The Glenridge Performing Arts Center
Announces 2019-2020 Season
Highlights include the virtuoso jazz guitarist Nate Najar, the electrifying instrumentalist and vocalist, Cynthia Sayer, the Eddie Metz Jazz Trio with Nicki Parrott, and “America’s Funniest Piano Player,” Jason Farnham.
(Sarasota, Florida) The Glenridge Performing Arts Center’s 2019-2020 season, October 27 through April 21, features 19 theatrical and musical performances. Highlights include “Great Sounds of the Cinema” with Belle Canto (October 27), The Sarasota Orchestra Piano Quartet featuring pianist Jonathan Spivey, and violinist Christopher Takeda (November 16); the dynamic composer and guitarist Nate Najar and his band in a holiday-themed concert (December 13); the electrifying instrumentalist and vocalist, Cynthia Sayer (January 12); Ed Metz, Rosanno Sportiello and the Nicki Parrott Trio (January 19); America’s “Funniest Piano Player” Jason Farnham (January 26); the new star of the guitar world, Diego Figueiredo (February 23); and the game-changing puppetry troupe, the Cashore Marionettes (April 21). For more information about the Glenridge’s 2019-2020 season and to purchase tickets, visit www.gpactix.com or call the box office at 941-552-5325. The Glenridge Performing Arts Center is located at 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota.
Ben Turoff, the director of the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, describes the upcoming season as “thought-provoking and heart-moving.” He adds that, “We showcase an exciting variety of artists and acts that aren’t found elsewhere in the region. Where else can you find a line-up that includes top jazz, classical, and pop artists, groundbreaking puppetry, comedic performances and intellectually stimulating lectures, traditional folk dance, multimedia nuevo-flamenco extravaganzas, and an ensemble performing music from the Middle Ages? You know when you come to The Glenridge you’ll be treated to extraordinary, one-of-a-kind artistry.”
Sunday, October 27, 2 p.m.: Belle Canto: Great Sounds of the Cinema
The women of Belle Canto, pianist Jonathan Spivey, and special guest violinist Christopher Takeda of the Sarasota Orchestra, will perform timeless selections from MGM’s catalog of film scores and classic musicals. This concert is a must for music and movie lovers alike.
Saturday, November 16, 8 p.m.: Sarasota Orchestra Piano Quartet
Four dynamic musicians perform a sparkling program of new and traditional works, as well as major repertoire for the piano quartet by Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart and Faure. Featuring Jennifer Best Takeda on violin, Matthew Pegis on viola, Christopher Schnell on cello, and Jonathan Spivey on keyboard.
Saturday, November 23, 8 p.m.: The Chorus of the Keys
This award-winning a capella ensemble will dazzle with heartwarming four-part harmonies. The Chorus of the Keys will raise their voices across a range of music genres—but always interpreted in the all-American barbershop style.
Thursday, December 12, 7 p.m.: Strings Con Brio
Strings Con Brio translates as “Strings with Vigor.” This chamber-sized string orchestra will perform a repertoire of masterpieces of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, plus contemporary concert music and well-loved classics from Broadway theatre and cinema.
Friday, December 13, 8 p.m.: “Nate Najar’s Jazz Holiday”
This annual tradition showcases Adrian Cunningham on reeds, Chuck Redd on vibraphone, James Suggs on trumpet, John Lamb on bass, Jean Bolduc on drums, and Daniela Soledade on vocals. Najar’s band is a well-oiled jazz machine and never fails to delight.
Saturday, December 14, 8 p.m.: Pine View Jazz Band
Big band jazz gets the talent it deserves, thanks to these truly gifted young performers. Their talent is only matched by their love of the classic, mid-20th century American style.
Sunday, January 12, 8 p.m.: Cynthia Sayer & Her Hot Jazz Quartet
Multi-award-winning instrumentalist/vocalist/bandleader Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed by musicians, critics, and fans alike as one of the top four-string banjoists in the world today. Praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by The New York Times, Sayer enthralls audiences with her electrifying, swing-based performances. Her program is a mesmerizing mix of hot jazz, Great American Songbook, old favorites, virtuoso classics, and more. With Randy Sandke on trumpet, Richard Drexler on string bass, and Tony Vigilante on drums.
Sunday, January 19, 2 p.m.: The Eddie Metz Trio
This powerhouse jazz trio featuring bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott, pianist Rossano Sportiello, and drummer Eddie Metz Jr., returns to central Florida by audience demand. Metz has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band, the Les Brown Orchestra and many others. Metz has also worked with such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Arturo Sandoval, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Chick Corea, and Patti Page. He continues to record with top jazz artists and perform at jazz festivals and events around the country. Australian jazz vocalist and double bassist Nicki Parrott, dubbed by the legendary Les Paul as having “that special gift you cannot buy in a music store,” has an ever-growing and monumental career filled with prestigious awards, countless festival appearances and an impressive roster of musicians he has performed with, including Paul McCartney, Slash and Steve Miller. Rossano Sportiello is an award-winning jazz pianist.
Sunday, January 26, 2 p.m.: Jason Farnham: America’s Funniest Piano Player This celebrated pianist and vocalist is known across the world as “the guy who plays the piano upside down.” How to describe his crowd-pleasing concerts? Imagine the love child of Victor Borge and Jerry Lee Lewis. Audiences consistently rave, “I’ve never seen anyone play the piano quite like that before!” Also a diverse composer, Farnham’s royalty-free songs on YouTube have been downloaded nearly four million times. His TV and film credits include The Dr. Oz Show, BMW and Ford commercials, and a number of feature films and documentaries.
