Leave it to the Lobero to not only nurture one of the city’s most dedicated premier circles of donors but also to give them an unforgettably poetic description. The Lobero’s Ghostlight Society is named for a centuries-old theatrical tradition that involves leaving a single light shining at center stage whenever the theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. Typically a single bare bulb, the ghost light serves purposes both practical and superstitious. As anyone who has ever had the misfortune to enter a darkened theater without a ghost light burning will tell you, dark theaters are great places to “break a leg”— literally. In addition, there are myriad legends concerning ghosts’ uses for the light.
The Ghostlight Society refers to an elite organization of particularly generous supporters of the Lobero that has been around since the theater was rebuilt in 1924. On Friday, January 8, 2016, this illustrious cohort will gather onstage to celebrate another season of impeccable programming at the city’s most consistently superior performing arts venue. They will do so by honoring the legendary jazz great Charles Lloyd, who will become the first-ever artist to be named a Ghostlight Society Luminary. Previous recipients of the award have been drawn from among the Society’s members and include Lillian and Jon Lovelace, Anne and Michael Towbes, Lyn and David Anderson, and Baroness Léni Fé Bland. These Luminaries make sure that the Ghostlight at the Lobero never goes out, and that the theater remains a venue of choice for some of the world’s greatest musicians.
Guitarist and jazz vocalist John Pizzarelli will perform and act as the evening’s master of ceremonies. The event will give the Ghostlight Society’s members an opportunity to thank Charles Lloyd in person for bringing so much great music to the Lobero, to Santa Barbara, and to the world. A longtime Montecito resident and the 2015 recipient of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, Lloyd has done more than any other musician to establish the Lobero’s reputation as a preeminent venue not only for jazz but also for roots, world music, and classical recitals. Although the ghost light will not be lit during this event, the ghosts of many great performers and even more satisfied audience members will certainly be in attendance.