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ArtsLIVE Performance Series

ArtsLIVE Initiatives

Cityfolk is a word that still resonates with the Dayton community. This small but mighty non-profit presented hundreds of exceptional world and traditional music concerts over three decades: Celtic, R&B, jazz, zydeco, klezmer and more. To the regret of many, Cityfolk closed its doors in 2014 — but left a real legacy at the University.

The outstanding jazz programming now presented by ArtsLIVE is the direct result of Cityfolk’s work: these concerts and residencies are supported by a substantial endowment established by Cityfolk with support from the JazzNet program of the Doris Duke Foundation. 

ArtsLIVE’s commitment to presenting world music is also a Cityfolk legacy. ArtsLIVE and Cityfolk began a partnership in 2003 to co-sponsor a “World Rhythms” series on campus. While that relationship is ended, the tradition continues — reflecting the importance the University places on international education. 

Founded by Elana and Vince Bolling in 1962, the Vanguard Concerts were a popular chamber music program hosted by the Dayton Art Institute for more than five decades. In 2016, Vanguard Concerts ended its long run at its original home. That same year, the University of Dayton agreed to extend the Vanguard legacy.

Now, with support from a Vanguard Legacy Endowment established by the Bollings, the same high-caliber classical chamber concerts will continue — but in a new home. Vanguard Legacy Concerts are presented in the Sears Recital Hall on occasional Sunday afternoons during the academic year. 

Making history since 1961.

Established by a committee of faculty and staff in the fall of 1961, ArtsLIVE was ambitious from the start. Marian Anderson, who in 1955 was the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, was one of the first featured artists. Admission was just a dollar when she performed at the UD Fieldhouse.


  • Jupiter String Quartet*
  • Joel Ross Good Vibes**
  • Invoke*
  • The Harlem Quartet*
  • Bria Skonberg with the UD Faculty Jazztet**
  • New Morse Code

*Vanguard Legacy Concert

**Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert.

  • Tesla Quartet: Viaggio in Italia*
  • Les Delices: Bewitched*
  • Bridget Kibbey & Friends: Bach to Brazil*

*Virtual Vanguard Concert


  • The Harlem Quartet*
  • Ben Wendel’s Seasons Group**
  • Ensemble Heinavanker
  • Julien Labro & the Chamber Collective*
  • Carl Allen’s Art Blakey Centennial Band**
  • Russian Renaissance
  • Dover Quartet*

*Vanguard Legacy Concert

**Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert


  • Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
  • Escher Quartet*
  • Fred Hersch**
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet*
  • Fifth House Ensemble
  • Terell Stafford Quintet**
  • Women of the World
  • Poulenc Trio*

*Vanguard Legacy Concert

**Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert


  • Claremont Trio*
  • Joan Soriano: Duke of Bacchata
  • Telegraph Quartet*
  • Brad Mehldau Trio**
  • Third Coast Percussion: Paddle to the Sea
  • Cuarteto Tanguero
  • St. Petersburg Piano Quartet*
  • Anat Cohen Tentet**

*Vanguard Legacy Concert

**Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert


  • Zora String Quartet*
  • Akropolis Reed Quintet
  • Acqua Alta: Dr. Ian Fenty & Jenny Q Chai
  • Prima Piano Trio*
  • Jamie Baum Quintet**
  • Bach Unwound: Ashley Bathgate, cello
  • MVP Jazz Quartet**
  • Del Sol Quartet, with Stephen Kent, didgeridoo
  • Neave Piano Trio*

*Vanguard Legacy Concert

**Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert


  • Sahrdaya Foundation’s Don Quixote
  • Aaron Diehl Trio*
  • Alex Skolnick’s Planetary Coalition
  • Catacoustic Consort’s Celestial Sirens
  • Francesca Blanchard
  • Matt Wilson Quartet*

*Supported by the Cityfolk Jazznet Legacy Endowment



Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2946