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SRQ DAILY Aug 27, 2021

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"I think there's a layer of entertainment to a challenge accepted, and people want to see if I can do it."

- Dovydas, local artist

-Summer Sizzler, as seen in SRQ's July/August 2021 edition. Click photo for the full article.
[Music]  For a Local Guitarist, Television is Dead and YouTube is King
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

For musicians whose eyes are trained on becoming jukebox heroes, television talent shows are one of the most visible avenues. But Dovydas knows better. The Lithuanian-born guitarist made it to the finals of his country’s version of America’s Got Talent, then he competed in Eurovision, Europe’s biggest talent competition for music acts. “I set out to do it how musicians traditionally do,” he says, “go on television, record an album and get famous.” None of it worked. 

“The problem with those talent shows is that they basically own you for five years after you make an appearance,” he says, “you sign away your rights to be emotionally manipulated.” 

But he did catch the eye of Steve Arvey, a local bluesman that encouraged Dovydas, who is an absolute virtuoso on guitar and a stellar blues musician, to come to Sarasota. When he got here, figuring out how to make a living playing guitar still seemed difficult. “I had heard about gamers that can make $10 million a year playing video games on YouTube,” he says, “so I thought, ‘television is dead’ and I shifted my focus to YouTube.” 

He began playing out on the street and in venues almost every night of the week and recording his performances. With one camera on a tripod behind him and another on the head of his guitar, he began to edit his performances into the meatiest snippets to post on YouTube. He did this religiously for a couple years and built up a modest subscriber base. “But then me and my wife evacuated for Hurricane Irma and stayed in a hotel in Alabama,” he says, “My phone was broken, but when I came back, one of my videos blew up.”

The 9-minute video features Dovydas on the stage at Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton. It begins with a request from an off-camera audience member for a Steve Vai song, “Tender Surrender.” “I don’t know it note for note,” he tells her, but he looks up the chords on his phone so he doesn’t “butcher it.” He begins looping and layering a backing track with a synthesizer and drum machine, then at about the 4:15 mark, he starts working his hands on the strings with arpeggios, bent notes and all manner of guitar hero tricks and techniques.

The video currently has 10.5 million views. 

Dovydas now makes a good living as a virtuoso busker and YouTube content creator with over 1 million subscribers, playing primarily out of St. Armands circle and taking requests, often for songs he doesn’t know. He has viewers that fly into town just to see him perform on The Circle, eager to see in person this personable virtuoso who doesn’t take himself too seriously even if he takes the music seriously. “I think there’s a layer of entertainment to a challenge accepted,” he says, “and people want to see if I can do it.” 

He plays again September 7 on St. Armands, and encourages folks to “Come on out; I’ll ruin a song for you.” 

Photo courtesy of the artist.

[People]  Sarasota Orchestra Announces the Appointment of Internationally-Renowned Conductor Bramwell Tovey as Music Director.

Tovey served as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) for 18 years and is now the VSO's Music Director Emeritus. He is in demand as a conductor with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras across Europe and Asia. Maestro Tovey is widely known for elevating the profile and advancing the orchestras he leads. His vision and institutional leadership resulted in the creation of the VSO School of Music, housed within the Tovey Centre for Music in Vancouver. The state-of-the-art music center, named in his honor, opened in 2011 with a strong emphasis on community and education.

While Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, he played an instrumental role in the opening of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, one of the finest concert halls in Europe. He also held successful artistic directorships with Calgary Opera and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), where he created the WSO’s international New Music Festival, now in its 30th year.

"We are thrilled to welcome an artist of Bramwell Tovey’s stature at this important time in the development of our organization. His brilliant musicianship, passion for education, and his immediate chemistry with our musicians inspired his selection by the search committee and Board of Sarasota Orchestra," said Joseph McKenna, President and CEO. 

[Live Like a Local]  Travel Round the Retailers at the UTC Mall with 'Passport to Shopping' Offer

Whether you're in town for business, visiting your Florida friends and family or enjoying a vacation, The Mall at University Town Center is extending a warm welcome. Visitors and shoppers alike, that live over 50 miles away or more from zip code 34243, can each receive and redeem an exclusive tourism offer, "Passport to Shopping." The voucher comes full of discounts, savings and special offers for Dillard's, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and 100 other UTC retailers and restaurants. Just stop by the Customer Service desk, located on the lower level of the Mall near Grand Central Court, and say you are here for the Passport to Shopping! This exclusive offer is valid now through March 20, 2024. 

