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SRQ DAILY Mar 4, 2022

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"As I reflect on my past in both the memoir and film, I do not harbor any resentment. In the end, Louis Armstrong was Dad."

- Sharon Preston-Folta.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Love and Secrets in “Little Satchmo” Film
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

The world knew Louis Armstrong as a towering figure of jazz music. His bright smile, gravelly voice and boundless charisma, to say nothing of his improvisational virtuosity with both the trumpet and voice, made him one of the first African American pop culture figures to “cross over” into mainstream, predominately white audiences. He rubbed shoulders with politicians, world-class artists and film stars and was later inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. To say that Armstrong cast a long shadow would be an understatement.

Sharon Preston-Folta was a bright star in that shadow. And for most of her life, this fact was kept a secret.

Her memoir, “Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of my Father,” recounts her life as the secret love child of Louis Armstrong, a fact she revealed publicly in 2012. Her journey with her mother Lucille Preston, who met Armstrong at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem while a dancer, took the two all over the U.S., sometimes hitting the road with Armstrong on tours and being treated like royalty along the way. “My mother really loved him and was proud of their relationship,” says Preston-Folta, “and even though we didn’t see him as often as we would’ve liked, she believed she did the right thing in keeping me a secret to protect him.”

But at this year’s Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival, Preston-Folta will share a documentary she narrated and co-produced that frames her story as less about shadows and secrets and more about love and reflection. In “Little Satchmo: The Secret of a Legend,” a documentary written and directed by John Alexander and based on Preston-Folta’s memoir, Preston-Folta revisits her story through old photographs, recordings and letters, arriving at a richer understanding 10 years after revealing her secret to the world.

“Whenever he came around for a visit, it was a big event,” says Preston-Folta, “and I’d get all dressed up, but it was never a long enough visit.” Preston-Folta remembers her parents’ relationship as mostly love-filled until a particularly intense argument that signaled the end. “We didn’t see him for a few years after that,” she says, “but my mother never stopped protecting him and he never stopped holding up his promise of supporting us.”

Ultimately, it’s a story about people doing the best they could. The memoir and film both paint Armstrong as a fundamentally good if complicated man. Preston-Folta went through life determined to shine her way out of her father’s long shadow, graduating from college and enjoying a fruitful career in advertising that led her to WUSF, where she currently works as an account executive. “I spent a lot of my adult life trying to define myself outside of being his daughter,” she says, “and my memoir really shifted something in the way I related to my past.” Nowadays, her relationship to her past is less about living in the shadow of an icon and more about honoring all of its bittersweet complexity. “As I reflect on my past in both the memoir and film, I don’t harbor any resentment. In the end, Louis Armstrong was ‘dad.’”

“Little Satchmo” is available to stream from March 10-14 as part of this year’s Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival. 

Pictured: Sharon Preston-Folta overlooks Family Portrait collage created by her father, Louis Armstrong. Image Courtesy Little Satchmo Documentary LLC, Copyright 2021

[Politics]  Messaging Grows Intense Around Single-Member Voting
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A new political mailer added controversy to an already contentious debate on how Sarasota elects county commissioners.

The Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections sent out flyers to Republican voters in the county attaching the same “Stop The Steal” language associated with former President Donald Trump’s false claims about election chicanery with a special election vote that may soon reverse a switch to single-member voting.

The mailers on one side have a picture of Trump and the phrase “Stop The Steal.” On the flip side is a picture of Democratic President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by the phrase: “Don’t Let Them Steal Our Votes Again.”

The rest of the type on the mailer lays out objections to a county referendum being voted on March 8. If passed, the county will hold county-wide elections for commissioners and abandon single-member elections, a system approved by voters less than four years ago.

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo called the latest mailers “outrageously pathetic.” He supports county-wide elections and says voters should have a say on all five commissioners. He suggested it was irresponsible to conflate emotions around the 2020 election outcome to a local political issue.

Kinda Muntz, president of SAFE, defended the language and said “Stop The Steal” is a phrase that predates the last presidential contest. “We’re not referencing that directly,” she said. “We are talking about elections and trying to steal the vote. The one we are referencing now is the one in Sarasota County. If you think back that language was used in 2018— about the original single-member districts vote.”

Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, also supports a switch back to county-wide elections. He found the flyers laughable. “Are Sarasota Democrats finally admitting there was voter fraud in 2020,” he said, “or are they using that issue to steal Republican votes in order to influence the results of an election in Sarasota County in 2022?”

Notably, Ziegler was elected countywide in 2018 before single-member districts took effect. He now lives in a district where, as of book closing for the March election, Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans 25,790 to 23,474. The results of the March 8 referendum will determine if he runs county-wide for re-election in November or runs in a district election.

Muntz for her part said the shifty move is holding a special election now and trying to persuade voters to reverse a decision made just four years ago. 

