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Montalvo Plans To Forgo Major Acts In Favor Of Artists

SARATOGA, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After 11 years of bringing major acts through the South Bay area of California, Saratoga’s Montalvo Arts Center will be focusing its future bookings on less-commercial arts, returning to the venue’s original mission.

In a major move for the successful venue, which includes the 2,000-seat lawn, the 1,150-seat Garden Theatre, and the 300-seat Carriage House Theatre, organizers will add more commissioned works, an international artists’ residency program, adventurous programs such as its popular singer-songwriter festival, and this year’s inaugural Bleeding Edge Festival, which showcases experimental musical artists from around the world.

Gone will be mainstream touring acts that have made appearances in recent years, such as Ringo Starr, ZZ Top and Earth, Wind and Fire.

“This is an ongoing process that has been under way for several years,” Gordon Knox, Montalvo's artistic director, told the San Jose Mercury News. “We want to broaden Montalvo's artistic focus. It's a change, but by no means an end. Our intention is to have Montalvo filled with people from all over the region for people who come from all over the world with cultural experiences.”

This year’s concert series is already booked through March, featuring popular singers, Steve Tyrell, Duncan Sheik and Johnny Mathis, roots rockers Guy Clark, Richie Havens and Vienna Teng, and three nights with British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson.

The move also eliminates the arts director position formerly held by Bruce Labadie for the past 11 years. Labadie has put on 140 shows this year at Montalvo’s three stages, as well as the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, Flint Center in Cupertino, California Theatre in San Jose, and Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos.

Knox and Robert Sain, who was hired six months ago from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, told the paper they will depend on independent promoters and artists themselves to arrange shows. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers