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  • Interview with virtuoso pianist Joseph Holt

    5-16-17 Interview

    5-16-17 Joseph Holt is the Artistic Director of Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly Gloria Musicae) as well as the Artistic Director of Artists Series Concerts, he is a virtuoso pianist who played all over the world before coming to settle in Sarasota. He was apparently a hyper active child, who was “scattered all over the place” and “something of a hellion.” So much so that a committee was formed in the church where his father was pastor to pray for “the soul of little Joey Holt.” Hoping that an extracurricular activity would give him an outlet (focus) for all his energy, Joey was given a choice of several activities; little league, cub scouts or piano lessons. Even though his family didn’t own a piano and he had to practice on a paper keyboard, with a little encouragement from his grandmother, a pianist herself, Joey choose piano. And from the very first lesson it was clear that the Joe and the piano were linked. Listen to this still exuberant man describe his amazing career, what’s next for the organizations he shepherds and hear him play the compelling “Dance of the Giving Maiden,” live.

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  • Interview with Dancer, choreographer JoAnn Hunter

    5-24-16 Interview

    5-9-17 – Dancer, Choreographer JoAnn Hunter discovered that she was a dancer when, at eleven years old, her mother suggested she take dance lessons. Once exposed to dance JoAnn knew it was her passion. Serendipitously, the dance teacher her mother picked at random from the telephone book, turned out to be just the mentor JoAnn needed. Beginning with ballet she brought in specialists to teach every type of dance and JoAnn lapped it up. Listen to this vivacious, endearing woman talk about her determination to pursue her passion, the obstacles and the successes; appearing in 12 Broadway shows before taking the leap to choreographer. Hear her describe her current project as choreographer for Beatsville, new musical the Asolo Repertory Theater.

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  • Interview with Singer Barbara Jordan


    5-2-17 Singer Barbara Jordan is calls herself “late bloomer.” Although she has been singing literally all her life and whenever anyone heard her – teachers in school, bands she sat in with – they always wanted to hear more, she didn’t identify herself as the singer she is until she retired from teaching and raised her daughter. Finally taking the plunge Barbara put together a band of her favorite musicians and is not only playing clubs in Canada (where she lives) but has recorded her first CD Barbara Jordan – Timeless. Listen to this bright and talented woman describe her late blooming ride towards what she was obviously always meant to do. And listen to a cut from her album.

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  • Interview with Trumpet Player, arranger, composer, copyist Lew Gluckin


    4-25-17 When Lew Gluckin was ten or eleven his father took him to see Trumpet virtuoso Louis Armstrong play and that experience dictated the rest of Lew’s life. He visited a friend who had a bugle and when he blew it, although he didn’t make much of a sound, he thought he could be good at it. He got his first trumpet at around twelve and not only taught himself to play, but over his career taught himself to arrange, copy and compose. Lew says “everybody knew me” and so in addition to the bands he played with including Larry Elgart, Peter Duchin, Woody Herman, and Art Mooney, he was called on to play Jingles, Broadway Shows, Rock and Roll records and to back up artists like Liza Minelli. Listen to this funny, self-deprecating man talk about the career of a man who never had formal training and played with, hung out with, wrote for or rubbed shoulders with the greatest musicians of our time including Herbie Hancock, Mile Davis, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer…

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  • Interview with Actor, Director,Playwright, Author Teacher E Katherine Kerr

    4-18-17 Interview

    4-18-17 Having spent years working on stage, film and TV, and as one of the principle members of the prestigious Westport Theatre Group, actor, director, playwright, author, and educator E Katherine Kerr has recently brought her talents and skills to Sarasota. Katherine maintains that as a girl from Indiana, with no exposure to theater and no formal training, she should never have become an actor. Listen to the hilarious story of the first time she was on a stage and how it convinced her to never step foot on a stage again. But time after time she was placed on stage until she recognized that it was the place she was meant to be. And having accepted that she was an actor, hear her tell how she was discovered by her idol Mike Nichols, and the extraordinary career that followed where she shared stage and screen with stars like Meryl Streep and Cher.

