Top 10 concert picks in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda
While we're nearing the end of March and all its various local happenings, the concert calendar shows no sign of slowing down this week. For instance, Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will feature two singers of different generations, each with No. 1 hits to their names, visiting the venue.
There'll also be plenty of the acclaimed blues artists that the Sarasota and Bradenton area is known for showcasing, including Grammy and Blues Music Award-winning musicians, along with a variety of other genres including jazz, "Siberian surf rock" and a trio of performers blending cello, bass and beatboxing. Here are this week's highlights. Event details are subject to change.
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Vanessa Rubin with La Lucha
Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin visits Sarasota's Fogartyville for a show this week, joined by one of this area's top acts in the same genre. Rubin's recording career stretches from the early 1990s to her 2019 album "The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron," paying tribute to the late jazz musician, which earned a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Jazz Album. She's joined by Tampa Bay-based trio La Lucha, whose discography includes inventive jazz covers of songs such as Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and Deftones' "Change (In the House of Flies)." 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Friday; Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $32, $30 members, $16 students ages 13 and up; 941-894-6469; fogartyville.org
Igor and Red Elvises
"Siberian surf rock" group Igor and Red Elvises' lengthy string of Florida tour dates nears its end, as they visit Sarasota brewery and venue Big Top this weekend. The group is fronted by Igor Yuzov, who grew up in the former Soviet Union, seeking out the forbidden sounds of rock 'n' roll. He later moved to America and formed the Red Elvises, which has released albums including 1996's "Grooving to the Moscow Beat" and 1997's "Surfing in Siberia," and is still going strong. Can't make the show? You've got one other chance to see the group locally this time around, when they play April 1 at Bradenton's Birdrock Taco Shack. 7 p.m. Friday; Big Top Brewing Company, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 941-371-2939; bigtopbrewing.com
Soul blues singer-songwriter and harmonica player John Németh, who is up for five Blues Music Awards this year, plays Bradenton's Cottonmouth with The Blue Dreamers, the same band that appeared on his live album "Live from The Fallout Shelter" released earlier this year. It follows his most recent studio album "May Be the Last Time," released in 2022, the same year that he won his latest Blues Music Award in the Instrumentalist — Vocals category. Németh has also previously won Blues Music Awards in the Soul Blues Album and Male Artist categories, and performed on Elvin Bishop's Grammy-nominated 2008 album "The Blues Rolls On." 7 p.m. Saturday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $30; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul
Mike Block and Christylez Bacon with Patricia Ligia
Fogartyville's live music lineup this weekend also includes the intriguing trio of cellist/vocalist Mike Block, beatboxer/rapper/guitarist Christylez Bacon and electric bassist Patricia Ligia. Block is known for his work with classical music star Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble, including on the 2016 album "Sing Me Home" that won a Best World Music Album Grammy, while Bacon earned a Best Musical Album for Children Grammy nomination for appearing on 2009's "Banjo to Beatbox." They'll be joined by Ligia, who also plays in the groups Miami Girls Tumbao and Mestizas. 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Saturday; Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $28, $25 members, $14 students ages 13 and up; 941-894-6469; fogartyville.org
Singer Michael Bolton is set to make his return to Van Wezel this weekend. The performer is best known for his Grammy-winning, No. 1 renditions of "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," recently performing the latter while competing on the latest season of "The Masked Singer." Though Bolton has been lampooned in the past, perhaps most memorably in "Office Space," the singer has also showed a sense of humor about himself, collaborating with The Lonely Island on the 2017 Netflix comedy special "Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special." 7 p.m. Sunday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $88-$118; 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org
The Chris O'Leary Band
Sarasota County restaurant and blues venue Englewood on Dearborn's live music lineup this week will include singer and harmonica player Chris O'Leary and his backing band. O’Leary spent six years fronting the blues group The Barn Burners alongside the late great The Band drummer-singer Levon Helm before going solo, getting nominated for a Best New Artist Debut Blues Music Award and winning a New Artist Debut Release Blues Blast Award for his 2010 album “Mr. Used to Be.” O'Leary most recently released the 2019 album "7 Minutes Late." 6 p.m. Tuesday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $10; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com
Singer-songwriter Paul Anka will also make his return to Van Wezel this week, visiting the venue on his Greatest Hits: His Way tour. For Anka, that includes No. 1 hit singles from the '50s through the '70s including "Diana," "Lonely Boy" and the duet "(You're) Having My Baby" with Odia Coates, along with other hits such as "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" and "Puppy Love." Anka has also penned what would become some of the most successful songs of other musicians, such as "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones and the English-language lyrics to the track "My Way," immortalized by Frank Sinatra. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $82-$132; 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org
Nick Schnebelen Band
Englewoods on Dearborn's live music lineup this week also includes blues rocker Nick Schnebelen and his band. Schnebelen formerly played with his siblings Danielle and Kris in the group Trampled Under Foot, which won a Contemporary Blues Album Blues Music Award for their Billboard blues chart-topping 2013 full-length "Badlands," along with two Band of the Year nominations. After the group disbanded, Schnebelen started a solo career, where he's opened for artists such as George Thorogood and the Destroyers and put out releases including 2019's "Crazy All by Myself." 6 p.m. Wednesday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $7; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com
J.P. Soars' Gypsy Blue Revue featuring Anne Harris
Recently announced as an act at this year's Bradenton Blues Festival, J.P. Soars' Gypsy Blue Revue featuring Anne Harris visit the area earlier for a headlining show at Cottonmouth. South Florida guitarist and singer-songwriter Soars and his group the Red Hots earned four Blues Music Awards nominations last year, including Band of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer and Instrumentalist — Guitar for Soars. Chicago-based violinist and singer-songwriter Harris, meanwhile, has performed both as a solo artist and supporting other musicians, including Otis Taylor. 7 p.m. Wednesday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $25 advance, $30 day of; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul
Paul Nelson Band
Grammy-winning blues-rock guitarist Paul Nelson returns to Englewoods on Dearborn, as well as Leroy's in Punta Gorda. He played in the band of and produced albums for guitar icon Johnny Winter, winning a Best Blues Album Grammy for Winter's posthumously released 2014 record "Step Back," which also topped Billboard's blues albums charts and won the Blues Rock Album Blues Music Award. Nelson has produced and performed on other musicians' records, and released 2016's "Badass Generation" with his own band. 8 p.m. Wednesday; Leroy's Southern Kitchen & Bar, 201 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-505-2489; facebook.com/leroyspg; 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $10; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com
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This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Best live music concerts in Sarasota Bradenton Englewood Punta Gorda