A year ago, famed singer and keyboardist Gregg Allman produced his first album in 14 years, Low Country Blues, a collection of blues classics with one new original tune. Now he’s out on tour as Gregg Allman & Friends, playing the new record along with his classic hits at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. 481-4849, bbmannpah.com.
Beautiful women, a sleek automobile and a toy car draw our attention in this mixed media painting by Melody Postma. Postma understands Americans’ romance with the automobile that often begins with boys in early childhood. A photograph of two women draped across a 1949 Dodge convertible is our primary point of reference to reality in You’re Gonna Lose That Girl. With her bold strokes in complementary shades of blue and orange, Postma informs us that she likes to paint. As sophisticated as the two distracted ladies are gazing off to the right, we are grounded by the little toy car repeatedly making its way into the picture plane from the right. Postma uses our nostalgia for the past as a vehicle to transport viewers to a time where we believe that we feel happier and more secure. This work reminds us of the significance of our car culture and how it is inextricably interwoven with a sense of longing for what we might or might not be able to possess; be that a woman, romance or a motor vehicle. This month Postma showcases her work at Trudy Labell Gallery.
You don’t have to run away to the circus. Barnum Bash is coming to town. Before the show, join the one-hour party that is complimentary with every ticket. Kids of all ages can learn balancing and juggling skills, meet the circus stars and step behind the curtain for a backstage glimpse at the animal menagerie. Once the show begins, be prepared to be impressed by amazing international acts, including Dimitri the Strong Man and Epic Asian Elephants. The circus runs Jan. 6–8 at Germain Arena. ringling.com.
Last season, the Naples Museum of Art added Dawn’s Forest, a mammoth sculptural piece by Louise Nevelson, to its permanent collection. This year, the museum looks more closely at the American artist in Louise Nevelson, an exhibition that explores work throughout her career. Nevelson’s work is on display Jan. 14 to April 29. 597-1900, thephil.org.
Don’t Miss It!
Bob Zottola is an avid poker player, proud grandfather and a brilliant trumpet player. Zottola, 75, has been a success in the music business since he was a boy of 12 and won Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour. He has rubbed elbows with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Chick Corea and Rosemary Clooney, accompanying their performances on his Bach Stradivarius trumpet. He has conquered Broadway, playing in shows such as Les Misérables (for a 16-year run), West Side Story and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Now, Zottola plays with his “expandable jazz band” at local places in a weekly performance rotation. This month, as part of Bayshore Cultural & Performing Arts’ Jazz in the Park series, The Exandable Jazz Band performs a free concert at 2 p.m. on Jan. 15 at Sugden Regional Park.
What was it like playing behind all of these legends?
It’s inspiring, especially Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole and Tony Bennett. These are giants and giantesses. Their abilities are so extraordinary, and to know that you are helping make their performance as good as it is … they sound great if they just sing with just a rhythm section, just a three-piece orchestra, but when you’re playing as part of a 20-piece orchestra with a full strings section and brass section and you’re kicking them to go even further, it’s very exciting.
Tell me about your trumpet.
The trumpet is only a piece of plumbing. The music that you make on any brass instrument—whether the trombone, French horn, even a tuba—is with your lips and air. You have very little help from the instrument itself, unlike a piano.
Do you think you’ll ever retire?
There is no such word as “retire” in my vocabulary. The way it works with musicians is you started as a musician; you decided you wanted to be a musician to play music. You didn’t say, “I’m going to play music until I’m 50 or 65 or whatever and then I’m going to retire and get a pension or a gold watch.” You don’t think that way.
What drives you to keep playing?
I can’t imagine not playing music.
Two couples meet to discuss a playground incident involving their children in what they hope will be a civilized manner. But the night quickly devolves into chaos in Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play God of Carnage. The delightfully chaotic production is presented by the Florida Repertory Theatre from Jan. 3–22 at the Arcade Theatre. 332-4488, floridarep.org.
Celebrate the beauty that is southwest florida’s environment during the Nature Festival from Jan. 13–15. Rookery Bay hosts more than 40 guided field trips to wildlife hot spots, on-the-water adventures and lectures during the annual event. This year, filmmakers Judy Fieth and Michael Male will present The Big Lives of Florida’s Waterbirds in their keynote address. 417-6310, rookerybay.org.