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August 28, 2019

The Mondavi Center staff is a diverse team with many interests, but all of us share a passion for the performing arts. As we look forward to the 2019-20 season, we'll be posting videos featuring staff members talking about the three shows they are most looking forward to seeing next season.

Below, Rajiv Laffey, Lead Ticketing Agent, shares his top three picks and why he chose them.

I have not been with the Mondavi Center for very long, but the one thing that I really admire about working here is the diversity among the performances that are presented. If you are lucky, you could see a symphony, a jazz band, and a speaker all in the same week. Here are the three shows that I am most looking forward to this 19-20 season:

The first two shows I am most excited for have a lot of cultural meaning for me.

Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain
with special guest Rakesh Chaurasia

Fleck, Meyer & Hussain with ChaurasiaThe first is Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain with special guest Rakesh Chaurasia on October 18. I find the mix of instruments to be fascinating. First with Bela Fleck playing the banjo, Edgar Meyer playing the double bass, and Zakir Hussain playing the tabla. I am left wondering how they can all mesh together. Seeing them play together on Youtube has left me in awe and I’m sure in person is much more impressive.
Yumi Kurosawa, koto
with special guest Anubrata Chatterjee, tabla

Kurosawa with ChatterjeeThen you have Yumi Kurosawa on the koto, playing with special guest Anubrata Chatterjee on on tabla, on May 1st and 2nd.  I did not think this would be such a great mix together. I was definitely wrong and cannot wait to hear how amazing these two instruments sound together. Having played the tabla myself, I am always amazed at the innovative ways they can be used. I cannot even come close to the two tabla players mentioned here (Zakir Hussain and Anubrata Chatterjee) and I cannot miss seeing the amazing things they can do in person.

Circa: Humans

 HumansThe third show I am most looking forward to is Circa with its Humans concept. The seating is on the Jackson Hall stage, giving it a much more intimate feel. Being a theatre graduate myself, I can appreciate the magnitude of performing in front of a crowd of people. These performers are able to do amazing things with their bodies, and hearing the audience reaction, I’m sure will be as entertaining as the performance.