The Promise House Prom2 event lets you relive that memorable high school night

Posted by    |    April 26th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Prom2For the majority of my high school years I was under the impression I was too cool for prom, but I broke down senior year and decided “what the heck? I’ll go and see what all the fuss is about.” Well as it turned out, for my school’s prom anyways, the fuss was completely unwarranted. I thought it was going to be a night of just me and my fellow students getting into a big room and dancing the night away to a at least decent DJ while sipping punch and chowing down on hors d’oeuvres. What I got was lame Vegas themed evening where the place where you played fake black jack and roulette was bigger than the room where the dance floor was, the DJ wasn’t even decent and everyone seemed like they were already ready to be somewhere else as soon as they got there, pretty underwhelming.

The fact that my prom was not near the magical night I expected it to be makes me extra excited for the second annual Prom Squared event. Seriously, even if you did have an awesome prom experience when you were in high school, this one will be awesome-er! How can I make such a claim? Well first of this prom is a party for a cause that will be helping support Promise House and their ongoing efforts to “move teens in crisis to safety and success.” Plus you can ditch the old gymnasium decorated in streamers cliche, this prom will be taking place at the historic Kessler Theater. Bolsa Restaurant  will be catering the event with their nom-worthy selections and this time no lame DJ! Actually no DJ at all at this prom, instead you get a live prom band in the form of Dallas’s own rising star and funky R&B front man Larry g(EE) and his band.

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John Denver Will Perform at the Dallas City Performance Hall with the Help of Vintage Video and Former Bandmates

Posted by    |    January 8th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

john denver Rocky Mountain HighThis is kind of incredible. On Wednesday, February 20, the Kessler Entertainment Group will bring John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert Celebration to the Dallas City Performance Hall. Denver has been deceased since 1997. I know what you’re thinking, but there will be no holograms involved.

The American singer/songwriter, humanitarian, actor, and cultural icon’s memory will be brought to life with projected vintage video of his past performances. The footage will be accompanied by former John Denver band members Jim Horn (saxophone and woodwinds), Chris Nole (piano) and Alan Deremo (bass), as well as Jim Salestrom (music director, guitars, banjo, fiddles, backing vocals… wow) and Nate Barnes (drums).

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Courrier to Perform with Duncan Sheik at the Kessler 12.5.12

Posted by    |    December 4th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

If you listened to the radio during the 90s, you definitely heard Duncan Sheik’s debut single, “Barely Breathing.” You’re probably singing it to yourself right now. Duncan took his catchy tune talents to the big screen and the stage, composing for motion pictures and Broadway, most notably for the popular musical, Spring Awakening whose original leading lady included Glee’s Lea Michele.

Sheik will perform at the historic Kessler Theater for the Sunset Session’s Tour Wednesday, December 5 with a band you that you’ve probably heard if you ever turn on your TV. The first single from Courrier’s upcoming album, “Love is a Fire,” has already been placed in the hit TV show Gossip Girl. The album was produced and mixed by British producer Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam) and was mastered by world-renowned mastering engineer, Justin Shturtz (Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Daughtry) at Sterling Audio.

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Their national television debut was on The Vampire Diaries with “Between,” a song from Courrier’s debut full-length album A Violent Flame. “Between” raced up the iTunes alternative chart, peaking at #52, selling 5k in a day. Also this year, Courrier’s music has been featured on The CW’s 90210, as well as ABC Family’s Jane by Design and Pretty Little Liars.

Courrier creates rich, inspiring soundscapes with their ascending harmonies and radiant guitars. With a penchant for melody in the likes of alt rock bands like Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, and singer songwriters Ross Copperman and Jason Walker, Courrier writes songs as soothing as they are sincere. It is in this duality that Courrier finds their message. In the beauty of existence and the pain of experience, lead singer Austin Jones’ voice even reflects the honeyed grit of reality, while their massive sound anthems the intimate.

Buy tickets at www.prekindle.com.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Sarah Jaffe and the Kessler Theater

Posted by    |    December 4th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

kessler theater new years eveBack in 2008, Denton’s hometown hero, Sarah Jaffe, was predicted “…to be the next Big Thing to come out of Texas.”

Well, some predictions are spot on. So gather your friends, make some predictions of your own, and ring in the New Year with Jaffe at the historic Kessler Theater. Jaffe’s new album, The Body Wins, has been praised and admired by both critics and fans.

“The whole album makes the sound of an emboldened singer in complete command. Jaffe has completed the transition from ‘musician’ to ‘artist,’ and she wears it well.”Stephen Thomspon, NPR First Listen

“Jaffe is blessed with both a trenchant lyrical pen and a vocal instrument perfectly suited to mainlining her effortlessly crafted, heartbroken tunes straight to the soul.”Paste Magazine

Tickets on sale at www.thekessler.org or directly at http://ow.ly/fAdVh for $22.50 to $37.50.

