The Conrad Season Closes With Latin Rhythms, Family Entertainment, And World-Class Piano And Ballet

La Jolla Music Society (LJMS)’s 53rd season comes to a triumphant close in May and June. From Latin- and South American-inspired GRAMMY winners like Lila Downs and Arturo Sandoval to quality kids’ programming from the Okee Dokee Brothers, to the interactive magic of the Spektral Quartet and the glorious talents of The Joffrey Ballet, the world-class Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the Balboa Theatre, and the Civic Theatre will host some of the greatest talents presented this season.

May 4, Lila Downs

The Global Roots Series launches Cinco de Mayo celebrations on Wednesday, May 4, with GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Award-winner, Lila Downs, known for her unique synthesis of Latin America folk, jazz fusion, and South American rhythms. This internationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter from Oaxaca, Mexico, has a compelling stage presence and poignant storytelling style that transcends all language barriers. 

May 7, Okee Dokee Brothers

Speaking of GRAMMY awards, the Okee Dokee Brothers swing into The Baker-Baum Concert Hall on Saturday, May 7, as part of our popular new ConRAD Kids Series. This American bluegrass/roots duo has put their passion for the outdoors at the heart of their children’s music. A five-time Parent’s Choice Award winner, they have garnered praise from the likes of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and USA Today, and have been called “two of family music’s best songwriters.” 

May 11, Trey MacLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar

On Wednesday, May 11, Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar bring their soul-stirring arrangements of contemporary gospel and vibrant original to The Baker-Baum Concert Hall. McLaughlin and this anointed group are known for their rich harmonies and beautiful blends on their viral videos, which have gathered millions of YouTube followers.

With their expressive vocals and intricate arrangements of contemporary gospel, Trey McLaughlin and the Sounds of Zamar is one of the brightest and most prolific groups on the gospel scene. 

May 14, Joffrey Ballet

LJMS continues its mission of bringing the finest dance companies to San Diego by presenting the incomparable Chicago-based, Joffrey Ballet, at the Civic Theatre on Saturday, May 14. A crown jewel of America’s homegrown dance companies, The Joffrey’s cutting-edge programs display the incredible skill of their dancers.

The program includes Liam Scarlett’s “Vespertine” and Joffrey ballet master Nicolas Blanc’s moving “Under the Trees’ Voices.” Then Tony Award-winner Justin Peck, who came to international attention last year for his choreography of Steven Spielberg’s smash hit West Side Story remake, brings us “The Times Are Racing,” a “sneaker ballet” that draws inspiration from a variety of dance styles while matching Dan Deacon’s electronic score with youthful impulse and vigor. 

May 15, Behzod Abduraimov

LJMS continues to showcase the greatest young talents in our Piano Series, which closes on Sunday, May 15, with Behzod Abduraimov tackling an ambitious program in The Baker-Baum Concert Hall. The Uzbek phenom launched his career by winning the London International Piano Competition in 2009 at the age of 18 and has made a seamless transition from prodigy to celebrated career musician.

He performs frequently in recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and other great opera and concert houses of Europe and America. 

May 19, Roberto Fonseca

Havana-born and -based pianist Roberto Fonseca honors his deep Afro-Cuban roots in two intimate shows in The JAI on Thursday, May 19. Embracing modern music and showcasing what the future of Cuban music can be, he is acclaimed as “one of the most exciting musicians in the new Cuban scene” (BBC Music).

Fonseca, who has toured the world’s best venues with Buena Vista Social Club, is known for ripping up the rule book, entwining folkloric sounds with everything from jazz and classical music to rap, funk, reggaeton, and electronica. 

May 26, Spektral Quartet

“Something to Write Home About” is one of the most inventive and interactive programs Spektral Quartet has created. At this ProtoStar Innovative Series concert on Thursday, May 26, in The Baker-Baum Concert Hall, concert-goers will be invited to join the creative process by writing five postcards across the evening with stimulating visuals and provocative writing prompts from the quartet.

Writing on custom-made postcards featuring the alluring work of visual artists, concertgoers become creators right alongside the Quartet, and reconnect with loved ones in unexpected ways.

June 3, Arturo Sandoval

The last show of the 53rd Winter Season will take us out on a jazzy high on Friday, June 3, in The Baker-Baum Concert Hall with ten-time GRAMMY Award-winner Arturo Sandoval, one of the world’s most revered guardians of jazz trumpet and a renowned classical artist, pianist, and composer.

From burning through an Afro-Cuban groove to tearing up a bebop tune, soaring over a Mozart concerto or soothing with a luscious ballad, he tackles them all with equal power and grace. A protégé of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, in 2013 Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, who called him “one of the best ever to play.”

Subscriptions and Single Tickets

Winter Season subscription packages start at $35. Single tickets start at $15. Please visit here for details and to purchase tickets.

SUMMERFEST 2022 is July 29–August 26! Visit here for details.

See you there, San Diego!