Stay tuned at mallatutc.com/shopping/sales_offers and its Facebook page for updates on sales and offers at The Mall at UTC (140 University Town Center Dr., Mall Management Office Sarasota, 34243, 941-552-7000).

To learn about more of Visit Sarasota's Have Fun in the 941 deals and special offers, head here, and don't forget to hashtag #funinthe941 on socials! 

[Book Series]  SRQ Book Club: Fiction Book Review by BookStore1 Bookseller Roxanne Baker

Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen is his first novel since the National Book Award-winning The Corrections, where I felt like he was back in his element and true zone.  

Don’t get me wrong, Franzen’s non-fiction essays are always spot on, and while Freedom and Purity were both worthy novels, they didn’t move me as Crossroads did.  

In fact, Crossroads impact was so gripping that I was forced to ban the book as bedtime reading, since Franzen nails the unraveling of several characters’ mental health at a thrilling gut-wrenching momentum.

Crossroads takes Franzen back the best of his writing arsenal, nailing dysfunctional families.  Set in Illinois in the Vietnam era, Franzen depicts a church family of six vulnerable humans all with varied opinions on war, sex, drugs and religion.  

While you’ll surely have an opinion about who the hero is of this bunch,  you’ll definitely wrangle about your choice while admiring Franzen’s ability to capture the inner mind’s of real people, whose opinion and trajectory can change in a heartbeat, depending on the circumstance and information provided in the moment.  I admire this candor about the human condition as I am confident you will, too.

This is the first in a three-book series and with so many characters and all their possible outcomes, I can’t wait to read the next installment.  For now, be glad you can have the first one of your very own, by pre-ordering (the publication date is October 5) at  sarasotabooks.com or come in to see us helpful booksellers at BookStore1 seven days a week at 12 S. Palm Avenue Sarasota, 34236. 

[Latin Books]  CreArte Latino Cultural Center Announces New Sessions for Online Book Club and Spanish Class Both Start in September

CreArte Latino Cultural Center is launching new online sessions for two of its most popular offerings, “Amigos Book Club” and “Conversemos en Español/Let’s Talk in Spanish.” “Amigos Book Club” is a collaboration between CreArte Latino and Bookstore1Sarasota and is designed for Spanish-speaking adults. Carolina Franco, CreArte Latino’s president and artistic director, describes the “Amigos” experience as “social, stimulating and fun.” This fall, participants will read “Y libranos del Mal/And Deliver Us from Evil” by Santiago Rocagliolo. Each of the six one-hour meetings, facilitated by Bookstore1’s Claudia Lozano, will involve group discussions of story, style, character and themes. “Amigos Book Club” is free and runs on Mondays, September 13 - October 18, 7 pm -8 pm, on Zoom. The book, “Y libranos del Mal,” is available at Bookstore1Sarasota.

The nonprofit’s mission is to forge a bilingual cultural exchange between the Latino/Hispanic community in Sarasota and Manatee counties and the community at large through arts and education. Please register before September 13 at creartelatino.org

[People]  Sherry Gluchov Joins SPARCC Development Team

SPARCC is pleased to announce the appointment of Sherry Gluchov to its development team. Her role as the new development coordinator is to help with research, grant writing, donor relations and work with SPARCC’s Auxiliary. Gluchov comes to SPARCC from JFCS of the Suncoast where she served as the agency’s donor relations and stewardship coordinator.  

[Referendum]  Charter Review Committee Invites Public Feedback August 30

Members of the public are invited to provide input on possible revisions to the City Charter when the Charter Review Committee meets at 6 pm, Monday, August 30. The meeting will be held in the City Commission chambers at City Hall, 1565 First St.

It will also be streamed live on the City’s website, SarasotaFL.gov (click on the “Meetings/Agenda/Video” button). The agenda can be viewed onlineThose who prefer to participate remotely may do so via Zoom. For instructions on how to join the meeting virtually, email clerk@sarasotaFL.gov no later than 5 pm, Friday, August 27. 

The City Charter outlines the basic organization, functions, powers and procedures of the city government. Once every 10 years, a Charter Review Committee is appointed to review the charter and recommend changes that are in the best interests of the citizens of Sarasota. The 10-member committee was appointed last month by the City Commission and held its initial meeting earlier this week. 

The City Commission has requested a full report and recommendations from the committee due in March 2022. Any proposed changes to the charter would be placed on a future voter referendum.

