NEW PORT RICHEY — A popular concert venue with a knack for landing top-notch acts is located in a place you might least expect to find amps and microphones and live music:
The public library.
This month the New Port Richey Library continues its run with a free concert Thursday by Los Angeles singer-songwriter-guitarist Henry Wolfe, who will play his soulful songs rooted in the music of Paul McCartney and Harry Nilsson.
Wolfe said this will be his first visit to Florida since a trip to Disney World when he was 10. He has also never played a gig in a library, but said he is looking forward to the intimacy that suits his music.
"I like playing quiet places, and it doesn't get much quieter that a library," joked Wolfe, 32. "But seriously, the close interaction with the audience in a setting like this, magical things can happen."
Wolfe, who is the son Hollywood legend Meryl Streep, is a big get for the library, which has previously hosted blues great and Broadway performer Guy Davis, Carnegie Hall classical guitarist Peter Fletcher, American Indian classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, blues singer Gaye Adegbalola, and the American folk music duo Hungrytown (they return Jan. 19).
The library's success in landing big names can be attributed to its event coordinator, Ann Scott, a tenacious music lover who is always scouring the Internet for inspirational acts.
"I have an eclectic taste in music," Scott said.
Her ambition in finding new music feeds into her tireless efforts in getting musicians to play at the library, but the method to her success is simple.
"I just try. I send out requests all the time. I would say I hear back from maybe 1 percent of them," she said.
In Wolfe's case, it took her more than a year to book him, but the wait will be well worth it, Scott said.
As with all of the library's concerts, Wolfe's performance is expected to pack the upstairs concert room to capacity, about 150 people. Reservations are required.
"He is in my opinion an artist, someone who is authentic and filled with a quiet passion," Scott said. "While much of his inspiration is rooted in the past, Henry Wolfe is highly individualized and his music is relevant to our present."
Live music has been a staple at the library over the years, Scott said, because the library's overall mission is to enlighten.
"We are about opening doors, and music does that," she said. "If someone can be inspired by what they hear, or the music causes a light bulb to come on for someone with talent, that's what we hope for."