Wednesday, January 29, 7:30 p.m.: “Let ’Em Have It Just That Way: The Songwriters of the Harlem Renaissance,” a lecture with Peabody Award-winning music historian Michael Lasser
After World War I, African-American leaders turned to the arts to transform society. The movement they created spanned the spectrum of creative expression, and songwriting was no exception. Thanks to songwriters like Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, James P. Johnson, and Duke Ellington, mainstream America started singing a different tune.
Saturday, February 1, 8 p.m.: “Michael Lasser and Friends: Notes By/About Irving Berlin”
Michael Lasser returns with songstress Cindy Miller and pianist Alan Jones to celebrate the legacy of Irving Berlin. For more than half a century, Berlin demonstrated a genius for reading the American mind, and expressing its deepest yearnings in songs of beautiful simplicity. Lasser notes that, “No one wrote as many successful songs as Berlin and no one wrote with as keen a sense of America. He was our great democratic songwriter, and our great articulator of America’s changing attitudes about everything from love to war. He gave voice to the values, beliefs, follies, and dreams that characterized the lives we lived and hoped for.”
Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m.: Jeff Rupert Quartet with Veronica Swift
Jeff Rupert’s all-star quartet and award-winning vocalist, Veronica Swift, are swinging back to The Glenridge for a dynamic return engagement. This crowd-pleasing, sizzling ensemble raises the bar for jazz wherever they take the stage. Rupert has performed at the Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Tokyo Forum, the National concert hall of Taipei, Taiwan, and at jazz festivals across Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Swift is recognized as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene.
Sunday, February 23, 2 p.m.: Diego Figueiredo
While he’s only 37, this rising star of the guitar world has released 23 CDs, three DVDs, and played in more than 60 countries. Figueiredo is the winner of several important competitions including The Montreux Jazz Competition, and the VISA Prize. His concerts are a fusion between Jazz, Bossa Nova and Classical music. Figueiredo has a unique interpretation, with tremendous techniques, enormous emotion, and his shows have been a great success to all audiences. He was born in Franca, Brazil, in 1980, and at the age of four, he used to strike poses carrying his small guitar. At six, he got a mandolin, which was kept in a very special place in his house. Figueiredo played many instruments before choosing the electric guitar when he was 12, playing in theaters and local pubs, revealing the great art of improvising and harmonizing. At 15, he conquered theaters and nightclubs in many different Brazilian states, playing solo or with renowned musicians.
Saturday, March 14, 8 p.m.: The Landscape of Guitar
This extraordinary encore performance serves up a sensory feast for the soul with the art and music of the guitar. Performing fiery Spanish guitar pieces like “Malagueña,” to the gorgeous vocal harmonies of “Sounds of Silence,” master guitarist Bruce Hecksel and singer-songwriter Julie Patchouli takes the art of guitar to another dimension with a multimedia concert experience. The music plays against an immersive backdrop of vibrantly painted, guitar-themed landscapes. (Imagine 3-D “guitar birds” flying through guitar mountains and over guitar rivers, cities and oceans.) Hecksel and Patchouli have been called “one of the top nuevo-flamenco groups in the world” (Zone Music Reporter). Folk festival favorite Julie Patchouli’s sparkling lead vocals, beautiful duets and award-winning compositions compelled the Chicago Tribune to say the duo’s “songs about harmony and healing inspire the human spirit.”
Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m.: The Four Freshmen
With pure energy and great songs from the past and the present, this always fresh quartet transports audiences to a world of music. Some audience members will return to the bygone days of their youth; others will be delighted to experience their unique brand of vocal harmony entertainment. Those experiencing The Four Freshmen for the first time will always wonder: “Why haven’t I gone to see them before?”
Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.: Sarasota Earlye Musicke Consort
Talk about old school. This dedicated ensemble performs music from the 1300s to the present on recorders of various shapes and sizes. This woodwind instrument was first documented in the Middle Ages—and it’s lost none of its power. Composers who have written for it include Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, and Arvo Pärt.
The Consort’s instruments also include a viola da gamba, an early version of the modern cello. The Consort’s varied programs include descriptions of the instruments and commentary about the music played. The Consort will be wearing Renaissance costumes to enhance the presentation.
Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m.: Kate Delaney
Kate Delaney covers a wide range of styles and genres, including Jazz, Broadway, and popular music. After her years as a headline singer on some of the world’s top cruise lines, she now performs at Performing Arts Centers across the country. She will be back at GPAC this year sharing songs some of her favorite songs from Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Ella Fitzgerald and more.
Tuesday, April 21, 8 p.m.: The Cashore Marionettes in “Life in Motion” Unmatched in artistry, grace and refinement of movement, the internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes are redefining the art of puppetry, and astounding audiences in Europe, the Far East and across the United States, including stops at the Kennedy Center, Annenberg Center, Kravis Center. In this performance, “Life in Motion,” Joseph Cashore presents his collection of marionette characters in a series of scenes taken from everyday life and set to music by such composers as Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss, and Copland. Through a combination of virtuoso manipulation, humor, pathos, classic music, and poetic insight, the Cashore Marionettes take the audience on a journey that celebrates the richness of life.
About the Glenridge Performing Arts Center
The Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC) is a non-profit arts organization located on the campus of The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch. The 260-seat, state-of-the-art theater provides a wide variety of professional and community programs. The venue is also available for rentals, workshops, concerts and performances. Visit www.gpactix.com.