Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents Carole Bufford and Eric Yves Garcia in

“A Christmas Carole and a New Year’s Yves”

With Matt Baker, Piano

December 17 and 18 Ÿ Historic Asolo Theater

Two serendipitously named young cabaret stars team up for a holiday special featuring classic interpretations as well as some new twists on popular holiday favorites.


“Carole J. Bufford is a sizzling cabaret performer who offers the fullest realization I can remember of a 1920s girl gone wild. Ms. Bufford has a bright, rangy voice and big blue eyes that emit snapping electrical charges. She can be dangerous, but she is also funny.”

– Stephen Holden, The New York Times


Eric Yves Garcia is “incredibly moving and very funny—often both at the same time.”

— Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal



(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents cabaret stars Carole Bufford and Eric Yves Garcia, with pianist Matt Baker, in “A Christmas Carole and a New Year’s Yves,” December 17, 7:30 p.m., and December 18, 2:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. The program includes such favorites as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Santa Baby,” “O Holy Night” and much more. Tickets are $45 and are available at or by calling 941-306-1202. Student tickets, for $10, are available at the door.

Carole J. Bufford has become one of the most sought-after young performers in the New York cabaret and jazz scene. It’s easy to understand why. The Huffington Post recently wrote: “An animated, elfin performer, Bufford initially radiates an onstage vulnerability, almost like Audrey Hepburn. But then she morphs into an emotional powerhouse, with explosive renditions of torch classics, gravelly blues, flapper jazz and edgy, modern songs that ripple with darkness. The vocal comparisons that come to mind go well beyond La Streisand: New York critics have likened her rich alto to Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and others.” Bufford is the recipient of a Nightlife, Bistro and Broadway World Award for Outstanding Vocalist and was featured in Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook series at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The recipient of the 2013 Margaret Whiting Award presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as the 2014 Bistro Award for Outstanding Singer/Instrumentalist, Eric Yves Garcia has been hailed by the New York Times as “a handsome young singer and pianist with a genuine star quality.” A Manhattan piano bar entertainer who toiled in semi-oblivion at Chez Josephine until his appearances at the New York Cabaret Convention, Garcia belongs to the school of jazz-leaning connoisseurs of the American Songbook epitomized by the great Bobby Short. His recent solo show, “One Night Standards,” and follow-up, “Pour Spirits,” received high praise in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Matt Baker, who the New York Times has called “the Australian piano whiz,” joins Bufford and Garcia on piano. The Australian-born pianist and vocalist has performed jazz festivals, clubs and concert halls in Australia, Europe, United States and the Pacific Rim. Baker’s sideman credits include engagements with guitar icon Bucky Pizzarelli, vocalists Alexis Cole, Judy Collins, Barb Jung and many more.

“Carole Bufford is a critically acclaimed rising star,” says Joseph Holt. “We’re delighted she’s returning to Sarasota with her colleagues Eric Yves Garcia and Matt Baker. It’s going to be an incandescent holiday performance with fresh and upbeat interpretations of holiday classics that will have audiences singing along.”


The 2016-2017 21st Anniversary Season at a Glance

Classical Recitals

(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)

  • Andrew Tyson, piano: Hailed by BBC Radio 3 as “a real poet of the piano,” 29-year-old Andrew Tyson has emerged as a distinctive and important new musical voice. Praised as a pianist whose “interpretations recalled the virtuosic style from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries,” Tyson performs “Impressions of Europe,” a program of works by composers from France (Chopin), Italy (Scarlatti), Hungary (Liszt), and Spain (Albéniz). January 15, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.
  • Edgar Moreau, cello: Called the “rising star of the French cello,” and a “young musketeer of the bow,” 22-year-old French-born Edgar Moreau consistently captivates audiences with his effortless virtuosity and dynamic performances. Last year, Moreau was named “Solo Instrumentalist of the Year” by France’s Victoires de la Musique and was recently selected as one of the European Concert Hall Organization’s 2016-2017 Rising Stars. Accompanied by emerging pianist Jessica Xylina Osborne and performing on a 1711 David Tecchler cello, Moreau performs works by Bach, Franck, Schnittke and Chopin. February 12, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.
  • John Brancy, baritone: Hailed by the New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence,” and winner of the 2013 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, rising young baritone John Brancy is joined by pianist Peter Dugan, and Sarasota Orchestra musicians Christopher Schnell (cello), and Betsy Traba (flute), in “Rejoicing in Ravel,” February 19, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.

