Seal to Make Sarasota Debut at Van Wezel Foundation Gala

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BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY FEB 8, 2019

Fresh off a tour promoting his latest album, Standards, seeing the artist pay homage to the Rat Pack era and songsters like Frank Sinatra, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, Seal, comes to the Van Wezel Foundation Gala this February 16. In his Sarasota debut, the “Kiss From A Rose” crooner will be performing a greatest hits concert and offering his support to the Foundation’s mission. With tickets on sale now, SRQ popped in to briefly meet the man behind the microphone.

Why is the Van Wezel Foundation something you wanted to support? Seal: I fully support any and all that are creating a place for inspiration and enrichment in the arts for our youth.

In the days of STEM and hard data, how do we emphasize the importance of arts education? 
Lead by example. You can’t force kids or the younger generation to see the importance in the arts. You can encourage them by setting an example; continue to make better art. It’s a call to all the artists to make better art and not succumb to popular demand—make art that’s right from the heart. The younger generation do as you do, not as you say. 


Why was Standards an important album to make for you? Standards was important to me because it was an album of great songs with real storytelling. They really knew how to tell the story in their songs. I had the honor of working with some incredible musicians on the album—a few were in Frank’s original band.

As a performer, how do you keep the greatest hits fresh for each audience? It’s always fresh to me, each and every time I sing. I remain open and connected and I listen to my audience. In that space, it is always new each time.

This being your Sarasota debut, is there anything else you’re excited to see while you’re here? 
I love to photograph. So, if time permits, I will take my camera and explore the city.

Any thoughts on the Sarasota School of Architecture? I actually went to school for architecture, so I would love to see what they are creating and what’s coming out of there.

Pictured: Seal performs at Usher Hall. Photo by Ryan Johnston.

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