Ilse Newell concerts adds blues to season lineup

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The Ilse Newell Fund for the Performing Arts is presenting its first ever blues concert as part of seven programs lined up for the 2022-23 season.

The Ilse Newell Fund is partnering with ECCC (Elder Care Community Council) to hold “An Evening of Delta Blues” at the Holy Family Senior Center, making it the only concert of the season not being performed at Trinity Episcopal Church. That partnership is part of the Ilse Newell Board’s plans to engage more of the community with a performance venue in a different Apalachicola neighborhood.

The 2022-23 season kicks off Sunday, Dec. 4 with the Tallahassee Bach Parley performing a Baroque Christmas Concert. Five members of the acclaimed Bach Parley group will be playing period instruments including harpsichord, violin, viola, and cello. 

January brings two more concerts. Billboard charting jazz saxophonist Chris Godber is playing with his backup musicians for a concert of smooth jazz on Sunday, Jan. 8. The following Sunday, Jan. 16, the world acclaimed Lopez Tabor Duo will perform music of Spanish and South American composers in a concert featuring piano and violin.

February starts with a perennial favorite among Ilse Newell concertgoers. The Leon Anderson Jazz Ensemble will play on Sunday, Feb. 5 with a program featuring the music of The Jazz Ambassadors and John Coltrane. 

That is followed by the “Evening of Delta Blues” featuring Apalachicola’s own Bernard Simmons and the Apalachicola Blues Authority in a Saturday evening concert that starts at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11. Staff at ECCC will transform the Holy Family Senior Center into a blues cafe with low and high-top table seating, plus standard concert row seats. They’ll be serving refreshments prior to the concert and during intermission.

The last concert in February, “The Lyric Tenor Returns to the Forgotten Coast,” is on Sunday, Feb. 26. Tenor Mark Daniels and accompanist Rob Goodling, who did the final concert of 2020, return with another fabulous playlist of opera, Broadway, and American music planned.

The finale of the season, March 26, features concert pianist Sasha Kasman Laude who has added Apalachicola to her international travels of performances. Her program will be a tribute to long-time Ilse Newell board member Fran Edwards who passed away in September. It will be a celebratory way to end the 2023 season.

Receptions are back again this year at Trinity Episcopal Church, held immediately after each concert, next door at Benedict Hall. Concert attendees can enjoy light refreshments and beverages while getting to meet the musicians. 

Students from the Culinary Arts Program at Franklin County High School will get real-world experience by preparing and serving the foods for the receptions. It’s another way the Ilse Newell Board is reaching out to involve more of the community in its concerts.

All concerts start at 4 p.m. on Sundays at Trinity Episcopal Church, 79 6th Street, Apalachicola. The only exception is the Feb. 11 Blues concert at Holy Family, starting at 6 p.m. on a Saturday. 

The concerts for this year’s season are sponsored by Construct Group SE, a Florida contracting company specializing in residential and commercial construction and electrical contracting. Funding for the season is partially provided by Duke Energy and the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

Tickets to each concert are available in advance through Eventbrite at www.inconcertapalachicola.org, or attendees can pay cash at the door the day of the concert. All concerts are open seating. Tickets are $20 per person. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of each concert.

Ilse Newell, blues, jazz, classical, music

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