Concerts & Events

Concerts & Events

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Greg Spero
Sep 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Greg Spero @ PianoForte Studios

Come support Rosey’s M.S. Foundation to help fight the battle of Multiple Sclerosis while listening to the soothing sounds of Pianist/Composer/Producer Greg Spero. Spero is the mastermind behind the rhythmically- charged, groove-oriented, and genre-bending SPIRIT FINGERS. Spero was the long-time pianist for pop singer/songwriter Halsey. Spero is also an alumus of the Miles Davis Electric Band.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to our research partner at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Department of Microbiology- Immunology.

Seating is limited to 100 people.

Timothy McAllister and Mischa Zupko – New Classical Music for Tenor and Alto Saxophone and Piano
Sep 20 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Timothy McAllister and Mischa Zupko - New Classical Music for Tenor and Alto Saxophone and Piano @ PianoForte Studios

Acclaimed saxophonist Timothy McAllister is one of today’s premier wind soloists, a member of the renowned PRISM Quartet, and a champion of contemporary music credited with over forty recordings and two hundred premières of new compositions by eminent and emerging composers worldwide. McAllister has appeared with more than forty of the world’s most prominent orchestras and ensembles in over twenty countries, and he has the distinction of being only the second saxophone soloist to appear in the 120-year history of the BBC London Proms concerts. He is featured on two GRAMMY® Award-winning recordings of the music of John Adams and Gavin Bryars on Nonesuch and ECM, respectively, and also appears on the AUR, Albany, Berlin Philharmonic Recordings, Centaur, Deutsche Grammophon, Equilibrium, Innova, Naxos, New Focus, New Dynamic, Parma, Soundset, Stradivarius, Summit, and XAS/Naxos labels. His recordings of Kenneth Fuchs’s Saxophone Concerto “Rush” with the London Symphony Orchestra and John Adams’s “City Noir” with the Berlin Philharmonic both appear

Celebrated for compositions that are emotionally-charged and viscerally-engaging, composer and pianist Mischa Zupko connects deeply with performers and audiences alike. Zupko’s piano concerto, “Fahrenheit”, was declared “a powerhouse of the evening” by Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein and “harrowing and gripping” by Classical Voice North America. In a review of his release on Cedille Records, “Eclipse”, Bob O’Neil of Positive Feedback writes “Zupko’s chamber music leaves me uncharacteristically speechless….This music appears to have no specific roots, doesn’t seem to derive from any other composer. It simply asserts itself with force and eloquence.” Zupko has also received favorable reviews from New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini and the L.A. Times and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader for his significant compositional activity in Chicago’s new music scene. Zupko has also been featured in an interview with WWFM’s David Osenberg on his weekly radio program, “Cadenza”.

Mr. Zupko’s works have been championed, commissioned and premiered by leading United States orchestras and chamber groups including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the New York Youth Symphony, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, American Modern Ensemble, Camerata Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the St. Olaf Band, Eighth Blackbird, Corigliano Quartet and Lincoln Trio. He has been the recipient of numerous commissions and awards including those from the Fromm Foundation and the Barlow Endowment as well as first place in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s ‘AMERICAN COMPOSER’S COMPETITION’. Performances of Zupko’s works have been featured at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall and Ravinia and recordings are available on the Crystal Records, Innova, American Modern Recordings, ENF, and Cedille Records. Mr. Zupko is on faculty at DePaul University School of Music.

Chamber Music Delights: An Afternoon Recital with Members of the CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Sep 22 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Chamber Music Delights: An Afternoon Recital with Members of the CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus @ PianoForte Studios

The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra is Chicagoland’s unique orchestra of attorneys, judges and law students. Growing from just a handful of musicians at its first rehearsal in 1986, the CBASO now regularly fields an orchestra of 75 musicians or more, virtually all affiliated with Chicago’s legal community.

The CBA Chorus was formed in 2006, when the CBASO celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a gala performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Navy Pier. Its membership currently stands at over 80 singers comprising accomplished musicians as well as enthusiastic amateurs who don’t know a breve from a brief.

The musical momentum initiated by a small group of lawyers has grown into a full-fledged musical organization that presents exciting and increasingly challenging musical works each season. Under the direction of David Katz, music director and principal conductor, Stephen Blackwelder, CBA Chorus Director, and Marek Rachelski, CBASO Resident Conductor, the orchestra and chorus have performed in venues ranging from Daley Center courtrooms to Chicago’s Symphony Center.

