at F L O R I D A S TAT E UNIVERSIT Y
2020 â€“ 2 1 SE A SON
SPONSORS DIAMOND LEVEL
TAYLOR/BL ACK BURN FAMILY
P L AT I N U M L E V E L RON SACHS & GAY WEBSTER-SACHS
FSU License Plate
H ERB & M AR Y J ER V IS
K EN K ATO & N AN N AGY
S I LV E R L E V E L LINDA J. SMITH, PHD
BERNADE T TE & ROGER LUCA
MIKE Y BESTEBREURTJE & WILSON BAKER
TERESA BE A ZLE Y WIDMER MARSHALL & KIMBERLY CRISER
BRONZE LEVEL CHAR LE S & SUS AN ST R AT TON
Architects Lewis + Whitlock
L AR R Y & JO DE E B
S ALLY KAR I OT H
JI M & BE T T Y AN N R O D G ER S
ST EFAN I E & ER WI N JACK SO N
IN-KIND SPONSORS, GRANTS & ENDOWMENTS
L AURIE & KELLY DOZIER ENDOWMENT
SPONSOR SUPPORT DOES NOT INDIC ATE ARTIST S’ ENDORSEMENT OF ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE .
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Performing Arts Return
he 2020–21 Season boasts a mix of well-known and emerging artists representing all genres. A special attraction this year is the “Florida’s Finest” series featuring talented artists from the sunshine state. The lineup presents an eclectic series of 22 performances, including music, comedy, spoken word and visual arts. Music genres such as roots, bluegrass, vocals, jazz, singer-songwriter, pop, Celtic, rock, country and holiday are represented. This year, there is really something for everyone’s interest! The season begins with the free virtual presentation “I Have a Song to Sing, O!” by New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. This virtual performance represents a collection of the theatre company’s favorite songs from a variety of its productions. Live, in-person performances begin on December 5 with “Florida’s Finest” Marvin Goldstein who will create a festive mood with his holiday performance. Due to the pandemic, we have spread out our performances, capping off the season on July 27 with great pop phenomena ABBA The Concert. The key word for this season is flexibility. Changes due to COVID-19 may continue to occur. We will keep you updated on any adjustments that need to be made.
Our website will be your best source of the most up-to-date information regarding dates, times and locations for performances this season as well as for health and safety protocols. All CDC and state guidelines will be followed. Performances will be held off campus at locations where seating can be arranged to allow for social distancing. The health and safety of our patrons remains our priority. In the next week or so you will receive information about when sponsors, members and the general public may purchase tickets. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and members who have kept the arts alive through their support. Thank you for believing in the power of the performing arts and in the future of Opening Nights. Stay safe and the Opening Nights team looks forward to seeing you soon.
Michael Blachly Director, Opening Nights at Florida State University OPENINGNIGH T S .F SU.ED U | 3
2020–21 SEASON CALENDAR O’Connor Lee
Ricky Nelson Remembered
rock & roll
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players musical theatre, virtual
roots, blues, singer-songwriter
Starring Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
Marvin Goldstein, piano instrumental, holiday
POSTPONED TBD PRISM
classical, jazz, marching band, pop Streetlight Cadence
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Max Weinberg’s Jukebox
rock & roll
folk, pop, punk-folk
Máiréad Nesbitt Ensemble
Michael Rosato: Chain of Parks Art Festival Presenting Artist
spoken word, visual arts
Sons of Mystro crossover, reggae, pop, hip-hop
Veronica Swift photo by Raj Naik
Edwin McCain Trio
singer-songwriter, indie rock
An Evening with Billy Dean
Old Salt Union
DATES , TIMES AND PROGRAMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
ABBA: The Concert pop
Cover: Keb’ Mo’ OPENINGNIGH T S .F SU.ED U | 5
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
I Have a Song to Sing, O!
An exclusive video celebration of timeless Gilbert and Sullivan favorites! A cast of seven principal performers of New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players explore repertoire from seven Gilbert and Sullivan operas in this creative and entertaining concert. Filmed this summer from locations throughout the United States, youâ€™ll delight in the fun and variety of the performances, and the opportunity to see and hear everything up close and personal. The concert features recognizable favorites from The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, and The Mikado, as well as lesser performed gems from Patience, Ruddigore, Iolanthe, and The Yeomen of the Guard. I Have a Song to Sing, O! Is a great introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan for new audiences and a treat for die-hard Savoyards.
