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Supporting The Arts & Arts Councils Everywhere

Volume 4 No. 14| April 22, 2022

Notes from the Editor:

We're still celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month with a little Native Plant Month thrown in on this Earth Day 2022. In this week's Arts Blast you'll read about a percussionist still keeping the beat at 93 and Ella Fitzgerald's story as told by Dick Golden.

If you have fond memories of carrying your little plastic pail and shovel to the beach to make sand castles, check out the last call at Brevard Zoo for advanced beach art. I'll have a followup on that story in another edition of Arts Blast.

Loving this Florida spring weather but could do with a little more sun and a little less wind. Still ...

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Arts Blast on the Air with Willi Miller

This week hear Jordan Lippert - Riverside Theatre; and Dick Golden - National Jazz Appreciation Month. Listen to or download the podcast now or listen on the radio — 101.7FM ON THE TREASURE COAST —Sunday evening at 7.

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are now online.Catch up with events at Willi Miller's Arts Blast on Facebook and pick up some laughs and interesting info on the Willi Miller's Arts Blast Extras page. And now there's a Facebook Arts Blast on the Air!

In This Issue


Jazz Appreciation Month w/Dick Golden - Ella! ZAM! This Weekend

Laura's Collectibles

Key West Brunch is Back at Backus

Sand Sculpture at Brevard Zoo

Poetry Month with Sean Sexton

Vero Beach Choral Society Returns

Roy Daniels - Still Drumming at 93

Galleries at First Pres


Cultural Council of IRC Deadline

Key West Brunch

Martin Artisans guild

Last Call for Dinosaurs

Vero Beach Art Club Summer Camp

In the Archives with Michael Feinstein

Brevard Chorale concerts

Brevard Youth Chorus

Treasure Coast Theatre

A.C.T. Studio Theatre

Leslie Garritson and The Symphonia

Ballet Vero Beach This Weekend

Sunday April 24 from 12:00-2:00

Vero Beach Outlets Presents

Ballet, Brunch, and Bubbly

Come out to the outlets (Space G195 to be exact), SR 60 at I-95, and Enjoy a live performance, brunch, and adult beverages!

Seating is first come, first served, and is limited to 100 people.

Jazz Appreciation Month with Dick Golden - Ella Fitzgerald!

With the guest features of Dick Golden, we're celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month in every issue of Arts Blast. The month ends with International Jazz Day April 30 but azz appreciation never ends.

One of the elements of jazz is the opportunity for the performer to improvise. To create something wonderful “in the moment” … to go off script. It is perhaps why New Yorker critic Whitney Balliett called jazz “the sound of surprise.”

When she was 17 years old she had made up her mind that she wanted to be a professional dancer.  She and her family had moved from Newport News, Virginia where she was born to Yonkers, New York in the early 1930’s and this young lady’s friends convinced her she should apply to appear on stage at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night which was often, if the contestant was successful in pleasing the audience, the launching point for a professional career in show business. She was selected to perform as a dancer and on November 21, 1934, as she waited to be called on stage, she stood in the wings and watched a local professional dance duo called the Edwards Sisters, and decided there “was no way” she would go out and dance after their performance, so when she got on stage she opted to sing instead. Her mother loved the singing of The Boswell Sisters and played their recordings in their home and this very nervous young lady went to the microphone and sang, in the style of Connie Boswell, the Hoagy Carmichael song “Judy." She was so good that the audience would not stop applauding her, and so the MC asked her to do an encore. She sang "The Object of My Affection" which was on the flip side of the Connie Boswell record, and won first prize. She made it all up in the moment. That is how the brilliant career of Ella Fitzgerald began.

Ella’s April 25th birthday was another inspiration for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2001 to establish this month as Jazz Appreciation Month (she was on the 2008 poster), an event that has now become an international celebration. On our American Songbook program this Saturday evening we celebrate “Ella” with, of course examples of his timeless recordings, but also Dr. John Edward Hasse, creator of “JAM” talks about how the Smithsonian acquired “The Ella Fitzgerald Collection,” Tony Bennett will talk about his personal relationship with Ella, and we’ll include segments of Duke Ellington narrating his composition, “A Portrait of Ella.” Another highlight, in addition of the music, will include Andre Previn interviewing Ms. Fitzgerald in the early 1970s and persuading her to tell the story of that famous evening at the Apollo in 1934 that launched the career of someone whose music continues to thrill and inspire audience when ever her voice is heard.

