World music swirls through season

The April Verch Band will perform March 4 as part of the Arts Under the Dome 2017 season.
The April Verch Band will perform March 4 as part of the Arts Under the Dome 2017 season. Courtesy Arts Under the Dome

From jazz guitar to old-time fiddling to acoustic swing and choral music, the 24th season of Arts Under the Dome brings a variety of world music to First United Methodist Church in Gulfport.

Arts Under the Dome is so named because of the stained-glass dome, over a century old, that graces the sanctuary at First Methodist.

All concerts are at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary building of First United Methodist Church, 15th Street at 24th Avenue in downtown Gulfport. Tickets are $15 each for adults and $10 for students; season ticket prices are $50 for individuals or $100 for families (in the same household). All concerts are open seating. Tickets are available at the door, at or at the church office (corner of 15th Street and 23rd Avenue) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The building is fully handicapped/wheelchair accessible via an elevator on the 15th Street side of the building. Details: 228-229-6851.

Diego Figueiredo Friday

Called by jazz guitar master George Benson “one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen in my life,” 36-year-old Brazilian Diego Figueiredo is winner of several competitions, including the Montreux Jazz Competition (twice) and the VISA Prize. Figueiredo’s touring is international in scope; he has played in more than 50 countries. His music is a fusion of jazz, classical, bossa nova and other Brazilian musical styles. He has released 20 albums to date.

Open the Door for Three Saturday, Feb. 11

Open the Door for Three is a high-octane trio of Irish musicians who mine song books, collections and recordings for tunes and songs both old and new. Adding to their discoveries are fiddler Liz Knowles’ harmonies, arrangements and compositions; piper Kieran O’Hare’s knowledge of Irish tunes and the uilleann piping tradition, and the rhythmic bouzouki and singing of Dublin-born Pat Broaders. Band members are veterans of the Irish music scene around the world and have played with Riverdance, Cherish the Ladies, the New York Pops, Bonnie Raitt and Josh Groban, and at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

The April Verch Band Saturday, March 4

While Canadian April Verch is known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottowa Valley, her performing extends into old-time American and Appalachian music and beyond. Accompanied by bassist and clawhammer banjo player Cody Walters and guitarist and mandolinist Alex Rubin, Verch is a performer with her delicate vocals, energetic step dancing and mastery of the fiddle, a trifecta of talents she can bring together simultaneously. Her performances speak to the heart of roots music with her reflective songwriting and interpretations of traditional songs.

Velvet Caravan Friday, April 21

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Velvet Caravan is an unorthodox acoustic quintet of guitar, violin, bass, percussion and keyboards (including accordion). Bringing together musicians from as close as Austin, Texas, and as far away as Venezuela and Slovenia, the quintet’s varied lineage contributes to their eclectic sound as they weave thick threads of gypsy jazz and Latin music into their own nontraditional brand of acoustic swing. Velvet Caravan’s high-energy sound showcases their technique, passion for all musical genres and sense of humor.

Southern Chorale Saturday, May 13

The Southern Chorale, the premiere touring vocal ensemble of the University of Southern Mississippi, has a long history of performing the complete spectrum of significant choral literature for a cappella and accompanied chorus. Membership consists primarily of upper-division voice majors and graduate students in vocal performance, conducting and music education. The 58-member Chorale tours nationally and internationally. Their concert for Arts Under The Dome will be the first public performance of the repertoire for their upcoming Nordic Countries concert tour in May. Gregory Fuller is in his 17th year of serving as the Southern Chorale’s director and conductor.