Dale’s Piano Playhouse returns with Recovery Café benefit concert

Dale Sherrod, who has supported Longmont nonprofits and entertained audiences with his piano skills since 1998, returns to the stage Saturday for a benefit concert billed as Dale’s Piano Playhouse.

The concert is free with “welcome” donations, as Sherrod puts it. It is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Saturday at CentraLongmont Presbyterian Church, 402 Kimbark St.

All proceeds will go to Recovery Café Longmont, which resides in the basement of CentraLongmont. After the concert, a reception and open house will be held at the cafe until 5 p.m.

Sherrod, who has lived in Longmont since 1965, started his concert series as a way to support local organizations. Previous organizations he has benefited from include OUR Center, Longmont Humane Society, and Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley. This is Dale’s Piano Playhouse’s first since 2019, and Sherrod is excited to perform again.

“It’s a funny thing,” he said. “It is comforting.”

Sherrod is not a pianist by trade, but his introduction to the instrument began when his parents decided to buy a piano instead of a new car.

“I started lessons when I was 6 and I’ve been doing intermittent things on the piano, like sing-alongs and church music, all my life,” he said.

Scott Hamlin and Karen Main, respectively artistic director and accompanist of the Longmont Chorale, will join Sherrod on stage on Saturday. Paula Muncy, pianist at Longs Peak United Methodist Church and teacher at Front Range Community College, will also take part in a performance covering a range of genres, from classical to ragtime to polka.

Recovery Café Longmont, a branch of the Recovery Café Network, is a non-profit organization that serves as a community for individuals to address challenges such as addiction and trauma. Cafe membership is free but required, and members attend weekly meetings and help maintain the cafe.

“We want people to feel like it’s their space (and) they own it,” Dutkin said. “We are not a treatment center or an outpatient facility, but we help bridge the gap between crisis and stability.”

The cafe launched in 2018 with CentraLongmont as its home, though Dutkin said staff were looking for a different, permanent location that was accessible to people with disabilities and could house a commercial kitchen. The original plan was to move in 2020, but the pandemic put the search on hold.

The non-profit organization has approximately 90 volunteers who serve as either café cooks or hospitality ambassadors; Sherrod is the latter of the two, joining earlier this year. He said it is an honor to work with the organization and hopes to bring them some publicity through this concert.

“The camaraderie and everything that’s going on here, I think is wonderful,” he said.

RSVP for the concert by emailing Dutkin at [email protected]

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement