Connect with us


Your weekend arts forecast: Four hands, two pianos

Bill DeYoung



John O'Leary, PhD. is a neuroscientist - and an accomplished jazz pianist. Photo: Stephen Zane.

La Lucha pianist John O’Leary, undoubtedly the only Tampa Bay musician with “Ph.D” tagged onto his name (he’s a neuroscientist), has been friends with Snarky Puppy’s keys man Shaun Martin for a number of years. Sunday afternoon, these two accomplished and supremely creative jazz players will perform together on the Palladium Theater’s Hough Hall. One stage, two pianos, four hands – think of it as Elton John and Billy Joel, without all the hits.

These guys are musician’s musicians.

Shaun Martin. Publicity photo.

Martin and La Lucha frequently crossed paths at Miami’s GroundUp Music Festival, and the Dallas-based Martin was only too happy to contribute to O’Leary’s forthcoming solo album. “He was super excited and ended up being a huge part of this record by producing and playing,” O’Leary enthuses. “He’s an incredible human and I am super thankful to call him a friend.”

Sunday’s concert is a one-of-a-kind event. “I’ll play some solo stuff, to show what I did on the record, and maybe Shaun will play some solo stuff. We really haven’t ironed out the details, to be quite honest. Most of all, I’m really excited to showcase this collaboration that developed through making this new record.”

Martin is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, many of them for his work as music director for gospel star Kirk Franklin. He has also worked closely with Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan, Bjork and numerous others.

La Lucha, meanwhile, will next turn up at the Suncoast Jazz Festival, Nov. 19-21, alongside headliners Dick Hyman, Jason Marsalis, the Brubeck Brothers and many others (details here). The trio is scheduled to perform all three days.

Sunday’s show with John O’Leary and Shaun Martin begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are here.

From the Millennium

Former B2k singer Omarion and rapper Bow Wow co-headline The Millenium Tour, dropping on Amalie Arena Saturday. The tour is kind of a “2000s nostalgia” show, with performances by Ashanti, Ying Yang Twins, Soulja Boy, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and Sammie. Tickets are here.

Studio sessions

St. Pete poet Maureen McDole (you read about her here) celebrates the publication of her third volume Feast tonight at thestudio@620. It’s a joint presentation (readings and party stuff) with fellow poet Sara Ries Dziekonski. Admission to the 7 p.m. event, Scorpios Rising, is free; your RSVP (here) is requested.

Project Alchemy, the dance group spearheaded by choreography/dancer Alex Jones, is back at thestudio@620 Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) celebrating its third anniversary with a show called MIXed. If you come an hour early to the Saturday performance, you can attend the Alchemist Happy Hour, where meeting and mingling with the company is welcomed and encouraged.

Happy Hour also includes a special intimate performance by Mr. Jones, and a screening of the company’s collaborative dance film White Silence/White Noise. Tickets for all related events are here.

Bringing the funny

Tampa Bay podcasters (and singers, and actors, and extremely funny people) Alison Burns and Lulu Picart have a special show onstage tonight at freeFall – it’s a comedy cabaret called So Far, So Good. Here’s the link to the podcast, 10K Dollar Day, and here’s the link for tickets to the 7 p.m. performance.

Comedy sensation Terrence K. Williams (author of From The Foster House to The White House) is at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre Saturday. Comedian Kathleen Madigan has a pair of performances Sunday at the Capitol. Here’s our interview with Kathleen from earlier this week. Tickets for those shows are here.

The Palladium has comedian Intern John Sunday. The 22-year-old standup, whose real name is Jay Thomas, got his start on Washington, D.C.’s Hot 99.5, and has a popular weekly podcast called Thought Shower (subtitle: “The place you do your best thinking”). His tours benefit the Fisher House Foundation, which aids military personnel and their families. Tickets are here.

Music + theater + all the rest

The Tampa Bay Symphony, made up of professional and retired musicians, music educators and others, has a concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Straz Center. It’s the symphony’s International Festival, featuring the Jack Heller Young Artist winner Jonathan Entenza on the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto, with Aaron Copland’s Outdoor Overture, the Masquerade Suite by Khatachurian and the 4th annual composition competition winner (Voices of Time: Portrait of Lake Moraine) by Kevin Laur. Tickets are here.

The entire program, conducted by Mark Sforzini, will be repeated Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Palladium Theater in St. Pete. Those tickets are here.

Michael Francis conducts the weekend’s Florida Orchestra concerts (Saturday evening at the Mahaffey Theater, Sunday evening at Ruth Eckerd Hall). On the program is Tchaikovsky’s powerful Violin Concerto, with soloist Stefan Jackiw, with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and John Williams’ Escapades (from the movie Catch Me if You Can). Tickets here.

Always great to welcome singer/songwriter and prodigious pop pianist Dan Orlando back to town. He’s got a 5 p.m. show Sunday at the Hideaway Café. Tickets are here.

The eye-opening drama Plot Points in Our Sexual Development is in its final weekend at Studio Grand Central, while Dames at Sea continues at freeFall, and American Stage’s The Odd Couple is also in full swing (look for a profile of American Stage’s Oscar and Felix Friday in the Catalyst).

Across the bay, Lab Theater’s production of Skin Hungry continues, as does Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Jobsite.

Downtown Gulfport sidewalks come alive with the November First Friday Art Walk, 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. This one is devoted to fine art, as opposed to crafts ‘n’ such (that’s the Third Saturday IndieFaire). Art lovers might want to  take note that Gulfport’s annual ArtJones studio and gallery tour has been set for Dec. 4 and 5.

Please add us to your mailing list – send all press releases and event info to bill@stpetecatalyst.com.












1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Georgia Earp

    November 4, 2021at4:10 pm

    Thank you. I appreciate your arts reviews and interviews!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.