Also on this week’s program music from singer Johnny Hartman with saxophonist John Coltrane, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Torme with pianist George Shearing. Please join the celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month on this weekend’s program.  

American Songbook with Dick Golden is heard Saturday evenings on NPR affiliate WQCS/WQCP.


On the Air: 91.1FM on the Treasure Coast

Weekends Are Back at Riverside Theatre!

Laura's Collectibles

From the LRJF:

The Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation (LRJF) is honored to announce that two nationally-recognized assessors, conservator Ms. Rosa Lowinger and historical structures architect Mr. William Medellin, will assess the Jackson house and its contents May 5th and 6th.

The visit is funded through a Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) grant from The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC)., an independent conservation agency based in the nation’s capital. 

The house was the home of internationally noted author Laura (Riding) Jackson who lived the last half of her life in the historic community of Wabasso, from 1943-1991. The house originally was on land settled in the late 1880s and then homesteaded. The house itself is estimated to have been built in the early 20th Century.

Marie Stiefel, President of the Board of LRJF, noted, “This is a significant step forward in our continuing efforts to care for and honor the personal effects of Laura (Riding) Jackson and her home which is one of two author residence museums in Florida on the registry of the American Writers Museum.”

Jacque Jacobs, Vice-President for Operations of LRJF stated, “The assessors are historical preservationists who can guide the foundation in safeguarding the integrity of the house and the things Mrs. Jackson left behind.”

The pioneering Florida Vernacular house, often called a cracker house, is being preserved by the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation on the Indian River State College - Mueller campus west of 58th Avenue on College Lane in Vero Beach. Also, on the property is a native plants garden and a pole barn.

Anyone who might have materials from the house or Ms. Jackson, is strongly encouraged to contact Ms. Louise Kennedy, Executive Director, at 772-569-6718. The Foundation would very much like to know of their existence and have them assessed if possible.

Vero Beach Choral Society

New Venue, New Director for the

Vero Beach Choral Society

The Vero Beach Choral Society will premiere A Little Night Music April 24, 4 p.m., in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach.

This performance will be the first concert offered solely by the Vero Beach Choral Society in more than two years. Previously, members of the group collaborated with the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church in December 2021 to present Cesar Franck’s Mass in A Major. The April concert will feature musical selections that parallel in relationship to darkness, and the soul’s transcendence into light. Audience members can expect a variety of music ranging from classical favorites and 20th century musical theatre to contemporary choral literature.

The concert will be in the Choral Society's new home, under the direction of their newly appointed Musical Director, Dr. Jacob Craig. Craig is the Director of Music and Arts at the church. He began directing the VBCS in September. As a bonus, the Choral Society will also have the ability to utilize the church’s award-winning Youth Symphonic Orchestra for accompaniment in special performances. 

The Vero Beach Choral Society has been making beautiful choral music and thrilling audiences since its formation in 1984. It is an auditioned, community-based, and intergenerational ensemble that performs choral art music from the Renaissance through the 21st century. From concerts in Europe to the prestigious Carnegie Hall, the VBCS has continued to grow and outperform itself, as it remains committed to making a difference through its music. The Choral Society tagline encapsulates the reason for its very existence: enriching the community with music, education and inspiration.

The April 24 concert is at First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free; the suggested donation is $10.

Sean Sexton for National Poetry Month

Another Rise 

April 14, Maundy Thursday—"a washing of feet...”

The mockingbird does his own program: a

good dozen songs on the bird hit parade. As 

Jarrell once said in a poem, which song is him, 

which the world? Its notable to hear this and wonder 

why, after a whole winter, and half a spring passed 

in his absence, does he sing today?

I hear Charlie Hamner’s dogs barking to the North, 

gathering his cows in the early light, sounds different 

than our whips and yells. It’s not a market day, 

so one must wonder what’s happening. Of late, 

I’ve been unable extricate myself from the habit 

of recording the daily rise as a giant, pale blue 

tsunami looms in the east, flowing over the trees,

obliterating the distance as it washes to the edge 

of the field noiseless and strange to whatever 

raucous machine just passed along the western road. 

Our pump kicks and off—my life will be finished 

before such sounds come to an end. The air is still. 