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  • Interview with Senior Development Director for the Ringling Musuem Anna Von Gher

    4-11-17 Interview

    4-11-17 Anna E. von Gehr is a facilitator. As the Senior Director for Development for the prestigious John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Anna’s job, and her passion, is securing the resources to create the very best space possible for the museum and to make that space welcoming to every potential visitor. Remembering how her first museum trip, when she was just eight years old, shaped her life, Anna is especially interested in encouraging visits from at-risk families by making the museum a friendly place. To do this she works with museum staff, as well as donors, helping them create a legacy for their lives that achieves their goals. Anna is about creating a win-win situation for the museum, its visitor and its donors. Listen to this dedicated woman talk about how she arrived at this unusual career and the hiccups along the way. Hear her describe how she recognized and pursued what is right for her the very moment she saw it.

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  • Interview with Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Director Harry Bryce

    4-4-17 Interview

    4-4-17 Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys didn’t do that;” but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Dearly Departed. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the

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  • Interview with Johnny Epstein – Midsummer Nights Dream

    3-28-17 Interview

    3-28-17 Johnny Epstein has had a long career as a Shakespearian Player and acting teacher. Although he knew from age 7 that he was comfortable on stage – when he spontaneously adlibbed to cover a fellow student missed cue – it was a series of unplanned and unintended actions and comments that lead him to realize that acting was his career. To help him overcome a fear of water his parents sent him to Tuffs Magic Circle summer day camp because campers were encouraged to swim and, by the way, spent the mornings doing theater. Johnny spent 3 years there enjoying doing plays but did not think of acting as a “profession.” Following his first performance in a Shakespeare play (As You Like it) the shop teacher a “plain man with little exposure to Shakespeare” said “I saw that As You Like it – you’re a great actor – is this going to be your profession” This was the first time Johnny considered of acting as a profession. Listen to this knowledgeable, articulate man describe the ironic way he got his first role on Broadway and talk about his life, the work of acting, and the upcoming production of Midsummer Night’s Dream– performed by his class of 2nd year graduate students at the FSU Conservatory for Acting Training.

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  • Interview with actor Denise Cormier

    3-21-17 Interview

    3-21-17 Denise Cormier says she is a “repertory actor.” She thrives on the challenge of playing several different roles in a repertory setting, which means that it is not unusual for her to be playing two different characters in the same day – at matinee and evening performances. And that is exactly what she is currently doing at the Asolo Repertory Theater. If you hurray you can see Denise as Lady Bird Johnson in The Great Society, a senator’s wife in Born Yesterday and Birdie Hubbard in Little Foxes. Come see what it means to be the consummate “repertory actor!” And listen to Denis describe the ironic way in which her career evolved, opportunities arriving just when she was ready to accept them.

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  • Interview with choreographer Donald Frison

    3-7-17 Interview

    3-14-17 Choreographer Donald Frison never had a dance class. Dancing from the moment he could move, Donald says that he was simply” born to dance.” Listen to the way he used his dancing to crash his older sibling’s parties and how he explained to the dance company who’d hired him that he didn’t know any dance terminology – but if shown he could do whatever they wanted him to– and he did. Now the resident choreographer at the West Coast Black Theater Troupe for which he has choreographed as many at 7 shows and appeared in any number of them. Come see his electrifying work with the four extraordinary singers in the current West Coast production of Girl Groups of the 60’s

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  • Interview with Musician Zoe Lewis

    3-7-17 Interview

    3-7-17 Zoe Lewis says she never had any choice but to be a musician, she was simply pulled to it. Today she plays the piano, guitar, ukulele and clarinet as well as the washboard and spoons – often playing several of these at one time. Virtually constantly in motion Zoe sings her quirky, interesting, extremely smart and often funny songs, and spontaneously (she never has a script or a set list) tells stories, all the while attempting to interact with the audience. She is trying to build community and when you are in her audience you want to be part of Zoe’s community. She is also a traveler, she has been in countless countries and virtually all of the United States –“soaking up” the interesting sounds and stories of the places she is visiting. Born and raised in a tiny town in England Zoe benefited from the unconditional love and encouragement her elderly parents (her mother was 51 when she was born). She was endowed with the belief that should do and be whatever when found it in her heart to do and be. And what she found in her heart warms ours.

