If you've never been there before, you enter the Hamilton High School west entrance (or south entrance) and walk down a hallway to the Performing Arts Center. The 700-seat auditorium and a huge stage was constructed to provide a good view from every seat and incredible sound from well-designed walls and ceiling. It's a pretty nice place.

Then, along comes the Bitterroot Performing Arts Series. Each year, the independent group has brought in a wide variety (some might say eclectic) of musicians, dancers and entertainers for some unforgettable performances.

Saturday, November 19, they're doing it again. Making a trip up from New Orleans, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen will take the stage and Jon will take his place at the piano to bring a hefty chunk of New Orleans-style music to Montana. The good news - some tickets are still available at the Bitterroot Performng Arts website.

This is the third presentation in the season. "Time for Three" wowed the audience in September and the "Ruthie Foster Trio" found a very welcoming roomful of people in October. The artists seem to appreciate the audiences almost as much as the audiences appreciate the artists! It's quite a bond that happens over and over. And, three more concerts are yet to come in this season.

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Ottmar Liebert had planned to play back in 2020. Then COVID happened. Tickets to that show were kept open, in the hopes of scheduling him later. That has happened. Ottmar will be performing January 29, 2022. If you have a ticket for the original date, it's still good. The Performing Arts staff has been contacting ticket-holders that they can use that ticket or get a replacement.

The final two concerts are in the spring. April 23 brings Orquesta Akokan out of Havana, Cuba, with a whole bunch of mambo for you. And the series will wrap up with the May 13th evening music of Grammy award-winning Aoife O'Donovan, who's been heard on A Prairie Home Companion. We'll have more about these musicians as their concert dates get closer.

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