A Weekend with Local Legends at the VPAC!

Clyde Butcher, February 23rd at 7pm

Jazz Masters, February 24th at 7pm

The Venice Institute for Performing Arts (VIPA) is pleased to present a Weekend with Local Legends! Renowned Floridian photographer Clyde Butcher presents: the Art of Environmentalism on February 23rd, followed by a question and answer with the audience, and on Saturday, February 24th, Dick Hyman and Ken Peplowski present: Jazz Masters: Symphony of Broadway. Both shows will take place at 7pm.


VIPA’s mission is to sustain the local arts community through educational programs while inspiring residents with first-class entertainment, and to make Venice a place for recreation and the arts year-round. With its first ever Weekend with Local Legends, the Institute invites the local community to come together and celebrate the diversity of the arts in Venice.


Clyde Butcher is an American large format camera photographer known for wilderness photography of the Florida landscape. While visiting Yosemite National Park in 1963, he learned about the photography studies of Ansel Adams. By 1970, he left architecture for landscape photography. Butcher had a partnership that marketed and sold his images to the wall décor departments of Sears, Montgomery Ward, and J. C. Penney. He eventually accrued around 200 employees and offices in Akron, Ohio and Southern California. In order to increase sales, Butcher started photographing with color film so his images could match the avocado green shag carpets and gold couches. The bulk of his photography during this time took place west of the Rocky Mountains and in the Pacific Northwest. His love for boating and the television program Flipper inspired him to explore Florida, where he eventually moved for his permanent residence.


In 1986, after the passing of his son, Butcher put aside color photography and became a black-and-white landscape photographer using large-format cameras. In 1993, Butcher purchased 14 acres in Big Cypress National Preserve in Southern Florida that is surrounded by over a million acres of wilderness. This is where he built his gallery and home. He then realized that he needed to help the public to understand the beauty of the swamp and began leading guided tours through the swamp behind his gallery in Big Cypress National Preserve. Big Cypress Gallery is open seven days a week from 10:00 – 5:00. In 1997, Butcher purchased a building in an industrial park in Venice, Florida where he also has a gallery. The darkroom is open to the public twice a year for tours. The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00-4:00.


His deep appreciation for the Everglades inspired him to work for the restoration and preservation of environment. He has received recognition for his community service as well as his photography. In 1992, PBS aired a documentary about him, Visions of Florida, which won a Wolfson Award. Butcher and his work have also inspired other artist-conservationists, such as film producer Elam Stoltzfus. The pair have formed a friendship over the years and have collaborated on several multimedia projects together as a result. Butcher hosted the documentaries “Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades” and “Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades,” which highlighted the importance of conservation and art in the state of Florida.


Clyde Butcher’s photographs have been exhibited in many museums across the country. A few are mentioned below: Museum of Florida History – Tallahassee, FL; St. Petersburg Museum – St. Petersburg, FL; National Gallery of Art – Prague, Czech Republic; South Florida Museum – Bradenton, FL; Museum of the Rockies – Bozeman, MT; Museum of Discovery and Science – Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Gallery of Classic Photography (group exhibit) – Moscow, Russia; Annenberg Space for Photography (group exhibit) – Los Angeles, CA, and many others.


Join us for Mr. Butcher’s only lecture of 2018: Florida – where water, earth and heaven meet, which consists of his adventures photographing the mysterious and primeval wilderness in black and white with a large format view camera. Mr. Butcher will share stories about his journey from being an architect and landscape photographer in California to becoming a landscape photographer in Florida. This is a show you won’t want to miss!


On February 24th, join jazz legends Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski and their 47-piece orchestra for the Symphony of Broadway, conducted by Yakov Bergman. Music about Broadway or from Broadway shows is a central part of every jazz player’s repertoire. The Symphony of Broadway has been formed from the finest musicians of the Venice-Sarasota area in order to present new jazz-oriented versions of these standards. Songs include “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “42nd Street,” songs from Broadway shows of the past by Gershwin (Liza, ‘Swonderful), Berlin (Blue Skies, Puttin’ on the Ritz), Sondheim (Send in the Clowns), Bernstein (Somewhere), Rodgers (People Will Say We’re in Love), Fats Waller (Ain’t Misbehavin’) and others. During the show, Mr. Hyman will be premiering a new concert work, an expanded version of his “Three Delights for Clarinet and Orchestra,” a clarinet concerto composed for duet partner Ken Peplowski.


Mr. Hyman is an American jazz musician. Over a 60-year career, he has functioned as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director, electronic musician, and, increasingly, as a composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in a long career involving film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. One of his most notable works was the soundtrack for the Woody Allen film “Moonstruck,” about which Hyman said in a 2002 article in the Venice Gondolier Sun, “Most of the music in the film is based on little bits of ‘LaBoheme.’ Parts of it not by Puccini are original things I wrote, more or less in the style I would call Italian-American.” Correspondent Grace Gilbert interviewed the jazz legend, and wondered how he got his start. “What you’re imprinted with at an early age is what you’re stuck with. I was “stuck” with all those good jazz classics: Art Tatum, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and all the great players of the 1920s and 1930s.” He is still writing music today, even after a long and successful career.


Ken Peplowski is a jazz clarinetist and tenor saxophonist born in Cleveland, Ohio, known primarily for playing swing music. He is sometimes compared to Benny Goodman in tone and virtuosity. “When you grow up in Cleveland, playing in a Polish polka band, you learn to think fast on your feet”, says Peplowski, who played his first pro engagement when he was still in elementary school. “From my first time performing in public, I knew I wanted to play music for a living.” While in college, he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under direction of Buddy Morrow, studied under Sonny Stitt, and even got hired by Benny Goodman when he came out of retirement to form a new band. Peplowski has recorded approximately 50 CDs as a soloist, and close to 400 as a sideman – some of the artists he’s performed/recorded with include Charlie Byrd, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, and Madonna. “Mr. Peplowski sounds the way (Benny) Goodman might if he had kept evolving, kept on listening to new music, kept refining his sound, polishing his craft, and expanding his musical purview into the 21st century” writes Will Friedwald in The Wall Street Journal, December 2012.


Hyman and Peplowski are often a duo act to themselves and will display their duets as well during their February 24 performance, with ingenious improvisations on Broadway titles. Additionally, Mr. Peplowski will present his specialties in swinging big band arrangements. Join us along with Mr. Hyman, Mr. Peplowski, and their 47-piece orchestra for the Symphony of Broadway!


The Venice Institute for Performing Arts welcomes you to its very first Weekend with Local Legends to enjoy the diverse offerings presented by Clyde Butcher and Dick Hyman and Ken Peplowski in Jazz Masters: the Symphony of Broadway. For more information, please visit www.veniceperformingartscenter.com, or call our box office at (941) 218-3779.