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Contemporary Dance Company Urban Bush Women Celebrates 40 Years with Powerful Legacy + Lineage + Liberation

Contemporary Dance Company Urban Bush Women Celebrates 40 Years with Powerful Legacy + Lineage + Liberation

Contemporary Dance Company Urban Bush Women Celebrates 40 Years with Powerful Legacy + Lineage + Liberation

Award-winning Brooklyn-based troupe weaves dance and music with the history and culture of the African Diaspora, Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

BOONE, NC — The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes contemporary dance company Urban Bush Women, celebrating their 40th anniversary in Legacy + Lineage + Liberation, Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. UBW’s Legacy + Lineage + Liberation celebrates the power of Women(+) in an evening of classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of Women(+) of color. These iconic works portray multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice, and lift up Black lives in inspiring ways.

· I Don’t Know, but I Been Told, If You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old is an energetic mash-up of different dance forms that came out of Black neighborhoods and features a live drummer;

· Give Your Hands to Struggle lyrically honors leaders from the Civil Rights era;

· Women’s Resistance fuses power and grace in a call to collective action around truths that bind us all;

· Haint Blu (Proscenium) is a dance-theater work seeped in memory and magic using performance as a center and source of healing, taking us through movement into stillness and rest.

With live music by Grace Galu Kalambay (vocals, guitar) and Lucianna Padmore (percussion), audiences are treated to UBW’s excellent sense of musicality, encouraged to reflect on empathy and joy, and ultimately left feeling energized and inspired.


“...triple-threat performers who dance, sing and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness.”

—The New York Times


Tickets are $28, $23 (residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties and App State faculty/staff), and $10 (students/children). A special student BOGO offer is available. Buy One Get One! Enter BOGOSTU at checkout.


About Urban Bush Women

Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that brought under-told stories to life under the artistic direction of Co-Artistic Directors of the UBW Company, Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis. Originally founded by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the company continues to weave contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora.


UBW performs regularly in New York City and tours nationally and internationally. The Company has been commissioned by presenters nationwide, and includes among its honors a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”); the Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance; a Black Theater Alliance Award; two Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival; and named one of America’s Cultural Treasures by the Ford Foundation. Zollar is a recipient of the 2021 DanceTeacher Award of Distinction, the 2021 Martha Hill Dance Fund Lifetime Achievement Award, and named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow. Speis is the recipient of the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer with the ensemble skeleton architecture. Judson received the APAP Leadership Fellowship and the Director’s Lab Chicago Fellowship in 2018.


Off the concert stage, UBW has developed an extensive community engagement program called BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance). UBW’s largest community engagement project is its Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), established in 1997. This 10-day intensive training program serves as the foundation for all of the company’s community engagement activities. Ultimately the SLI program connects dance professionals and community-based artists/activists in a learning experience to leverage the arts as a vehicle for civic engagement. UBW launched the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative Producing Program (CCI 2.0) in March 2022. The CCI 2.0 fellowships support the development of women choreographers and producers of color and other underheard voices.





Friday, March 1 at 7:30pm

Ashley McBryde with special guest Will Jones (FEW TICKETS REMAIN)

GRAMMY Award winner Ashley McBryde has made a name for herself with her standout, critically acclaimed albums, all of which found the Arkansas native straddling lines between traditional country, rock-tinged roots and point-blank biker-bar riffs, leading American Songwriter to boast her “music balances gutsy rocking with classic country, folk and even slight bluegrass influences.” With The Devil I Know Tour, the Grand Ole Opry member honed in and sharpened what it is she does best

$43 Standard, $38 App State Faculty/Staff, $20 Students/Children.


Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30pm

Sing and Swing: A Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents Production

For over three decades, Jazz at Lincoln Center, under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, has been a leading advocate for jazz, culture and arts education globally. This new touring project celebrates the Great American Songbook in all of its playful — and sophisticated — glory, brought to life by two of this generation’s brightest stars. Vocalists and trumpeters Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III — joined by a who’s who of New York all-stars — will relive and re-imagine songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby, and Dean Martin and Peggy Lee, as well as songs by Gershwin, Ellington, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and more.

$28 Standard, $23 Locals & App State Faculty/Staff, $10 Students/Children

BOGO Student Offer: Buy One Get One!

Indigo Girls with special guest Annie Humphrey (SOLD OUT)

$48 Standard, $43 Faculty/Staff, $20 Students/Children


Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm

Snarky Puppy with Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini

Snarky Puppy is an American jazz fusion band led by bassist Michael League. Founded in 2004, Snarky Puppy combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, and funk, and has won five Grammy Awards (Best R&B Performance in 2014, and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016, 2017, 2021, and 2023). Snarky Puppy is a collective of sorts with as many as 20 members in regular rotation. At its core, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. Japan, Argentina, Canada and the United Kingdom all have representation in the group’s membership. But more than the cultural diversity of the individual players, the defining characteristic of Snarky Puppy’s music is the joy of performance.

$43 Standard, $38 App State Faculty/Staff, $20 Students/Children



Student and App State faculty/staff discount are available for all shows, and a local resident discount for select shows is available with proof of residence in Watauga, Ashe or Avery counties. Purchase in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts (733 Rivers St), online at, or call 828.262.4046.


About “The Schaefer Center Presents”

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a "window on the world" through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit


Thank You to Our Schaefer Center Presents Sponsors

Explore Boone, Creekside Electronics, Campus Store, Hampton Inn & Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Our State Magazine, PBS North Carolina, High Country Radio (WZJS and WATA), WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WKSK The Farm, and WASU 90.5FM.