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Marvin Goldstein, piano Internationally acclaimed Marvin Goldstein is a piano performer, arranger, music producer, composer and entertainer. He began his music training at the age of 9 and at 18, he was awarded a music scholarship to Tel Aviv University School of Music in Israel. His studies continued at the famed “Mozarteum” of Salzburg, Austria, and he completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Florida State University. In six-decades of performing, Marvin has traveled extensively performing in places such as Jerusalem, Denmark, England, and throughout Canada and the United States. His greatest passion is to pull varied cultures together through musical performances, fostering peace that only music can bring. He has recorded over 50 CDs in genres including popular music, patriotic melodies, show tunes and love songs. Marvin has a unique ability to draw an audience into the music with the emotions a particular piece may invoke. He truly makes the piano come to life. Marvin will perform selections of holiday music for an enjoyable evening for all.
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Photo by Bill Lax
A Collaboration with the Florida State University College of Music Featuring students from Florida State’s top-ranked College of Music, PRISM offers a wide array of entertainment from Chamber Winds, Symphonic Band, jazz ensembles, the Marching Chiefs, and many more exciting groups. The Tallahassee Democrat might put it best: “The PRISM shows are built on a more-is-more philosophy…PRISM’s contrast between traditional fare and more experimental groups may be one of the reasons behind the program’s success. Its multifaceted nature makes PRISM a gem among music lovers. Because of its design, [the performance] offers a unique show depending on where an audience member sits—those in the balcony will be nearer to certain ensembles than those in other sections, and vice versa.” So come experience this unique event that lauds our students and faculty. It’s fantastic, fresh, and not to be missed!
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classical, jazz, marching band, pop
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Keb’ Mo’ Making music for over a quarter of a century, Keb’ Mo’ has proven that he is a musical force that defies typical genre labels. With 14 albums in total, five GRAMMY® awards, 14 Blues Foundation Awards and six Broadcast Music, Inc. Awards, Keb’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. Artists who have recorded his songs include B.B. King, Buddy Guy, The (Dixie) Chicks, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer, Tom Jones, Melissa Manchester, Solomon Burke and the Zac Brown Band to name a few. Keb’ has also collaborated with artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Jackson Browne, Natalie Cole, Lyle Lovett, India Aries, James Cotton, Bobby Rush, Timothy B. Schmit, Marcus Miller and many more. Come hear the legendary artist who has earned a reputation for his mastery of multiple blues styles, his ability to combine traditional approaches with a contemporary attitude, and for his timeless storytelling sensibility.
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blues, roots, singer-songwriter
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Ricky Nelson Remembered Starring Matthew & Gunnar Nelson Ricky Nelson Remembered is an interactive, multi-media rock & roll concert experience that takes the audience on a musical journey down memory lane with the life of the founder of the country rock music genre. Largely credited as one of the most important rock artists of the ‘50s and ‘60s, the show celebrates the life of America’s original “Teen Idol” through never-before-seen video footage of the Nelson family with interviews from celebrities influenced by Ricky Nelson. Performed by his twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar, their father’s greatest hits including “Poor Little Fool,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Travelin’ Man,” “I’m Walking” and “Garden Party” are showcased among many others. The triple platinum recording artists also incorporate their own self-penned chart toppers, like “Love & Affection” and “After the Rain” for an Americana experience that appeals to a multi-generational audience. Hailing from three generations of #1 hitmakers, Matthew and Gunnar put the Nelson family in the Guinness Book of Worlds as the only family in entertainment to accomplish this. With their rock band NELSON, Matthew and Gunnar have five Top 40 Billboard hits, four #1 MTV videos and have sold over 6.5 million albums worldwide! 10 | 2020– 2 1 OPENING NIGH T S
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rock & roll
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox was one of the most interactive, energetic performances that we’ve ever had!”
— Marc Steczyk, Director of the Lincoln Amphitheater Max Weinberg’s Jukebox continues to barnstorm the country, blasting out the hits! Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Max Weinberg, most widely known for his nearly 44-year association with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, brings power, dynamism, versatility, and chops to all of his musical aggregations. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox comes armed with an unlimited repertoire of classic songs, engaging the audience in a truly interactive concert experience. The audience calls out any of 200+ titles, creating the set list in real time, and Weinberg and his four-piece group play songs on deman. No show is the same.
rock & roll
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Jeanne Robertson Jeanne Springs Forward
Jeanne is 77, she has more than 100 million YouTube views and has published four books. The former Miss North Carolina, standing tall at six-foot-two, has a vivacious personality, heart and season of humor. Jeanne tours nationally, with regular appearances at the Grand ‘Ole Opry. The demand for her family-friendly and engaging brand of humor has grown exponentially, with popular anecdotes like “Don’t Go to Vegas Without a Baptist” and “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store” becoming national favorites. Robertson’s witty depiction of everyday situations never fails to have audiences rolling with laughter, and you won’t want to miss the performance of this truly funny lady!
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Streetlight Cadence Streetlight Cadence is a fresh and energetic 4-piece band that specializes in a “punkfolk” sound that is established through violin, cello, accordion, guitar and drums with group vocals. The band began as three college students busking to afford food after a full day of classes. Jesse responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Jonathon seeking “Interesting Musicians,”and together with Brian, their fellow orchestra compadre, took to the sidewalks of Waikiki, Hawaii. Years later, long-time friend Ben made the monumental decision to leave his day job and join the group. The members of Streetlight Cadence are friends first and bandmates second, which is felt through their performances and relationship with fans. The group has three unique Billboard chart placements and even self-produced their own Emmy-nominated travel TV show, Will Play For Food. Highlight performance locations beyond the sidewalks include Aloha Stadium, Hawaii Theater, Grand Hyatt in the Bahamas, Disneyland Resort, Italia Cultural Hall in Japan and more! Nine years in and still going strong, Streetlight Cadence continues to step forward in the touring music world with the support of their diverse fanbase from all over the world.
folk, pop, punk-folk
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Máiréad Nesbitt Ensemble For more than a decade, GRAMMY®- and Emmy-nominated artist and composer, Máiréad Nesbitt has enchanted millions of fans around the world as the Celtic violinist. As the founding member of the music phenomenon, Celtic Woman, she has been the featured violin soloist on 11 of their albums, all of which have become #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. She has been featured on the original soundtracks for Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Disney’s Tinker Bell and Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. An Irish Music Magazine Best Traditional Artist and multi Irish Music Awards recipient, Máiréad has emerged as one of Ireland’s most in-demand musicians and a prominent presence on the Celtic and World Music scene. Her eclectic career has always encompassed the contrasting styles of classical and Irish traditional music and has allowed her to perform with international artists such as Nigel Kennedy, Van Morrison, and Irish music icons such as Sharon Shannon and Paul Brady. Loyal fans of all ages, across geographical and cultural boundaries far beyond the musical heritage of Ireland, have adored her beguiling stage presence and versatile instrumental talents that make her “a demon of a fiddle player.” In her new production, Celtic Spells, Nesbitt will tell the story of star-crossed lovers who are forbidden by their religions from being together. They must leave their homes and families, cross the ocean to build a life and a family, and cross-time in the lives that they create together.
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Chain of Parks Art Festival Presenting Artist MichaelÂ Rosato specializes in designing and painting large-scale murals for public and private spaces. Mr. Rosato has been commissioned to create artworks for display in museum exhibits, corporate headquarters, retail spaces, restaurants, sports arenas, outdoor venues and private residences. His recent mural of abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, has received international acclaim. Mr. Rosato describes his style as representational realism and he enjoys telling vivid and often emotional stories through his work. His murals can be seen in venues across the country, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial; Texas Motor Speedway; the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; Bacardi Headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Globe Life Park, home to the Texas Rangers; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Museum; the Chesapeake Country Mural Trail; the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Harriet Tubman Mural at the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge, Maryland.
spoken word, visual arts
L AU R I E & K E LLY D OZ I E R E N D OWM E N T
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Sons of Mystro Sibling duo Malcolm, 23, and Umoja, 20, were born and raised in South Florida to a Jamaican father and Barbadian mother. They learned to play violin through South Florida’s public-school system and attended Dillard High School for the Performing Arts. Together, the two brothers are Sons of Mystro. They use their violins to interpret reggae classics, American pop songs and their own creations accompanied by a DJ and a drummer. Mentored by iconic violin/viola duo Black Violin, Sons of Mystro, are garnering national attention for their fresh and fun interpretation of classic songs. They are winners of the Emerging Artist Under 21 Years Old award at IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards). Their debut recording, “Reggae Strings” is available now wherever music is streamed or sold.