Individuals can sign up to receive future meeting agendas and other email notifications from the City by visiting SarasotaFL.gov. For more information, contact the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office at 941-263-6222. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Triple Play , March 20 – December 25, 8:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre’s resident improv troupe, FST Improv, will return to a weekly live performance schedule with Triple Play, a full-length show created specifically to entertain from a distance. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, a rotating cast of three improvisers will perform games, scenes, and songs—all made up on the spot. Starting Saturday, March 20, Triple Play will take place Saturday evenings at 8:30pm for socially-distanced audiences in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $15 per person and are now on sale. To purchase tickets, call FST’s Box Office at 941.366.9000 or visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org. FST's musical improvisers, Jim Prosser and Helena Rankin, will provide comical accompaniment as performers play some of Sarasota's favorite improv games - all while maintaining social distancing. In addition to live audiences, the cast of Triple Play will draw inspiration from prompts submitted virtually through text or via Twitter. With this added virtual element, FST Improv will engage with audiences in Sarasota and beyond. Triple Play performances will be socially-distanced and in compliance of all CDC guidelines, including socially-distanced seating, paperless ticketing, and limited theatre capacities. Facial coverings must be worn at all times - including throughout performances - when on campus at FST, aside from dining in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar. Socially-distanced pre-show dining is available indoors and outdoors in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar one hour before each Triple Play performance.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Skyway 2020: A Contemporary Collaboration , June 20 – October 3, 10am-5pm

The Skyway 2020 exhibition, now in its second iteration, is a celebration of artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, as it is a collaboration between four institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. Working together, curators from each institution will offer context for the diversity of art being made in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. Artworks and projects in the exhibition will be selected by museum curators and the guest juror, Claire Tancons, an independent curator and scholar whose practice takes a global focus on the conditions of cultural production. Tancons has curated biennials around the world, including Prospect.1, New Orleans; the 2008 Gwangju Biennial; and the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. This exhibit will begin on June 20, 2021 and will end on October 3, 2021. Runs from 10am to 5pm.

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: St. Armands Circle: Sol of the Circle: St. Armands Family Day , June 27 – September 26, 11am-1pm

Life on the Circle only gets better when days are bathed in the summer sun. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and immerse yourself in the perfect setting for adventure and fun. Join us for the “Sol of the Circle,” a series of special events for the entire family. St. Armands Family Day will take place every last Sunday from 11am to 1pm. Dates are June 27, July 25, August 29, and September 26.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens , July 10 – September 26

Selby Gardens and the Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg present the fourth annual summer glass show at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from July 10 to September 26. This year’s exhibition, featuring nature-inspired glass work created exclusively by Duncan McClellan, will be displayed in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants.  All artworks are available for sale with a percentage of proceeds benefiting Selby Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: We Dream A World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen , July 10 – September 26

We Dream A World, African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen, explores the depth of art and business enterprise created by a unique set of landscape artists. Guest Curator Radiah Harper takes visitors through the experience of African Americans who, living in a hostile climate of racial injustice, were able to both learn their artistic craft through formal and informal education, and successfully break away from traditional field labor jobs to monetize their work. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition from July 10 to September 26.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shades of Buble: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Buble , July 13 – September 26

With three voices singing incredible songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and many more, Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Shades of Bublé, created by Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano and produced by Drew Pournelle, will play beginning July 13 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Laughter in LWR Stand-Up Comedy Show , August 28, 5pm & 8pm

Grove Restaurant, Patio & Ballroom and Knock Out Marketing & PR presents, “LAUGHTER in LWR™!” a stand-up comedy event on August 28, 2021. The event will have two show times, 5 pm & 8 pm and feature three nationally-accredited comedians at each show: Happy Cole, Mariannetta Torres and Jeff Jena. A portion of the event proceeds will be given to The Players Centre for Performing Arts and The Humane Society of Manatee County.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $60, and the show style encompasses three hilarious comedians back-to-back, creating non-stop laughter. Cash bars will be available as well as service throughout the show by Grove’s finest staff. (Cash and credit cards accepted). The event organizers encourage you to come early and socialize with your friends, as doors open 45 minutes before each show time. Grove is also offering a 10% off voucher with each ticket. You are welcome to enjoy dinner in the Grove restaurant (connected to the ballroom) before or after your show time. Reservations are recommended.Wind down the evening with a night cap and meet-and-greet with the comedians after each show. Leave with a smile and laughter exhaustion.


