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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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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Grammy Nominated Jazz Artist

Saturday, January 6, 2024; 7:30pm

"A living legend, Carmen Lundy's performances are a masterclass in the art of jazz singing—impeccable, evocative, and absolutely mesmerizing." - NPR Music

Two-time Grammy® Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album singer and composer, Carmen Lundy, has been making her mark in New York City's jazz scene since 1978. Her debut album, "Good Morning Kiss" dominated the Billboard chart for 23 weeks.. Beyond her solo success, Carmen contributed to Grammy®-winning projects, received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz, and is a prolific composer with over 150 published songs. Recognized by the Jazz Times and The New York Times, Carmen Lundy's legacy is one that transcends genres, spanning music, acting, and mixed media art.

"Lundy's ability to convey both vulnerability and strength through her vocals is a testament to her exceptional artistry." - The New York Times

"Carmen Lundy’s voice, both in terms of range and emotional articulation, is as close to flawless as a human can get." – Jazz Times

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Compton & Bennett in A Cracker at the Ritz

Tuesday, January 9 & 23, 2024; 7pm
Tuesday, February 6 & 20, 2024; 7pm
Tuesday, March 5 & 19, 2024; 7pm

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.

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Zach Bartholomew Trio: The Art of the Trio

Thursday, January 18, 2024; 7:30pm

An all-star trio led by Resident Artist & award-winning pianist/composer Dr. Zachary Bartholomew featuring FGCU’s Director of Jazz Studies Brandon Robertson and drummer-composer Max Marsillo.

This trio has a magical chemistry that has made them a fan favorite of audiences throughout all parts of the Sunshine State. Their infectious energy, high level of musicianship, and diverse musical repertoire make every concert a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The band’s original compositions draw from influences ranging from straight-ahead jazz, Afro-Cuban, and bossa nova to fusion, rock, and classical music.

Hear the stories behind the compositions directly from the composers and enjoy a night of world-class music!

The Band:
Zachary Bartholomew - piano
Brandon Robertson - bass
Max Marsillo - drums

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STAGE 2 IMPROV presents 

Improv Comedy show

January 21, 2024; 7pm

Whose story is it anyway? It's YOURS! Join Stage 2 Improv for a night of unscripted comedy where audience suggestions write the story and the players of Stage 2 bring it to life with scenes, songs and laughter. Be sure not to miss this family friendly comedy event.

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Total Rock 'n' Roll Recall

Thursday, February 1, 2024; 7:30pm

The Incorrigibles return to the Center For The Arts stage February 1st with a brand new program of great songs …this time mostly from the 1980’s.

Susie Hulcher (vocals, bass), Matt Baxley (vocals, keys, guitar), Darrell Nutt (drums, percussion) and Ricky Howard (guitar, piano, vocals) bring their skill, wit, passion and personality as they interpret MORE songs you forgot you remembered! Cyndi Lauper, Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Cars, Pretenders and so much more!

The 80’s were a versatile and creative decade for Pop music!

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Latin Alternative Rock

Friday, February 2, 2024; 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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Saturday, February 3, 2024; 7:30pm

“I had the sense of being in the presence of a pop-soul superwoman whose every gesture and inflection conveyed confidence and mastery.”
- The New York Times

Powerhouse jazz vocalist Nicole Henry will debut at the Bonita Springs Performing Arts to celebrate the release of her 8th CD, Time to Love Again, which reached #4 on the U.S. Jazz Radio charts and stayed in the TOP 10 for 10 weeks. This concert features an eclectic mix of jazz standards and reimagined pop tunes by a diverse group of iconic composers including Anthony Newley, James Taylor, Rodgers & Hart, Buffy St. Marie, Ned Washington, Stevie Wonder and Joan Armatrading.

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Chicago Blues Icon

Friday, February 16, 2024; 7:30pm

Two-time Grammy nominated artist and American blues legend John Primer was the bandleader and guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Having played or recorded with a who's who of blues greats, including Junior Wells, Gary Clark Jr., Derek Trucks, Johnny Winter, The Rolling Stones, and Buddy Guy to name a few, John Primer's accolades, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, reflect his countless contributions to the history of Chicago blues. There are very few fans, critics, or musicians who will deny the fact that John Primer is the real deal.

John Premir is a multifaceted musical virtuoso whose innovative approach to composition and performance has left an indelible mark on the contemporary music landscape. Premir's journey began with classical training on the piano, which laid the foundation for his distinctive style. He later expanded his repertoire to include a diverse range of genres, seamlessly blending classical, jazz, and electronic elements into a harmonious fusion. His ability to transcend traditional musical boundaries has earned him acclaim from both critics and audiences alike.

"John Premir's music is a sonic tapestry that defies categorization. His compositions are a mesmerizing journey through genre-bending landscapes, showcasing a rare blend of technical prowess and emotional depth." - Music Today Magazine

"In a world saturated with musical mediocrity, John Premir stands out as a true original. His innovative soundscapes challenge the listener to rethink the possibilities of contemporary music." - Harmony Review

"Premir's live performances are nothing short of a transcendent experience. The way he effortlessly navigates the keys, infusing each note with raw emotion, leaves audiences captivated and craving more." - Concert Chronicles

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Friday, February 23, 2024; 7:30pm

"Patchouli & Terra Guitarra's music is a true masterpiece. Their ethereal melodies and intricate guitar work create a transportive experience that resonates deeply with the soul." - World Music Magazine

"An acoustic duo whose songs about harmony & healing inspire the human spirit" - Chicago Tribune

Patchouli & Terra Guitarra, the dynamic and innovative musical duo, is a captivating force in the contemporary music scene. Masterful guitarist Bruce Hecksel and versatile vocalist and percussionist Julie Patchouli, takes their audiences on a mesmerizing journey through time and space, blending diverse musical influences with their own creative magic.

Their innovative approach transcends musical boundaries, embracing a blend of genres including world music, jazz, and flamenco. Their performances are a rich tapestry of sound and visuals, creating a multi-sensory experience that transports audiences across the globe and through time.

"This duo's music is a breathtaking journey, filled with intricate rhythms and melodies that weave an enchanting tapestry of sound." - Jazz & Beyond Review

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The Music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Featuring Drummer Paul Gavin

Thursday, February 29, 2024; 7:30pm

Art Blakey was both a powerhouse drummer and a charismatic bandleader who co-founded The Jazz Messengers and led the legendary group from 1956 until his death in 1990. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, aka “The Hard Bop Academy,” birthed some of Jazz’s best-known musicians and compositions. Arts Bonita Resident Artist and world-class pianist, Dr. Zachary Bartholomew puts the spotlight on drum master and special guest, Paul Gavin, as they present a concert featuring the music of the Jazz Messengers, celebrating Blakey’s deep influence on jazz.

The Band:
Dr. Zachary Bartholomew - piano
Paul Gavin - drums
James Suggs - trumpet
TBD - saxophone
Brandon Robertson - bass

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Starring Kody C Jones

March 7, 2024; 7pm
March 8, 2024; 7pm
March 9, 2024; 7pm
March 10, 2024; 2pm

Get ready for a hilariously outrageous comedy that will have you laughing in your seats! Kody C Jones takes the stage as Alex More, a frustrated actor who finds himself in the most peculiar of situations. When he takes a mysterious job as a character performer and shopkeeper in a shopping mall hidden beneath Barbra Streisand's Malibu mansion, he never expects the Lady Herself to make her way downstairs. What follows is a wild and whimsical journey filled with wit, perspicacity, and the oddities of celebrity life.

Winner of the 2014–2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show.

“A fantasy so delightful you wish it were true.” —The New Yorker.

“Hilarious! Beyond brilliant. This show will go down like butta'!” —Entertainment Weekly.

“Fantastically funny.” —New York Post.

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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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Featuring members of THE BAND and THE LEVON HELM BAND

Saturday, March 16, 2024; 7:30pm

The Weight Band originated in 2013 inside the famed Woodstock, New York barn of Levon Helm when Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante —both former members of The Band— performed “Songs of The Band” with Band founder Garth Hudson. Inspired to carry on the rock band's legacy, Weider (guitar, mandolin, vocals), and Ciarlante began performing fan favorites from The Band catalog to audiences across the country, inviting Brian Mitchell (keyboards, organ, accordion, vocals) to complete their sound. The Weight Band later added Albert Rogers (bass, vocals), Matt Zeiner (keyboards, vocals), and Michael Bram (drums, vocals) to make up their current lineup with Weider and Mitchell. After years of touring, The Weight Band recorded a new album of original material, capturing The Band’s musical tradition and packaging for today’s Americana base.

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Rick Howard's 2024 SWFL GUITARFEST

A Multi Genre Celebration of the Guitar

Thursday, March 21, 2024; 7:30pm

Guitarist Rick Howard and Arts Bonita present a night of guitar music at its best.

Classical, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Folk and Country…all represented in this six string extravaganza featuring some of our area’s most popular and accomplished guitarists!

All the artists will be accompanied by David C. Johnson on Bass, Bill E. Peterson on drums and Jerry Fierro on Percussion, who as the locals know were members of the area’s legendary group MUDBONE!

A night of Guitars. Guitars, and more Guitars! The world’s most popular, and diverse musical instrument. What could be better?

"If you are a fan of the guitar, and love great music of any style, come check out Rick Howard's 2024 GUITARFEST!! Guitar virtuoso Rick Howard has assembled a Who's Who of guitarists from every style of music for an epic night of music at the Center for the Arts Bonita Springs. I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the great Rick Howard. His artistry and musical vision captivates audiences with a multi-stylistic approach and a delivery that is purely from the heart. This promises to be a highlight concert of the year!!"
-Chuck Bergeron,
Director - South Florida Jazz Orchestra
Program Director - University of Miami
Frost School of Music

"In an area loaded with guitar talent, Rick Howard is one of South Florida’s finest. His guitar event will surely prove to be an evening of musical virtuosity and diversity!"
-Matt Mangas, US 41 Radio

"I’ve been working as a luthier in SW Florida almost 20 years. In this time I have met many guitarists, of which there are a great amount of awesome, talented musicians here. Rick is one of these great players. From Jazz to Rock, Blues to Metal..he’s worked with some of the greats, and a true friend. If you wish for a taste of this talent, come to the GuitarFest March 21st at Arts Bonita."
-Stephen George Brown, SGB Guitars

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Compton & Bennett in...

Saturday, March 23, 2024; 2 & 7pm
Saturday, March 24, 2024; 2pm

Assisted Living: The Musical® features a lively cast of eccentric characters, portrayed by two actors who play 18 different roles, supported by a three-piece band. From Lotharios to lawyers, nurses to neurotics, the show is a comedic parade of personalities, including golfers, gropers, and a retired Catskills comic. Touring nationally and receiving standing ovations in sold-out venues, it promises an entertaining experience without sad songs or inappropriate language—guaranteed fun for audiences of all ages, much like other beloved productions that defy stereotyping.

This show is for everyone who hopes to grow old with laughter and joy...including you.

“Audiences are laughing so hard they cry.”
-Associated Press

“Absolutely thrilling.” -Broadway World

"You'll die if you don't see this show."
-San Jose Mercury News

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Zach Bartholomew Trio: 88 Keys Meet the Great Ladies of Jazz

Featuring Vocalist Dr. Argarita Johnson

Thursday, March 28, 2024; 7:30pm

Award-winning pianist Zachary Bartholomew and his trio are joined by world-class vocalist and flautist, Dr. Argarita Palavicini-Johnson, to present an exciting and interactive concert showcasing compositions and arrangements of songs from the great ladies of jazz.

Argarita dazzles audiences all over the world with her beautiful voice, musicality, story-telling ability, and undeniable stage presence and this show features her hand-picked favorite selections from the songbooks of singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan.

Plus, you’ll hear a few songs that feature her amazing flute playing as well as a selection showcasing Zach and his trio.

The Band:
Dr. Zachary Bartholomew - piano
Marty Quinn - bass
TBD - drums
Dr. Argarita Palavicini-Johnson - voice & flute

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Friday, March 29, 2024; 7:30pm

With impressive accolades that include a Grammy Award, two Blues Music Awards, and a Keeping the Blues Alive Award, Backtrack Blues Band stands as one of America’s enduring and highly accomplished blues groups. They boast an extensive history and a global presence with sold-out concerts worldwide. With a six-piece lineup featuring harmonica, guitar, B3 organ, vocals, and an unstoppable rhythm section, their authentic and dynamic blues sound will energize any audience.

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Friday, April 5, 2024; 7:30pm

South Carolina's The Blue Dogs have defied musical norms, blending bluegrass, country, rock, and soul to create what's now known as Americana. Led by Bobby Houck and Hank Futch, childhood friends turned musical visionaries, the band's country-rock vibe resonates in original songs that capture the essence of their roots.

Teaming up with songwriter Phillip Lammonds, The Blue Dogs produced iconic studio recordings under the guidance of renowned producers.

Blue Dogs shared performed with legends like Willie Nelson, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Widespread Panic. Their annual Homecoming event has become a celebrated tradition, featuring guest artists such as Jerry Douglas and Radney Foster.

In 2022, The Blue Dogs continue to evolve, expanding their lineup and creating a symphony of sound that elevates their dynamic live performances. With drummer Greg Walker providing the heartbeat, The Blue Dogs are not just a band; they're a musical journey, bringing the soulful essence of Americana to audiences worldwide.

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