Beginning March 20, Matisyahu, his band, and special guest Nadim Azzam will visit twelve college campuses with a special tour and message exclusively for students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by local Hillel chapters and a variety of campus co-sponsors, the story and motivation behind the tour started this past Summer, 2015 when Matisyahu was scheduled to perform in Spain at one of the largest music festivals in Europe. His performance was boycotted by a local Spanish group citing Matisyahu’s support for Israel and his participation in performing at Jewish and Israeli organizational event in the United States. For a moment, the festival bowed to the pressure and cancelled Matisyahu’s performance. However, the outpouring of outrage at the festival and support for Matisyahu from fans worldwide and organizations of varied cultural and religious backgrounds was impossible to ignore.The message was loud and clear, “Let musicians play music and don’t burden creative expression’s ability to unify people with the ugliness of politics.” Matisyahu was invited back by the festival and he and his band played in front of nearly 40,000 fans. For Matisyahu however, the message was not yet complete. In response to the experience, Matisyahu went to Israel just a week later to close out the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival; a festival that brings musicians from all religious backgrounds to the Old City of Jerusalem to perform together and inject the holy city with unique power and togetherness inherent in music Matisyahu performed with members of Hadag Nahash (a well known secular and politically left leaning hip hop group in Israel), Daniel Zamir (a devoutly religious Jew and world renowned saxophone player), and Saz (a well known Palestinian Hip Hop artist from Ramallah). Again the message was loud and clear, only this time it was ringing from the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Now, six months later, Matisyahu is taking this message through his music to college students across the the United States. Matisyahu with special guest Nadim Azzam will perform exclusively for students, faculty and staff at 12 campuses this March and April 2016. Matisayhu will bring his full band on the road for these special engagements and after more than a decade of touring, Matisyahu has formed a band that truly gives itself over to the music on par with his lyrical desire to connect to something beyond the self. The band features original Stubbs guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio bassist Stu Brooks, percussionist Tim Keiper, and keyboardist BigYuki. Combined, the music and lyrics transcend their parts.At its most basic moments, Matisyahu’s music feels alive; an entity unto itself, being born in the moment and evolving each night. At its most exultant moments the music becomes full-band improvisation. Lyrics are rearranged on the spot to serve the energy of the jam. No instrumentalist is playing simply to demonstrate individual skill, and Matisyahu uses his beat boxing not as a party trick, but as an essential element to the full band improvisation, propelling the music further than it’s been before.Special guest Nadim Azzam brings a unique blend of acoustic hip-hop and singer/songwriter presence to the stage. Balancing spoken word-like raps with soothing melodies, Nadim creates an entirely new sound in his music. Brought up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was born to an Egyptian-Palestinian father and an American Jewish mother, both of whom raised Nadim with a keen sense of social justice and indiscriminating love for others of different cultural backgrounds. Together, Matisyahu and Nadim seek nothing more than to give fans music for music’s sake, and the hopeful result is that through the music mutual respect and a deeper connection to the similarities in all peoples is strengthened. In addition to the performance at each University, Matisyahu and Nadim will host a lunch discussion for members of the sponsoring organizations. Keep it tuned to L4LM, as we’ll be releasing exclusive content throughout this exciting tour. You can see the full schedule below:MATISYAHU with Nadim Azzam Campus TourSunday, March 20 – Boston University – Metcalf BallroomWednesday, March 23 – Penn State University – IndigoThursday, March 24 – University of Pennsylvania – World Café LiveSaturday, March 26 – University of Virginia – Paramount TheatreSunday, March 27 – University of Maryland – Stamp Grand BallroomMonday, March 28 – Ohio State University – Newport TheatreWednesday, March 30 – University of Wisconsin – Capture TheatreMonday, April 4 – University of Michigan – Hill AuditoriumTuesday, April 5 – University of Illinois – Canopy ClubSunday, April 10 – University of California Berkeley – Lower SproulTuesday, April 12 – University of California Los Angeles – Schoenberg HallThursday, April 14 – University of California San Diego – Sun God LawnTickets are exclusive, limited to students, staff, and family.
Jerry O’Connell Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed from today. From Jo Bros to JumanjiBroadway alum Nick Jonas is truly a Renaissance man. The former Jo Bro bandmate is currently following up his 2016 solo album release with a concert tour; he also starred in the dark fraternity-focused drama Goat, which sparked dialogue about hazing upon its Sundance premiere this year. While fans wait for that project to hit the screen in September, Deadline reports that Jonas is already in talks to join Sony’s reboot of Jumanji, the 1995 fantasy film about the board game of the same name coming to life. Robin Williams starred in the original movie; Jonas would join Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart for this take. Though we’re totally stoked to see the remake (currently slated for July 28, 2017), we can’t help wishing Jonas would make another Broadway bow! After all, he’s one of our favorite visitors!Laura Bell Bundy & Jerry O’Connell Are a ScreamBroadway alums Laura Bell Bundy and Jerry O’Connell will join Scream Queens in season two, writes Entertainment Weekly. Ryan Murphy’s Fox series already boasts a razzley-dazzley roster of stars, including John Stamos, Lea Michele, Keke Palmer and Ariana Grande.Just Leave Everything to BetteBefore she makes her highly anticipated return to the Great White Way in Hello, Dolly, Bette Midler will offer some guidance on the small screen—and we’re not talking about Idina Menzel taking on her Beaches role. Instead, the Tony winner will serve as a guest judge on NBC’s The Voice; she will mentor the singing contestants on country superstar and Voice coach Blake Shelton’s team. Fingers crossed that one of her mentees wants to tackle “I Put a Spell on You” from the 1993 cinematic gem, Hocus Pocus.The Prince of Egypt Performance CanceledThe previously reported Bay Street Theater reading of The Prince of Egypt has been canceled. Dream Works and Bay Street’s announcement follows recent criticism regarding the adaptation’s casting. “Some have written that the cast for this upcoming concert is ‘all white,’ but that is simply not the case…I want to assure everyone that having a diverse cast was and is a priority for us,” said director Scott Schwartz in a statement. Scott is the son of Prince of Egypt film composer Stephen Schwartz. This would have been the second time Sag Harbor hosted a reading of the stage adaptation. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on further chances to catch The Prince of Egypt, which tells the story of Moses and his journey from being royalty to the deliverer of his people.Louis Cancelmi to Join Shakespeare in the ParkBroadway and Shakespeare in the Park alum Louis Cancelmi will return to the Delacorte Theater this summer. He steps into the role of Achilles in the Public Theater production of Troilus and Cressida. David Harbour, who had previously played the character, suffered an injury during previews and will not be able to complete the run, which is now scheduled to officially open on August 9. Get well soon, David, and break a leg, Louis (but not literally!).P.S. Over 200 children from the Newtown, Connecticut area will take the stage during NewArts’ summer season. School of Rock, Youth Production and The Wizard of Oz are the shows on tap for the nonprofit theatrical organization, which was founded by local parent Michael Baroody, M.D. to promote healing in the community following the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. View Comments Nick Jonas Nick Jonas(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Star Files