Grove Restaurant, Patio & Ballroom , 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Jukebox Saturday Night , September 7 – October 31

FST’s 2021 Summer Cabaret Series concludes with an all-new show from Sarasota’s favorite swing-era territory band, The Swingaroos. A jazzy new music revue, Jukebox Saturday Night features some of The Jukebox’s greatest hits: “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Jukebox Saturday Night will play in FST’s Bowne’s Lab beginning Tuesday, September 7 and will play through October 31. Countless musical genres emerged during the first half of the 20th Century, and there was only one place you could find them all: The Jukebox. In this jazzy music revue, The Swingaroos put a dynamic twist on the Jukebox’s greatest hits, including “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Tickets are no longer available for this show.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Downtown Sarasota Alliance: First Friday Gallery Walk , February 5 – December 3, Times vary.

The DSA Presents First Friday Gallery Walk. Enjoy your walk or stroll in Downtown Sarasota with participating galleries, including State of the Arts Gallery on State Street, AlexArt International located at 25 North Pineapple Avenue, Dabbert Gallery on Historic Palm Avenue, Art Uptown Gallery on Sarasota’s Main Street, and 530 Burns Gallery in Historic Burns Court.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival featuring The Stephen Lynerd Group , September 25 – September 26

The season kicks off September 25 and 26 with Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival. Together again after 19 months of virtual concerts and online events, Key Chorale is back to celebrate togetherness through the powerful legacy of African American spirituals and Gospel music in a feel-good concert experience sure to set your toes tapping, your hands clapping, and your spirit soaring. Joined by the energetic pulse of The Stephen Lynerd Group and the soulful sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ, this opening concert is full of upbeat, joyful music sure to raise the roof.

Key Chorale , 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Chamber Soirees: Music of Youth , September 26, 4pm

A program about the joys of youth, written by the young and young at heart on Sunday, September 26 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Inspired by Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. The progam consists of Josef Suk Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 1, Janacek Mladi ("Youth Suite"), Kenji Bunch Shout Chorus, and Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 1, Op. 12.

[SOON]  FILM: 6th Annual Single-Take Film Challenge , October 8 – October 10

1917. Rope. Birdman. Victoria. Russian Ark. Lost in London. All these films tell their complete stories in one continuous, uninterrupted take. Or at least they give that illusion. The Sarasota-based Single-Take Challenge, however, is only for filmmakers attempting the "real thing". 2021 marks the 6th anniversary of the Challenge, to be held both online and live at a theater in Sarasota. The Challenge prides itself on finding professional filmmakers to act as judges. This year for example, Larry McConkey is on the panel. McConkey is best known for shooting the infamous "Copa scene" long take in the movie "Goodfellas." Filmmakers interested in creating and submitting their one-shot masterpieces have until August 15. The awards and screening ceremony will take place the weekend of October 8-10. For more information contact SingleTakeChallenge@gmail.com

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Summer Food Truck Series at Bay Preserve , July 23 – September 17, 8pm

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast invites the community to a monthly Food Truck Friday Night this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey. Enjoy food and fun with friends while taking in a summer sunset at this family-friendly event. Each month, July through September, a different food truck will be onsite serving up local flavor on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. Members of the Conservation Foundation team will be available to answer questions about their work and the Burrows-Matson House will be open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for this picnic-style gathering. The dates and food trucks are as follows: Friday, July 23, 5pm to 8pm - Curb Your Appetite (classic American fare) Friday, August 20, 5pm to 8pm - Big Blue Grilled Cheese Company (creative versions of a family favorite) Friday, September 17, 5pm to 8pm - Killik’s Kitchen (modern Asian-Hawaiian fare) “After the isolation of the last year, connection is what we are all craving,” notes Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “Connection with other people and connection with nature. We hope these Friday nights help our community reconnect with each other and with our beautiful natural environment.” Bay Preserve is located at 400 Palmetto Avenue in Osprey, Florida. This series is free and open to the public, however in an effort to ensure plenty of parking, RSVPs are requested. To RSVP for any of the dates, visit conservationfoundation.com/events. Food prices vary by truck. Learn more about each truck’s menu on Facebook.

Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey

[SOON]  GALLERY: "Oh, the places we can go!” exhibition of fine craft , July 9 – August 28, 6pm

"Oh, the places we can go!” is a juried exhibition of handmade fine crafts where artists have created imaginative pieces inspired by places they’ve been or would like to go. From around the state, 37 artists created more than 80 pieces in ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. At the opening and awards reception on Friday, July 9 at 6 p.m., people will have the opportunity to meet many of the talented artists and the show’s judge, Desmond Clark of St. Cate Fine Art.


Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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