Local Musicians Perform with Grammy Award-Winning Singer at SFCC
The group was formed after the Florida musician who performs with Surface canceled his appearance. With less than two months prior to the performance date, Surface and Doug Andrews, dean, SFCC Cultural Programs, put together a new group to perform–Manny Pitino on bass, Andrews on keyboard, and Jim Robertson on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. “I knew both Manny and Jim, and I thought they would fill the sound out,” Andrews said.
Bassist Pitino has over 50 CD recordings and countless performances throughout the world to his credit. He has performed with some of the top names in the music business, including Arturo Sandoval, Selena, Gloria Estefan, and more. Currently, Pitino plays local gigs as well as with the local group, Emanon Jazz.
Andrews, on keyboard, has played locally since arriving at SFCC in 1982. He has performed as a soloist and in a group setting and is also a member of Emanon Jazz.
Robertson has played the fiddle with the Missouri Oprey and throughout central Florida. He also plays guitar and mandolin and is known locally for performing with Back Porch Revival. He is a four-time finalist in the Florida State Fiddle contest.
Pat and Donna Surface hail from the northern Minnesota Boundary Waters Wilderness area, merging the boarders of the United States and Canada. They are the core of the most popular band in northern Minnesota, the Boundary Water Boys. Pat Surface is a musician, songwriter, singer, and storyteller who has performed for well over 20 million people and has 15 recordings to his credit. His style of soulful vocals paired with his guitar playing, and his gift to weave his music through stories and humor leaves him constantly in demand. Donna Surface is a performance artist in sign language.
Their performance is described as “something fresh with the familiar,” performing popular songs such as “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Let It Be,” “Country Roads,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “You’ve Got A Friend” among other well know selections from the genres of country, folk, bluegrass, and pop. “Pat sings in the style of James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg,” Andrews said. “He is a balladeer and has a pleasant and relaxing voice.”
The season sponsors are Charles and Anne Reynolds, Dr. and Mrs. Witford Reid/Sebring Pain Mgmt, Dr. Richard and Elina Campbell, Highlands Today (media sponsor) and SunCoast Media (media sponsor). The performance sponsor is Gene Brenner, In Memory of Jo Brenner.
Tickets range from $15 to $18 and may be purchased online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at http://performances.southflorida.edu. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the SFCC Box Office at 863-784-7178 or by visiting the SFCC Box Office located in the front the of the SFCC Theatre for the Performing Arts, 600 West College Drive, Avon Park, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.