Longtime jazz director for Spoleto Festival U.S.A., Michael Grofsorean talks about his history at the festival since 1980. He relates anecdotes about past performers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan and Ray Charles and describes the process that goes into selecting the artists for each festival. He discusses festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti's distaste for jazz, the rocky years of festival finances, the NAACP boycott of South Carolina that nearly derailed the 2000 jazz program and describes why the city of Charleston is the perfect venue for the festival. Audio with transcript.
Charles S. Way is a noted Charleston businessman and civic leader who has been involved with Spoleto Festival U.S.A. since 1978. He served as the organization's president in 1984, chairman of the board from 1985-1991, and has held the post of chairman emeritus since 1991. Way talks about the history of Spoleto Festival U.S.A., his relationships with Gian Carlo Menotti, Nigel Redden and others, how the festival piqued his interest in art, and his hope that Spoleto U.S.A. and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, will one day be joined together again. Audio with transcript.
Geoff Nuttall began performing yearly at Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in 1995 as first-violinist with his renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet. In 2008 he was named associate artistic director of the chamber music series and will assume leadership from longtime director Charles Wadsworth in 2010. Nuttall discusses the legacy of Wadsworth and chamber music, the logistics of selecting the performers and the repertoire, and the advantages of having Charleston as a venue for the festival. Audio with transcript.