[SRQ Book Club]  Non-Fiction Book Review of My Mess is a Bit of Life
Bookseller Roxanne Baker, BookStoreOne Sarasota

Even with our common language and ancestral legacy, it’s refreshing to learn from and about England reared writers. Recently, I reviewed Love Marriage by English fiction writer Monica Ali and now I have thoroughly devoured and enjoyed a cheeky memoir by Georgia Pritchett entitled My Mess is a Bit of Life.

Georgia, an award winning writer from the Julia Louis-Dreyfus hit Veep, gives a wry, honest look at her English upbringing, her struggles with anxiety and parenting two autistic sons.

Just as most of us do, meandering and tripping through life, Georgia tells her story unconventionally, in very short humorously heart felt chapters. She covers virtually everything from elementary school to sexual self-discovery to fertility and parenting. Her monikers for those she loves, The Patriarchy is her father’s tag for instance, are meant to be endearing in both privacy protection and description.

Without spoilers, I won’t convey the punchlines Georgia captures, nor the moments and insights she relates with ultra accessibility. I think anyone can enjoy this memoir, but especially those who are raising autistic children or who simply struggle with anxiety. My Mess is a Bit of Life is empathic and instructive simply through Georgia’s candid self-reflection.

My Mess is a Bit of Life by Georgia Pritchett is available at BookStore1 12 S. Palm Avenue or via their online store at Sarasotabooks.com. Publication February 8, 2022. ISBN: 9780063206373. 

[Music Event]  Sarasota Concert Association presents the Warsaw Philharmonic April 4

The Sarasota Concert Association presents the Grammy Award-winning Warsaw Philharmonic, in a one-night-only concert on Monday, April 4 at 7:30 pm at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Music Director Andrey Boreyko leads the Orchestra in Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, and the first prize winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition, Bruce Liu, joins the Orchestra for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The program opens with Stanisłas Moniuszko’s short work, Overture to Paria (The Outcast). Andrey Boreyko, of Polish descent, is now finishing his tenure as Music Director of the Naples (Florida) Philharmonic. He conducts orchestras around the world, including the London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and the Chicago Symphony, and began as Music and Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic in 2019. Boreyko has a long distinguished discography of recorded works, with several recordings specific to Dmitri Shostakovich. Chinese Canadian pianist Bruce Liu is the first prize winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition held in Warsaw, Poland. Since his enthralling performance there, he has been in high demand to perform with great orchestras around the world. Liu has been delighting audiences non-stop since his win, performing in the UK, Russia, Israel, France, Poland, Canada and Japan.  

For ticket information click here.

[Airline News]  Allegiant Begins Nonstop Service From Sarasota to Ohio with Low Fares

Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today begins service from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) to Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) in Ohio. To celebrate, the company is offering one-way fares on the new routes as low as $37. The new flights will operate twice weekly. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com. Allegiant offers a unique option to Sarasota-area travelers with low base airfare and savings on rental cars and hotels. Travelers can book their entire vacation with Allegiant for less. 

To learn more, visit

[SOON]  MUSIC: Guitar Sarasota: International Concert Series: David Russell - Scotland , March 5, 7:30pm

Classical guitar legend David Russell returns to the Guitar Sarasota stage on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at Riverview Performing Arts Center at 7:30pm. GRAMMY award winner in 2005 for his CD AIRE LATINO, in the category of best instrumental soloist in classical music. Honorary Doctorate in Music by the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2014. Classical guitarist David Russell is world renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry, having earned the highest praise from audiences and critics alike. In recognition of his great talent and his international career, he was named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation: Rock The Roof , March 5, 6pm

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation is reinventing Rock the Roof with more rock, more roll and a guarantee to get you on your feet in a heartbeat on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 6pm at Sarasota Memorial’s West Parking Garage. The rooftop concert kicks off with a jam session featuring some rockin’ multi-talented doctors followed by Electric Avenue. Guests will have a dance party experience like no other right under the Sarasota stars. This year’s new annual event will support Women and Children’s Services at our health system and honor one of the hospital’s most beloved nurses, Patricia S. Snyder, R.N. Manager/Head Nurse 1985–1996. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sally Schule, Director of Community and Donor Engagement, at 941.374.9700 or sally-schule@smh.com. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Dance Your Part: Noche Tropical , March 5, 6pm-9pm

Join Sarasota Contemporary Dance for their annual fundraiser, Dance Your Part: Noche Tropical, on Saturday, March 5, 2022 from 6pm to 9pm at Waterworks Sarasota, 1005 N Orange Ave. Fundraising to benefit the company’s performances, educational outreach, and training programs, Sarasota Contemporary Dance will treat you a Cuban-inspired evening, including Latin Grammy award-winning Renesito and salsa dancing with beloved former SCD company member Jahrel Thompson.  

