Antonio Artese headlines TWO WORLDS: JAZZ / OPERA, a special, one-night only performance where jazz and opera intertwine. Artese’s largely improvised program will be based on popular jazz and opera themes. The fearlessly innovative pianist has been praised for his ability to lead audiences on a joyful, seamlessly extemporaneous musical journey. The date (2-22-22) has been specially chosen to invite a touch of extra magic and musical alchemy. Artese will be joined by local favorites Jim Connolly (double bass) and Luis Muñoz (drums/percussion). You won’t want to miss this exceptional musical celebration!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 7:30pm

General Admission – $46

The Lobero Theatre
33 E. Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101



Antonio Artese Headshot

Italian pianist/composer Antonio Artese is a much sought-after recital pianist in Europe and the U.S. Artese has performed extensively in Europe (Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, UK) and in the USA.  A first-prize winner of the Rachmaninov International Piano Competition (1985), Artese holds diplomas in music from the Conservatorio “Santa Cecilia” in Rome and from the University of California at Santa Barbara (where he was a student of Peter Yazbeck and Paul Berkowitz). He also studied Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Chieti, Italy (Laurea Magna cum Laude) and musicology at the University of Bologna. Artese is the founder of several music festivals in Italy, among them the Festival Adriatico delle Musiche and the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival; Brainwaves Festival in Florence; music seminars “Corsi Musicali” in Alba, Italy; and “Cryptic Music” at the Museum Marino Marini in Florence. In 2020, Artese founded the new Argiano Baroque Music Festival. He serves as co-founder and Artistic Director of the Florentia Consort, an international ensemble of emerging young musicians based in Florence. In 2017, Antonio Artese was appointed Dean of the Global Academic Programs at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He has recorded several albums and led various musical projects, including the piano solo albums “Italian Sketches” [1996]; “Live in Santa Barbara” [2008], “The Change” [2006] and “Voyage” [2019]. 

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JIM CONNOLLY, double bass

Jim Connolly Headshot

Jim Connolly writes music and lives in Santa Barbara, California. He plays the double bass, saw, shakuhachi, kaval, banjo, theremin, piano, and he also sings. A Massachusetts native, Jim grew up playing in both rock bands and orchestras. He attended New England Conservatory and began writing music the day he quit school. Jim has worked with UCSB Theater, The National Theater of Macedonia, Naked Shakes Theater, and Proboscis Theater as well as with The Gove County Philharmonic and The Gove County String Quartet. He has collaborated with artists including Nate Birkey, Gilles Apap, Van Dyke Parks, Jeff Kaiser, Brad Dutz, Headless Household, Jeff Bridges, Vinny Golia, Eugene Chadbourne, Glen Philips, Spencer Barnitz, Anna Abbey and with his brother, Kevin Connolly. His current projects include Lit Moon Theatre (composer/performer for 25+ years) and Toy Shop Ghost. The band has performed around the world, playing concerts in Germany, Poland, New Zealand, Macedonia, Greece, Mexico, and China. Toy Shop Ghost has recorded three albums of original tunes (“Broadcasting Live,” “Art Plunk,” “Sparks Spread Wildfire”) and a fourth (“Thrift Store”) of songs from the 1920s and 30s re-imagined with string quartet. A fifth release is in progress. Jim has received nine Independent Theater Awards, numerous commissions and grants and has been named one of the twenty-five most intriguing people by Santa Barbara Magazine. 

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LUÌS MUÑOZ, drums / percussion

Luis Muñoz Headshot

Luis Muñoz is a composer, producer, arranger and percussionist from Costa Rica. He has performed in some of the best jazz festivals and theaters in the USA and abroad, including The Litchfield Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, and at the National Opera House in Costa Rica, the Moss Theater (Santa Monica), and at Santa Barbara’s own Lobero Theater. He has released 10 CDs of award-winning original compositions. His 2015 CD “VOZ” (with singers Claudia Acuña, Magos Herrera and Téka) was called “a perfect album – Five Stars” by Latin Jazz Network and was included in the Best CDs of the Year by Downbeat Magazine and named one of the Twelve Best Albums of the Year by Jazziz Magazine. “VOZ” won two ACAM Awards in Latin America including Jazz CD of the Year. His 2017 recording, “The Dead Man” was named Best Record of the Year by Jazziz Magazine. In 2019, Mr. Muñoz won Arranger of the Year for “The Infinite Dream” (with Guyanese singer Lois Mahalia), a project that also received ACAM nominations for Jazz Record of the Year and for Producer of the Year. Muñoz recently completed “Canciones de Transfiguración y Esperanza” (with Brazilian singer Téka), to be released as an LP in 2022. Mr. Muñoz was chosen among the 12 Best Artists of the Year by NPR’s AltLatino.  

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