Two Local Performers Highlight The World AIDS Day Event

By Steve Blanchard
Appeared in The Watermark November 30, 2006

Regardless of your musical tastes, you’re bound to find a performer or band that suits your style at the Sing Out for AIDS Concert Dec. 1. Area musicians have teamed together to bring the concert to the Palladium Theater to mark World AIDS Day.

One of the most anticipated performers is Lorna Bracewell, described by the St. Petersburg Times as “smart, funny… the outspoken heir to the Ani DiFranco throne.” Bracewell was also recognized by Watermark earlier this year as one of the most influential GLBT people under the age of 25 in Tampa Bay.

The 22-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist, understands how the power of music can unite people for a cause. She is the founder, sponsor and host of On this Earth: Art to Inform, Enlighten and Empower, a series of concerts embracing themes of racial justice, sexual justice and religious tolerance. The performances raise funds for worthy causes like Habitat for Humanity.

Bracewell’s musical style has been described as “folk with a spiritual twist.” She has shared her unique sound throughout Florida, the United States and Europe, and most recently opened for The Pretenders on Nov. 21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. With every tour date and concert performance, Bracewell believes she is accomplishing an important mission.

“I feel that it is my job… to serve as a role model for young people who are struggling with the same issues of gender and sexuality that I struggle with,” Bracewell said. “It’s my hope that through my honesty and candor, people can feel less alien and less ashamed.”

By participating in the Sing Out for AIDS concert, Bracewell focuses that transformative energy on Florida’s west coast — something she has always wanted to do.

“I believe in the singular capacity of art to foment revolution in every sense, not only the collective and the political, but the individual and the spiritual,” Bracewell said. “I believe that if the artists in our community — in every community — do their job and do it well, our sexualities, our genders and our races will become as insignificant morally and politically as the length of our toes.”

Fellow local artist Jeremy Gloff will also contribute his talents to the Sing Out for AIDS event. The Tampa resident returned to the stage earlier this year after releasing his newest album, Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good.

In the past, Gloff was a self-described “socialite” who could be spotted at local GLBT hot spots three or four nights a week. He eventually outgrew it, but then found himself caught between two phases of his life.

“When you hit 30, you’re kind of stuck between being a kid and becoming an adult,” Gloff said. “It’s a weird feeling. So I was kind of like, ‘well, now what?’”

Throughout the new album, Gloff says he tries to convey that theme of trying to find his place in the world. The phrase “Now’s the right time to feel good” was prevalent in at least five songs, so he selected it as the album’s title.

“I enjoyed being a studio geek, spending hours and days on mixes,” Gloff said. “For the first time I really fancied being a craftsman, building these songs from the floor up. To be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about this album as a whole, but the people who have listened to it give me about 90-percent positive feedback.”

Gloff considers himself a modern-day Elton John. He’s been busy filming a video for his single, “Dancing In Your Blue”, scheduled for release in December.

The singer/songwriter also plans to begin work on a new album before Christmas.

Other groups and performers slated to perform at the Sing Out For AIDS Concert include: Betty, Linda Nunez, Providence, New Tribe, Craymo, and the St. Petersburg Men’s Chorus. Denise and Donna of the Lesbian Lounge on Gay Internet Radio Live will emcee.

Sing Out for AIDS takes place at 7:30 p.m. at The Palladium in downtown St. Petersburg, 253 5th Avenue North. Tickets are $15. For more info, visit AidsPartnershipInc.org.