Artist of the day: Rosa Rio
Rosa Rio's got stories. Lots of them.
She's got stories about playing with Orson Welles while the legendary director recorded his radio show, The Shadow, in the 1930s. She's got a story about performing for Cole Porter at his apartment at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Even more remarkably, she's now 107 years old -- and she still performs around Tampa Bay.
The legendary pianist, who lives in Sun City Center, still moves and plays fluidly and capably, and brings to each stage performance a little bit of classic flavor from a bygone era. She played a showcase performance with Paul Wilborn at this summer's Homemade Music Symposium in Ybor City (click here for a review), and for years she was the Tampa Theatre's house organist.
On Saturday, she'll perform during "An Evening With Rosa Rio" at 7:30 p.m. at the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. During the first act, she'll provide the score to a silent Buster Keaton film. In the second act, she'll play a Steinway and tell stories about her long and storied career as an NBC radio organist and the pianist for Broadway star Mary Martin. Click here for details.
Tickets to the event are only $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Seriously, you've got something better to do? Lend Rosa Rio your ears for just this one night. You won't leave disappointed.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo (2007) by Danny Ghitis, tbt*.