Orpheum draws Rosanne Cash, Wynton Marsalis

The historic theater will host Cash on Friday, Marsalis on Wednesday

09/22/2011 1:09 PM

08/05/2014 4:26 PM

Rosanne Cash’s schedule looks like the appointment books for several creative people got jumbled together.

There are concerts, book tours, recording sessions, fundraisers — and time set aside for writing songs and prose. Then there are the essays, tweets and Facebook messages she dashes off about whatever’s on her mind.

“I’m a little manic,” she said in a telephone interview from New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, where she lives. “I like doing a lot of different things. It keeps me interested and creative. If I was focused on one thing, I would get a little crazy.” Cash’s show Friday at the Orpheum Theatre will be something different — she’s never played in Wichita before. After more than 30 years in the business, she says, “It’s not very often I get to play in a place I haven’t before.”

Casual music fans may think of Cash as just Johnny Cash’s daughter or perhaps as the singer of such chart-topping pop country hits as 1981’s “Seven Year Ache.” But Cash has carved out an interesting and varied career since that time as the author of a best-selling memoir, “Composed,” and as an artist in the Americana genre — a mix of country, folk and other traditional music forms.

This year, she was nominated for a Grammy in the Americana category for “The List.” It came with a great story: When Cash was 18 years old and just starting out in music, her father made her a list of 100 essential songs she should learn. Rosanne Cash picked a dozen of them for “The List,” ranging from the bluesy “Motherless Child” to the country classics including “She’s Got You.” The project wasn’t hurt by guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen and others.

Cash said she’ll probably perform a half-dozen songs from “The List” here, but will focus more on tunes from “The Essential Rosanne Cash,” a 36-song collection released in May that spans her career.

Cash promised an “intimate” show. She’ll be accompanied by her husband and producer, John Leventhal.

Jazz at the Orpheum

At some point during Wednesday’s concert at the Orpheum by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, audience members may notice pianist Dan Nimmer not playing. No, he will not have misplaced his music. Nimmer says a pianist’s role with a big band — the Lincoln Center group boasts 15 members — “is a lot different than in a small group.”

“My job is to stay out of the way of everybody and make intelligent decisions on my instrument,” Nimmer said from Akron, Ohio, where the jazz band performed. “There’s so much sound coming from the band, you don’t want to make it sound like a bunch of noise. Sometimes I’ll be very active, sometimes I’ll be very inactive.”

When Nimmer does play, he tends to reap rave reviews from jazz fans. That’s why Marsalis picked him for the prestigious Lincoln Center group at the relatively tender age of 25.

“The musicianship of everyone involved is at such a high level,” he said. “I haven’t seen another big band where everyone has the ability to be so flexible. The learning curve of the band is kind of high, you know. There’s so much musical history there, and not just jazz. It’s a great scene to be part of.”

As for his own career, Nimmer said he has no plans to leave the band, although he’ll also look to record and play with his own group whenever possible. Personal considerations have overtaken all of that for a while, he said.

“My wife and I just had a baby girl,” he said. “That’s my big news. So we’re just trying to settle down and figure out what to do from here.”

If you go

ROSANNE CASH
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $30 to $40

THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $25 to $95

Both shows are at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway, and tickets are available at 316-755-7328, at www.selectaseat.com and at Dillons Superstores and plant employee clubs.

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