Friday, February 23 , 2018, 10:27 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 
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Storyteller, Songwriter Monte Schulz Readies For One-Night-Only Concert at Marjorie Luke Theatre

Friday's event will benefit AHA! and feature musicians who joined Schulz for his 'After Many A Summer' album

When I walk into six-time published author and composer Monte Schulz’s music room in his Mission Canyon home, he is sitting astride a stool, guitar in hand, playing a few chords.

A shaft of sunlight filters through the room’s large picture window, lighting his face like a chiaroscuro portrait.

Schulz, the eldest son of famous Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, looks up at me, then down at his guitar and continues to strum. His music seems to help him hide his shyness, as does his shock of wispy blond hair gently folding down over his forehead into his eyes.

He starts to sing, “I saw my girl on the street last night. I thought of the love shining in her eyes when she was by my side. I saw her smile as she turned to walk away from me. I wondered how it was that love could leave so easily.

“Do you recognize the lyrics?” he asks. “They’re from my song ‘Don’t Say Goodbye.’”

It is one of the 16 songs comprising Schulz’s new album After Many A Summer, an album that is part of his larger music compilation, Seraphonium.

 After Many A Summer is also the album that sets the stage for Schulz’s one-night-only benefit concert Friday at Marjorie Luke Theater in Santa Barbara. 

Monte Schulz will hold a one-night-only benefit concert Friday and be joined by musicians who contributed to his album. Click to view larger
Monte Schulz will hold a one-night-only benefit concert Friday and be joined by musicians who contributed to his album.  (Nancy Shobe photo)

The concert benefits AHA!, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that empowers teens to create peaceful and connected communities.

Over 30 of the 73 Santa Barbara- and Los Angeles-based singers and musicians who are represented on After Many A Summer will join Schulz on stage for the concert.

The musicians and singers hail from famous bands such as Kenny Loggins, Santana, Supertramp, Madonna, Cache Valley Drifters, Chris Hillman Band, Mary Wilson, Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan, Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Shawn Thies Quintet, Café R&B, Tina and The B-Sides, Raw Silk, Yanni and the Doobie Brothers, among others.

Producer and musician Brian Mann (Kenny Loggins) said in a previous conversation about Schulz, “Monte has a combination of great talent, intelligence, a heart of gold, true musical and lyrical gifts, wisdom and wise instincts . . . his Seraphonium is music at a higher level. I loved working on these songs.”

Unlike many albums that stick to one sound, Schulz’s After Many A Summer album is unique in that “my songs chase melodies across genres—from rock to pop, classical to folk to world music . . .” says Schulz.

Despite the diversity, there does seem to be one common theme: love.

“Love is the driving force in life,” says Schulz, looking up from the guitar at me.

 “We are born to love,” he pauses, as if to emphasize the fact. “It’s like one of my lines says: You can’t cry when you lie in bed late at night if you won’t let your heart spread its wings and fly.”

Schulz continues, “I’m always surprised when I hear people say they don’t need a relationship. They’re just lying to themselves. They’re afraid of heartbreak and rejection. They’re afraid of letting their heart spread its wings.

“I believe in love and I believe in romance.”

He closes his eyes and begins to sing, again, as if lost in the memory of someone, “Closing my eyes at the end of my day I will be dreaming of you.”

Schulz’s passion for music and writing seem fated.

“I grew up in a house of music. My mom, (Joyce Doty) played folk songs, popular music, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, My Fair Lady, Camelot. My dad also enjoyed music.

“In fact, when I hear ‘Moon River’ sung by Andy Williams, I’m reminded of being a kid in our living room in Northern California. I grew up with music in my heart and soul.”

The playlist for After Many A Summer is a bit like the light filtering through the window on Schulz’s face—light and dark, love found and love lost.

“There are so many things we often wish we had done, chances we had taken, opportunities missed, doors not opened, paths not chosen, “ said Schulz. “We see these as potential high moments. . .

“My dad told me the week before he died that ‘the worst regrets we have in this life are the things that we didn’t do.’ “

Schulz continues, “We have to hold close to us those we have found most dear. And, we have to remember all of the good things because that is why we’re here.

“For sure I’ve had my ups and downs. But I’ve had mostly high moments.”

It’s a good bet that Schulz’s first-ever concert on Friday will be one of those memorable high moments, not only for Schulz, but for the musicians and all of the concert-goers who attend.

Seraphonium concert tickets may be purchased at Seraphonium.com for $15, with all proceeds benefiting AHA!. Tickets at the door the night of the show will be $20.

His album is also available on iTunes and Amazon.

Concert event sponsors include The Santa Barbara Independent, Empyrean Records, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara News-Press, Valley Oaks Printing, Santa Barbara Sentinel, CASA, KTYD, KSBL, 103.3VIBE, Montecito Journal, Noozhawk and Swayed Creative.

The Marjorie Luke Theater is located at 721 East Cota Street, Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk contributing writer Nancy Shobe can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or follow her on Twitter: @shobebiz. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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