Thursday, January 30, 2020

Jason Aldean and crew are coming to JAX town

Reigning ACM "Artist of the Decade" Jason Aldean announced details for his 2020 WE BACK TOUR launching Jan. 30 in Columbia, SC and including a stop in Jacksonville, FL at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena Feb. 1.  Named after the new lead single from his upcoming ninth studio album, 9 (Macon Music/Broken Bow Records), which was released Nov. 22, the 20-city trek will span across the US through March.  For the first leg of the tour, the multi-Platinum entertainer has tapped direct support Morgan Wallen, Riley Green and Dee Jay Silver.  Live Nation is the national tour promoter and Citi is the official presale credit card of the 2020 WE BACK TOUR.

After almost 15 years at the top of his format, three-time ACM “Entertainer of the Year" Jason Aldean has seen trends come and go.  He's helped bring a few out of the shadows, like a Country-music Columbus making the mainstream’s first contact with hard rock (“Hicktown”), hip-hop (“Dirt Road Anthem”) and R&B (“Burnin’ It Down”).  But after all that time, he continues to hold his ground making modern albums with an old-school soul - with the upcoming release of his ninth studio album 9 as the album's fiery lead single “We Back” rounds out the first-released songs, and “in characteristic Aldean fashion, it explodes into a hard-rock country anthem” (Rolling Stone).  As a dominant force on the charts, Aldean has scored 23 No. Ones at radio and is the only Country act in history to top the all-genre Billboard 200 four times (in a row, no less), while racking up 15 billion streams and more than 18 million albums sold along the way.

Morgan Wallen’s debut album “If I Know Me” (Big Loud Records) delivered back-to-back Platinum-certified No. Ones; “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line, the multi-week chart-ruler “Whiskey Glasses,” the GOLD-certified lead “The Way I Talk” and current single, “Chasin’ You.”  With over one billion total streams to his credit, he received his first-ever CMA Awards nomination for New Artist of the Year, after earning a CMT "Breakthrough Video of the Year” award nomination for “Whiskey Glasses.”  The breakout star was chosen as a MusicRow 2019 "Next Big Thing" artist, spotlighted in CMT’s Listen Up “18 for 2018” class, and named a 2018 Taste of Country “Riser" among other accolades.  Wallen has co-penned hits for Jason Aldean (Platinum-certified multi-week No. One “You Make It Easy”), Kane Brown, A Thousand Horses and Dustin Lynch, and garnered critical acclaim for his cover of Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up,” while on-fire Diplo collaboration, “Heartless” continues to gain momentum nationwide.

Riley Green will release his full-length debut album DIFFERENT ‘ROUND HERE (BMLG Records) Sep. 20, which has already produced the No. One hit “There Was This Girl.” Highlighting his Southern roots and relatability, he co-wrote each track offering a perspective Rolling Stone describes as “drinks-in-the-air Nineties country at an Alabama vs. Auburn tailgate." The 14-track project was recorded alongside producer Dann Huff and executive producer Jimmy Harnen features his new single “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Die.” Green has been named an “Artist To Watch” by Rolling Stone Country, Taste of Country, Whiskey Riff, Sounds Like Nashville and iHeartRadio and selected as a CMT “Listen Up Artist” as well as MusicRow’s  2019 “Next Big Things.”  For more information on Aldean's new music and upcoming tour dates, visit

° “Jason Aldean
2020 We Back Tour”

DATE: Sat. Feb. 1, 2020
TIME: 8 p.m.

TICKETS: Vary and sell from $70 up

LOCATION: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
300 A Philip Randolph Blvd.
, Downtown
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 630-3900

Cummer Museum’s recently appointed CEO leaving JAX

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announced today that its George and Kathleen Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer, Adam M. Levine, Ph.D., will be departing the institution to return to the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in Toledo, Ohio.  Levine will fill the role of the Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director of TMA.  He will begin his new post in May of 2020.