All accoutrements of the back dooryard in place: 

Chime inanimate, philodendron leaves—Matisse-

like—in their exotic, cut-out shapes, the fully-flushed 

camphor shade now obscuring half the glow beyond, 

elephant ears and dangling vines: all these in lurid 

silhouette against the dawn. As any wave, the mammoth 

swell has begun to break upon the pasture’s green shore; 

The orb will soon appear with the oncoming tide of morning. 

American Songbook


Dick Golden


8 p.m. - midnight

on NPR affiliate WQCS/WQCP

Life Under the Sea Sand Sculpture at Brevard Zoo

It's last call for the dinosaurs at McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach and for the huge sand sculptures at Brevard Zoo.

My first exposure to sand sculpting was years ago in Cape Canaveral, the first time the Brevard Cultural Alliance brought in artists for this performing art genre. It was unforgettable!

For Life Under the Sea, the exhibition that closes April 30, seven sculptors spent 14 days working on the sculptures before it open for public viewing. Lauren Delgado, Brevard Zoo spokesperson, said visitors by the size and the details of the sculptures."You can see the scales on our lionfish, get a sense of the movement of underwater plants, and even see the facial expression of a fisherman."

Delgado explained that the decision to bring in this exhibit was based on the desire to let visitors immerse themselves in the "mysterious and beautiful world of marine life" they'd find with the zoo's planned aquarium project.

For the 2013 sand art exhibition, the Brevard Cultural Alliance and Brevard Zoo worked with Sandsational Sand Sculpting, a Melbourne company that oversaw that production. One of the sculptors this time is Thomas Koet, a partner in the company.

If you're thinking about giving it a try, know that making your own giant sand sculpture won't be an easy project. Delgado explained that the sand used isn't what you'd find on the beach. "Sculptural sand is construction grade, mined from a quarry with sharper grains that are more angular. This lets the individual grains of sand stick together better and remain in place more securely. Nothing is added to the sand. It’s just sand and water!"  Kids visiting the zoo have an opportunity to try their hand at making sand art, Delgado said. At the end of the sculpture trail, there's a play area just for that.

All good things must come to an end, however. April 30 is the final day for Life Under the Sea.

One of the artists, Abe Waterman, is originally from Prince Edward Island, Canada, where he grew up "in the woods with a family of feral hippies." He did his first sand sculpture 15 years ago when he was "hired as the token local for a sand exhibit." Since then, he said, sand sculpture has taken over his life ... "to where it presently makes up nearly all of my gainful employment."

Waterman explained the process of being creative in an art form where everything is different. "Every sand sculpture is different, the sand is different (some pack together far better than others,) the client is different, the amount of time and the number of carvers involved is different, etc. Therefore the way I approach each sculpture is different; sometimes I sneak up on it from behind, other times I might put on a colorful song and dance right in front of it." Whatever it takes, Abe!

Also at Brevard Zoo — Earth Day April 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Safari Under the Stars April 30, 6-11 p.m.

The Galleries at First Pres will offer an opening reception of the Spring Art Show on Sunday, April 24, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The show will feature the works of local artists Richard Gillmor Jr., Salvador Lorenzo González, and Theresa Prokop. The galleries are located throughout the campus of First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free, light refreshments will be provided. The artwork will be available for viewing through June 1.

“Plate” by Salvador Lorenzo

Photo Credit: Salvador Lorenzo González

Artist Theresa Prokop

“Sebastian Mangrove”, acrylic,

by Richard Gillmor, Jr.

Photo Credit: Richard Gillmor, Jr.

Roy Daniels, Still Feeling the Beat

Roy Daniels, 93, formed his first jazz trio with a couple of grammar school friends when he was only eight years old. Conveniently, his father played drums with a band and kept his drum set in the house, within easy reach of a young boy with music in his soul.

Daniels went on to study at Roy Knapp Conservatory, a percussion school, and was a music major at Lane Tech High School in Chicago, where he was picked to be the big band swing drummer.

He's played in many jazz combos over the years: Taye Voye, Eddie Grey, West Coast Jazz Ensemble, in an after-hours club where "big band and name combo players came to jam." Daniels was also a former vibist with Art Van Damme.

As with some other touring musicians, starting a family took Daniels off the road and into a professional career in the insurance industry, entering retirement from the vice president's desk at Boston Mutual Insurance Company.

He didn't put down his sticks for long, though . "I played avocationally for over 40 years and I'm still playing."

