Pop duo Tegan and Sara will perform at Theaterfest on May 3. Black and white photo of twin vocalists; both have dark hair pulled in pony tail on top of their heads.
Pop duo Tegan and Sara perform at Theaterfest on May 3. Credit: Courtesy photo

Taking advantage of the first full season in operation since the pandemic and fresh off the $5.3 million renovation project that was completed in July, Solvang Theaterfest’s spring concert lineup will feature a mix of artists performing at the Solvang Festival Theater.

Kicking off the concert series will be an evening of smooth, urban jazz with Peter White and Richard Elliot, 7 p.m. Friday, March 24 on the amphitheater stage.

White, a popular British electric and nylon string guitarist, is known for his lyrical and inventive approach to contemporary smooth jazz and fusion.

He initially gained fame in the 1970s as a collaborator with Boney James, Rick Braun and Dave Koz before earning more widespread acclaim as a leader and soloist in his own right.

Elliot, originally from Scotland and now a Los Angeles-based saxophonist and composer, is widely considered one of the architects of urban contemporary jazz.

After indulging his lifelong love of funk and R&B as a studio ace and spending five years as a member of Tower of Power, Elliot and his reedy tone began braiding soul, funk, and hip hop grooves with smooth jazz on his albums including 1986’s “Trolltown.”

White and Elliot have released a number of Top Ten Billboard Jazz Albums, including 1998’s “Perfect Moment,” 2001’s “Glow,” 2009’s “Good Day,” and 2016’s “Groovin.”

Next onstage will be Pablo Cruise the classic rock group from the 1970s, performing at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 15. In 1975 Pablo Cruise released its first A&M album, simply titled “Pablo Cruise.”

The album cover was shot in the tropical gardens of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and featured a huge gorilla standing front and center. The band, David Jenkins, Cory Lerios, Bud Cockerel, all vocals, and Steve Price, percussion, were nowhere in sight.

At that point there was a bit of of a mystique surrounding Pablo Cruise, and when asked what Pablo Cruise meant, the well-rehearsed answer went something like: “Pablo” represents an honest, down-to-earth individual, and “Cruise” depicts his fun-loving, easy-going attitude toward life.

Canadian indie pop duo Tegan and Sara take the stage at 7 p.m. May 3. The band is led by
identical twin sisters Tegan Rain Quinn and Sara Keirsten Quin, both songwriters
and multi-instrumentalists who have released 10 studio albums.

The band received notoriety in 2014 for the hit song “Everything is Awesome!” from the “LEGO” movie, and has received the Juno Award for Group of the Year and for Pop Album of the Year.

“We are approaching this year with a promise to bring a diversified, interesting, educational set of performances to the Theater throughout 2023,” said David Silva, chair of Theaterfest Board of Directors.

“Community support for the theater’s renovation project was so overwhelming, and now it’s time to celebrate with an eclectic mix of genres and artists,” he said.

Tickets for Solvang Theaterfest’s spring season are on sale at Solvangtheaterfest.org.

Solvang Theaterfest is the 501(C )(3) nonprofit corporation that owns and operates Solvang Festival Theater. It is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors.