Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buzzing about Bradenton

Home sweet home.
Since returning to the features department of the Bradenton Herald on Monday I have been stoked to find the Manatee-Sarasota arts, theater, music and movie scene as vibrant - if not more so - than when I left the paper four years ago.

This past Saturday at the St. Pete Folk Fest I watched Bradenton alt-country act Have Gun, Will Travel, which I first wrote about for the Herald in 2006, deliver a stirring performance of mostly smart originals spiced with cool covers of rather obscure Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Damon Fowler, who recently relocated from Brandon to Bradenton Beach, told me today he plans to have his second record out on the venerable Blind Pig label Jan. 18. His 2009 Blind Pig debut, "Sugar Shack," reached No. 12 on Billboard's Top Blues Album chart.

Trombone Shorty at Tropical Heatwave in Ybor City 2009.
By Wade Tatangelo.
While we're on the topic of blues, we have the
20th (!) Annual Sarasota Blues Festival on Nov. 6. Look for New Orleans super-funk sensation Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews to enthrall audiences with an unprecedented, highly addictive hybrid of rock, hip-hop, jazz and celebratory Crescent City soul.

As for performing arts, I see that at the nearby Manatee Players Stephen Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Sunday in the Park with George" will be elating audiences through Oct. 10.

Next, the Ringling International Arts Festival, which runs Oct. 13-17, features a slew of excellent events such as performances by modern dance icon Mikhail Baryshnikov and the world premiere of "Hurricane" by Nilo Cruz. The Cuban-American playwright penned one my all-time favorite contemporary dramas, "Anna in the Tropics." Set in Ybor City in 1929, the play enjoyed a long, critically acclaimed run at American Stage in St. Petersburg, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. Yes, I hope, dare I say, expect, to be blown away by "Hurricane."

And how about the TV/movie buzz surrrounding Sanborn Studios? Which The Herald has covered, among other places, here. Pretty exciting stuff! And this is just the start of season.


john blackwell said...

Woot! Good to see Mr. Tatangelo's name in the paper again!

Wade Tatangelo said...