Levine began his work with the Cummer Museum in October 2018 and fully assumed the role as Director and CEO in January 2019. Prior to relocating to Jacksonville to accept the position with the Cummer Museum, he held a variety of senior positions at TMA since 2013, most recently as deputy director and curator of Ancient art.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that we are disappointed to lose Adam but the passion, excitement and growth at the Cummer of late is a result of the community’s desire for accessible, high quality cultural experiences and our institution’s ability to respond to that demand.  This commitment to Jacksonville will not diminish,” said Pam D. Paul, chair of the Cummer Museum’s Board of Trustees. “The Cummer is strongly positioned and committed to sustaining excellence throughout our galleries, gardens, exhibitions and programming, and we will continue to honor our long history of engaging and inspiring our community.  We have an incredible staff and highly engaged and committed board along with strong community support. Just as we did before, our board will work tirelessly to recruit the best and brightest new director and CEO.”

Over the past 18 months, the Cummer Museum, under Levine’s leadership, increased attendance and membership year-over-year by 20 percent, expanded educational offerings, developed an ambitious strategic plan, reconstructed its hurricane-damaged gardens and initiated new programs that increased accessibility to the museum for a range of audiences.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Cummer Museum and to partner with its inspiring board, donors, staff and volunteers on a variety of dynamic initiatives that moved the institution forward. I have loved my time in this community and am grateful for the warmth with which I was received and for the embrace of the Cummer Museum’s vision,” said Levine.

Levine’s last day at the Cummer Museum will be April 24, 2020.

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena sets record attendance

The VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena has announced that its amazing run of concerts, sporting events and family shows in 2019 has led to an annual attendance record of 656,134.  That eclipses the previous mark of 572,834 set in 2017.  In addition to the attendance record, the Arena also hosted a record 32 concerts in 2019, with the previous high being 26 in both 2008 and 2004.  This banner year also comes on the heels of VyStar Credit Union acquiring the naming rights for the downtown venue last March, in a 15-year agreement with the City of Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville’s reputation as a premier destination for world-class sports and entertainment is on the rise, and the record-breaking year at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena proves it,” said Mayor Lenny Curry.  “The performances from internationally-acclaimed artists, exciting sporting events and family-friendly productions continue to bring thousands of citizens and visitors to downtown Jacksonville every year, creating increased economic opportunities throughout our region. I am grateful for ASM Global and the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena team and congratulate them on this tremendous success.”

The year began with a bang as Cher took the Arena stage in January, followed by an epic month of March featuring performances by Pink, Blake Shelton, Travis Scott, Elton John and the 2019 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championships, aka March Madness.  Some of the highlights for the remainder of the year included performances by Dave Matthews Band, 21 Pilots, New Kids on the Block, Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, and a host of other major names in entertainment.  In addition to the tremendous concert slate, the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena also welcomed back Disney On Ice, Monster Jam, the Jacksonville Sharks, the 3rd season of Icemen Hockey, March Madness for the 4th time and many more.

“The VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena solidified its standing as Jacksonville’s pre-eminent music, sports and entertainment venue in 2019.  We are thrilled to have delivered amazing experiences to a record number of fans, hosted more concerts than ever before and are excited to see the Arena play a significant role in proving the viability of the Jacksonville market in the entertainment and sports industry,” said ASM Global and VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena General Manager, Bill McConnell.

2020 is shaping up to be another stellar year for the venue with the likes of Jason Aldean, Lauren Daigle, Michael Bublé, Elton John, Martin Lawrence and Jimmy Buffet already confirmed, and many more to be announced soon.  In partnership with the City of Jacksonville, ASM Global is committed to generating amazing experiences and delivering superior customer service through the entertainment offerings brought to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

“2019 was an epic year and 2020 will be even better. VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena along with the other City-owned sports complex venues will continue the momentum with world class sports, music and entertainment in downtown Jacksonville,” McConnell added.

View the 2019 recap video HERE!

‘Mutts Gone Nuts’ visits JAX again

Did you see them in January last year?  Well “Mutts Gone Nuts” is coming to Jacksonville’s Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts at FSCJ South Campus, February 1, 2020 for two performances only! Don’t be on the outside looking in, get your tickets today!