These days you can hear him at Christ by the Sea United Methodist Church in Vero Beach, when he gets the call to join the music.

Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest returns as ZAM Fest (Zen, Arts, and Music) This Weekend

Stretch, breathe, and explore an artistic experience at ZAM Fest, open each day beginning at 11 AM on April 23 & 24 at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center. This family friendly, weekend event showcases the healing powers of Zen, Arts, Mindfulness and Wellness during the day, and world class entertainment on the main stage at night.

Alliance Music Guild Members will accompany daytime mindfulness activities, including hourly yoga, meditation and a drum circle by Kevin BeatKeeper on both days. Guests can RSVP to reserve their free spot at

Cultural Alliance Music Guild Members slated to perform during the Saturday lineup include Apollo Vega, The Caribbean American Cultural Group, saxophone extraordinaire Gary Palmer, and Jennifer Starr.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

11:00 am | Yoga

11:00 am | Apollo Vega

Noon | Yoga

Noon | Caribbean American Cultural Group presents Nick Delphin

1:00 pm | Gary Palmer

1:00 pm | Yoga

2:00 pm | Jennifer Starr

3:00 pm | Drum Circle by Kevin BeatKeeper

4:00 pm | Reggae Rainfall Band

6:00 pm | The Groove Soul Band

8:30 pm | Diamond Rio

Sunday, April 24, 2022

11:00 am | Yoga

11:00 am | Joette Giorgis

11:30 am | Will Vaughn

Noon | Yoga

12:15 pm | 2 Saxy with Harry & Leslie Fager

1:00 pm | Yoga

1:00 pm | Bruce M. Bernstein / Saxophone Expressions

1:45 pm | Drum Circle with Kevin BeatKeeper

2:45 pm | Tomasito Cruz Band

5:00 pm | Tag Team

7:15 pm | Tone Loc

Get Your Conch On! the Brunch is Back!

After a necessary pause, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery announces the thrilling return of Sunday in Key West Luncheon & Auction event, Sunday, May 1, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Pelican Yacht Club, 1120 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce. The beloved winter getaway is now the spring escape that Treasure Coast regulars relish for a fun feast, exclusive and special items for both silent and live auctions, and surprising door prizes, all with the playful allure of Key West. All proceeds benefit the Backus Museum. Reserved seats are $80 per person, with tables of eight available to plan an easy, fun and treasure-filled getaway with your friends. Space is limited. Call (772) 465-0630 or visit to reserve your seats before April 27.


The Martin Artisans Guild invites you to its current bimonthly exhibit, which runs through April 30 at The Palm Room & Artisans Boutique in Harbour Bay Plaza.

Extend National Jazz Appreciation Month by going Into the Archives with Michael Feinstein on YouTube!

James Boyles and the 50 mixed voices of the Brevard Chorale welcome spring with a Classic Pop Concert: April 30, 7:30 p.m., at the Simpkins Fine Arts Auditorium at Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa; May 4, 7 p.m. in Titusville, at The Great Outdoors RV-Nature & Golf Resort's Community Church.

The Savannah Sipping Society is at Treasure Coast Theatre, PSL, May 6-15.

A reminder from the Cultural Council of Indian River County: April 27 is the deadline for members to submit entries for the Fun Under the Sun exhibit.

Lindsay Garritson joins The Symphonia and conductor Alastair Willis in concert April 24, 3 p.m. at The Roberts Theatre. Pre-concert Conversation begins at 2 p.m.

The Importance of Being Earnest opens April 22 at A.C.T. Studio Theatre, Stuart. It runs through May 1.

Dinosaurs Around the World: The Great Outdoors is open daily to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm for a limited engagement through May 1, 2022. The last admission ticket is sold at 4:00 pm and the Children’s Garden closes at 4:30 pm. Tickets are available to purchase at McKee Botanical Garden and

The Brevard Youth Chorus will celebrate the season with song Sunday, May 1, At the Central Baptist Church in Melbourne at 3 p.m., and at Advent Lutheran Church, Suntree, at 5 p.m.

Summer Art Camp begins June 6 at the Vero Beach Art Club Annex and Gallery.

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are now online.

Catch up with events at Willi Miller's Arts Blast on Facebook and pick up some laughs and interesting info on the Willi Miller's Arts Blast Extras page. And now there's a Facebook Arts Blast on the Air!


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