Living in this area for over 20 years – it always amazes me how quickly “season” comes around and how it seems every year it gets busier and busier and the car carriers arrive earlier and earlier. Don’t get me wrong – I love our seasonal residents – they bring a certain level of energy to paradise and assure that all of the arts groups will “ramp” up to attract them to their events and productions.
January 2 – Guitarist Jack Lawrence will be the featured artist at the Norris Center – he is known as one of the best acoustic guitarists in the country and features a very eclectic mix of music in his concerts. January 10 – the Naples Jazz Orchestra will usher in their seventh season in a new location – Golden Gate High School. Don’t let the change of venue confuse – you can see this school from the interstate as you head to the exit for Marco Island – but don’t go to Marco – instead go left. The first concert in their new location will be Sinatra at the Sands featuring Walt Andrus vocalist – who has some velvet tones reminiscent of the “crooner” himself.
A new group to the artistic mix in Naples is Seraphic Fire – they have begun a series of concerts on the West Coast of Florida for the first time. This group is in their fourteenth season and they have performed throughout South Florida and nationally. They are regarded as one of the preeminent choral orchestral chamber ensembles in the United States. Founder and Director Patrick Dupre Quigley brings top ensemble singers and instrumentalists from around the country to perform repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to baroque masterpieces and works that are newly commissioned. Their second concert in a series of four will be performed on January 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Moorings Presbyterian. This concert will feature the music of the American Spiritual – an expression of pure joy.
During January you will have the opportunity to experience String Theory Plus in two different venues – on January 17 they will be performing as a part of the Heath concert series at the Violin Shop in Naples. On January 25 they will be featured in a special concert presentation sponsored by the Naples Music Club – this performance will be at the Bonita Bay Club and will focus on the music of Cole Porter. Now you are probably asking so who is String Theory Plus – a fantastic group of musicians – Glenn Basham, violin and the concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic; Kevin Mauldin – bass and principal bassist of the Naples Philharmonic and Dan Heck – jazz musician extraordinaire. For the program on the 24 they will be joined by Rebecca Richardson, vocalist.
At this point in the article, I am sure you are realizing that I am highlighting some groups and concerts that you might not find in the major listing of events – but that is the beauty of Naples – something for every taste not only in the restaurants but in the arts.
Now that you found where Naples Jazz Orchestra is performing this season you can go back for another concert on January 24 – this concert will feature the music of Benny Goodman with artist Ken Peplowski. If you like the music of the Big Band Era – you can get a major dose of on the 24th – head to Cambier Park in the afternoon for the 2 p.m. concert of the Gulf Coast Big Band – this group was formed in 1991 and have a fantastic director – Dan Miller. If you have not heard him play a “very sweet” trumpet you need to make sure you put their concerts on your bucket list for this year. So Big Band Sunday is January 24 – you won’t want to miss either of these performances.
Enjoy all that Naples has to offer, introduce your friends to something new and keep exploring your home town.