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Progressive Bluegrass

Saturday, October 7, 2023; 7:30pm

The Seldom Scene was established in 1971 in a basement in Bethesda, Maryland. The original line-up, our Founding Scene Fathers, was John Starling on guitar, Mike Auldridge on Dobro, Ben Eldridge on banjo, Tom Gray on double bass, and John Duffey on mandolin. Charlie Waller, a member of the Country Gentlemen, can be credited for the band's name... Expressing his doubt that this new band could succeed, Waller reportedly asked Duffey, "What are you going to call yourselves, the seldom seen?" The band performed weekly at the Red Fox Inn before getting a residency at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia. The rest is history.

The progressive bluegrass style played by the Seldom Scene had become increasingly popular during the 1970s. Their weekly shows included bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and pop. The band's popularity soon forced them to play more than once a week —but they continued to maintain their image as being seldom seen, and on several of their early album covers were photographed with the stage lights on only their feet, or with their backs to the camera. Though the Scene remained a non-touring band, they were prolific recorders, producing seven albums in their first five years of existence, including one live album (among the first live bluegrass albums).

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Compton & Bennett in A Cracker at the Ritz

Tuesday, October 10 & 24, 2023

Satirists Compton & Bennett present their newest musical, A Cracker at the Ritz. Enjoy a 85-minute satirical roasting of all things Florida in song and sketch comedy. You'll hear Snowbird Come and He Won't Go Home, Swampland Scam, Migrant Worker Man and many more! Includes a 15-minute intermission.

CLICK HERE for Summer Season performance dates.

Generously sponsored by Northern Trust.

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Latin Alternative Rock

Friday, October 13, 2023; 7:30pm

“Being an original has never been a problem for the Cuban born, NYC raised singer-songwriter Elsten torres. “Be yourself everyone is already taken” is not only his favorite quote from Oscar Wilde, but also his personal motto.

A musical pioneer having been credited as one of the prominent creators of theLatin Alternative Rock sound of the late 90’s in the USA, this eclectic and unconventional musician has cemented his artistic fingerprints in the music industry for over 3 decades now. Elsten is a multicultural bilingual artist who has performed on stages all over the world as well as award winning songwriter with major international hits. He has earned two GRAMMY nominations, two BMI songwriting awards, and six Billboard top ten hits throughout his career. … He is often regarded as one of the true songsmiths of his generation for his uncanny ability to write songs that become instant classics in both Spanish and English and that appeal to a vast worldwide audience.

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Ragtime & Traditional New Orleans Jazz

Saturday, October 14, 2023; 7:30pm

Blair Crimmins began his music career in Atlanta, Georgia, playing the rock club circuit under the name “Blair Crimmins and The Hookers”. He was determined to bring the Ragtime and traditional New Orleans Jazz sound to a new young audience and quickly became one of the Southeast’s most exciting touring musicians. A multi- instrumentalist, Crimmins puts on an eclectic stage show while performing on piano, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and even accordion. As a student at Berklee College of Music, his primary focus was songwriting and arranging for large bands. Now he brings his musical knowlege to the group with a classic New Orleans horn section (Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone) while fronting the six peice band with a smokey vocal. While the group may sound like a page out of American history, their original lyrics have a modern twist often expressing the lamentations of an old soul living in the 21st century.

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#1 Billboard Blues Artist

Friday, October 20, 2023; 7:30pm

#1 Billboard Blues Artist Joanne Shaw Taylor and her amazing band perform material spanning her fourteen-year career and her latest critically acclaimed release, “Nobody’s Fool”. Taylor has become one of the hottest live acts on the modern blues scene. You don’t want to miss Blues Rock Phenom Joanne Shaw Taylor on this unforgettable night of soul and blues music!

"massive talent and innate charisma" – NPR

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The First and Longest Running Chicago Tribute Band

Saturday, October 21, 2023; 7:30pm

There are a lot of bands doing a tribute to the band Chicago, but back in the early 90’s, when Powerhouse decided to put together their Chicago Transit tribute act, they were the first in the world to do so. And they remain today as the longest running Chicago tribute band and the only one to carry four lead vocalists, just as the band Chicago does.

