Norfolk artist Rick Seguso’s painting, KLEZMER for the JOYFUL SOUL, on exhibit at Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts

by | Jan 18, 2024 | What’s Happening

Exhibit runs through Saturday, Feb. 3

Nearly 60 local writers and artists have been paired together for the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts’ exhibit, “Everyone Has a Story.”

Rick Seguso, an artist, musician, and singer/songwriter, was inspired by an essay on klezmer by Virginia Beach-based author Debbie Burke. The two had never met, but Suffolk Center put them together with “Joyful” results: Burke’s essay is from her book KLEZMER for the Joyful Soul.

When Seguso finished his painting after reading what Burke had written, he emailed her an image of it. The painting was, in fact, sold before the exhibit began, but allowed to be included in the exhibit before being shipped to its new owner in Florida.

“I’m a musician and have done many music-related paintings but never one that highlighted klezmer. I love the music and have always taken an interest in the individual’s heritage,” says Seguso. “Like Debbie, my ancestors came to this country via New York around the same time frame.”

“The body of work that coalesced to become klezmer was informed by suffering and pain, joy and mirth, and the disjointed paths that my family and thousands of others followed that eventually led them to settle in the U.S. The people and their stories are behind the music,” says Burke, who is a published author, writes about jazz in fiction and nonfiction and is also a jazz blogger. She operates a book editing business called Queen Esther Publishing LLC.

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