Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs Announces Pilot Season of Globally Inspired Gatherings

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

The Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce Globally Inspired Gatherings, VB GIGs®, a new series of free and low-cost public performances taking place throughout the city at parks, libraries and performance venues. Through the development of the city's arts strategic plan, Arts Plan 2030, citizens voiced the need for more diverse, multicultural programming opportunities in Virginia Beach. The City listened and VB GIGs in its pilot season aims to bring world-class, culturally rooted performing artists to Virginia Beach residents in their neighborhoods and nearby venues.

"Art that's rooted in cultural expression promotes understanding others from the common ground of a fun community event," said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer. "Complementing our large-scale festivals at the oceanfront, VB GIGs takes shows to people in their neighborhoods, filling our entire city with world-class performances and opportunities to gather, learn and be entertained. These are going to be very special events and I'm looking forward to attending."

VB GIGs pilot season begins June 28 and consists of four inaugural events featuring celebrated touring artists and valued collaborators from city departments to community cultural organizations:

  • Two FREE Passport Picnics in partnership with Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation: Passport Picnics unite dynamic and interactive music and dance with food and friendship. Bring your favorite picnic items, craft your basket around the featured culture, or enjoy global bites from a food truck at these ninety-minute, FREE outdoor concerts.
  • One FREE Learning Layover in partnership with Virginia Beach Public Libraries Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library: Learning Layovers blend free performance with interactive dialogue designed to entertain, educate, and promote cultural understanding.
  • One low-cost Destination Date Night in partnership with Zeiders American Dream Theater: Destination Date Nights offer a chance for couples, parents, and friends to enjoy a night out on a budget. These evenings feature small bites inspired by the highlighted country, brief dance instruction, and two early sets of lively music for dancing. The festivities conclude early enough for a night out at Town Center or to head home and tuck young ones in bed.

Programs will include opportunities for the public to vote on the destinations for the 2020 VB GIGs programming. Tell us what cultures inspire you!

The inaugural season of VB GIGs kicks off Friday, June 28 at 6 p.m. with a Destination Date Night at Zeiders American Theater featuring Radio Jarocho. This acclaimed band recreates the communal and spirited atmosphere of the traditional Fandango celebrations of Veracruz, Mexico. Fandango festivities fuse music, dance, poetry and social engagement in lively community gatherings. The program is presented in collaboration with the Celebrate Mexico Now! Festival. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at or at Zeiders American Dream Theater box office located at 509 Commerce St., Virginia Beach, VA 23462 / (757) 499-0317. Tickets include performance and tasting stations, cash bar. Doors open at 6 p.m. and performance runs from 6:30-8:15 p.m. Space is limited.

Also included in the season are stops in Asia, South America, and Africa-to-America diaspora. Complete season information is below:

Friday, June 28, 2019
Zeiders American Dream Theater, Studio Theater & Lobby
4509 Commerce St., Virginia Beach
Fiesta Fandango with Radio Jarocho!
Radio Jarocho has been enchanting audiences all over the U.S. since their debut in 2005. Formed in New York with members from Mexico City, California and even Columbia, their band is a representation of the global spread of Son Jarocho music and the art of Fandango. Acclaimed for reviving the Son Jarocho musical style in the US for a new generation (Son Jarocho was popularized by Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos), Radio Jarocho has been featured in New York City's famed Winter JazzFest and Celebrate Mexico Now! Festival. As the foremost presenters of Son Jarocho and Fandango gatherings on the East Coast, Radio Jarocho recently completed an extended artistic partnership with Zenen Zeferino of Jaltipán, Veracruz resulting in a critically acclaimed new album: Rios De Norte Y Sur.  Hailed by Paste Magazine, NPR, and AM New York, Radio Jarocho appearances include The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Le Poisson Rouge, Celebrate Mexico Now Festival, and many more.

