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CPA’s 20th year explores ‘American experience’

Herbie Hancock kicks off a season that includes Silkroad Ensemble and Ailey and A Dorrance Dance Production.

Johnny Gandelsman playing the violin
Johnny Gandelsman, a producer, violinist and Brooklyn Rider founding member, will serve as Carolina Performing Arts' first-ever Curator-in-Residence as part of its 20th anniversary season. (CPA)

The Carolina Performing Arts 2024-25 season offers an exciting range of artists, commemorations and programming firsts centered around inquiry into the American experience.

“Since founding, CPA has co-commissioned nearly 80 works, built a global community of artistic collaborators and invested in creative research and inquiry across campus,” said Alison Friedman, the James and Susan Moeser Executive and Artistic Director of CPA. “This season builds on CPA’s legacy of exploration to celebrate two decades and launch us into our next chapter. From the bombastic to the introspective, the performances all tie back to themes and topics rooted in the American experience.”

CPA’s 20th anniversary season kicks off with a concert by jazz and R&B legend Herbie Hancock and includes performances by returning favorites Silkroad Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Michelle Dorrance.

For the first time, CPA has selected a curator-in-residence, violinist and Brooklyn Rider founding member Johnny Gandelsman. He commissioned works for an anthology called “This Is America,” inviting composers to create new music in response to their experience during the vulnerability and isolation of the pandemic. Many of those composer/performers and their collaborators will appear in a series of performances across five dates.

Single tickets for the public go on sale Aug. 6, and donor pre-sale begins July 23.

CPA will also continue its long-standing $10 ticket offer for Carolina students, valid for all performances. UNC-Chapel Hill staff and faculty will continue to receive a 25% discount on single tickets. Other discounts are available. Visit the FAQ page for more details.

2024/25 full season overview

Sept. 24

Herbie Hancock, 2024 North American Fall Tour
Memorial Hall

Oct. 4
Brooklyn Rider, “The String Quartets of Philip Glass”
Chapel of The Cross

Oct. 6
Brooklyn Rider, “The Sandbox of Invention”
Memorial Hall

Oct. 25
Martha Redbone Roots Project and American Patchwork Quartet, “This Land Is Our Land”
Moeser Auditorium

Oct. 30
Makaya McCraven, “In These Times”
Memorial Hall

Nov. 15
The Crossing, “What Belongs to Me”
Chapel of the Cross

Nov. 20
Silkroad Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens, “American Railroad”
Memorial Hall

Dec. 7
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Memorial Hall

Dec. 13
Johnny Gandelsman, “This Is America I”

Feb. 7-8, 2025
Conceived by Bryce Dessner and Kaneza Schaal, libretto by Ocean Vuong, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds”

Feb.14-15, 2025
Big Dance Theater, “The March”

Feb. 21, 2025
Amythyst Kiah
Memorial Hall

Feb. 27-28, 2025
David Neumann, Marcella Murray and Tei Blow for Advanced Beginner Group, “Rich With History and other stuff you say at a haunted house”

March 3, 2025
Johnny Gandelsman with Layale Chaker and Sarafand and Christina Courtin, “This Is America II”

March 4, 2025
Johnny Gandelsman with Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna and Kinan Azmeh and CityBand, “This Is America III”

March 18-19, 2025
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Memorial Hall

April 9-10, 2025
A Dorrance Dance Production, “The Center Will Not Hold”
Memorial Hall

April 23, 2025
Johnny Gandelsman with Rabbit Rabbit Radio and Gabriel Kahane, “This Is America IV”

April 24, 2025
Johnny Gandelsman, “This Is America V”

May 3, 2025
The Complete Philip Glass Piano Etudes
Memorial Hall