Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presentsA New Concert Series in North Port!January 11Dick Maley’s Dixieland Band; February 15Jennifer Sheehan:You Made Me Love You: Celebrating the Great American Songbook; March 22The Dave Bennett Quartet:A Tribute to Benny Goodman and Friends

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December 18, 2014



Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents

A New Concert Series in North Port!

January 11

Dick Maley’s Dixieland Band

February 15

Jennifer Sheehan:

You Made Me Love You: Celebrating the Great American Songbook

March 22

The Dave Bennett Quartet:

A Tribute to Benny Goodman and Friends

This new concert series, under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, is in the state-of-the-art North Port Performing Arts Center.


(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents a new concert series at the North Port Performing Arts Hall, 6400 West Price Boulevard, North Port. The three concerts, under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, include Dick Maley’s Dixieland Jazz Band (January 11, 3 p.m.); Jennifer Sheehan in “You Made Me Love You,” a concert celebrating music from the Great American Songbook (February 15, 3 p.m.); and The Dave Bennett Quartet, presenting a tribute to Benny Goodman and friends (March 22). Individual concert tickets are $25; the three-concert series is $55. Tickets can be purchased online at; by calling the North Port Performing Arts Center’s box office at 941-426-8479; or by visiting the box office in person at 6400 West Price Boulevard, North Port. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“We’re delighted to expand our musical offerings to the North Port area,” says John Fischer, executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. “It’s a world-class performing arts hall so expect three world-class performances.” He adds that the organization’s expansion of programs is leading up to a game-changing 20th season in 2016.

Dick Maley’s Dixieland Jazz Band launches the series on January 11, 3 p.m., with a concert featuring toe-tapping Dixieland jazz. This free-spirited ensemble entertains with traditional favorites, sometimes with a twist, and maybe just a few tunes destined to be new favorites. Dick “Spanky” Maley moved to New Orleans at the ripe old age of 22, where he performed in many notable night clubs on Bourbon Street with the New Dixie Zing Kings Dixieland show band. By 1980 Maley started honing in on his jazz skills under the tutelage of many great jazz artists, including Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Bill Allred, Chuck Hedges, Bob Draga, Johnnie Varro and Connie Haines. His band members include: Chris “Crash” Clifton, trombone; Charlie Bertini, trumpet; Don Mopsic, bass and tuba; Jim Snyder, clarinet and sax; Randy Morris, piano, banjo, trumpet and vocals; and Paulette Pepper, vocalist.

Next up on February 15, 3 p.m., Jennifer Sheehan combines her marvelous voice, great dramatic sensibility, and riveting stage presence in a performance that includes songs by Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Jule Stein, Stephen Sondheim, Henry Mancini, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mercer, and more. With her fresh, sophisticated interpretations of songs old and new, her flair to connect directly with her audiences, and her classic Hollywood glamour, the “glorious-voiced” brunette enchants audiences throughout the United States and Europe. James Followell will accompany  Sheehan on piano. He has worked as a musical director, collab­orative pianist, and arranger with many Broadway and cabaret luminaries. Followell’s theater credits as musical director include the Off-Broadway production of “Jerry Herman’s Showtune,” and “The Best of Times” at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. Followell also served as musical direc­tor and pianist for the Off-Broadway hit “Forever Plaid” and toured with its first national company.

The series closes with The Dave Bennett Quartet: A Tribute to Benny Goodman and Friends, March 22, 3 p.m. Clari­netist Bennett is a self-taught musical prodigy who brings to life the classic sound of Benny Goodman with incredible technique, style, beauty of tone and naturalness. Bennett began playing at age 10 on a clarinet given to him by his grandparents. He then taught himself how to play Goodman songs by ear. By the time he was 14, Bennett was already touring the United States with several bands on the “trad jazz” festival circuit. Bennett has made a great impression on several of Benny Goodman’s band members, including vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and pianist Dick Hyman. Bennett will be joined by Tad Weed on piano, Don Mopsick on bass, and Dick Maley on drums.

Since 1996, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and celebrated emerging artists. The 2014-2015 season runs through May 2015 and includes six concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” four concerts in its “Pop Series,” and three special concerts. Three “Lunch, Look and Listen” events are also scheduled. For more information about the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2014-2015 season, visit or call 941-306-1202.


The 2014-2015 Season at a Glance

Classical Recital Series

Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater; 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

  • Adrian Anantawan, violin, and Amy Yang, piano, performing works by Brahms, Ravel and Mozart. January 31 and February 1.
  • Ying Quartet with Ayano Ninomiya, violin, Janet Ying, violin, Phillip Ying, viola, and David Ying, cello, performing works by Haydn, Auerbach, and Beethoven. March 14 and 15.
  • Bion Tsang, cello, and Adam Neiman, piano, performing works by Faure, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. April 18 and 19.
  • Adrienne Danrich, vocalist, and Djordje Nesic, May 30 and 31.


Pop Series

At the Historic Asolo Theater; 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

  • Into the Night with Gershwin: The Music of George Gershwin and Marvin Hamlisch” with Thomas Pandolfi, piano. February 28, 7:30 p.m., and March 1, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Trumpet Invasion” with Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, Mara Bonde, soprano, and Rich Ridenour, piano. May 2, 7:30 p.m., and May 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
  • “A Romp With Gilbert & Sullivan” with Tracy Olivera, soprano, Bob McDonald, baritone, Steve Cramer, tenor, Joseph Holt, piano, and the Gloria Musicae Singers performing highlights from “Pirates” “The Mikado,” and “Pinafore.” May 9, 7:30 p.m., and May 10, 2 and 7:30 p.m.


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.

  • Trio Voila with Thomas Koch, guitar, Jane Hoffman, flute, and Laura Jensen Jennings, viola, performing works by Beethoven, Johanson, and Willis. January 22.
  • Best Of The Great American Songbook” with Jennifer Sheehan, cabaret/theater singer, and James Followell, piano, performing songs by Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and more. February 12.
  • Samus Haddad, baritone, and Lee Dougherty Ross, piano, performing spirituals and songs by Weill and Hoiby. March 19.


Soiree Series

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

  • Jennifer Kim, classical guitar. April 26 and 27.


Special Performances

At the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

The 2015 Edvard Grieg Festival in Florida features three concerts of lesser-known works performed by Antonio Pompa-Baldi, piano; Njǻl Sparbo, bass-baritone; Einar Røttingen, piano; Einar Røttingen, piano; and the Gloria Musicae Singers, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Holt. Also featuring lectures, presentations, an exhibit of Grieg’s manuscripts, and a competition for prizes that include a concert tour in Norway. January 9-11. For a complete listing of all events, visit


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.

Photos courtesy of the artists.

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