This weekend, celebrate the 100th anniversary of an interplanetary classic, honor the local legacy of one of music’s greatest stars, and enjoy the zingers as “a latter-day Tom Lehrer” guest stars with One City Chorus.
The Florida Legacy of ‘The Genius’ Ray Charles. This event at The Studio@620 is listed as SOLD OUT, and at the Studio, where they always seem to pack in door-to-door crowds, if they say it’s sold out that means it’s sold out. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you’ll enjoy an all-star cast (dynamic singer Alex Harris, soul master Latimore, NPR’s Eric Deggans, author John Capouya, cabaret raconteur Paul Wilborn, Your Real Stories’ Dr. Lillian Dunlap, the Poynter Institute’s Roy Peter Clark and more) celebrating Ray Charles’s very real roots in Tampa Bay, including his first recording, “St. Pete Florida Blues.” If you didn’t get a ticket, you can still pay homage to Charles: Just pick up a copy of Capouya’s Florida Soul, a deep dive into the surprising history of soul music in the Sunshine State. 7 p.m., Studio@620, the studioat620.org.
The Planets. Michael Francis conducts the Florida Orchestra w. the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay Women’s Choir. The Planets align with NASA images on the big screen for the 100th anniversary of Holst’s sonic trip through the galaxy. Also on the program: Debussy’s Nocturnes and the premiere of Stars, a work by USF music composition professor Baljinder Sekhon, who described his vision to WUSF News: “… the listener starts in the center of the creation of a star and gradually moves out of the star to Earth as the piece goes on.” 2/15, 8 p.m., Straz; 2/16, 8 p.m., Mahaffey; 2/17, 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd.
One City Chorus. Already a beloved St. Pete institution in only its third year of existence, the community chorus led with wit and precision by Jon Arterton welcomes special guest Roy Zimmerman, the singing satirist who’s been called “a latter-day Tom Lehrer.” 2/17, 4 p.m., Hough Hall at The Palladium.
Photo courtesy NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory