Two of the Valley’s outstanding musicians will close out May at WTA’s Gateway on Friday, May 30 at 8 pm. Bert Carlson last performed at the Gateway in November as part of the theatre’s jazz series. This time he is joined by T. J. Johnson, per-emminent mandolin and fiddle player. Together they will set toes to tappin’ and bodies to be swayin’.
Bert Carlson started playing guitar professionally in Illinois and then moved Washington, D.C., where for the next 14 years he averaged over 300 engagements a year, doing music in a variety of styles and venues. In 1999 he moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and became one of Central Virginia’s most actively engaged performers. He and Jennifer Kirkland’s very popular jazz duo is one of the Virginia Commission for the Arts touring artists.
T.J. Johnson’s irreverent style and high energy are notorious for inspiring dancers and musicians alike. As a sought after session musician, he has performed and recorded with many well-known artists including Vassar Clements, John McCutcheon, Robin and Linda Williams, and Tom Paxton as well as many of the best contra dance bands in the country. Starting out as a teenager playing contemporary bluegrass, TJ has branched out over the years to enjoy all different styles from jazz to Middle Eastern.
The Friday May 30th show marks the next to the last month WTA’s Gateway will be in operation. For the last three years, the Gateway has featured local, regional, and national performers in a wide range of musical styles as well as theatre productions, films, and lectures. “WTA’s Gateway will be missed,” said Clair Myers, WTA’s Executive Director. “Since we announced the June 21st closing, I have heard so many people tell me how much their life will be impacted when the Gateway is no longer an option.”
Myers added that WTA plans to continue offering performances monthly. The River City Radio Hour will return in August for its annual outdoors performance and will continue in various locations until the Wayne Theatre reopens. WTA is also in the process of engaging other acts to fill out the months until the Wayne is available.
Tickets for the Bert Carlson and JT Johnson performance are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of perormance. They may be purchaced online at www.wtagateway.com or by calling the box office (540-943-9999). Seating is limited.
For more information contact director @waynetheatre.org or call 540-943-9999.