Monday, October 30, 2017

Sardines tribute/fundraiser

To all who remember Sardines, once FTW's best date/jazz/dinner spot, pianist extraordinaire Johnny Case (who played there every night for 28 years) sends:

Dear Friends,

The tribute to Sardines Ristorante Italiano held at Arts Fifth Avenue shortly after the restaurant's demise was intended to be an annual event, yet no other such tributes took place. No others were being planned until I heard about a former employee in need of a liver transplant. Kenny Hardee was a manager at Sardines and his wife Adrienne also an employee for many years. Kenny is currently employed and has medical insurance, yet the out-of-pocket costs for his desperately needed transplant add up to a daunting $100,000 (!!).

Sardines' employees have always seemed like "family" - unified by a shared connection to the unique Fort Worth institution that was a historic and cultural treasure. Never has there been a better reason for a repeated tribute than to aid one among the family members at a time of dire need.

"Remembering Sardines" will be held Friday, December 1, at Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth. Gracey Tune and Deb Wood of A5A are donating the venue for the charitable purpose, withholding only operating expenses which will be reduced by donated food and drink for attendees. The musicians are performing without pay and an intriguing Silent Auction will include Sardines memorabilia and more, in the form of posters, works of art, A5A packages, recordings and artifacts from the original Sardines. Of special interest in the Silent Auction: a Gemeinhardt flute that had belonged to the late Suzan England, longtime Sardines manager. She gave it me in hopes I would know where it could best serve a good purpose. In twelve years I've not encountered a prodigy deprived of a quality instrument, so it seems to me that we are now confronted with that "good purpose" Suzan's flute can serve. The talented Ms. England was a visual artist who also played piano in addition to the flute. She was much loved by those who knew her, and Suzan was the musician's advocate whenever she knew of such a need.

Performers who will join me (I was house pianist/band leader at Sardines for 28 years) include Joey Carter on vibes and piano; Chris White on bass, trumpet and flute; Keith Wingate on drums. Carter will perform on the second set. This is the core group, other players will join in for an unbridled jazz jam, as was so often heard at Sardines.

The cover charge of $25 includes a delicious Italian dinner served along with "food for the soul" in the sounds of modern (acoustic) jazz. The festivities begin at 7:00 PM. Please attend if possible and make your reservations ASAP by calling Arts Fifth Avenue 817-923-9500.

I realize that logistics will prevent attendance by those who live far outside the D/FW area. If you cannot attend, but would like to contribute to Kenny Hardee, please visit the designated donation site.

Thank you for reading all of the above, and I hope to see many familiar faces on December 1 - a show of strong support is a great way to exhibit the spirit of the holidays.

Your Friend,



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