Walton Arts Center will have two concerts in December by nationally known artists. Paul Thorn takes the stage at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Dec. 3, as part of Procter & Gamble Ghost Light Programming; followed by The Emmet Cohen Trio at 7:30 pm on Saturday, Dec. 5, part of the Unilever Starrlight Jazz Series.
Tickets for each performance range from $32 to $52 plus applicable fees and can be purchased by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org. Thorn was originally scheduled to appear as part of this year’s West Street Live Series presented by Neal Pendergraft.
Raised in Tupelo, Miss., among the same influencers who nurtured the young Elvis Presley generations before, Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music – bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American.
After a brief stint as a professional boxer that culminated in his battle against four-time world champion Roberto Duran on national television, Thorn gained musical fame performing alongside Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting and John Prine among many others. Now with 20 years of writing, touring and entertaining under his belt, Thorn is known for some of the most emotionally restless yet relatable music of our time.
Still in his 20s and recognized as a prodigy of his craft, Cohen is an American pianist and composer whose talents are a beacon for the future of jazz. Performing live with his trio, Cohen faithfully pays homage to the old piano masters – with the spirits of Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller no doubt admiring Cohen’s left hand, while his right hand tosses off shimmering passages that conjure apparitions of Duke Ellington, Earl Hines and Art Tatum.
Together for six years, Cohen’s trio includes dynamic bassist Russell Hall from Kingston, Jamaica, and ebullient drummer Kyle Poole, who come together as an embodiment of the jazz spirit, making virtuosic, breathtaking music carefree and entertaining – an under-appreciated, yet visceral proof of early-jazz greatness.
Both performances will be in Baum Walker Hall to allow for a minimum of four empty seats between parties and every other row will remain empty. These empty rows, with select seats removed, will also serve as walkways to seats located in the center of the theater, reducing contact between patrons.
Walton Arts Center has implemented additional health and safety precautions to protect patrons, staff, volunteers and artists from the spread of COVID-19. For a complete list of health and safety precautions that will be in place for these and future performances at Walton Arts Center visit www.waltonartscenter.org.
Before or after the show, patrons can drop by Community Creative Center’s Holiday Gift Market in Walker Atrium. This annual maker’s market features one-of-a-kind gifts by local artists, and it supports the Community Creative Center. The market is open 5-9 pm, Tuesday through Saturday from Nov. 20 through Dec. 23.
You can also grab a festive drink for kids or adults and enjoy holiday décor after the show at Holidaze, a pop-up bar at Walton Arts Center. Holidaze offers a mix of reserved seating options and designated space for walk-up guests.
Open seating is available each night on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of reserved spaces will be available Wednesday through Sunday with seating options inside or outside close to heaters or fire pits. Reserved spaces will also come with cocktail service so patrons will not have to wait in lines at the bar. Reservations are $15 for a two-hour period and can be made at www.waltonartscenter.org/holidaze.
Ghost Light Programming is presented by Procter & Gamble and provided in part by supporter of the Ghost Light Recovery Fund.