Jazz singer Salvant, author Steve Berry and more

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Whatever you do, don’t ask Jim Griffith to pick his favorite event scheduled for the 2021-22 season at the Sidney & Davis Art Center.

He just can’t.

“It’s like choosing your favorite piece of Norman Love chocolate,” says the centre’s founder and executive director. “Not possible! They’re all delicious.

Among those tasty offerings: Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (who gives the first major concert of the season on Wednesday, October 13), popular violinist Tessa Lark, bestselling novelist Steve Berry and cellist Zlatomir Fung, the 2019 winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition.

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Grammy-winning jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant

The concert lineup is so good that in fact Griffith says it’s the best season in the centre’s 13-year history. A press release from Davis calls it their “Season of the Giants.”

“This year everything seemed to be working out and we had my ‘dream team’ of concerts,” he says. “Every series we show… has artists who come back either because of high demand from our audiences, or they’ve never been to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center or southwest Florida for that matter. Some artists that I’ve been trying to get play here for years.

Salvant, in fact, might be the greatest artist to kick off a Davis Art Center season, Griffith says. The Miami native won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010 and won three Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album between 2015 and 2018.

“Ms. Salvant is one of the artists I’ve worked for to get here for several years,” Griffith says. “Her schedule has always been too busy for us, but I think our reputation for presenting the best of the best finally caught her attention and she agreed to meet with us. “

“We are fortunate to have an artist of her caliber in our special room. “

Renowned cellist Zlatomir Fung

Here are the highlights of the Davis Art Center 2021-22 season:

“Syzygy Dark Art” (Now until October 13)

This annual exhibit features more spooky and disturbing works of art, just in time for the Halloween season. After that, the Davis Art Center will present two new art exhibitions each month throughout 2021-2022.

Sidney’s Friday Nights Live Music Series (October to July)

Groups perform every Friday evening in Sidney’s New Rooftop Sculpture Garden, an open-air venue with an ongoing display of sculptures and other works by various artists. The rooftop is also open during the week.

Jazzy Nights Concert Series (October to April)

The annual series kicks off on October 13 with Grammy-winning jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. After that, the series continues with the Dan Miller and Lew Del Gatto Quintet and jazz trumpeter / singer Jeremy Davenport (February 11), the Aaron Diehl Trio (April 22) and acclaimed trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (April 29).

“Wicked March” (October 21)

Visit the Davis Art Center for a spooky and immersive art experience featuring music, dance, art, and theatrical performances, all by students from Lee County.

Cooking for the Arts: An Evening in Tokyo (October 22)

This interactive dinner / fundraiser combines hands-on food preparation with specialty wines and a gourmet meal.

Renowned violinist Tessa Lark

Rooftop Halloween Party (October 29)

Things are getting a little scary on the roof. Costumes are strongly encouraged for this outdoor party featuring dancing, a costume contest and music from DJ Selecta AJ of the 105.5 FM radio station.

Tree Goodwill Festival (December 2-5)

The annual fundraiser features uniquely decorated trees and wreaths loaded with gifts. They are drawn for the benefit of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.

“Quattro Mani” (January 7-28)

An art exhibition featuring collaborations between local artist Darryl Pottorff and the late Robert Rauschenberg in their Captiva Island studio.

Chamber music series (January to March)

The annual series will begin on January 6 with acclaimed violinist Tessa Lark and double bassist Michael Thurber performing the “Bach to Bluegrass” crossover concert. This show will be followed by the SPA Trio (January 14), the annual American Virtuosi concerts featuring the founder and professional violist of the Davis Art Center Jim Griffith and some of his well-known musician friends (February 24 and 26), acclaimed violist. Roberto Díaz (March 11) and cellist Zlatomir Fung, first prize at the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition (March 14).

Vinyl Vibes Series (February to March)

The tribute band series returns with music from The Beatles (The Mersey Beatles of Liverpool, February 18), ABBA (ABBA Revisited, March 10) and both The Eagles and Journey (Faithfully, March 25).

The Mersey Beatles tribute act

Bluegrass Series (January to April)

Roots / rock / Americana band David Mayfield Parade returns on January 28 to open the bluegrass series. They will be followed by Sierra Hull (March 26) and the Vickie Vaughn Band (April 15).

Famous Authors’ Lecture Series

Following bestselling writers visit the Davis Art Center for lunch and a lecture. On the program this season: Craig Pittman (January 10), Anjanette Delgado (February 14), Steve Berry (March 14) and Jane Lorenzini (April 11).

Art walks the trail (March 18-19)

The 10th annual fashion show features clothing from area boutiques and international couture designers.

Fort Myers Film Festival (May 18-22)

The 12th Annual Independent Film Festival returns with more short films, documentaries and feature films. There are also the monthly TGIM Mondays, where the public and famous judges watch independent short films and help decide which ones will be selected for the festival.

The next exhibition

“Age of the Titans” (July 1 to 29)

In this group art exhibition, 12 artists were challenged to create giant works of art on 8ft by 9ft canvases.

“Pythonesque” (July 7-29, 2022)

This group exhibition features works inspired by the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python and their surreal, absurd, and conscious style.

– For tickets and more information, call 333-1933 or visit sbdac.com.

Connect with this reporter: email [email protected] or connect on social media at Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter) and @ crunells1 (Instagram).


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