Coming Up: ‘Up With People’ rocks message of unity

An uplifting evening, for certain: Since 1965, Up With People, a troupe of talented young singers and dancers in their teens and 20s, have brought music, boundless enthusiasm and a message of peace and unity to audiences all over the world, and this Thursday and Friday they’re bringing it all to Indian River County. The 2018 tour focuses on “shared hope for a better tomorrow,” and the 100-plus troupe members, from many countries and with diverse mindsets, cultures, ethnicities and beliefs, will be at the Indian River County iG Center (1590 9th Street SW) for a pair of performances featuring international songs and dances, to benefit Youth Guidance, Hibiscus Children’s Center and United Against Poverty. Generations of youth have been a part of this group – perhaps you or someone you know has – since its founding in the tumultuous ’60s, when Vietnam and civil rights were in the forefront and young people took to the streets in protest and solidarity. The Up With People website states that the group’s founder, J. Blanton Belk, observed this phenomenon and realized young people might be able to do what government couldn’t: “walk across borders, see beyond race, and build bridges of understanding between people.” Among its many hundreds of performances, Up With People counts four Super Bowl halftime shows, and an emotional performance at the Olympic Village Theatre in Munich on Sept. 8, 1972, after the tragic massacre of Israeli athletes. Today, Up With People continues to travel the globe, with a new generation of young performers, blending social action with good cheer, determination – and music. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are adults, $18; students, $13; children 12 and under $8.

 

To many ears, there’s no voice quite so compelling as an Irish tenor. One of the best, Emmet Cahill, late of the Irish group Celtic Thunder, will take the stage this Sunday at the Emerson Center. Fresh from his St. Patrick’s Day debut at Carnegie Hall, Ireland’s premier tenor returns to join the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Aaron T. Collins, to perform “Emmet Cahill in Concert.” The afternoon will feature songs from the eponymous world chart-topping (Billboard, iTunes and Amazon) album, “Emmet Cahill’s Ireland.” In the hands of these gifted musicians, familiar and beloved songs from the Irish repertoire such as “An Irish Lullaby” and “Danny Boy,” as well as selected numbers from musicals, will touch hearts and soar to the rafters. The show promo offers an interesting bit of trivia: According to the last U.S. Census (2010), some 34.5 million Americans list their heritage as mostly or partly Irish. That number is, incidentally, seven times larger than the population of Ireland itself (4.68 million). Show time is 3 p.m. Doors open one hour before curtain. Tickets are $29.99 for adults and $14.99 for students 18 and under. A $49.99 VIP pass includes a pre-concert Q&A with Cahill, an individual photo op, and an autographed poster. 855-252-7276.

 

“Welcome Back!” John Sebastian: Sebastian is of course, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, autoharpist and raconteur who founded the band with the super cool name – the Lovin’ Spoonful – and he’ll be in concert at the Emerson Center next Friday, March 30, to close the LIVE! From Vero Beach concert series. The Lovin’ Spoonful, Wikipedia reminds us, made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2000, having answered the British Invasion by putting their first seven singles on the Top 10, unprecedented, gushes Wikipedia, at the height of Beatlemania. Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35. 772-234-4412.

 

Veteran radio journalist Janie Gould, well-known for her popular radio series “Floridays,” which ran on public radio WQCS-FM for almost a decade, will present the final program of the 2017-18 Florida Humanities Series season next Thursday, March 29, at the Emerson Center. For this unique presentation, “Global Events That Touched Florida: Great Depression Through the Cold War,” which will cover such diverse topics as the history of U-boat attacks, German POWs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and more, Gould will employ anecdotes harvested from her priceless collection of 300 recorded interviews with Floridians sharing their first-hand experiences and recollections of life on the Treasure Coast “back in the day.” The free program will begin at 7 p.m. 772-778-5249.

 

Ease yourself into the weekend with some music in the park. For a pleasant, music-centric Friday in a beautiful riverside venue, take a little drive down the road to Sebastian’s Riverview Park for the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce’s very popular Concerts in the Park series. This month you’ll get a kick out of the Sebastian River High School Jazz Ensemble and Steel Drum Band. These young musicians are really good. Beverages and food (hot dogs, BBQ, Italian ice and popcorn) are always available. For more down-home fun, there’s a free raffle at intermission with giveaways from local merchants. 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Riverview Park. Free. 772-589-5969.

Leave a Comment