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Bringing together music, science and art

By Staff | Nov 18, 2015

Raising awareness for water quality has been an ongoing challenge of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, but bringing together arts, science and entertainment under one setting is a big step into accomplishing just that.

The SCCF will be hosting two free concerts Saturday and Sunday, kicking off at Jensen’s Marina on Captiva No. 21 from 4-6 p.m.m and then on the porch of SCCF’s nature center Sunday from 1-3 p.m.

Playing will be Brent Moyer, otherwise known as the “Global Cowboy”, JRobert Houghtaling and Austin Church, aka Vernon Arnold.

The trio brings a nice variety of country music, with a good splash of tropical blend and a western taste.

“We decided to combine arts, science and entertainment to bring people into awareness about water quality,” said SCCF’s Kristie Anders. “Usually, water quality is a crisis driven event. Our work here at the foundation involves collecting that date 24/7. The condition of water and how wildlife responds to it, is a part of the job.”

With the entertainment aspect covered well by Moyer, JRobert and Church, the SCCF will have their scientists on hand during the concerts to answer questions, sometimes in one-on-one sessions.

“The idea having our scientists here is important,” Anders said. “They’ve been out in that river every week since 2008, so they know their data. They will be in attendance to take this technical data and make it real for people. It’s easier in this casual setting and people will have access to them.”

The art will be delivered by four different painting representing water quality in images of a matinee, dolphin, a Kemp-Ridley Sea Turtle and a largemouth bass. The paintings were produced by Xavier Cortada, with all being on display.

Postcard size replicas of the paintings will also be available for people to write their concerns of water quality in Florida, which will then be hand delivered to Tallahassee, when the legislation is in session.

“With the legislative session starting in January, these concerts are very timely,” Anders added.

Moyer and JRobert wrote a song about water quality entitled “Caloosahatchee Flow”, which will be played during the SCCF concerts at Jensen’s Marina and the Nature Center.

“I grew up in Wyoming and it’s pristine country up there,” Moyer said. “But as is the case anywhere else, there is people pollution happening and the water and the environment is affected by it. This will be about what we can do for the SCCF and get people aware of water quality.”

Jimmy Jensen, who is the owner of Jensen’s Marina, as well as friends with all three performers, said his family and he have always been supporters of water quality and helping raise awareness is important.

“A great thing,” Jensen said of the concert series. “It’s a great idea and I am excited to be a part of it. It’s an important subject, but why not have fun with it?

“We may have people coming for the information and maybe start tapping their foot or they are coming to tap their foot and end up learning something new. It’s great variety and is a really cool thing.”

There will be two more concerts played off island in conjunction with the SCCF. The third concert will be Jan. 30, at Riverside Park in LaBelle in association with Arts of the Inland.

Church and JRobert will be playing there.

On Jan. 31, Church will join the musicians playing bluegrass at the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers, which will host “Blues on the Porch”