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  • Interview with Dick Hyman

    2-28-17 Interview

    2-28-17 Dick Hyman is turning 90! The celebrated pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer he is as busy now as he has ever been, and it has been an extraordinarily busy and productive life. He was Artistic director for the Jazz in July series at New York’s 92nd Street Y for twenty years, jazz advisor to The Shedd Institute’s Oregon Festival of American Music, winner of seven Most Valuable Player Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and an Emmy for his original score for Sunshine’s on the Way, a daytime drama, and another for musical direction of a PBS Special on Eubie Blake, and composer of 11 or 12 scores for Woody Allen movies. Dick was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and the New Jersey Jazz Society. In 1995, and will be a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters fellow in 2017. Listen to this gentle, self-deprecating man talk about his approach to music, and hear several cuts from one of his CD’s. Come to the Sarasota jazz festival to help him celebrate his 90th birthday.

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  • Interview with Master double bass player John Lamb

    2-21-17 Interview

    2-21-17 When John Lamb plays everyone stops to listen. His solos may be poignant or whimsical, achingly simple or blindingly complex, but you don’t want to miss a note. A highly respected musician who spent three years touring and recording with the legendary Duke Ellington band, he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sarasota Jazz Club’s “Satchmo Award” for service to jazz as both a musician and an educator. In his 80’s he is arguably the busiest musician in South Florida. But despite his success and accolades he remains kind, generous, charming and self-deprecating, dedicated to sharing his extraordinary talent and knowledge and making the world a better place which, by his very presence, he already has. Listen to him describe the way he constructs his solo’s and come hear him along, with an extraordinary group of musicians, as they celebrate the 90th birthday of icon Dick Hyman at this year’s Sarasota Jazz Festival.

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  • Interview with Director Jesse Joou

    2-14-17 Interview

    2-14-17 Director Jesse Jou is in Sarasota for the second time – this time – directing The Drunken City, for the students at the FSU-Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Jesse is an alumnus of the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, the Drama League’s Directors Project, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and the Civilians R&D Group. He received his MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama and is currently on faculty at the School of Theatre & Dance, Texas Tech University. While many believe that in order to succeed in life you must have a goal; know where you’re going and exactly how to get there. Jesse simply took the next step when it appeared and remarkably found himself exactly where he should be. He was thirty when he left his straight, well paying, comfortable job and went to Graduate School to study Directing. Listen to this introspective, interesting man describe a path that may not have been right for others, but was exactly right for him. And hear him describe the unexpected nuances in his current project.

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  • Interview with Actor Edward Gero – as Antonin Scalia

    2-7-17 Interview

    2-7-17 Actor, teacher Edward Gero is the fourteen-time nominee and four time recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for his work in Shakespeare, contemporary and musical theatre, as well as the recipient of Robert Prosky awards for an outstanding lead actor and James MacArthur awards for an outstanding support actor. Today, in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Company’s production of the Originalist, he is reprieving the role of Justice Antonin Scalia. When you see Ed as Justice Scalia you will understand why playwright John Strand wrote it with him in mind. Listen to Ed describe the remarkable experience of meeting, hanging out with, and getting to know the Justice up close and personal. And hear this intelligent, thoughtful professional discuss his life and his work and the charmed way in which his career unfolded.

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  • Interview with Marvelette Brenda Watty

    8-2-16 Interview

    1-31-17 On Sun 2/5 & Mon 2/6 at 7:30 the West Coast Black Theater Troupe, in a special event to highlight their next production, Girl Groups of the Sixties, is presenting singer, performer, entertainer Brenda Watty. Brenda will not only sing but to tell stories about the music business (“the dirt”) and recount memories of her years as a member of the Toys “(How Gentle is the Rain”), Mystique (“Push, Push”) and the Marvelletes. Years in which she travelled all over the world touring with various groups and singing background for the Temptations, the Four Tops and many many more. Come see this dynamic and fearless entertainer do what she does best. And in this interview listen to Brenda describe her journey to becoming what she always knew she was – and singer and an entertainer, and listen to several or the Marvellets biggest hits.

