EntertainmentMr. Free SpiritMusic

What Makes Dante Tick? (Year End Recap)


(Follow Your Dream) by Mr. Free Spirit 

As some of you know I moved to Florida based on the suggestion of my friend Gary Johnson.  I did not know anyone.  Gary said he was moving to Florida and that he had family there.  He also said that I needed a support system since I was alone.

Well, I thought it would be a good idea.  Many years ago, Gary and I started a company called “Broadway Theaters Educate.”  We transported underprivileged kids to New York City on a luxury motor coach to expose them to jobs “behind the curtain” such as Set and Costume Designers, Lighting Technicians, Makeup Artists, etc.  I was there every weekend for a few years.  At one point during this period, I was invited to be on the Broadway Show Review team which sought my opinion and insights on shows. As a result, I had the opportunity to attend shows like, “In The Heights” starring Lin Manuel Miranda, “Sister Act,” and “Chicago” multiple times.  access to many shows’ multiple times.  I also met some of the most interesting people.

In The Heights (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Sister Act



I’ve had a passion for writing a Broadway show for years. I had planned to redo “Dreamgirls,” but many people are doing it. After talking to Jeanine Nesbit, a GRAMMY award winning artist, I decided to not “redo” anything and develop my musical skills. Well, that took on a life of its own. I assembled a team of the right people to make this dream come true. Of course, Gary Johnson was asked because of his talent and our history of success, then Donna Gray-Banks, Bennie Yarbrough, Rosalie Whitcomb, and Leroy McClendon. With a “talent bank” like this, we will surely have a winner. During a conversation with Gary, I said “I am either Stubborn or Stupid,” to take on this task, however, it is my dream.

It is a musical “The Sounds of Jazz.”

This will be a full-on red-carpet event complete with a film crew documenting the event and paparazzi.

The tentative date is Oct. 26, 2024, at the newly remodeled Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center.

Tickets prices will not be posted until July 2024; however, members of the Ormond Beach Jazz Society will get both discounted tickets and advance notice(s).

The Team

  • Gary Johnson – MC & Narrator
  • Donna Gray-Banks – Narrator
  • Bennie Yarbrough – Musical Director
  • Rosalie Whitcomb – Directors Assistant
  • Leroy McClendon – Sound Engineer
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