The disorderly duo, Scott and Joan Houghton and their hilarious pack of pooches have created a comedy dog thrill show like no other.  Expect the unexpected in this top-notch presentation that includes: incredible high flying frisbee dogs, tight wire dogs, dancing dogs, magic dogs and of course, the one and only . . . Sammie the Talking Dog!

Since 1985, comedy duo Scott and Joan Houghton have brought their unique blend of physical comedy and circus arts to audiences from Las Vegas to Tokyo.  They spent three years with country star Lee Greenwood at his theater in Tennessee and seven years as the featured comedy act at Dolly Parton’s Theaters in Branson, Orlando and Myrtle Beach.

In 2005, the duo turned their attention to a creating a comedy dog act.  Their nine amazing canine partners are all adopted from animal shelters and rescues.  “Mutts Gone Nuts” is sure to unleash havoc and hilarity as the Houghtons attempt to match wits with their mischievous mutts in a family-friendly performance that is leaving audiences howling for more!

Mutts Gone Nuts

DATE: Sat., February 1, 2020
TIMES: 1:30 & 5:30 p.m.

LOCATION:Wilson Center for the Arts
     °Florida State College at JAX So. Campus
     °11901 Beach Blvd.
     °Jacksonville, FL 32099

TICKETS: start at $22.50, plus applicable fees.  Tickets can be purchased at their box office from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (904) 632-5000, or online 24/7.  Discounts for groups of 10 + may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.  Parking is always free at the Wilson Center.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Egyptian art comes to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

The newest exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt, will open on January 31, 2020.  The exhibition will be on view to the public through April 26, 2020.

Striking Power examines iconoclasm in Egypt, focusing on the legacies of kings Hatshesput (reigned c. 1478 to 1458 BCE) and Akhenaten (reigned c. 1353 to 1336 BCE), as well as the late Antiquity (3rd to 7th century AD).  Through thoughtful pairings of damaged works, from fragmented heads to altered inscriptions, with undamaged examples, Striking Power examines the patterns of damage inflicted on these sculptures for political, religious and criminal reasons in ancient times.

“Iconoclasm is a practice that spans history and continues to the present day — we still struggle with decisions about what to do with contested public sculptures — and this show sheds light on how other societies have dealt with similar issues,” said Adam Levine, the Museum’s George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & CEO.  “This exhibition will raise timely questions about ownership, memory and visual culture that are as relevant today to us in Jacksonville as they were in ancient Egypt.”

Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt is organized by the Brooklyn Museum in collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Philanthropic support from the community is critical for the Museum to serve as a vibrant civic resource. Support for Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt has been generously provided by:
Exhibition Season Presenters: Florida Blue & Renate and Joe Hixon.
Exhibition Lead Sponsor: Northern Trust.
Exhibition Sponsors: City of Jacksonville, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Director’s Circle Donors at the Cummer Museum, State of Florida, The Robert D. and Isabelle T. Davis Endowment, The Schultz Family Endowment, The Winston Family Foundation.
Membership provides several benefits, such as early access to exhibitions. The exhibition will open to Members on January 30, 2020.  Related programming:

Lecture Series with Director and CEO, Adam Levine, Ph.D. –Feb. 4, Feb. 18, Mar. 17, Mar. 24 and Apr. 7.
The Art of Power: An Egyptian Dinner Party – Feb. 21, 2020.
The Murder of Tutankhamen: An Evening with Dr. Bob Brier – Feb. 26, 2020.
Striking Up:  Conversation, Performance, and Art with Phase Eight Theater Company – Mar. 20, Mar. 22 and Apr. 26

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
Hours of Operation & Admission

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

‘HAMILTON’ is coming to JAX for 16 shows

Photo courtesy: Joan Marcus
Producer Jeffrey Seller and FSCJ Artist Series announced that single tickets for HAMILTON went on sale to the public on Friday, January 24, 2020 at 8 a.m. (ET) in person at the Times-Union Center.  Tickets for Hamilton will NOT be available for purchase at the MWR Navel base facility.

