Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein

Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein

The Straz Center recently spoke with Simone Dinnerstein. You can read that interview here.

John Fleming of the Tampa Bay Times recently spoke with Tift Merritt. To read that interview, click here.

It may seem an odd pairing at first, this Grammy Award-nominated alt-country darling and a pianist known for her interpretations of Bach, Beethoven and Shubert. But Merritt has always resisted easy classifications, as comfortable in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium as in Paris, where she lived for a while. Night features a collection of new songs written especially for the duo by the likes of Brad Mehldau, Patty Griffin and Philip Lasser. Jenny Scheinman, whose previous collaborators include Bill Frissell, David Byrne and Madeleine Peyroux, has contributed arrangements of some of Merritt’s and Dinnerstein’s favorite songs. Both artists will perform solo as well – Merritt in her own songs – more like musical short stories, including some from her latest recording See You on the Moon – and Dinnerstein in some of her favorite selections from the solo classical piano repertoire. TiftMerritt.com, simonedinnerstein.com

The Straz Center’s Michael Kilgore spoke with both Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein last year about their joint project Night, as well as about their individual careers. In conversation with Merritt, she discusses her See You On The Moon and Traveling Alone CDs, working with Dinnerstein, and Mary Chapin Carpenter's tour bus. Merritt and Dinnerstein play together for one night only. Listen to the interview here (this is a large audio file download. If loading slowly, you can also listen to it in the audio player above.

April 6 Ferguson Hall

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Show Dates & Times

Sat. 7:30 p.m.


Regularly priced single tickets start at $28.50.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount. Please call 813.222.1016 or 813.222.1018 to speak with Group Sales.

Student/Senior/Military Discount - 50% off 90 minutes before curtain with ID, maximum 1 ticket per ID

In celebration of 25 years of performances, entertainment, emotions and memories, the Straz Center will offer 25 tickets at $25 for select shows. This offer starts Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Community Open House event. Offer available by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) (outside Tampa Bay 800.955.1045) or by visiting the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office. All offers are first come, first served and limited to two tickets per show title per household. Some restrictions apply. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Service charges apply.

There is a maximum ticket allotment of eight tickets per account/household/business for paid, ticketed events. (For some shows, it may be less.) Applicable service charges added at point of purchase. There is no maximum for free, non-ticketed events.

For ticket purchases via the phone or ticket office, service charges are waived for current annual Straz members at the $400 level and higher, although special handling fees may apply to some shows. Service charges for online transactions apply to all members.

Pursuant to s.817.36, Florida Statutes, no Straz Center ticket may be offered or resold for more than $1 over the face value of the ticket.

About the Show

New York-based pianist Simone Dinnertsein gained an international following after the remarkable success of her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which was released in 2007 on Telarc. The recording ranked No. 1 on the US Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker’s Best of 2007 lists. She demonstrated her sticking-power when her follow-up album, entitled The Berlin Concert, also reached the No. 1 position on the US Billboard Classical Chart. Now signed to Sony Classical, Dinnerstein released Bach: A Strange Beauty in January of 2011. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart and defied boundaries as one of the few classical albums to grace the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Grammy© Award-nominated songstress Tift Merritt is a North Carolina native. With her longtime band, she has built a unique and critically acclaimed body of work of sonic short stories and poignant performances. Merritt’s latest release, See You on the Moon, was produced by Tucker Martine. It is her most coarsely emotional work to date and features her characteristic and unmistakable sound. Her albums have landed on TIME’s and The New Yorker’s Top 10 lists, and her first disc was named best debut of the year in any genre by the Associated Press. Merritt has performed on national television programs including NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly, CBS's Late Show with David Letterman and NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

EW gave Tift Merritt's new release an A-, praising that she strips things down, "letting her aching vocals and bewitching twang do all the convincing."  Tift’s new album and Yep Roc Records label debut Traveling Alone was recorded in Brooklyn with Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Spoon) and features a guest appearance by Andrew Bird and well as performances by Marc Ribot, Rob Burger (Lucinda Williams, Iron & Wine, Rufus Wainwright), John Convertino (Calexico), Eric Heywood (The Jayhawks, Son Volt, Alejandro Escovedo) and Merritt’s longtime collaborator Jay Brown.



Entertainment Weekly gave Tift Merritt's new release “Traveling Alone” an A-, praising that she strips things down, "letting her aching vocals and bewitching twang do all the convincing."

Run-time: 80 minutes with no intermission