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Higher Education
University of Houston-Clear Lake
News Release
Monday, August 07, 2017

Mercury dances in the 2017-18 season at UHCL Bayou Theater

HOUSTON - Historically, the origins of tango music are obscure, but when it’s played by Canada’s Tango Boreal together with Mercury: The Orchestra Redefined as the 2017-18 season opener at the Bayou Theater at University of Houston-Clear Lake, it’s anything but obscure. It’s probably a sellout. 

“We have been performing at UH-Clear Lake for over 12 years and we’ve developed a large and wonderful following there,” said Mercury Artistic Director Antoine Plante. “We absolutely love to come.” Judging by previous attendance, audiences love the vibrant, multimedia experience that goes far beyond just listening to beautiful music.

Mercury opens Bayou Theater’s new season with a performance entitled “Bach and Piazzolla,” booked for Thursday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. Pre-purchased tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for students.

This concert, Plante said, is very special and is the first of four Mercury concerts in this season’s Bayou Theater lineup. “’Bach and Piazzolla’ is a fusion of baroque music and Nuevo tango dance music. Johann Sebastian Bach is a great influence on the Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla. In his music, Piazzolla uses one of Bach’s musical tricks called the fugue,” Plante said. “You can see Bach’s direct influence in this interpretation of the tango.”

The stitching together of these opposite styles, delivered by the dynamic Canadian trio of “tango specialists” Tango Boreal, makes for an unforgettable concert experience for the audience. “The concert is meant to be super fun,” Plante said. “While the baroque-tango fusion music of Bach and Piazzolla plays, we have added projections to change the atmosphere in the theater. It changes from photos of Bach’s home in Germany to images of the streets of Buenos Aires. It’s a wonderful enhancement to the music because it gives the audience a thrilling visual experience as well.”

Tango Boreal, Plante said, features guitarist David Jacques, bassist Ian Simpson, and Plante’s own brother Denis on the all-important “bandoneon,” a push-pull instrument that forces air through its bellows, similar to a concertina. “The bandoneon is the voice and soul of tango music, and very few people play it well,” Plante explained.

“My brother and I learned together to dance the tango, and he began to learn the bandoneon and decided to make it his career,” Plante said. “It’s fantastic to collaborate with him because it’s impossible to get the right sound without the bandoneon and it’s wonderful when you have one of the few people in the world who can play it.”

“We are incredibly excited to kick off our new season at the Bayou Theater with our longtime partners, Mercury,” said Bayou Theater Managing Director Alex Malone. “This season marks the first large-scale expansion in our programming in years. From classical to country and blues to bluegrass, the Bayou Theater is proud to offer something for everyone on our journey to become Clear Lake’s premier performing arts center.”

Upcoming Mercury performances this season include “Brahms’ 2nd and Mendelssohn’s 5th,” “Splendors of Italian Baroque,” and “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.” Additional performances this season encompass the blues and bluegrass stylings of Bumper Jacksons, Dailey & Vincent and Brave Combo, as well as a spotlight on Texas artists Riyaaz Qawwali, Texas New Music Ensemble, and The Quebe Sisters.

For more information about the 2017-18 season’s full lineup, or to purchase tickets for Mercury or other performances at the Bayou Theater, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, visit

Remembering Jim Guidry

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