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Blast Friday Concert Series Returns to Downtown Clearwater

1/18/2017 1:54:23 PM

Contact: Jose Patino (727) 562-4664

Blast Friday returns to the Cleveland Street District in Downtown Clearwater for its 7th season. This free food and craft festival kicks-off featuring a live concert starring Spyro Gyra on Friday, January 27 from 5:30 to 10 pm on the Tampa Bay Times Cleveland Street Stage. Food trucks and vendors will be serving a wide variety of freshly prepared specialty food and beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages that will be available for purchase. Concert goers are welcome to bring their lawn chairs to watch the concert. Please see concert listings below (line-up, date and time subject to change).

New and featured in January will be a Beer Garden at Station Square, located in the 600 block of Cleveland Street, with live local music and a sampling from Crooked Thumb Brewery.

A local art experience will also be featured at each Blast Friday. This month a free exhibit will be held outside Studio 617, hosted by Lina Texiera. Studio 617 is located at 617 Cleveland Street and the exhibit will be from 7 to 9 pm.

Friday, January 27

Spyro Gyra

Spyro Gyra are contemporary jazz icons who have reached an international audience for more than 40 years – resulting in sales of over 10 million albums and playing shows on five different continents. Spyro Gyra observed their 40th year in 2014 with shows that showcased their breakthrough Morning Dance album. After that year of looking back, they decided to spend 2015 concentrating on their more recent material, playing many songs from their post 2000 releases. The audience reaction was so positive to their recent material that bandleader Jay Beckenstein decided that their albums from that period deserved a little more focus. So, in order to spotlight this innovative and productive period, Spyro Gyra released their latest hit, The Best Of The Heads Up Years in 2016.

Friday, February 24

John Waite

Singer/songwriter John Waite got his start as the lead singer of The Baby’s whose hits include Isn’t It Time? and Every Time I Think of You. After five albums with The Baby’s, Waite released his first solo album, Ignition, which boasted the hit rock single Change, which was soon followed with a #1 and what is undeniably one of the all-time greatest pop/rock ballads, Missing You. The song topped the international charts and today remains a radio staple around the globe.

Friday, March 31

Billy Joel Legends “Lords of 52nd Street”

The famed line-up that backed singer-songwriter Billy Joel from 1976 to 1981, The Lords of 52nd Street make their way to Clearwater performing renditions of the recorded originals by the Piano Man's original band. Led by three former members of the Billy Joel Band: multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata, drummer/percussionist Liberty DeVitto and guitarist Russell Javors, four of the five Joel albums released during the foursome's 1976-81 tenure reached the Top Ten on the Billboard charts: The Stranger, 52nd Street, Glass Houses and the live Songs in the Attic.

Friday, April 28

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as Tuff Enuff and Wrap It Up. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation. In addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar and Randy Bermudes on bass.

Friday, May 26

Home Cookin’ III – Greg Billings Band & The Black Honkeys

Returning for the first time since their sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre this month, The Greg Billings Band returns. The band is a continuation of a phenomenon that began when popular ‘80s Florida band Romeo signed to Epic Records and released its first album after a name change to "Stranger". The band features two members of Stranger, lead vocalist Greg Billings and bassist Tom ‘King’ Cardenas and also includes lead guitarist George Harris, drummer Mark Busto, guitarist Kyle Ashley and Rob Stoney on keyboards.

Known for their soul, funk and rhythm ‘n’ blues music, The Black Honkeys have won awards in multiple categories for three years running in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Reader’s Choice Awards. Front man, Brother Phil Esposito, is supported on vocals by the lovely Nicole Simone, with guitarist Greg Czinke, Will Harris on bass, Steven Tanner on drums, John "Dash" Dixon on keyboards, along with the fabulous Ebony & Ivory Horn Section with Scott Myers on trombone and Terry Clark on trumpet.

A limited number of VIP packages priced at $29 are available for all Blast Friday concerts, which includes a general admission ticket in the reserved seating section directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage and two complimentary beers. In addition, a limited number of SUPER VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $49 are also available, which includes a ticket with seats in the first two rows of reserved general admission seating directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage, a meet and greet opportunity with band members and two complimentary beers or wine and access to super VIP tent, which includes snacks.

VIP and SUPER VIP packages are on sale now. Packages are available in advance at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Patrons may also purchase tickets at www.AtTheCap.com 24/7. Packages may also be available the day of each concert at the Capitol Theatre Box Office.

Be a part of BLAST FRIDAY and join in Clearwater’s premier street festival! Become a vendor to offer specialty food items, refreshments, crafts and homemade goods.

Every participating vendor receives a reserved 10’ x 10’ space at one low fee with a deeper discount for crafters and artisans. Blast Friday is held the last Friday of every month through May. Vendors should reserve their space by downloading and filling out the online application here. For more information, please email blastfriday.vendors@gmail.com.

Contact:

Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations - p 727.712.2774 - kpedretty@RuthEckerdHall.net

Lacy Herman, Public Relations Assistant - p 727.724.5383 - lherman@RuthEckerdHall.net