It’s truly with mixed emotions that I write this overview of our 2018 Season of SILL’s Music Mondays, the first since 2003 without the smiling face and voice of June LeBell. June lost her five-year battle with ovarian cancer last April, shortly after we had completed the lineup of guests for this season. After serving as Co-Producer of SILL’S Music Mondays for eight seasons, I’ve been handed the torch to continue, and SILL has designated this as the “June LeBell Memorial Season of Music Mondays.”
That title is very appropriate since this year’s guests for our Musical Conversations are a combination of June’s friends and colleagues, newcomers and established artists, and some completely new to Sarasota.
Our opener is Bruce Adolphe, the “Piano Puzzler” from NPR, who is also a composer and has written a special piece in memory of June. Bruce happens to have a parrot which sings Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” Aria. While we can’t hear it in person, we hope to have a video. Young Concert Artists, together with Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has provided us with three outstanding young talents, including pianist JI, who appeared in that famous TV commercial for Android. Each will present a formal recital for ASC, but on SILL’s Music Mondays you’ll really get to know them.
Returning are some favorites - collaborative pianist Warren Jones, saxophonist Ashu, and Dan Jordan and John Miller from the Sarasota Orchestra. Two operatic stars, Rafael Davila, long a Sarasota Opera favorite and Justino Diaz, who opened the “New” Metropolitan Opera House, will appear, as will rising star Jenny Kim-Godfrey, soprano. In honor and tribute to the Leonard Bernstein Centennial Year, his daughter Jamie Bernstein will return, full of stories and with a video or two to help us celebrate this special anniversary of a great musician.
So that’s our lineup for the 2018 “June LeBell Memorial Season” of SILL’S Music Mondays, and we look forward to sharing them all with you, especially for June!