Tickets are $15 per person and include tasting stations, cash bar and general admission to the performance. This is a participatory performance with audience space primarily for dancing, limited open seating will be available around the perimeter of the studio theater for periodic breaks. Reserve Tickets at Doors open 6 p.m.; Tastings 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Showtime 6:30-8:15 p.m. with brief set break. For more information on the artists, visit:

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint Use Library:
1700 College Crescent, Virginia Beach
Race: Let's Talk About It: African Diaspora in America is a partnership with WHRO's Another View and Zeiders American Dream Theater. This Learning Layover is FREE to all. Seating is limited.

Part Performance, part panel, part community discussion, this moving experience invites audience members to hear performances of music from traditional African, Island, and American historical songbooks, explore the lyrics and meaning behind them, then engage in a conversation about race through the lens of music and lyrics. Using the shared experience of artistic performance, the expertise of a panel of educators and experts, and the community voices in the room, the aim of the program is to create a safe and shared experience within which to learn, open discussion, and ask questions that forge bridges to understanding our diverse America, today. Hosted by Lisa Godley of WHRO's Another View and featuring performances by Teddy Holmes, Sibel Galindez, and Dr. Anthony Hailey, along with distinguished panelists.

Register through Eventbrite via link at This program is not intended for younger audiences. Showtime is 2-4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019
Mt. Trashmore Amphitheater
310 Edwin Dr., Virginia Beach
Pan Asian Chamber Jazz in the Park
This Passport Picnic FREE to all. Arrive by noon for picnics, food trucks, and enjoy the program beginning at 12:30 p.m. Rain date: Sunday, Aug. 11.

Award-winning Meg Okura and the Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble (PACJE) blends Japanese, Jewish, and African-American heritages, multi-cultural band members and the unforgettable sound of American jazz. Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble received accolades for Okura's compositions on their latest recording Ima-Ima meaning "mom" in Hebrew and "now" in Japanese. Featuring composer and bandleader Meg Okura on violin and erhu with Hampton native, Sam Newsome on soprano sax, the ensemble fuses its virtuosic jazz performance with educational expertise to craft a casual and engaging performance with something for everyone! This program will feature the debut of new jazz works from the PACJE's upcoming "Jewburish Folk Tunes" collection.  "Jewburish Folk Tunes" by Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's 2018 New Jazz Works program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Foundation.

Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019
Williams Farm Park
5269 Learning Circle, Virginia Beach
Ologundê: Afro-Brazilian Folkloric Celebration
This Passport Picnic is FREE to all. Children's workshop is at noon; Show at 12:30 p.m. Arrive as early as 11:30 a.m. to set up your picnic, check out food trucks, and settle in. Rain date: Sunday, Sept. 8.

Mamadêlê Productions brings Ologundê to Virginia Beach to celebrate the Afro-Brazilian traditions of Bahia, Brazil. Hailed for their interactive and educational performances all over the world, including New York, Philadelphia, Greece, Brazil and beyond, the members of Ologundê have made a name for themselves through prime-time performances, high-quality artistry and authenticity, and even providing tours to Bahia! Featuring the unmatched energy and enthusiasm of band leader Dendê, this performance embraces found-object instruments, traditional drums and vocals while putting capeoira, samba de roda, and the dance and brilliant costume of Bahia front and center. The program will be preceded by a brief music workshop for children.

Bring your family; kids receive a passport and collectible destination stickers while supplies last. Learn about our neighbors near and far and spark your cultural curiosity through the performing arts this summer by joining us for VB GIGs! Globally Inspired Gatherings for all.   

For more information, visit

The City of Virginia Beach's Office of Cultural Affairs promotes excellence in the arts and humanities by initiating and supporting programs, activities and policies that inspire, nurture and reflect the cultural diversity of the area.

20190508-CO-086CA-RadioJarocho.jpg 20190508-CO-086CA-RadioJarocho1.jpg
Radio Jarocho

Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble


L-R: Lisa Godley of WHRO's Another View and featuring performances by Teddy Holmes, Sibel Galindez, and Dr. Anthony Hailey

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