Wednesday, November 15
At The Glenridge Performing Arts Center
Multi-award-winning artist Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed as today’s premier four-string banjoist. An American Banjo Hall Of Fame inductee praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by The New York Times, Sayer is a pioneering musician who rose to prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band.
The Glenridge season runs through April 3
and features 15 performances and events.
(October 18, 2023) The Glenridge Performing Arts Center’s 2023-2024 season opens with multi-award winning banjoist/vocalist Cynthia Sayer with her all-star Joyride Band performing a mix of jazz, American Songbook standards, and more, Wednesday, November 15, 7:30 p.m., at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota. Tickets are $30. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (941) 552-5325 or visit GPACtix.com.
“We’re beyond thrilled to open our season with such a distinguished artist as Cynthia Sayer,” says Ben Turoff, the director of the Glenridge Performing Arts Center. “This is Cynthia’s first time back after three years and we anticipate a sold-out show. She’s been a top favorite here at GPAC, performing annually for over 10 years. We consider her part of our Sarasota family since her mother has been a longtime Sarasota resident and her cousins live in Lakewood Ranch. And the big news is she recently got married and her mother-in-law’s family home is on Lido Key. I recommend getting your tickets early.”
Multi-award-winning artist Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed as today’s premier four-string banjoist. An American Banjo Hall Of Fame inductee praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by The New York Times, Sayer is a pioneering musician who rose to prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band, appears regularly at prominent venues and music festivals, and has played with leading jazz, popular, and roots music artists including Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Andy Statman, Les Paul, Marvin Hamlisch, Wynton Marsalis, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, and many others. Heard on feature film and TV soundtracks, Sayer tours on four continents, appeared on numerous national TV and radio shows, performed at The White House, played with The New York Philharmonic and the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She is also an avid educator with a long track record of workshops, lecture/demos, and educational programming for all ages. More at www.cynthiasayer.com.
Sayer’s Joyride Band members (Jim Fryer, trombone and vocals; Ben Rosenblum, accordion and piano; Jen Hodge, string bass; and Larry Eagle, drums) are all featured touring artists in their own right, with credits ranging from Bruce Springsteen to headlining at international jazz festivals.
The Glenridge Performing Arts Center’s 2023-2024 season runs through April 3. Tickets for the Cynthia Sayer performance are on sale now; tickets for the rest of the season will be available for purchase on November 1. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (941) 552-5325 or visit GPACtix.com.
The GPAC Season at A Glance
Wednesday, November 15, 7:30 p.m.: Cynthia Sayer & Her Joyride Band
Multi-award-winning instrumentalist/vocalist/bandleader Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed by musicians, critics, and fans alike as one of the top four-string banjoists in the world today. Praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by The New York Times, Sayer enthralls audiences with her electrifying, swing-based performances. Her program is a mesmerizing mix of hot jazz, Great American Songbook, old favorites, virtuoso classics, and more.
Friday December 8, 7:30 p.m.: Nate Najar’s “Jazz Holiday”
This annual tradition showcases Najar’s band, made up of local and New York based talent. Najar puts together a swinging group every year—a well-oiled jazz machine that never fails to delight.
Saturday, January 6, 7:30 p.m.: Maria Wirries
LOCAL ARTIST HITS THE BIGTIME! Maria Wirries started giving concerts at GPAC when she was just 13 years old. Her voice teacher was Glenridge musical director Alan Corey. Since then, she graduated with honors with a degree in musical theater from Penn State. Wirries was most recently seen in the Off-Broadway revival of “Kinky Boots” and the Broadway and touring productions of “Dear Evan Hansen.” She was recently accepted into the prestigious Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and is beyond happy to return to the GPAC stage for a night of music and entertainment.
Saturday, January 13, 7:30 p.m.: Steve Leslie Sings James Taylor
Steve Leslie has been playing guitar and singing onstage since he was 15 years old. Today, along with performing his own music, Leslie has performed hundreds of shows entertaining audiences with the heartfelt and lyrical songs of James Taylor. Leslie will fill the GPAC stage with beautiful acoustic renditions in “How Sweet It Is! Steve Leslie Sings James Taylor.”
Sunday, January 28, 2 p.m.: Harry Allen & His Flying Horse Big Band
Harry Allen and His Flying Horse Big Band will be swinging the music of Duke Ellington, Terry Gibbs, Billy May, Al Cohn, Jeff Rupert, and Harry Allen.
Friday, February 2, 7:30 p.m.: “Sincerely Sondheim” with Nicholas Rodriguez
Direct from the Tony Award-winning Revival of “Company,” Nicholas Rodriguez celebrates Stephen Sondheim with a nod to both the lyrical and musical genius of the late composer and his reputation for his renowned penmanship. Pulling from the thousands of handwritten letters to fans and colleagues alike, Rodriguez weaves together stories from Sondheim’s own words and explores the fascinating relationships with legends such as Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerry Herman, Jonathan Larson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and his own personal story. Featuring selections from “Company,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Into the Woods,” and more.
Wednesday, February 7, 7:30 p.m. Michael Lasser presents the lecture, “Songs by Lieber and Stoller.” Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller were two Jewish kids who helped invent rock and roll with “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” and more.
Saturday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.: Michael Lasser and Friends Perform Works by Cole Porter
Music historian Michael Lasser joins with vocalist Jessica Ann Best and singer/accompanist Alan Jones to bring alive the songs and music of Cole Porter in concert.
Saturday, February 17, 7:30 p.m.: Diego Figueiredo
At only 39, this award-winning, rising star of the guitar world has released 26 CDs, three DVDs, and played in more than 60 countries. A master of improvisation and harmony, his concerts are a fusion of jazz, bossa nova, and classical music.
Sunday, February 25, 2 p.m.: The Four Freshmen
The Four Freshmen are one of America’s most enduring vocal groups, bringing a jazz sensibility to the classic American songbook in their own special way since their inception in 1948. With a sound centered around a tight four-part vocal blend, like barbershop but jazzier, The Four Freshmen deliver a fresh take on every tune they sing, from dreamy, crooner-style ballads to swingin’, up-tempo arrangements that make a quartet feel like a big band.
Thursday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.: Strings Con Brio
Strings Con Brio is a community string orchestra that engages highly talented musicians of varying ages from students through professional level. They are beyond excited to return to the Glenridge where they have performed to full houses and standing ovations.
Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m.: Robin Spielberg
Robin Spielberg is one of America’s most beloved pianist/composers. With an impressive tour schedule and hundreds of thousands of recordings sold, this Steinway Artist has been winning the hearts of listeners around the world with her compelling melodies and sensitive piano techniques since debuting her first recording of original solos for piano, “Heal of the Hand.” A prolific composer, Spielberg has 23 recordings to her credit and appears on over 40 compilations around the world. Her discography includes albums of original piano solos, arrangements of American standards, original pieces for piano/ensemble, recordings for the holidays, a CD of American melodies, and a CD of lullabies.
Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.: Tony DeSare
Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness and robust musicality. Named “Rising Star Male Vocalist” in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas and headlining major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on the Great American Songbook and infused it with old school class around the globe. Notwithstanding his critically acclaimed turns as a singer/pianist, DeSare is also an accomplished award-winning composer.
About the Glenridge Performing Arts Center
The Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC) is a non-profit arts organization located on the campus of The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch. The 260-seat, state-of-the-art theater provides a wide variety of professional and community programs. Visit www.GPACtix.com.