Touring solo and liking it

Steven Curtis Chapman brings just his guitar for Maui performance

Steven Curtis Chapman performs solo at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater in Kahului. Tickets are $29.50, $39.50, $49.50 and $75 for VIP (plus applicable fees). For tickets or more information, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to www.mauiarts.org. Photo courtesy the MACC

One of America’s most popular contemporary Christian musicians, Grammy-winner Steven Curtis Chapman has sold more than 10 million albums and scored close to 50 No. 1 Christian radio songs.

Performing solo at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Castle Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, Chapman told The Raleigh News & Observer he’s been enjoying touring solo.

“I can do whatever in the moment,” Chapman was quoted as saying. “It’s just me and my guitar. At the end of the set, I’ll call out for requests.”

Chapman just released the new album “Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows,” which reflects his Kentucky childhood, in which he grew up hearing his father play bluegrass and folk music.

“My earliest memories of growing up in Kentucky are woven together with the sound of bluegrass and folk music, with my dad on guitar and his good buddies on the banjo and dobro,” he explained on his website. “I loved that sound, and couldn’t wait to learn to play the guitar and join in.”

Celebrated guests on the recording include country legend Ricky Skaggs on an exuberant remake of his song “Dive” and Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts on ” ‘Til The Blue.”

“Ricky Skaggs is a childhood hero of mine,” Chapman reported. “He really brought bluegrass into the mainstream, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. I never imagined I’d someday get to have him sing on one of my songs.”

Chapman first learned to play guitar and piano hanging around in his father’s music store. Turning professional after a move to Nashville, Chapman had a debut album, “First Hand,” which rose to No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian Music chart.

In 1993, his album “The Great Adventure” earned him his first Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Grammy, and American Songwriter magazine named him Songwriter and Artist of the Year.

In 2006, Chapman toured several Asian countries, reporting on his website that his concert for U.S. troops serving in South Korea was the first Christian concert ever performed for troops in that country. A concert in Shanghai was “the first public performance by a gospel recording artist ever in the city open to China passport holders.”

Among his recent albums, “Worship and Believe” was praised by Jesus Wired as “a rock solid effort of worship. His ear for good music mixed with faith-filled songwriting has gotten better with time.”

In January, Chapman was among musicians such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton performing on country legend Ronnie Milsaps’s “The Duets.”

Following his Maui show, Chapman will perform at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday.

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Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain makes his Maui debut in the MACC’s Castle Theater tonight at 7:30 with acclaimed sitar player Niladri Kumar.

“Tabla is the principle accompanying instrument in Northern Indian music,” Hussain explains. “In the last 40 years it has also found its voice as a solo instrument, and tabla solos have become very exciting. Now tabla players have also become leaders. I’m supposed to be the leader with this duo with Niladri Kumar.

“It’s somewhat a reversal of the role when you look back at Ravi Shankar and my father, Allah Rakha, when they were playing together at Monterey Pop or Woodstock or anywhere, and my father was following him. But it was never a leader and a follower, they were simultaneously contributing. They were both improvising, but for PR sakes it was important to have one guy as the leader. So even though Niladri Kumar is billed as somebody to support me, it’s not true. We are going to be playing together and be equal contributors.”

• Tickets are $35, $50 and $65 (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to www.mauiarts.org.

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Michael Franti brings his “Stay Human Tour” to the Castle Theater at the MACC at 7:30 p.m. May 2. Franti was just in Uganda performing at festivals for International Women’s Day. He released “Stay Human Vol. II” in February.

• Tickets are $29.50, $39.50 and $49.50 (plus applicable fees). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to www.mauiarts.org.

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Virtuoso classical guitarist Ana Vidovic, performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the MACC’s McCoy Studio Theater, has been widely praised, both in concert and on record. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram lauded her “flawless performance,” while Guitar Review noted, “Her dynamic range, beauty of sound, precision of articulation and virtuosity are such that listening becomes an absolute musical experience.”

Vidovic has won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions. These include first prizes in the Albert Augustine International Competition in England, the Fernando Sor competition in Italy and the Francisco Tarrega Classical Guitar Competition in Spain.

Born in a small town near Zagreb, Croatia, she began playing guitar at the age of 5, and by 7 had given her first public performance. At the age of 11 she was performing internationally, and at 13 she became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb.

Recorded when she was 15, Vidovic’s debut album titled, “The Croatian Prodigy,” featured music by Bach and Paganini.

She has released a performance DVD featuring works by Federico Moreno Torroba, Astor Piazzolla, Pierre Bensusan, Stanley Myers, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Agustin Barrios Mangore.

“I really love the connection with the audience while performing,” she reports. “To me the most important thing is when I feel that the audience is completely with me. When I am on stage, I try to forget about everything and try to say as much as I can with the music I am playing.”

For her Maui concert, she will perform Bach’s “Flute Partita in A minor, BWV 1013,” Mauro Giuliani’s “Gran Sonata Eroica, Op. 150,” Tarrega’s “Recuerdos de la Alhambra,” Mangore’s “La Catedral,” Domenico Scarlatti’s “Sonata in A major, K. 322, L. 483” and “Sonata in E major, K. 380, L. 23” and “Four Pieces” by Argentinian composer Piazzolla.

• Tickets are $45 (plus applicable fees), with a 10 percent discount for MACC members and half-price admission for kids 12 and younger. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or visit www.mauiarts.org.

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The Maui Chamber Orchestra presents “Young Artists/Rising Stars” concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku, featuring the winners of its second Youth Concerto Competition, along with a rising star in the classical music world.

Conducted by Maestro Robert E. Wills, the program features pianist Jeremy Lee, playing the “Rondo — Vivace” from Chopin’s “Concerto No.1”; violinist Erin Nishi, playing the “Allegro Molto Appasionato” from Faure’s “Violin Concerto in E Minor”; and clarinetist Yoonah Kim, performing Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major.”

The first solo clarinetist to win the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in nearly 30 years, Kim became the first woman to win first prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition in 2016. She is a member of Ensemble Connect, which performs regularly at Carnegie Hall. Ensemble Connect is a highly selective two-year fellowship program under the joint auspices of Carnegie Hall, The Weill Institute and The Juilliard School.

Currently a junior at Punahou School, Lee won the 2018 state Music Teachers National Association competition in the Senior Piano category. He has performed as soloist with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Orchestra. He also won third place at the 2018 Aloha International Piano Competition.

A student of Ignace Jang, violinist Nishi was awarded first place in the Hawaii Music Teachers Association Level 3 and National Music Teachers Association Senior String 2017 and 2017 state competitions. In 2016, she performed with the Kamuela Philharmonic and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Orchestra as a winner of their concerto competitions.

A talk story session with the artists will be held at 1:30 p.m. for all ticket holders.

• Tickets range from $27 to $55, and $10 for students. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 242-6969 or visit www.mauionstage.com or www .mauichamberorchestra.org.

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The Maui musical collective Chala will play three island dates beginning with Wailuku’s Wai Bar tonight at 9. Led by Ben Cerda, shows include members of Steel Pulse and Molokai’s Ekolu Kalama. In December, they released the hot reggae song, “All Night,” in collaboration with Inna Vision and No Doubt’s Stephen Bradley.

Chala also plays Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia at 10 p.m. Friday and Tante’s Fish Market at the Maalaea Harbor Shops at 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 at each location.

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