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Shane Chalke / Photo by Chris Lake

 

A retired financial software entrepreneur turned professional jazz trumpeter, Shane Chalke jumped into Sarasota’s cultural scene by joining the board of Fuzion Dance Artists (now Sarasota Contemporary Dance). As its new president, he has lofty goals: building a strong audience by presenting a full season (“In our 10th season, we’re finally doing that with five programs,” he says); getting its dancers on salary; and finding its own studio space. “We’re very close to signing a deal to move into the new Rosemary Square,” he says. “It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to keep a dance company alive. [But] when you get involved, it becomes family.”

 

We Love This City

 

“Monique and I decided to leave the D.C., area when our last daughter left for college. We built a house in the North Carolina mountains, but the first winter we said, ‘We’re not staying here.’ We came to downtown Sarasota and loved it. [Now] we spend seven or eight months here.”

 

Around the Horn

 

“I’ve played the trumpet since I was 10.  I play about 200 nights a year—with my own ensemble, B.E. Jazz, in our summer home in North Carolina, and here in Sarasota with the Jerry White Swing Band and other groups. My new C.D., Jazz in Thin Air, came out in August.”

 

Gotta Dance

 

“My wife and I are dance aficionados. When we moved here, we went to a couple of [Fuzion] performances and said, ‘This is better than it has a right to be for this little city.’ [After] I got recruited onto the board, I made the mistake of laying out a strategic plan and next thing I knew I’m running [the organization].”

 

Play It Again

 

“If I have a night off from playing music, my favorite places to hear music are the Blue Rooster and the Starlite Room. I played on a Sunday night in summer at the Vineyard on Main Street, and I was shocked to see the place packed to the gills. That’s just excellent.”

 

On the Edge

 

“This town is hungry for more edgy things; there’s a place in Sarasota for things that push the boundaries. That’s where Fuzion fits in. There’s so much more artistic risk.”

 

To read past My New Hometown interviews, click here. >>

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