From the Heart and Soul: Tribute concert to Sandy Turner is a personal dedication

Written by Pru Sowers | Provincetown Banner | June 7, 2012 | Printable Version: click here to download

Mark Person can still recall the day he met Sandy Turner 28 years ago. Both were living in Columbus, Ga., and it was an unusual pairing. Person was a 20-yearold African-American man attending college. Turner was white, slightly older and working as an Army secretary stationed at nearby Fort Benning.

But they hit it off. And when Turner moved to Provincetown about two years later, she invited Person to come up for a visit. That trip changed his life. He ended up moving to Provincetown and a short time later began dating Turner, eventually moving in with her. She helped him find his place in town — including various jobs such as coaching basketball at Provincetown High School for five years.“Everyone was so good to me in Provincetown. And Sandy really helped me. Even after we stopped living together, we always were very good friends. Once she loved you, she loved you. She was such a special person,” Person said.

While the two gradually went their separate ways — Person eventually into music production and Turner rising to become assistant director of the Provincetown Dept. of Public Works — that affection remained. They reconnected recently and had dinner at Napi’s, where he gave her a CD of a musician he manages, Gary Foote.

“She loved the music,” Person remembered. “She especially loved track 3, ‘Real Life.’”

Ten days later, Turner was dead, the result of unexpected complications following hip surgery. Person is having a hard time wrapping his head around the loss of his friend. So he decided to dedicate a night of music to Turner and her family, coming full circle, he said, by connecting the past to the present.

The concert will feature Foote, a composer, producer and bass player, and four other accomplished musicians who appear on his album, “HarlemWorks.” One of them is his wife, Jenny Douglas, a singer who has worked with a plethora of artists from very diverse music genres, including Pink, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mick Jagger, as well as singing back-up for Lenny Kravitz when he opened for U2 before a crowd of over 60,000 in San Francisco. Douglas has also provided back-up vocals for Elton John, Tina Turner, Madonna and Snoop Dog and has performed steadily with Toto since 1990. Foote has a similarly impressive resume. In addition to backing up iconic artists such as Smokey Robinson, Billy Cobham, Maxwell, Wu Tang and Blood, Sweat and Tears, Foote has worked behind the scenes scoring films and TV commercials. His style on “Harlem- Works” is a combination of funk, jazz and R&B. The tribute concert, at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Provincetown Town Hall, promises to be a mix of cultures, just like Provincetown itself, Person said.

“There’s going to be that Motown feel. But they’re going to play [George] Gershwin. They’re going to play Herbie Hancock. Gary will play four or five songs from his CD. He’s composing this show specifically for Provincetown,” he said. Turner’s family is expected to attend the performance. The pallbearers at her funeral will be ushers at the show, Person said. And a plaque in memory of Turner, “from all who loved her,” as it will state, will be presented to the family at the beginning of the show. It is slated to be installed on one of the Town Hall benches.

“The town has been so wonderful,” Person said. “David Gardner, Sharon Lynn, Darlene Van Alstyne in licensing. They’ve all been so helpful. I want the show to be very elegant and nice. I want everyone to feel they’re coming to Sandy’s home.”

Accompanying Foote on June 9 will be Argentinian pianist Dareo Boente, Ken Gioffre on saxophone and Tony Lewis on drums. Tickets are $32 and can be purchased at

What: HarlemWorks tribute concert to Sandy Turner
Where: Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9
Tickets: $32 at

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