The bands’ 5 singers, 4 of which are lead singers, the 3-piece horn section and the 5 piece rythym section, made this show a natural for the band – even getting credit from the band Chicago themselves, back in the 90’s.

In twenty-five years, the band, based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has performed their show at Festivals, Theatres, Casinos and various other venues from as far east as the Gatineau Hills in Quebec to the USA Midwest – including Chicago, Illinois, itself.

The band, with its 3 piece horn section, five piece rythymn section and four lead vocalists is able to cover all the Chicago material from the early horn-dominant classics like ‘Make Me Smile’, ’25 or 6 to 4’ and ‘Saturday in the Park’ to the later, softer, keyboard-oriented ballads like ‘If You Leave Me Now’.

If you like Chicago, you’ll love Chicago Transit!

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Halloween Spooktacular!

Hosted by Arts Bonita Resident Artist Dr. Zachary Bartholomew and FGCU Director of Jazz Studies Brandon Robertson.

Thursday, October 26, 2023; 7:30pm

Hosted by Arts Bonita Resident Artist Dr. Zachary Bartholomew and FGCU Director of Jazz Studies Brandon Robertson, enjoy an extraordinary night of music, costumes, candy, and family fun! This show will feature a concert of Halloween-inspired music with repertoire from artists such as Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Vince Guaraldi, Wayne Shorter, and Frank Sinatra to music from TV shows and films like Ghostbusters, The Addams Family, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, and more! Audience members, staff, and the band are all encouraged to dress up in their best costumes for a chance to win a prize in the costume contest during intermission. Plus, try your hand at some Halloween musical trivia that will take place during this fun and interactive musical event.

Zach Bartholomew, piano
Brandon Robertson, bass
John O’Leary, saxophone & flute
Max Marsillo, drums

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An Evening of Improv Comedy

October 28, 2023; 7pm

Prepare for an evening of laughter like no other as Stage 2 Improv takes the stage to bring you the Comedy Mash-Up event of the season! This unique live performance experience is all about unscripted, unrehearsed games and scenes that are inspired by YOU… in fact, we love it when our audience participates in the fun!

Whether you’re 8 years old or 80, our Comedy Mash-Up is designed to bring a smile to your face. Everyone will be able to enjoy this night of side-splitting clean comedy and spontaneous hilarity.

Stage 2 Improv’s Comedy Mash-Up is more than just a show; it’s an interactive experience that you won’t want to miss. Grab your tickets now and get ready for an evening of comedy that YOU can take part in!

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Celebrating Hispanic Arts & Culture

Sunday, October 29, 2023; 7pm

Gulfshore Opera Presents Latin Infusion!, a festive concert celebrating Hispanic Arts & Culture. A charismatic ensemble of celebrated international artists will perform a kaleidoscope of Latin music including boleros, Zarzuela, Latin pop, and traditional songs from Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Spain, and more!

Returning favorite Cuban baritone Fernando Gonzalez, a member of the international group Latin Divos, sings opera and pop music. His partner on stage is the lovely Venezuelan soprano Erika Ramirez who is a member of the GO Divas. They will perform this Hispanic Heritage concert with Cuban guitarist Jose Alfredo Fernandez-Acosta (Joe Fredd), Cuban pianist Daniel Escudero, and Cuban percussionist Alfredo Chacon. A versatile program of crowd-pleaser favorites like Guantanamera and Girl from Ipanema, plus hits by Gipsy Kings and Santana will be performed along with traditional jewels and semi-classical melodies for a diverse infusion of Latin culture.

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Friday, November 3, 2023; 7:30pm

An award-winning saxophonist, composer, and producer, Jeff Pifher recently received wide recognition with the release of a short documentary In the Same Direction: Jeff Pifher & Socrates' Trial (2020), which chronicles Jeff and his band's latest projects garnering 24 “Best Documentary” and “Best Music” awards from film festivals worldwide. With his band, Jeff has released three studio recordings and one live recording since 2018: Socrates’ Trial (2018), Alternate Futures/Past Realities (2019), Anthem (2019), and Live at Bluewhale (2020).

Jeff and his group performed at the Jazz Education Network Conference 2023, and many notable LA venues, including Catalina Jazz Club, Bluewhale, and Vibrato Grill.

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Blues Guitar Superstar

Saturday, November 4, 2023; 7:30pm

Albert Cummings is back! There are few that can Master two crafts and be considered World-Class in both. Albert Cummings’ hands produce highly decorated, award-winning homes and undeniable blistering, uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Cummings’ soulful and explosive vocals lay another layer on his pyrotechnic on-stage barrage of Blues rock. His blitzkrieg guitar style is a true Blues Lover's auditory feast that leaves his audiences yearning for more. Whether playing a Rolling Barrel House, a rowdy Roadhouse, a jumping back road Juke Joint or an awesome Auditorium, for 10 or 10,000, Albert gives his audiences every ounce of his energy. The fortitude of his blues, the wild, flawless quality of his guitar work and the rapturous boldness of his vocals are enough to satisfy any blues enthusiast.

Cummings’ masterful guitar wizardry has drawn comparisons to iconic axe legends Albert King, Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix, and even his own musical inspiration, Stevie Rau Vaughan. He has graced the stage with esteemed luminaries like Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Susan Tedeschi, Sheryl Crow, and B. B. King, who called Cummings “a great guitarist.”

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Total Rock 'n' Roll Recall

Thursday, November 9, 2023; 7:30pm

The nostalgic yet electrifying supergroup features three of the area's most respected and requested musicians: Darrell Nutt (Drums), Susie Hulcher (Bass & Vocals), and Ricky Howard (Guitar & Vocals), plus special guest artist Matt Bailey (Keyboards & Vocals).

Known for their high-quality performance, versatility, and charismatic stage presence, this tight-knit group covers Pop, Rock, and R&B from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. They play the songs you love, and their playlist is huge! You might hear the Moody Blues, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Cyndi Lauper, to name a few.

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Friday, November 10, 2023; 7:30pm

3-Time Blues Music Award Nominee Dave Keller brings his electrifying soulful sounds to Arts Bonita. Known as a "magnificent soul singer" by Elmore Magazine and praised by Living Blues as a "songwriting genius," Dave Keller has been captivating audiences across the United States and Europe with his exceptional talent and soulful tunes. His remarkable voice and stellar guitar skills have earned him a reputation as one of the finest blues musicians of our time. He has shared the stage with legends like Mighty Sam McClain, Ronnie Earl, and Johnny Rawls, making a name for himself in the blues and soul music scene.

For his latest album, "It's Time to Shine," Keller wanted to capture the raw energy of his band's live performances, so he and his bandmates retreated to a remote mountain cabin in Vermont and recorded the album in a single room without headphones or studio constraints. The result is a powerful and soulful collection of twelve original songs that showcase the band's incredible chemistry.

With Dave Keller's soulful vocals, infectious guitar riffs, and the band's tight rhythm section, this concert promises to be a night of "all night, gutbucket, roadhouse soul" as described by Midwest Record. Don't miss your opportunity to witness a true soul-blues genius in action.

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BIG BAND Veterans Day Tribute

with Chuck Bergeron & The South Florida Jazz Orchestra

Saturday, November 11, 2023; 7:30pm

The South Florida Jazz Orchestra is a modern Big Band comprised of some of the best Jazz musicians, studio musicians, and Jazz educators in the southeastern part of the United States. The members of The SFJO are some of the most experienced professionals in the country, having performed and toured with many of the greatest artists in Jazz and Popular music. These musicians’ careers include tenure with the Big Bands of Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, and Maynard Ferguson, and artists from Stan Getz, Dave Grusin, and James Moody to Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, and Joe Williams.

Big Band veteran Chuck Bergeron put this group together as a “Labor of Love” to provide the South Florida community with an opportunity to hear classic and modern works for a large Jazz ensemble and to present concerts featuring a wide variety of musical guests. In the band’s five years of existence, they have produced concerts featuring many great artists, including Wayne Bergeron, Kevin Mahogany, Eddie Daniels, Jamie Davis, Mark O’Connor, Ken Peplowski, Arturo Sandoval, and Tom Scott.

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Zach Bartholomew Trio: The Music of Bud Powell Reimagined

Friday, November 17, 2023; 7:30pm

Presented by award-winning pianist Dr. Zachary Bartholomew and his trio, experience an interactive and exciting concert showcasing the brilliant compositions of one of the most influential pianists and composers of jazz: Earl “Bud” Powell. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell changed the landscape of jazz creating the genre known as Bebop. His piano playing style has impacted how pianists approach the instrument and he is widely considered the first modern jazz pianist. The band will present some of his most interesting and exciting compositions as well as original material inspired by this brilliant jazz legend.

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with Orchestra

Saturday, November 18, 2023; 7:30pm

In honor of his father’s 100 birthday anniversary, Tito Puente, Jr. will celebrate the life and legacy of American “Nuyorican” musician and internationally renowned entertainer Tito Puente.

A multi-talented artist of Puerto Rican descent, Puente was a percussionist, composer, songwriter, recording artist, and bandleader. With a career spanning five decades, he is often referred to as “The King of Latin music.”

Son of the legendary American salsa and Latin jazz musician Tito Puente, Tito Puente, Jr. has big shoes to fill. And boy, does he! Always honoring his father’s legacy, Tito Puente, Jr. has also made a name for himself as one of the most exciting Latin musicians touring today. It’s in his looks, his joy, and his music. Tito Jr. is on a passionate mission, determined to nurture the musical legacy left by his father.

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Not their father’s jazz quartet!

Friday, December 1, 2023; 7:30pm

When your father is jazz legend, Dave Brubeck, music is always a part of your life. Brothers Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music for most of their lives, with their dad, together, and on their own, in a variety of styles that pay homage to their dad and set their own course, as well. With the Brubeck Brother Quartet, the brothers, along with guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, have performed in concert and at jazz festivals across North America and Europe, including the Newport, Detroit, Monterey, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl and Montreal Jazz Festivals. “The BBQ attains that rarefied level where music is both relaxed and expressive, and their joy in its creation is contagious. There’s nothing out there that comes close to their unique blend of inventiveness.” —All About Jazz

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Compton & Bennett in...
...THE HOME for the Holidays!

Saturday, December 2, 2023; 2 & 7pm
Sunday, December 3, 2023; 2pm

Hot on the heels of their sold-out run of A Cracker At The Ritz, the hilarious comedy team of Rick Compton and Betsey Bennett are back, and this time they’re off their rockers in THE HOME…for the Holidays—when the characters of Assisted Living: The Musical celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

In this all-new show, the ‘party school of retirement communities’ brings new meaning to decking the halls, spinning the dreidel, and trimming the Kwanza bush. Catskill comedian Ben Younger tells of three not-so-wise men trying to sneak past the pearly gates; Naomi Lipschitz-Yamamoto-Murphy is lusted after by everyone auditioning for the Home’s Holiday Extravaganza; and after their uplifting holiday medley, you’ll never think of The Little Drummer Boy the same way again! From Nutcracker tutus and peppermint mocha Ensure to golf cart parades and pharmaceutical-based activities, this vaudeville-esque musical revue will have audiences rolling in the aisles. Plus, you’ll go home humming other catchy musical numbers like “Chili Today and Hot Tamale,” “The Peril of the Bells,” and “Wrapper’s Delight.”

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Arts Bonita Theatre Presents:

A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play

Adapted by Joe Landry
Directed by Cody C Jones

December 7, 2023; 7pm
December 8, 2023; 7pm
December 9, 2023; 2pm & 7pm
December 10, 2023; 2pm & 7pm

The Charles Dickens holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, complete with vintage commercials for fruitcake (extra fancy), and the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring. A handful of actors bring dozens of character to the stage, as the familiar story unfolds: Three ghosts take Ebenezer Scrooge on a thrilling journey to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. A charming take on a family favorite that will leave no one saying "Bah Humbug!"

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Zach Bartholomew Trio: The Music of Vince Guaraldi

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Tuesday, December 12, 2023; 2pm & 7:30pm

Award-winning pianist and Arts Bonita Resident Artist Dr. Zachary Bartholomew and his trio will entertain you with an interactive and informative concert of everybody's favorite holiday music featuring the compositions and arrangements of jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. In addition to enjoying a world-class musical performance, audiences will learn more about Guaraldi's music, life, and musical involvement with a Charlie Brown Christmas Concert. A must-see event!

Zachary Bartholomew, piano
Alejandro Arenas, bass
Ma Marsillo, drums

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“Favorite Bluegrass Artists of All Time!” —Bluegrass Today, 2016

Thursday, December 14, 2023; 7:30pm

The legendary Bluegrass band returns to Bonita Springs! Don’t miss powerhouse vocalists Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, and Shawn Lane, whose harmonies soar over the dynamic banjo of Jason Burleson and the Dobro of Gary Hultman.

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Brazilian Percussionist, Guitarist and Singer

Friday, December 15, 2023; 7:30pm

Nanny Assis is a Brazilian-American percussionist, singer, composer and guitarist based in New York city. He has collaborated with renowned musicians - Janis Siegel, Vinicius Cantuária, Eumir Deodato, Joao Donato, Kenny Baron and Paul Simon - and has recorded three albums: “Brazilian Vibes”, “Double Rainbow” and “Honey and Air”. Daniel Assis is a young tenor/baritone currently studying Jazz voice at Oberlin Conservatory (Ohio).

Anybody who sees Nanny performing immediately feels that music for him is more than just a career. It's how he translates rhythms and notes into pure essence – often snatching audiences away - and other times energizing them enough so they can stand up and dance, like Bob Marley once said, “and sweat until you can’t sweat no more."

His ability to make any kind of music sound smooth makes Nanny a notable and gifted artist. And that’s what he is, a gifted artist.

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Saturday, December 16, 2023; 7:30pm

Jason Marsalis is the youngest son of piano patriarch and jazz luminary Ellis Marsalis Jr. and their famous New Orleans music family, declared "America's First Family of Jazz" upon the presentation of their NEA Jazz Masters Award in 2011, the nation's highest jazz honor.

In addition to being a renowned drummer, Jason is also a respected vibraphonist whose 2018 release "Melody Reimagined" with his 21st Century Trad Jazz Band rose swiftly to the top of the Billboard jazz chart. With a fire in his heart and a passion for music, his will to swing has never been more resolute. The maturity and the command Jason possesses over his music are clearly evident to those who have heard or seen him.

“His playing is eccentric within graceful boundaries, concerned with polyrhythm as science, history, and gamesmanship, full of the technique used to non-slick ends… Discipline and strategy are written deeply into the band” —The New York Times

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Bosa Nova in Bonita

Friday, December 22, 2023; 7:30pm

They were born and raised in Rio de Janeiro City, the capital of bossa nova and samba, and moved to the United States in 1993 where they continue to have a very busy performing schedule. They have become highly recognized in the Brazilian, Spanish and American communities and have won many awards, Rose as the best Brazilian singer and Ramatis as the best Brazilian producer and musician.

Ramatis is a guitar and bass player, songwriter, musical producer, arranger and sound engineer. Rose is a singer, songwriter that also plays percussion and likes to play acoustic guitar at home.

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Jazz Saxophonist Extraordinaire

Friday, March 15, 2024; 7:30pm

"'J'" is for Jazz in South Florida and Jesse Jones, Jr. is here to prove it. The Miami native is a saxophonist extraordinaire and continues to be on the forefront of a burgeoning jazz renaissance in South Florida. Jesse and his brother, Melton Mustafa, who is one of the great trumpet players of our time has been a running force in music for many years. Jesse Jones Jr. is one of those hidden treasures that you can't help but to share with the world. Jesse overwhelms you with his infectious positive attitude and dynamic stage presence.

The Jesse Jones Jr. Quartet puts on a show audiences remember for a long time. In addition to working with his own quarter, Jesse gigs with other performers and other bands as a free-lancer. His ability to captivate the audience with the classics, and adapt them to his own swinging interpretations, is legendary. "I can only thank God for His blessings. With the love and encouragement of my wife Thelma, family, friends and incredible fans, my heart will continue to pour out the music that we love so well." -Jesse Jones, Jr.

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