Live Album Recording: 2 Hot 2 Tango – Argentine Tango Concert with Bandoneón and Piano
Sep 27 @ 7:30 pm
Live Album Recording: 2 Hot 2 Tango - Argentine Tango Concert with Bandoneón and Piano @ PianoForte Studios

Live album recording is not dead. In one take, barefoot Argentine Tango musicians Ben Bogart and Winnie Cheung respond to the sights, smells and heartbeats of Pianoforte’s attentive audience, and commit to bare all as artists of our times to truths of our times: that our planet depends on us, and our society needs the arts.

The bandoneon-piano duo explores the expressive range of Argentine tango music on the Tiny Footprint Tango Tour. Aiming to transport the audience to a different time and place, the duo performs pieces from tango’s formative years in 1920s Argentina through the Golden Age to the global art form that it is now.

Leading the music intentionally shoeless is one of the many little choices that Ben and Winnie have made to spark conversations on big global issues. From collecting for carbon emission offsets to outreach performances, the Tiny Footprint Tour keeps true to the spirit of tango by drawing attention to the most urgent concern of today: to save the planet that we love, one tango at a time.

The dynamic, prolific, world-renowned duo of Ben Bogart and Winnie Cheung invite you to share their passion for tango music. Ben is a bandoneón player who holds a degree from Berklee College of Music and a certificate from the Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce. Winnie is a pianist and composer from Hong Kong who holds a B.A. in Music from the University of Chicago and a M.M. and D.M.A. from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Each has performed all over the world, and together they’ve taught at workshops across the United States and offer online workshops to spread their knowledge and love of the genre.

FilAm Music Foundation NFP Presents A Violin and Piano Duo Recital with Diomedes Saraza Jr., violin Victor Santiago Asunción, piano
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
FilAm Music Foundation NFP Presents A Violin and Piano Duo Recital with Diomedes Saraza Jr., violin Victor Santiago Asunción, piano @ PianoForte Studios
Diomedes Saraza Jr., violin and Victor Santiago Asunción, piano will perform works by Beethoven, Frank, and Abelardo.

Victor Santiago Asunción, Piano
Pianist Victor Santiago Asunción is recognized as an artist of innate musical sensitivity, spirited temperament, and superb technique. As a recitalist and concerto soloist, he has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. He made is orchestral debut at the age of eighteen with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Bobby McFerrin, and Mei-Ann Chen. A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, Giora Schmidt, Susanna Gilmore, James Buswell, James Dunham, Ronald Leonard, Susanne Mentzer, H.K. Gruber, John O’Connor, Marc Neikrug, Liang Wang, and Catalin Rotaru; and the Dover, Emerson, Sao Paulo, Serafin, and Vega string quartets. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He also was the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons. His recordings include the complete sonatas of Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninov with cellist Joseph Johnson, and Rachmaninov’s sonata and works arranged by Gregor Piatigorsky with cellist Evan Drachman. He also is featured in the award-winning recording Song My Father Taught Me with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and Chicago’s WFMT. In addition to his active performing career, he is sought after as a piano, vocal, and chamber music coach. He received his doctor of musical arts degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Asunción is a Steinway Artist.

Diomedes Saraza, Violin
Born to a family of musicians, Diomedes Saraza first showed interest in the violin at the age of three and began his studies on the instrument with his father. He began formal lessons at the age of five, studying under Virna Valerio at St. Scholastica’s College of Music (Philippines), and later with Basilio Manalo and Arturo Molina.

Saraza made his solo recital debut at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at the Pasig Music Festival, and in 2002, won first place at the National Music Competition for the Young Artists. In 2003, he made his concert debut “The Gift” at the CCP and was awarded to be one of the best performances for 2003 in the Philippines.

He moved to New York to pursue his studies in violin in the Mannes College Preparatory Division under the tutelage of respected violin pedagogue, Dr. Chin Kim. In 2008, He won the Mannes Concerto Competition granting him the opportunity to a performance with the Mannes Philharmonic under the baton of  Mr. Michael Adelson. Later that year, he became the concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic.

Saraza has performed with the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble at Julia Richman Auditorium in New York and was a prizewinner of the Juilliard Schools’s William Schuman Competition and was also featured in Juilliard’s all-sonata concert “Sonatenabend”.

Aside from his achievements in music, Diomedes was the first Filipino chosen as a recipient of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for President Obama’s Education Awards Program. He was also a member of the National Honor Society throughout high school and was part of the Varsity Math team for three consecutive years. In addition, he was named one of the “11 Awe Inspiring People of 2011” by Inquirer Lifestyle, Philippines.

