The New Year brings a widely varied slate of acts including concerts, concertos and debuts of new plays.
8 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court
$30; members $27
Folk rock troubadour Steve Forbert headlines the first week of the year at Fogartyville. The Mississippi native has had a rich and distinguished career that began in the late '70s, and he released both a memoir and his latest album "The Magic Tree" in 2018.
7 p.m. at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Al Romas played New Year’s Eve at McCurdy’s, but the party’s just starting. Romas, a veteran of the touring comedy club circuit and a McCurdy’s favorite, will bring his brand of observational humor to the stage six times through the weekend. Runs through Sunday.
Ohlsson Plays Rachmaninoff
Legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson returns to Sarasota to play Rachmaninoff's Concerto for Piano No. 3, composed in 1909. Ohlsson, 73, is the only American to win first prize in the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition, which he achieved in 1970. Conductor Jeffrey Kahane, music director of the Sarasota Music Festival, will lead the orchestra, which will play Brahms Symphony No. 2 prior to Ohlsson on Rachmaninoff.
Runs through Sunday
When: 8 p.m., Jan. 7
Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Music on Main
6-9 p.m. at 8100 Lakewood Main St.
The free concert series and block party returns with the Derek Lersch Band on the first Friday in January. Lersch and his band bring country music to the stage, and the street will be lined with food trucks and beer vendors. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Players Centre for Performing Arts.
John Patti "Steels" The Classics
7:30 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail
Who's ready for a little steel drum soul? John Patti brings a little flavor of the Caribbean to many standards and classics, and he'll run through both the origin of the instrument to its innovative use in all flavors of modern contemporary sounds. Patti aims to play a mix of everything from jazz to R&B, all of it inflected with an island vibe.
The New Orleans Suspects
8 p.m. at The Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St.
What do you get when you combine some of the most seasoned professional musicians in one of America's richest tapestries of sound? You get the New Orleans Suspects, a group that originated at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans but has gone on to tour for a decade and release five albums together.
Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music
5 p.m. at The Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood
Hermitage Fellows Chet'la Sebree and Wang Lu will bring their latest works to the public. Sebree, the winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Lu, a pianist and composer and winner of the Berlin Prize for Young Artists, will share their diverse talents and perspectives. Lu, a Guggenheim fellow, has had her works played internationally.
7:30 p.m. at Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bayshore Road
Hanafusa will play performances on back-to-back dates, once solo and once as part of a duo with her sister Mami. On Saturday, the solo artist will play selections including Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and then the following day at 3 p.m., she will take the stage with her sister.
The duo will play selections from Debussy and Ravel along with their own signature compositions.
Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at J.D. Hamel Park, 199 Bayfront Drive
Local, regional and national artists bring their wares to J.D. Hamel Park, and this two-day event will feature creations in woodworking, painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, ceramics and more. Runs through Sunday.
Selby Gardens by Boat
9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St.
$125; $115 members
Visit both Selby Gardens campuses in one day. And with a guide! The gardens' newest tour, which will be held weekly on Saturdays, includes lunch and an educational narration of the nature and history you will see along the way. You'll travel by boat between the Historic Spanish Point and Downtown Sarasota campus and have time to walk around after the tour is over.
7:30 p.m. at Riverview Performing Arts Centre, 1 Ram Way
Smith, a Swiss-born virtuoso, kicks off the International Concert Series for Guitar Sarasota. Smith won the Guitar Foundation of America's prestigious competition in 2019, and he's been invited to perform with orchestras as a soloist around the world. Smith recently released his second album, Naxos, in 2020.
Bassimi Ibrahim, A Meditative Experience
Noon to 5 p.m.
Ibrahim, a modern abstract artist, will have his gallery show at the Art Center wrapping up on Jan. 15, which gives visitors one last chance to see the works of Ibrahim in one place.
The Art Center's other exhibits — Untitled Cup Shop, George Pappas Selected Works and Modes of Abstraction — will all be running through Jan. 15, and then the gallery will make room for a brand new slate of exhibits that will run from Jan. 27 to March 5.
Prints, Ceramics and Glass from Japan
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bayshore Road
$25, Members Free
This exhibit, which opened last August, will be running through Jan. 15. The exhibit features work made by Fujikasa Satoko, Miyashita Zenji, Niisato Akio and Ikuta Niyoko, and it shows the artistry and imaginative spirit that go into crafting ceramics and glass.
There is another exhibit at the Ringling featuring Japanese art — Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture — and it is also nearing its end date. The exhibit began on Oct. 31 and will run until Jan. 23.
Celebration in Song
7 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61. N. Pineapple Ave.
This event is presented by Temple Beth Sholom, and it will feature Cantor Avi Schwartz, the principal cantor at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City. Schwartz, along with Cantor Mira Davis, will be performing pieces from genres ranging from Jewish liturgy to Broadway, pop music and more.
Joy of Jazz
2 p.m. at Centennial Park Gazebo, 200 W. Venice Ave. in Venice
The Jazz Club of Sarasota is staging a free event to benefit its scholarship program. Free admission and free parking.
8 p.m. at Asolo Repertory Mertz Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Our Town, a 1938 Pulitzer-Prize winning play penned by Thornton Wilder, will begin Wednesday and run through March 26. The play, directed by Desdemona Chiang, is about an ordinary day in an ordinary town and how its citizens experience love and life.
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