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The Studios of Key West is pleased to present two special concerts on February 11 and 12 at the Historic Armory, 600 White Street. On Saturday, February 11 at 8 pm Noel Paul Stookey of the legendary Peter, Paul and Mary will be joined by songwriter Josh White Jr. for an intimate evening performance. On Sunday afternoon, February 12 at 2 pm both musicians will combine their talents with the Key West Voices of Praise Gospel Choir and the readings of Reverend Elizabeth Stookey in an encore performance of last year’s sold-out Multifaith Folk and Gospel Celebration. Tickets for both concerts are now on sale at www.keystix.com or at the TSKW program office, 305-296-0458.
“There is a special kind of magic that happens when Noel and Josh come together onstage,” says Jay Scott, executive director. “Last year’s Multifaith concert was such a success, so we wanted to give audiences two chances to see these fantastic musicians this year.”
The Saturday evening concert will feature both old favorites and new selections by Stookey and White.
“I’ve been on a whirlwind writing adventure these past 11 months or so,” admits Noel, returning to Key West for his third straight year. “Certainly the audiences here enjoy tunes from the Peter, Paul and Mary era but I’m particularly struck by the focus and attention they bring to my recent songs”.
Stookey’s new creations cover a wide range of topics; a bossa nova ballad, a rewrite of America the Beautiful, a jazzy, 5/4 exposition on the connection between terrorism and the illegal drug trade and more. “Peole seem to be rediscovering folk music’s capacity to inform, inspire and entertain,” he concludes.
The next afternoon, the Armory will be infused with all the spirit of the gospel when Stookey and White perform an encore of last year’s Multifaith Celebration on Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm. Joined by the Reverend Betty Stookey, Noel’s wife of 48 years, and Key West’s own Voices of Praise Choir, last year’s celebration has been called one of the most uplifting, incredible concerts ever to come to Key West.
Reverend Betty Stookey will “season” the musical celebration with readings from many of the world’s faiths, and with passages from the literature of many cultures. The performance shifts dynamically from the spoken word to the sung word and back again, and recognizes love as the common calling to many different faiths.
Noel Paul Stookey has 45 albums to his credit—28 with Peter, Paul and Mary and the remainder as a solo artist. His music continues the tradition of social change celebrated in folk music, while also expanding adventurously into jazz improvisation and romantic ballads.
Now in his 68th year as a professional singer, actor, guitarist, songwriter and educator, Josh White Jr. is still making records and offering audiences around the world his special brand of folk/blues, spirituals, jazz and songs of social conscience.
In August 2007, a group of singers was organized to participate in a youth program that was held at Trinity Wesleyan Methodist church. The singers so enjoyed the experience that they have continued singing together ever since. Members of the “Voices of Praise” choir are workers from various churches throughout the Key West community.
Tickets for Saturday evening’s performance are $45 in advance and $50 on the day of the show, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Florida Keys Council of the Arts. Tickets for the Sunday afternoon performance are $25 in advance/$30 on the day of the show.