Jukebox Saloon – Colby Beserra and Dan Lipton
Oct 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Jukebox Saloon - Colby Beserra and Dan Lipton @ PianoForte Studios

Chicago-based vocalist Colby Beserra and NYC keyboard whiz Dan Lipton bring their strong musicality and love of a good song to the Jukebox Saloon. Inspired by the classic Tony Bennett / Bill Evans duo records, a pair of pros strips down and re-engineers their favorite songs with a sense of musical adventure. Beserra and Lipton create unique, jazzed-out interpretations of songs you know and songs they’d like you to hear.

Their debut album Jukebox Saloon Vol.1 was a strictly piano-voice affair, featuring songs by Beck, Cowboy Junkies, Led Zeppelin, John Hartford, Paul McCartney and more. Jukebox Saloon Vol. 2 expands the duo’s palette with full band arrangements. Beserra and Lipton anchor a cohort of Chicago & NYC musicians with a range of special guests: Chris Botti on trumpet, harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, jazz violinist Zach Brock from Snarky Puppy, Natalie Cressman on trombone from Trey Anastasio Band, and vocalist Jo Lampert. Vol. 2 tackles songs by Gillian Welch, George Michael, Stone Temple Pilots, Shelby Lynne, Lionel Richie, Gram Parsons and The Police.

Join the guys at PianoForte to celebrate the release of Jukebox Saloon Vol. 2, out September 27 on Yellow Sound Label.

Senri Oe: “Hmmm” Solo Performance
Oct 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Senri Oe: "Hmmm" Solo Performance @ PianoForte Studios

PianoForte presents special solo piano version of ‘Hmmm’.

“Hmmm” is the latest album filled with dramatic tunes by Senri Oe Trio, and Senri’s challenge of solo piano at PianoForte sounds more dynamic and gorgeous, takes all audience to the journey of fantasy in their own minds.

Jazz pianist Senri Oe will release his first-ever trio jazz album titled HMMM on September 20 on PND Records; the single from HMMM titled “Orange Desert,” will be released on September 4 digitally on iTunes, Amazon and all digital retailers.

Accompanied by bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Ari Hoenig on six of Senri’s nine self-composed tracks, the album features Senri’s multitude of diverse musical explorations on HMMM. The track listing includes: “Re:Vision,” “Poignant Kisses,” “Freshening Up,” “The Look,” “Indoor Voices,” “Bikini,” “When Life Was A Pizza Party,” “Orange Desert” and “A Fireplace.”

HMMM will mark Senri’s sixth jazz album, following a remarkable career as a former J-Pop superstar of the 80’s and 90’s. Leaving his pop career behind him in 2008 to pursue his true dreams of becoming a jazz artist, Senri moved to New York to study at the New School for Jazz, and has since released five previous jazz albums: BOYS & GIRLS (2018), ANSWER JULY (2016), COLLECTIVE SCRIBBLE (2015), SPOOKY HOTEL (2013) and BOYS MATURE SLOW (2012).

Dedicated to his father, HMMM includes six trio tracks and three solo piano tracks, all infused with a swirl of emotions that Senri experienced during the previous month. The album features the highs of some of his most acclaimed live performances with Hoenig and Clohesy in Tokyo Blue Note and the Blue Note Hawaii; to the sorrowful parting and celebration of the life of his father. Album was recorded at 2nd Story Sound (NYC), and he locked out Sony Nogizaka Studio (Tokyo) for mixing and mastering it, but the outpouring of his energy and emotion was so intense from hearing of his father’s passing, that Senri completed the three solo piano tunes in thirty minutes before Hoenig and Clohesy have arrived.

“I feel like life is sometimes very hard, but when I think about it in a deeper way, like the album title says, Hmmm,” says Senri. He adds, “I’m the luckiest person in the world to be given that opportunity to make that final toast. In the weeks leading up to the recording, I was riding a rollercoaster of good and bad things and felt like I was in emotional limbo. I learned a lot about myself from my dad passing away. Life is tough, but you have to move forward. Life can also be more beautiful than you ever expected as you learn to ride. I make music to get fresh air, and I want people to think of me and listen to my music when they feel life is too tough to face.”

Senri’s song titles speak to the blend of introspection/reflection he brings to the collection. He intersperses his three brief, beautiful and graceful piano pieces – two interludes (“Freshening Up,” “When Life Was A Pizza Party”) and a postlude (the Christmas-themed “A Fireplace”) – amongst six lively gems that showcase Senri’s spirited, often lighthearted yet powerfully percussive trademark piano style, as he interacts with the dynamics-filled grooves created by Hoenig and Clohesy.

“Everything we’ve done on ‘Hmmm’ goes back to that emotional rollercoaster,” Senri says. “You can’t stop it, but you can find places in your life where you feel no tension and just relax and let things flow the way they are supposed to. Ari, Matt and I found this kind of place, exchanging very organic musical ideas throughout the shows and recording of the album. Once someone had a sustainable idea he could convey, the others would catch it and from that create some incredible, unexpected interplay. After a while, we had the power to believe in each other onstage, and that chemistry translated perfectly to the studio.”

Since his 2012 jazz album debut, Senri has long thrived on building relationships with other artists and creating fresh musical collaborations, as he produced and arranged a collaborative recording by Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer; recorded with renowned jazz vocal greats Sheila Jordan, Theo Bleckmann, Becca Stevens and Lauren Kinhan of the Grammy winning vocal ensemble New York Voices.

Senri has performed at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blue Note NY, Blue Note Hawaii, Blue Note Tokyo, Vitello’s in Los Angeles, PianoForte in Chicago, and many more. Aside from Blue Note NY, he often performs at NYC venues such as Tomi Jazz, Zinc, the Jazz Gallery, Birdland, Soho House, Smalls and Dixon Place.

A multi-faceted singer, songwriter, actor and radio host in Japan, Senri is the recipient of a Japanese Grammy®, topped the Billboard charts, headlined stadiums, performed on TV soap operas, and had his hits used for major Japanese TV commercials.

Nazar Dzhuryn and Wanyoung Jung: Cello and Violin Duo Recital
Oct 6 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cellist Nazar Dzhuryn and violinist Wanyoung Jung will perform works by Bach, Mozart, Ravel, and Handel.


Bach: Two Part Inventions
Mozart: Duo KV423
Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello
Handel-Halvorsen: Passacaglia

A Musical Voyage of Venetian Baroque
Oct 10 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
A Musical Voyage of Venetian Baroque @ PianoForte Studios

This event is free and open to the public. Please register to reserve your seat.

Gianluca Campi, accordion
Arianna Menesini, cello
Laura Lanzetti, piano


  1. Marcello
  2. Vivaldi
    Fantasia sulle 4 stagioni
  3. Albinoni

Rondò Veneziano

Presented by the Italian Cultural Institute in collaboration with PianoForte Foundation

Born in Genoa in 1976, Gianluca Campi began studying accordion at the age of 11, under the direction of Giorgio Bicchieri. At 12 years of age, he participated and won the Vercelli international competition for accordion and later participated in the Italian championship, held in Genoa, where he ranked again in 1st place, gaining huge success. At the age of 13 he took part in the international competition of Vercelli, ranking 1st and receiving compliments from Wolmer Beltrami, who called him a “child prodige” and the “Paganini of the accordion”. In 2000 he won the world accordion trophy, held in Alcobaça, Portugal. He has performed in prestigious concert halls throughout Italy, and in important festivals throughout the world. In 1998 he collaborated with the orchestra of the N. Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, performing in various Italian theaters and abroad, the Kammermusik 1 by Paul Hindemit under the guidance of director Gianmarco Bosio. He played as an accordion soloist in many prestigious orchestras, such as that of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, under the baton of Maestro and Composer Nicola Piovani. He currently works with the Poseidon Orchestra conducted by Maestro Roberto Bacchini. He has collaborated with various chamber ensembles. He is currently the only performer in the world of the “M.Dallapè” Liturgical accordion, which is permanently housed in the Vatican. Along with his intense concert activity, he also teaches at the Center Musical Genovese E.Mancini and holds master classes in Italy and Germany. He is frequently asked to serve on the jury for for the most important national and international accordion competitions. He has the authro of many compositions for accordion, published by Edizioni Berben and Sonytus.

Arianna Menesini graduated in 1993 with the highest marks under the guidance of M. Chen Arianna Menesini and obtained the Diplome in 1996 de Perfectionement at the Conservatoire Superieure de Musique de Genève in Switzerland, obtaining a scholarship for the achievement of the Prix de Virtuositèe. At a very young age, she began collaborating as 1st cello with the Genovese Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Mozart of Milan, the Milan Chamber Orchestra and the Angelicum Orchestra. In 1997 she won the scholarship announced by the G.O.G concert season in Genoa, for the constitution of the Ensemble, “Aulodia”, aimed at specializing in the interpretation of modern music and contemporary, directed by M ° P.Borgonovo. She has collaborated with the orchestras of prestigious concert halls, such as Teatro Carlo Felice di Genoa, Teatro Comunale of Bologna, Teatro Regio di Parma, Philharmonic Orchestra of Verona, Classical Orchestra of Alessandria, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, United Europe Chamber Orchestra and the Orchester des Rencontres Musicales de Lausanne-CH-, performing both as concertino and 1st cello. She is the cello soloist and artistic director of the group “Rondò Veneziano” with which she still performs in the most important concert halls in Europe, North American and Russia. She conceived and founded the Dodecacellos groups and the Muses. In addition, her recordings include: “Four Seasons” by A..Piazzola, Rondò Veneziano XXV ° Anniversary, RondoVeneziano Kammer Orchestra, as well as various cinematographic, television and theatrical soundtracks.

