The Great Performance Series will feature the multi-Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The “Chicago Tribune” has praised the group, noting, “Their ability to Synchronize in absolute lockstep was, in a word, amazing.”  BBC (London) has said, “eighth blackbird play like musicians possessed... They take wing, soaring on an up thrust of precision-tooled virtuosity.”

eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy-winning “super-musicians” (“LA Times”) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world.

“Colombine’s Paradise Theatre” is eighth blackbird’s new staged, memorized production. Composer Amy Beth Kirsten challenges the sextet to play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing life into this tale of dream and delusion.

Other highlights include debuts with the Cincinnati Symphony (where the ensemble is an Artist in Residence) and New World Symphony; residencies at UCLA, SUNY Purchase, Baylor and Duke; collaboration with Oberlin College’s Contemporary Music Ensemble; and a debut on the Lincoln Center’s Atrium series.

eighth blackbird holds ongoing Ensemble in Residence positions at the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Richmond and University of Chicago. A decade-long relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced six acclaimed recordings. The ensemble has won three Grammy Awards, for the recordings “strange imaginary animals,” “Lonely Motel: Music from Slide” and “Meanwhile.”

The members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” (1917). eighth blackbird is managed by David Lieberman Artists.

Tickets are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the ticket offices in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse (222 Fairbanks Ave.) and the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).  Both offices are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets are also available online at

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.