the XXV Anniversary Season shows as well as purchase tickets here: http://artcenter.org/events/category/2019-20-presented-season/

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