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crossover, reggae, pop, hip-hop
Edwin McCain Trio Called the â€œgreat American romanticâ€? by The New York Times, Edwin McCain has built an enviable career over the past 20 years by balancing his massive pop success with the year-round touring schedule of a tireless troubadour. His hit songs, authentic spirit and surprisingly affable sense of humor keep fans coming back time and time again for nights that feel more like parties with old friends than rock concerts. After recording two of the biggest love songs in the history of pop music and experiencing the success that comes with a television show on Animal Planet (Flipping Ships), McCain will perform in Tallahassee with his acoustic trio.
indie rock, singer-songwriter
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Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff
Matthew Whitaker Born in 2001 in Hackensack, New Jersey, Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for playing music first began at the young age of 3, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. Matthew has had years of music instruction, currently studying classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School in New York City. It is the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the United States. He is currently enrolled in the BA Jazz Studies program at Juilliard in New York City. He’s extensively toured the United States and abroad, performing before The Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and on other world renowned stages, including: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the Apollo Theater; Carnegie Hall; Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco; and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Most recently, Matthew was featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
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O’Connor Lee Tennessee-based Americana duo O’Connor Lee (Kate Lee and Forrest O’Connor) recently signed to Compass Records and are putting the finishing touches on their debut full-length album. Prior to signing with Compass, they earned national recognition as co-lead singers and primary songwriters of the O’Connor Band, a group they co-founded along with Forrest’s father, seven-time Country Music Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor. They wrote the majority of the band’s first album, Coming Home, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and won a GRAMMY® Award in 2017. Both independently and as part of the O’Connor Band, O’Connor and Lee have collaborated with Paul Simon, Zac Brown, Kenny Loggins, Clint Black, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, and many others. They have performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and Fenway Park, as well as some of the most prominent festivals and performing arts centers around the country.
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Old Salt Union Despite coming from varied musical backgrounds, Old Salt Union’s collective melting pot of styles and musical vocabularies informs their fresh approach to modern string band music. The high-energy quintet includes Ryan Murphey (banjo), Justin Wallace (lead vocals and mandolin), John Brighton (violin), Jesse Farrar (lead vocals and bassist) and newest member Graham Curry (guitar). Old Salt Union recently enlisted GRAMMY®winning banjoist and Compass co-founder Alison Brown to produce their self-titled Compass Record debut. Their second album, Where The Dogs Don’t Bite, builds on this non-traditional string band’s varied musical backgrounds for a wildly entertaining, eclectic batch of songs. The band from Belleville, Illinois, was able to carve a unique niche for themselves in the industry and are proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
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Photo by Raj Naik
Veronica Swift At age 26, Veronica Swift has become one of the world’s most sought-after jazz talents. Swift recorded her first album Veronica’s House of Jazz, at age 9 and began professionally touring with her parents as well as singing and playing trumpet in the youth jazz group, The Young Razzcals Jazz Project. It was with the Young Razzcals she had her first opportunity to perform on festival stages like the Telluride Jazz Festival and would for the next 10 years. At age 11, after recording her second album It’s Great to be Alive, she headlined her first show at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola - Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Swift continued touring throughout college, and the past few years, she has toured and performed on numerous occasions with Michael Feinstein, Benny Green, Wynton Marsalis, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
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An Evening with Billy Dean Billy Dean is an American Troubadour who has mastered the art of singing, songwriting, and storytelling. His unique ability to morph into the characters in his songs, brings the storyline to life, captivating his audiences with musical drama. Billy’s finger-style acoustic guitar playing is reminiscent of James Taylor. Billy’s charismatic charm and approachable personality puts you in an intimate setting, where he hits every emotional nerve, leaving you musically nourished with a renewed spirit. Although Billy’s best known in the Country Music genre for his 11 Top Ten singles, five #1’s and over 4 million albums sold, his musical roots are entangled with Folk, Southern Rock, Bluegrass and Classic Country. Billy Dean has been nominated by every major music award entity. Most recently he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. His accolades include a GRAMMY® participate award for Country Salutes Gospel, a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year and The Song of The Year at The Academy of Country Music Awards, for “Somewhere in My Broken Heart.”
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ABBA The Concert “This is the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get!” ABBA The Concert brings one of the greatest pop phenomena back to life! Dance, sing, and have the time of your life at the ultimate tribute celebration! Iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen” will have you on your feet. From their many successful U.S. tours, ABBA The Concert has sold out performances at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. The group has also played for 20,000 at Highland Park in Chicago, and over 11,000 at the Seaside Summer Concert Series in Brooklyn. Critics agree that ABBA The Concert is the most amazing and authentic tribute show.
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