Snap Out of Your Food Coma: Bettye LaVette and Bob Schneider at the Kessler This Week

Posted by    |    November 26th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

We may all still be winding down from our Thanksgiving slothness, but the Kessler has been hard at work putting together two amazing shows for the week ahead.

thankful n' thoughtfulThe first, Bettye LaVette, takes place this Thursday, November 29 with Bobby Patterson opening. The R&B legend marks her 50th anniversary with THANKFUL N’ THOUGHTFUL, a mesmerizing album produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, Joe Henry, k.d. lang, Meshell Ndegeocello, John Legend, Charlie Sexton, etc.).

According to the Kessler, the album contains a selection of contemporary tracks written and previously recorded by Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Patty Griffin, Gnarls Barkley and others, which BETTYE consumes whole, rearranges deep within her soul and exorcises as her own through her voice filled with longing, rage, desire, despair, survival and victory. BETTYE’s voice is both rough and sensuous and has become her instrument of inspiration. Her dynamic power seethes throughout each song, wrings out the pathos, and shares her hard earned wisdom and story throughout these tales of her reinvention.

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The Six-Time Grammy Award Winning Arturo Sandoval Hits The Kessler 10.18.12

Posted by    |    October 10th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The historic Kessler Theater, located in the heart of North Oak Cliff, is hosting one of the most dynamic and vivacious live jazz performers of all time. Arturo Sandoval, born in Cuba and a protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, has had a remarkable career. Nominated for 16 Grammy awards and the recipient of 6, Sandoval has played for millions at the Oscars performing with Celine Dion, at the Grammy Awards with Justin Timberlake, as well as the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys.

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Kina Grannis at The Kessler Theater

Posted by    |    April 16th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Former Austinite Kina Grannis stopped in Dallas on her In Your Arms Tour for an intimate evening with a capacity-crowd at the Kessler Theater. During her show the singer-songwriter was charming, sweet, and at times a little bit goofy. The crowd loved every ounce of her. (more…)

Getting to Know Starlet Kina Grannis

Posted by    |    April 14th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Kina Grannis performs at the Kessler Theater Sunday, April 15, Doors at 7, Show at 8pm. The below interview was conducted in October 2010, when Grannis appeared in the Cambridge Room at House of Blues.

Kina Grannis is freezing. The green room at the House of Blues, which is adorned with funky wallpaper instead of living up to its namesake, is entirely too cold for the month of October in Texas, and Grannis’s thin black sweater isn’t helping very much.

It’s the Fall of 2010 and Kina is getting ready for her performance in the Cambridge Room, a cozy environment perfect for her fans that take her lyrics to heart. The audience will be able to get close enough to the stage to shout out their requests and see her fingers fly across the frets.

We begin the interview, and within moments, she and I are talking like old friends. Put two California girls in a room in Texas and they’re bound to bond over the lack of palm trees in the Lone Star state. After a stint in Austin, Kina can relate.

Photographer Emili Carmichael is taking pictures of Grannis during our conversation. “I feel like that light is probably doing scary things to my face!” she laughs as Carmichael’s flash emits a blinding light and the camera shutter clicks open and closed. It is pretty much impossible to make this girl look anything but gorgeous.

The first time I heard Grannis’s voice, I was casually listening to The Sixty One, browsing for new artists to add to my self-professed awesome collection of underground singers when I stumbled across her cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence“. My ears have forever submitted to her sweet voice and talent powerhouse. Her music is a comforting blend of honesty and hope. Grannis, the eternal optimist, has a way of writing the most dismal affairs into positive, uplifting melodies. (more…)

Daphne Willis at The Kessler

Posted by    |    November 26th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Barefoot, Chicago native Daphne Willis sauntered onto the Kessler’s stage on November 25, second on the bill with a trio of female singer/songwriters. Taking her time to tune up after taking her place, the audience waited patiently.


The Kessler is one of the most challenging venues to shoot music in Dallas. When artists go on stage and the lights go down, the venue takes on the guise of a cavern lit by a single candle brighter than the sun. In a controlled environment, this might be an interesting situation to shoot. However, when moving around a stage, trying to be respectful of the audience and working without a tripod, this becomes quite a challenge. That doesn’t mean you can’t gain control of the environment. Suffice it to say that this is one of the more difficult ones to shoot in because of the stark contrast between light and darkness in the venue.
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Calhoun with Radiant and Menkena at The Kessler

Posted by    |    June 20th, 2011 at 10:41 am

There’s the expression that us English speakers tend to use when we encounter mind numbingly loud noises. …So loud my ears were bleeding. I’ve never quite exactly understood what this means, as I’ve never seen anyone’s ears physically bleed before, but now I join the ranks of the wounded concert junkies, forced to read lips by a set of broken ear drums after sitting too close to one of my favorite stages.

Last week at Kessler Theater, local bands Menkena and Radiant joined Calhoun for their Heavy Sugar album release party. For as much hype as this event received on Twitter in the days leading up to the show, the venue should have been packed, but ended up primarily being full of long time friends of each band. (more…)