Bradenton Blues Festival headliner MARCIA BALL, 65, has dedicated her life to playing rollicking, good-time blues, with some zydeco and boogie woogie thrown into the mix. A 2013 Living Blues Award winner for most outstanding musician, Ball has also been honored as the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the year several times. A regular on shows like Austin City Limits, Late Show with Dave Letterman and Treme, singer-pianist Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls with her stage performances. Gotta love the title of her latest record, just out: The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man.
Thirty-five years ago, the Sarasota Jazz Festival first entertained with performers including Bobby Haggart, Red Norvo and Venice's own DICK HYMAN. Now it celebrates this milestone anniversary with a fest-closing concert welcoming back Hyman, now in his 80s but still adhering to a busy performing schedule. With more than 50 years in the biz, Hyman has played with everyone from Benny Goodman to Marian McPartland to Ruby Braff; he's recorded more than 100 albums; and he's composed and/or arranged scores for a host of movies, including Woody Allen's Zelig, Stardust Memories and Broadway Danny Rose. And did we mention he was one of the first to record using the Moog synthesizer?
11/10-17 The Sarasota Chalk Festival takes over Venice, with artists creating amazing, if ephemeral, work to the theme of Endangered Et Extinct Species. Also plenty of poetry, storytelling, music, magic and refreshments.
12/6 Bradenton's Riverwalk grooves once more to the sounds of the Bradenton Blues Festival, welcoming performers Marcia Ball, Jimmy Thackery Et The Drivers, Little Ed Et The Blues Imperials, Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues, and more. It all starts around 11 a.m. and continues past 7:30 p.m.
3/1-7 The Sarasota Jazz Festival entertains with concerts featuring not only Dick Hyman but also Karla Harris, the Ted Howe Trio, and Ken Peplowski, at the Riverview High School Performing Arts Center.
4/5-15 La Musica International Chamber Music Festival's 2015 season promises, "Things New," but also welcomes back some of its favorite chamber musicians, with concerts at the Sarasota Opera House and opportunities to mingle with the players.
4/10-19 The 17th annual Sarasota Film Festival brings us a host of new movies at the Hollywood 20, plus panels, parties and filmmakers eager to talk about their work. Tickets go on sale in March.
When Sarasota Chalk Festival artists gather in Venice this month, they can all express their thanks to Kurt Wenner, who basically invented the notion of 3-D pavement art. KURT WENNER, 56, an artist who also has a scientific background (working for NASA for a while), first introduced anamorphic, or 3-0 pavement art, in the 1980s, and he needed to create a new geometry of his own to do it. He was inspired by the use of anamorphic perspective in the work of the Old Masters, adapting it to craft street compositions that appear to rise from, or fall into, the ground. The process has even got a name: Wenner's hyperbolic perspective. But you don't need to know the math to appreciate the art.