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  • Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads

    Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads


    1-24-17 Sharon Leslie Ohrenstein is a renaissance woman. Her extraordinary voice was first discovered in Kindergarten when she was chosen to sing the solo in the Christmas play and has delighted countess audiences since. She is a fine actor appearing in vastly dissimilar roles with authenticity. As a director she has helped actors find nuances which enabled them to be better than they were. And, as a teacher, she has enhanced the experience of the eager students at Roads Scholar for 16 years. Although writing came late in her life, along with her composer husband David, she wrote the book and lyrics to two musicals and two operas; producing, directing, and staring in many (she even made the costume). Listen to this amazing woman talk about her life journey and come see her open this year’s Sarasota Festival on Jan 28th at 1:00, at Crocker Church performing Golden Roads an original musical homage to Golda Meir.

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  • Interview with Pianist and Singer Lee Dougherty Ross

    1-17-17 Interview

    1-17-17 Seven year old Lee Dougherty saw her mother and brother at the piano and knew that she too wanted to play. Her mother immediately enrolled Lee with Francis Marsh Bunton, who had a profound impact on Lee’s life and with whom she studied until she entered college. Many times in Lee’s life someone came along and told her what she must do next and bravely she followed their instructions. At a piano completions, a judge told Lee that she must attend North Texas State College to study piano. And she did. In addition to piano she took voice lessons from Julius Huehn, an operatic bass-baritone who had sung over 200 performances with the Metropolitan Opera . Mr. Huehn insisted that Lee must go to the Eastman School of Music to study voice. Lee left North Texas before graduating and went off to Eastman to finish her degree. During her studies there Lee decided that voice was to be her main instrument, but she never stopped playing the piano. She and her husband Jerold Ross, created soiree’s wherever they lived bringing beautiful music to audiences often in their own home. When they relocated to Sarasota FL they continued their soiree’s which morphed into the highly successful Artists Series Concerts which is now celebrating its 25th year. Listen to this delightful woman describe her journey, hear her play and sing and come hear her and Joseph Holt perform four-hand piano music in ”Kittens on the Keys” January 26 at 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.

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  • Interview with Jazz composer, keyboardist, singer teacher Gwen Wahman

    1-10-17 Interview

    1-10-17 Pianist, composer, arranger, singer, dancer, teacher Gwen Wahman fell in love with music at four years old. Although she took her first piano lesson at 4 1/2 she had wait till she was five for her motor skills to develop. Hear Gwen describe how she “waited and waited” and when she was finally five she “couldn’t wait to get at it.” But Gwen is a multi-passionate person so she also studied the saxophone and was a professional dance at 16. Listen to her describe the dilemma of having to choose between two passions – music and dance – and how her choice has informed her life. Also hear 2 cuts from her first CD Certitude.

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  • Interview with Alan Brasington

    12-27-16 Interview

    12-27-16 Alan Brasington began his performing career at three when he repeated to neighbors a dirty joke he’d overheard his grandmother telling. It was years before Alan understood the joke but he loved the attention the delighted neighbors gave him. Still it would be twenty seven years before he was able to become the actor he was clearly meant to be. Alan’s mother was just sixteen when he was born and she loved the movies. Mother and son would watch films on their black and white TV and revel in the performances of actors like Cary Grant and Greta Garbo – who Alan thought of as Kings and Queens or Gods. It was an opportunity to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London that allowed Alan to discover who he is and what he was meant to do. Listen to him tell the story of his rise from poverty to live a truly extraordinary life. A life he was able to embrace because of his mother positive certainty that he could be/do anything – that all things were possible – and clearly mother was right. To hear how Alan wound up at the Royal Academy and the rest of his remarkable life story.

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