Laura Lanzetti graduated with the highest marks in Piano and Music Education at the “Paganini” Conservatory of Genoa. She continued her specialization in Bucharest and Novara at the Icons Academy with Marian Mika as a teacher and mentor. She has received awards in numerous national and international competitions and enjoys an intense and active career in Italy and abroad as part of various chamber ensembles. She has collaborated with prestigious theaters such as the Teatro Nuovo and the Lingotto Auditorium in Turin, Carlo Felice from Genoa, the Rome Auditorium, and MITO in Milan. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. As a soloist she has worked with the Italian Opera Orchestra in various productions such as the complete Bach concert series. She has participated in four editions of the Italian Festival Style Chicago and Italian Expo. For the anniversary of the Unification of Italy, she performed a world premiere composition in London at the Chamber of Commerce Gala on the occasion of the “Dolce Vita”. Lanzetti also performed during the “Carnevale degli Animali” tour by Vinicio Capossela. In addition, she performed at the Opening Concert for the Italian transfer of the Presidency in the European Community in Ankara, organized by the Embassy. Under the patronage of the Consulate General of Japan in Milan, she organized the “WA” event “on the tea routes” as part of the Rocca Grimalda International Classical Music Festival (AL). Laura Lanzanetti recorded the “Oriental” CD recently released by Fortuna Records.

Free and open to the public

Blueprints, Figure 1 – Record Release with the Markus Rutz Quintet
Oct 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Blueprints, Figure 1 - Record Release with the Markus Rutz Quintet @ PianoForte Studios

Release concert for a new album from Origin Records – featuring saxophonist Brice Winston.

Markus Rutz plays trumpet with bluesy, soulful style and a tone that has been called gorgeous. He performs and composes music from his home base in Chicago, Illinois.

He has performed throughout Chicago and the Midwest for jazz club venue and event engagements featuring jazz standards and original jazz compositions.

Composition, arrangement and performance of original tunes is an integral element of his sound and experience.

To date, twenty five of his original compositions have been recorded. The recorded originals are represented on two studio albums released as It’s Cooler by the Lake and Second Impression.

The most recent recording was re-released in digital format in December of 2016 with two additional tracks. It received a 3 1/2 star rating in an early 2017 review from J.D. Considine at DownBeat magazine.

From the greater Chicago area originally, Markus began trumpet study at the age of 9 and as a music student studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Berklee College and the University of New Orleans where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

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Live Webcast

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PianoForte Studios is located at 1335 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.

The easiest way to find parking near us is by using SpotHero. Click on their logo below to be redirected to their website.

If you prefer to go directly to a garage or lot, here is a list of a few in the area:

Street parking on our block is unmetered, but finding a spot can be difficult at most times of the day. One block south of us there is metered street parking. We recommend having a backup plan if you decide to try to park on the street.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located?
We are located on the east side of Michigan Avenue two blocks south of Roosevelt Rd. The address is 1335 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. Our concert hall is on the 2nd Floor.

Where should I park?
Please see the Parking Section above.

Is there handicap access?
We have an elevator in the back of our building. The elevator is keyed and will require a staff member to escort you. If you aren’t able to take the stairs please enter the front door of the building and ring the doorbell directly ahead of you in the entry area. One of our staff will be down shortly to help.

How many seats are in the hall? Is seating assigned or general?
Our concert hall seats a maximum of 100 people. We generally have chairs set up for 65 to 80 depending on the event. All of our concerts are general admission unless otherwise noted in the event description.

Can I buy tickets at the door?
Generally, yes. Unless a concert is extremely popular we will have tickets available at the door. You can pay either by cash or card.

How early should I arrive? What time will doors open?
The door open time depends on the artists and how long they feel they need to rehearse before the concert. In general doors will open 15 to 30 minutes before the event start time. We recommend arriving 10 to 20 minutes before the concert start time to get a seat and settle in before the show starts.

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