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival , March 5 – March 6, 10am-5pm

Are you an art collector, seek art for your home or office, or merely wish to support the arts? If so, join us for the 9th Annual Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival in downtown Sarasota on March 5-6, 2022. The event is located in JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street. Your support has made this art show a signature event for the Sarasota community. This event is produced by Paragon Festivals and graciously hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association. The Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival transforms JD Hamel Park into an outdoor gallery of original, handmade works by artisans from across America. This tapestry of art is woven from creations in painting, sculpting, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, mixed-media, woodworking and much more. Talk with artists and order a unique piece of art created just for you. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm with free admission. Bring your sense of discovery and appreciation of the beautiful! Come be inspired and discover something of yourself as you explore art.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Masters of Illusion , March 7, 7pm

MASTERS OF ILLUSION, the hit CW television series and America’s largest touring magic show is coming to the Van Wezel on Monday, March 7 at 7pm. These cutting-edge illusionists perform sleight-of-hand, perplexing interactive mind magic, hilarious comedy, dangerous escapes and large-scale illusions. Audience members will be baffled by the astounding skills of these modern illusionists. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Impact100 SRQ: Purposeful PopUp , March 7, 7am-8am
Impact100 SRQ's Purposeful PopUp Bayfront Park Walk will take place on March 7 from 7am to 8am. Meet at the Bayfront Park (in front of O'Leary's), 5 Bayfront Drive, to casually connect with other Impact100 SRQ members and enjoy a walk around the Bay.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Itzhak Perlman In Recital , March 8, 8pm

ITZHAK PERLMAN returns to Sarasota in recital with pianist Rohan De Silva on Tuesday, March 8 at 8pm. Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded to a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity, as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond to his remarkable artistry and irrepressible joy for making music.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Impact100 SRQ: Big Reveal Annual Celebration , March 8, 5pm-8pm

Impact100 SRQ invites you to attend our 4th annual Big Reveal on March 8 from 5pm to 8pm. Meet us again under the Finishing Tower at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, when we will reveal the total number of members and the total amount of dollars that will go toward grant funding for the 2022 Giving Year. Hear from our President, meet our 2021 grant recipients, connect with Impact100 SRQ members and guests, enjoy light bites and drinks, listen to good music, watch a beautiful sunset, and learn how many grants we will fund in 2022.  

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: Broadway in Black , March 9 – April 24

Honoring the significant contributions of African Americans over the years on the “Great White Way” is “Broadway in Black.” Broadway musicals have charmed the world for decades; WBTT salutes that genre with an original revue by Nate Jacobs – who will direct – that was first presented in the summer of 2017. Sing along with your favorite songs from award-winning shows and breakthrough roles that helped launch the careers of such African-American artists as Melba Moore in “Purlie,” Ben Vereen in “Pippin,” Jennifer Holliday in “Dreamgirls,” and Nell Carter in “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” It’s Broadway, WBTT style! Jacobs will direct; resident choreographer Donald Frison will take the production to the next level with thrilling new choreography. Show runs from March 9 to April 24, 2022. Ticket sales are scheduled to begin in the late summer. Call the Box Office at 941-366-1505 or visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Neil Berg's 112 Years of Broadway , March 9, 7:30pm

Back by popular demand, NEIL BERG brings his company of extraordinary Broadway stars to Sarasota with an all new show to light up the night on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30pm. It's an evening of "Broadway Heaven" not to be missed, featuring songs from your favorite stage productions.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Sarasota Art Museum: David Budd: Motion Within Stillness , October 9 – March 20, Museum hours.

David Budd: Motion Within Stillness from October 9 to March 20, 2022. After painting for only six years, David Budd (1927-1991, Florida) dove into the New York art scene in the 1950s —immersing himself in Abstract Expressionism and working alongside iconic names of the movement, such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline. His paintings, like others of the time, relied on the bodily relationship between the artist and canvas —each stroke and mark of the artist encapsulated in viscous gestures of paint—and spontaneity; although, this is not to say that Budd painted hastily—each mark was placed with intention to animate the canvas’s surface.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Docent-Guided Tour of Arts Advocates Gallery , November 3 – June 1, 11am-11:45am

For the first time since its founding in 1969, Arts Advocates has its own gallery to display works from its collection of Florida artists. Located in the Siesta Mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 119, in Sarasota, the opening exhibit features works by Sarasota Art Colony artists. Docent-guided tours of the exhibit are open to the public from 11am to 11:45pm on the first Wednesday of each month: November 3, December 1, January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, and June 1. Tours are $10 per person, or $5 per person for Arts Advocates members, and can be booked below. Attendance is limited to 10. Group and special tours can be arranged by contacting Stephenie Frasher, docent team leader, at docent@artsadvocates.org.  

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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