Fitting and Fabulous Final Concert

Fitting and Fabulous Final Concert

Notes from Dale Jensen

A few years ago, the Manatee Music Club folded into the Sarasota club, and sharing finances and goals, they continued under the Sarasota Music Club name to bring to this area excellent music performances and encourage our youth to develop their musical talent.

Ninety years of this sponsorship came to an end on the 17th of March, 2023, in the beautiful sanctuary of the Oak Street Presbyterian Church in Sarasota. Fittingly, the program featured a young person, Luca Stine, a 21-year-old Trumpet player who was a Suncoast Music Scholarship winner when he was in high school. [Suncoast Music Scholarships have been funded by a Sarasota Music Club and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota partnership since 2016, and they will continue.]

This morning, under the name The Luca Stine Jazz Trio, Luca is back, performing with two men who are each twice his age, Michael Ross on String Bass and Phil Magallanes on Guitar, both very experienced jazz players and band leaders in this area and beyond. Despite the age difference, there is an obvious, easy respect among the three. Luca, whose parents are also musicians, is musically and personally mature beyond his years.

It was magical, the way Ross’ left hand flew over the fingerboard of his Bass, light and quick as if he were playing a Violin. And Magallanes’ fingers glided up and down the neck of his Guitar as his voice tunelessly accompanied his playing, much as the esteemed Canadian Pianist Glenn Gould used to do on his recordings as well as in his live concerts. Regardless of the name of the tune the three were playing, they were all ‘composing on their feet,’ totally enjoying each other and the morning.

In high school, Luca played Violin well enough to be Concertmaster of his school orchestra. While still loving both classical music and jazz, he is concentrating on the latter, playing Trumpet and Flugelhorn. (The two instruments are the same length and play the same pitches and range, but the Flugelhorn, with a fatter, conical bore, has a mellower sound, better suited to the contemplative sort of jazz that Luca prefers.)

In the near future, Luca plans a move to New York City, to test the saying, “If you can make it there…” and beyond that wants to explore the musical scene in western Europe. With his wide-ranging musical taste, I wonder if he would follow the path of Jazz Master Wynton Marsalis and make some recordings of Classical Trumpet works; Wynton did, and established that his Classical chops are the equal of anyone’s, thus conquering the worlds of both Classical and Jazz.

The morning of the 17th was distinctly bittersweet. It was a lovely, early Spring Day, a larger-than-usual crowd had gathered, and the music-making was top drawer. But this program was The Last, the final program in a 90+ -year run.

Under the auspices of Lee Dougherty Ross’ estimable Artist Series Concerts, the scholarship program will continue, and future Luca Stines will receive recognition, encouragement and some very welcome funds to help buy more equipment or attend a music camp or Conservatory to broaden and hone their music skills. The many exemplary music organizations in this Arts-Rich area that the combined Music Clubs have helped get established will continue to prosper. It is only these One-Friday-Morning-A-Month programs that will no longer take place.

Life will go on.

And it will just keep on being a little sweeter, due to the past work and far-sightedness of the Little Ladies (and yes, it was mostly ladies) who kept the Music Clubs going for over 90 years. So here’s to you, Janet, June, Mary, John, Barbara C, Haig, Barbara R and Susan, and the hundreds who preceded you.

Never-ending Thanks to you all!

[And special thanks to you, Dale, for sharing your thoughtful notes that have been much enjoyed by our readers.]