Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces its Revised
With most of its planned engagements for 2020 and 2021 postponed due to the pandemic,
Artist Series Concerts has taken to the great outdoors, crafting a new revamped outdoor performance season that capitalizes on the area’s favorable climate, safe, beautiful outdoor settings, and vast array of talented artists.
(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to present its revised Outdoor Performance Season for Winter-Spring 2021. The nine-concert series will feature many of the same artists that had been planned for the 2020-21 season, as well as some new ones, including a return engagement by hometown singing sensation Maria Wirries. (See the full concert listing at the bottom of this release.) All concerts will be performed outdoors at either Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (1534 Mound Street, Sarasota), Nathan Benderson Park (5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota), or Plantation Golf & Country Club (500 Rockley Blvd., Venice). Social distancing, mask requirements and other safety protocols will be in place at all venues. Performances at the Plantation Golf & Country Club will also include a sit-down dinner following the concert. Tickets are $35 for the Selby and Benderson concerts; $57 for the performances at Plantation Golf & Country Club. Tickets are available online at ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling (941) 306-1202, M-F, 10-4. Note: Customers who havepurchased tickets for any of the revised or postponed concerts will be contacted soon by someone from ASC to obtain a credit or refund or to donate their tickets.
While the pandemic has upended the performance seasons of countless performing arts organizations and artists, for many it has also brought out a newfound creativity and agility, resulting in the discovery of new ways to keep the music playing. For Artist Series Concerts, it was literally the open air. “Oddly enough, it took COVID-19 and the closing of indoor venues to push us to present the first outdoor concerts ever in our 25 years,” says executive director Marcy Miller. The forced experiment was a notable success, with the organization’s first three outdoor concerts last fall selling out and leaving audiences begging for more. “It was clear after our third open-air concert that outside was the way to go right now,” says Miller. “We’re so grateful for the venues, patrons, artists and climate that have enabled us to put this revised outdoor season together.”
Fortunately, and thanks to this area’s vast assortment of musical talent, filling in dates for the revamped season was a relatively smooth task. “For most of this ‘new’ season, we’ve actually been able to retain several of the artists who were already in the area and on the roster for this winter and spring, and who were able to adjust their schedules to the various changes in ours,” says Joseph Holt, director of artist programs. Those artists include two popular singers, baritone Todd Thomas and pops crooner Anthony Nunziata (January 21 and February 12 respectively); the “Rising Stars of Sarasota,” featuring four outstanding young musicians from area high schools, joined by pianist Holt (January 31); Bill Buchman and his ensemble performing their musical tour of world jazz (March 10); and the Venice Symphony Brass Quintet (March 28). New additions to the schedule include the live performance of Women of Note, Artist Series Concerts’ celebration of female singers and composers which was released as a video last summer(February 18); Rick Costa’s Jazz Sextet featuring six of the area’s finest jazz artists, including vocalist Walt Andrus, in a swinging salute to the sounds of Glenn Miller, (March 7); the best of Latin salsa and jazz performed by the vibrant young ensemble Heat Latin Jazz (April 18); and the return of hometown singing sensation Maria Wirries, performing Broadway and jazz standards with pianist Alan Corey (April 21). “One challenge to putting this revised season together was maintaining an interesting variety of musical styles and genres,” says Holt, who worked with all of the artists to put the new lineup together. “I think once again, we’ve succeeded in offering something for everyone – opera, pops, classical, and a world of jazz!”