Pops and Special Performances

(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)

  • “Old Blue Eyes: McDonald Sings Sinatra:” Washington DC-based baritone Bob McDonald returns to Sarasota with his “DC Quartet” for a musical tribute to one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. Known for everything from “Sunday in the Park with George” to “Sweeney Todd” to Gilbert & Sullivan, the versatile McDonald has performed for presidents and heads of state, and at such prestigious Washington DC venues as Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center. McDonald is also a familiar face and voice to scores of DC sports fans as the regular National Anthem singer at Washington Capitals games. January 29, 3:00 p.m., at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
  • Violette and La Vie en Rose Band:La Vie En Rose is a tasteful marriage of French chanson and Golden Age swing. With her luxurious, silky smooth voice and repertoire of timeless American standards and French jazz songs, singer Violette and her ensemble of international musicians create a captivating alliance of old world and new, of French charm, American glam and soulful pop. Raised in Ars-en-Re, a small village on an island off the coast of France, pianist, singer and composer Violette founded the band while living in Boston in 2009. Since then, the band has won several awards and currently performs over 150 shows a year including, in 2016, performances at the Blue Note Jazz Festival and at the renowned Sunset/Sunside Jazz Club in Paris, France. March 19, 3:00 p.m., at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
  • Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway in “Sibling Revelry:”Jazz headliner Ann Hampton Callaway and Broadway star Liz Callaway reprise their critically acclaimed show “Sibling Revelry” with pianist Alex Rybeck. The Tony-nominated sisters have enjoyed stellar individual careers, but when their “equally splendid voices harmonize, ‘Sibling Revelry’ becomes a thrilling display of vocal prowess.” (Stephen Holden; The New York Times) March 26, 3:00 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota.
  • “Hot ‘n’ Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!” with Maria Wirries: Wirries joins forces with five more singers and two pianists in this bubbly, two-act tribute to the classic, melodic, witty, sexy and sophisticated songs of Cole Porter. May 14, 3:00 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

Lunch, Look and Listen

One-hour concerts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota.

  • Kittens on the Keys” Duo piano performance with Lee Dougherty Ross and Joseph Holt. Join two vivacious and talented personalities in a performance of four-hand piano music. January 26.
  • “La Flûte Enchantée” Sarasota Orchestra principal flutist Betsy Traba with Jenny Kim-Godfrey, soprano, and Joseph Holt, piano.  February 16.
  • Belle Canto:Sarasota’s premier women’s choral ensemble showcases the unique beauty and quality of sound that comes from the blending of women’s voices in an all-French program. March 16.


Soirée Series

Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. and Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. At the Weisenborne/Fischer residence. Call for more information and address.

  • “Tenor on the Road:” Lyric tenor Blake Friedman and Joseph Holt, piano. Blake Friedman presents a program devoted to travel, not only geographically, but spiritually as well.April 16 & 17.


Other special events

  • Artist Series Concerts Friends presents its annual fundraiser in support of Artist Series Concerts’ competitions, as well as educational/community outreach programs. The event nets more than $50,000 annually. The 2017 ASC Friends’ gala, “Carnival of Venice,” is March 8 at Michael’s On East.
  • Artist Series Concerts National Competition will feature young pianists, ages 18-25, and takes place on April 29. The competition rotates each year between singers, pianists, and string instrument players. From its inception in 2007 through 2015, Artist Series Concerts’ statewide young musician’s competition came to be one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida, awarding over $230,000 to 66 talented young musicians. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursued successful music careers. In 2016, the competition was opened to young singers nationwide and awarded $26,000 to seven winners.
  • The Suncoast Music Scholarships, a new annual collaborative competition conducted and funded by Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Music Club, awards another $20,000 to young musicians from high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The SMS auditions are scheduled for April 22.


Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2016-2017 season are on sale now. Visit to view the full brochure and ordering information, or call 941-306-1202 to request information by mail.


Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as the Artist Series of Sarasota. The group is a non-profit corporation based in Sarasota, FL, that prides itself on presenting several major national and international varieties of concert, opera, orchestral, Broadway and film performances throughout their season. The majority of the performances are staged at the restored Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling.