Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

Veranda Live
The veranda Live is a project of the Modern Music Movement Presents.

ORLANDO — Orlando music lovers, particularly those who enjoy outdoor events, get ready for The Veranda Live.

Imagine yourself relaxing in Orlando’s popular Thornton Park neighborhood, where some of the city’s best restaurants are located. Then imagine there’s a free concert available. Welcome to the idea behind The Veranda Live, a Spring Concert Series hosted by The Modern Music Movement. Located at The Veranda of Thornton Park, 111 N. Summerlin Ave., this aims to become the city’s newest and hottest outdoor venue for local and national music.

The idea, said Nicholas Sellitto, is to transform the courtyard at The Veranda with a new stage, lighting and sound, giving the community the ability to enjoy free live concerts and events there. Upcoming shows will be held on March 22, 24 and 29, from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com.

The project is the brainchild of Sellitto, the founder of Modern Music Movement, a commercial music business that has staged themed events across the city, including numerous events involving music. Their past concerts have included tribute shows to David Bowie, Patti Smith and the Rolling Stones.

Sellitto has also mixed music with the written word, like a 2013 tribute to legendary underground writer William Burroughs at The Venue performing arts center. In 2015 he staged a tribute to Jack Kerouac, the Beat writer who lived in a College Park house at 1418 Clouser Ave. that is now the Kerouac Writer-In-Residence Project, a home for aspiring writers. That event was part a celebration of Kerouac’s birthday on March 12, and held at The Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden.

For Sellitto, this has been a unique way to bring together both rock fans and those who love spoken word readings, tapping into a very bohemian base of supporters of poetry and music in the Orlando area.

And now Modern Music Movement Presents is heading in this new direction, offering live concerts in Thornton Park, and giving the city another venue for music lovers.

To learn more, Freeline Media reached out to Sellitto to tell us more The Veranda Live project.

Freeline Media: Give us a preview of The Veranda Live — what’s going to be unique about it, and what it adds to the Greater Orlando music scene.

Nicholas Sellitto: The Veranda Live is a free to the public concert space held in the courtyard of The Veranda of Thornton Park. We are hosting free concerts every Thursday and Saturday evenings from 6-11 p.m. at our venue. We have a capacity of 500 people and a full liquor bar provided by Courtesy Bar. We host all genres of music here as well. We add a touch of serenity and class that is very approachable to the general public and audiophiles of all types. We will also be doing national acts as well. Drivin’ N Cryin’ on May 11 is the first national act.

FM: How did you find this location and what appealed to you about it?

NS: I was approached by the owners of The Veranda and a local digital media company called My Area Network. We are now partners. I had known about this wedding event space for a very long time. It’s a naturally beautiful setting surrounded by a tree canopy and B&B historic houses covered by strung white lights. We have built a stage from the nuptial enclave and provide sound and lighting. The actual onlookers of the concerts are in the courtyard.

FM: Where is the Modern Music Movement going, and what can we expect this year at The Veranda?

NS: Modern Music Movement Presents is now expanding their events and promotional platform with the partnership of My Area Network in the Greater Orlando area, and you can expect more street parties and corporate public functions along with full scale national concerts. Another concerts series is in production for the fall 2018 at The Veranda Live, and also free Reggae concerts once a month at the Veranda Live on ‘Sunday Fundays,’ coming very soon.

FM: In the past, you’ve mixed beat poetry and music. Do you think the country is ready for a new Beat Movement?

NS: We have discussed doing spoken word and comedy at this new venue. So anything is possible. We are open to great ideas. Yes, this country needs a new revolutionary word movement with focus and purpose — 100 percent. People’s minds have become lazy because of the ease of the information age. Human beings need intellectual engagement So, yes, I believe so.

FM: How do you rate the club/music scene here in Greater Orlando.

NS: Well, the Orlando club scene has exploded, similar to the restaurant scene in the city. We now for the first time in Orlando’s history have more venues to host live performances than talent to fill them. Wow, this is amazing! Real city challenges (problems). This adds a more challenging dynamic for promoters to up the game of their productions on price point and creativity because of event traffic and competition. Wherein the audiophile consumer and event goer wins!

To learn more about The Veranda Live, call The Modern Music Movement presents at 407-922-5533.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the terrifying book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com or call 321-209-1561.</em

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