Hard-rocking metal band Y&T returns to Modesto as part of its 40th anniversary year tour. The Oakland-based band first formed in 1974. Over the years, it has released 18 albums and sold more than 4 million copies. The band’s hits include “Summertime Girls,” “Mean Streak,” “Rescue Me” and “Forever.”
Townsend Opera brings Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece “La Bohème” to the Gallo Center for the Arts stage. The story of poor, young artists living in the Latin quarter of Paris in the 1800s is set in the period and incorporates some video projection. The show opened Thursday and continues Saturday with some 35 performers from as far way as Los Angeles and New York. During the show, the Gallo lobby will be turned into a bustling Parisian street fair with entertainers and vendors.
Polish-born photographer Roman Loranc will be celebrated as part of the Carnegie Arts Center Distinguished Artist series. The artist, who lived in Modesto for more than 20 years and photographed the Central Valley extensively, has a retrospective exhibit of his black-and-white work open now at the Turlock gallery. The opening reception is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Big Band Jazz Festival
The Columbia Jazz Series presents the 35th annual Big Band Jazz Festival this weekend. The event includes appearances by horn player Mic Gillette of Tower of Power, Los Angeles session trumpeter Mike Rocha, Sonora native and former Pointer Sisters drummer Jim Anderson, Latin jazz recording artist Mario Flores, Monterey Jazz festival headliner Paul Contos and more. All of the guest artists will lead student workshops and perform in concerts Friday and Saturday. More than 400 young musicians from area high and middle school jazz bands will attend the festival.
Civil rights activist Diane Nash will present the keynote address at the 20th annual MLK Commemoration at Modesto Junior College. Nash was a leader and strategist in the 1960s civil rights movement and her talk will address “The Dreams of the ’60s: A Legacy for Today.” Nash helped to organize sit-ins, was a part of the 1961 Freedom Rides and involved in the Selma Voting Rights Campaign of 1965. The free event will include the presentation of the 2014 MLK Legacy Award to Pastor Wayne Bridegroom of Central Baptist Church, as well as music by the Ware Singers and performance of a short excerpt from the Sankofa Theatre’s production of “Freedom Riders,” that will will have an encore presentation at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Feb. 14. The commemoration will be preceded by a public reception from 5 to 6 p.m. at the King-Kennedy Center, 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Modesto.