Jeffrey Seller notes, “It's tempting to get tickets any way you can.  There are many sites and people who are selling overpriced, and in some cases, fraudulent tickets.  For the best seats, the best prices and to eliminate the risk of counterfeit tickets, all purchases for the Jacksonville engagement should be made through”

HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.

Photo courtesy: Joan Marcus
With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography.  It has won Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.

The HAMILTON creative team previously collaborated on the Tony Award®- Winning Best Musical In the Heights.  HAMILTON features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA, and General Management by Baseline Theatrical.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.  The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide.  The HAMILTON recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.  For more information visit HAMILTON online. ●; ●; ●

Tues., Mar. 17  7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar. 18  7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 19  7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 20   8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 21   2 & 8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 22  1:30 & 7 p.m.
Tues., Mar. 24  7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar. 25  7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 26  7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 27   8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 28  2 & 8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 29 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.

are as follows: There is a maximum purchase limit of four (4) tickets per household/account for the engagement.  When tickets go on sale, prices will range from $59 to $179 with a select number of $349 premium seats available for all performances.  Ticket prices do not include applicable facility fee and service charges.  There will be a lottery for forty (40) $10 seats for all performances.  Details will be announced closer to the engagement.  Tickets can be purchased at the box office from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (904) 632-5000, or online 24/7 at

LOCATION:Times Union Center Performing Arts
      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

Happenings at the ‘Cummer Museum’ for Feb. 2020

If you thought that last month was wonderful with the Andy Warhol Dinner Party and the Dr. Martin Luther King Day festivities, then you’ll want to grab your date book and make note of the upcoming excitement that’s coming in February at the Cummer Museum of Arts & Garden.  Don’t miss out!

Lecture series with Dr. Adam Levine, Museum Director & Ceo

Four lectures will explore Egyptian, Byzantine, Reformation, and Secular Iconoclasm, followed by a culminating charrette that will encourage participants to apply the lessons of history to Jacksonville's own memorials.  Only those who attend at least two lectures can participate in the charrette.
February 4, 2020 - Egyptian Iconoclasm; February 18, 2020 - Byzantine Iconoclasm; March 17, 2020 - Reformation Iconoclasm; March 24, 2020 - Secular Iconoclasm; April 7, 2020 - Lessons for Jacksonville.  All lectures are from 7 to 8 p.m.  Free | Registration required

Ritz Chamber Concert: February 5, 2020 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  Make your afternoon more enjoyable with a concert from the Ritz Chamber Players.  Free for Members, Non-Members $10 | Registration required.

Family Tour: February 7, 2020 at 6 p.m.  Take a family-friendly interactive tour of Striking Power through fun activities.  Free with admission | No registration required.

Eugène Louis Charvot: February 11, 2020 to September 28, 2020.  The accompanying exhibition will be designed to highlight and celebrate the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens’ extensive holdings of Eugène Louis Charvot, the largest collection of Charvot works in the world.

Literarture with Art Lecturer Cindy Edelman and author Stacey Goldring: Love Lettres De L'art: February 12, 2020 from Noon to 1 p.m.  Art lecturer Cindy Edelman and writer Stacey Goldring explore inspiring artwork that speaks to the heart.  Members $25, Non-Members $30 | Registration required.

Gallery Talk: Striking Power: February 19, 2020 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  Members $5, Non-Members $10 | Registration required.

The Art Of Power: “An Egyptian Dinner Party: February 21, 2020 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Be transported back to a time when pharaohs ruled during this dynamic feast in honor of Striking Power.  This is the second dinner in our Dinner Party Series.  Ticket pricing varies | Registration required.

The Murder Of Tutankhamen: An Evening with Dr. Bob Brier, one of the world's foremost Egyptologists: February 26, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Members $30, Non-Members $40 | Registration required

VyStar Credit Union Free Tuesdays Free admission from 4 to 9 p.m.
PNC Bank Free Fridays — Free admission from 4 to 9 p.m.
Weaver First Saturday Free for All — Free admission the first Saturday of the month.
Florida Blue Free Third Saturday — Free admission the third Saturday of the month.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

829 Riverside Avenue
   Jacksonville, Florida 32204
   (904) 356-6857

Hours of Operation & Admission