Top 6 concert picks for Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte: Dec. 30-Jan. 5

·4 min read
Jefferson Starship.
Jefferson Starship.

Jefferson Starship

If you're looking to celebrate New Year's Eve with some live music, Sarasota's Van Wezel will host a concert featuring rock group Jefferson Starship. The band still features David Freiberg, one of the original members who formed the group after Jefferson Airplane's dissolution and co-penned the 1979 track "Jane," one of their biggest hits along with "Miracles" and "Count on Me." Last year, Jefferson Starship released the album "Mother of the Sun," featuring a song co-written by late former member Marty Balin, another co-written by former vocalist Grace Slick, and former bassist Pete Sears playing on three tracks. 8 p.m. Friday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $52-$97; 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org

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Selwyn Birchwood

Sarasota's The Blue Rooster, a restaurant and venue that features regional and national blues artists, rings in the new year with Selwyn Birchwood, one of Florida's most acclaimed musicians in the genre. This year the singer-songwriter and guitarist released the full-length "Living in a Burning House," his third for renowned blues label Alligator Records, which topped the Billboard blues albums charts. He also earned a Contemporary Blues Male Artist Blues Music Award nomination this year, winning a Best New Artist Debut award in 2015 for his first Alligator Records album "Don't Call No Ambulance." 9 p.m. Friday; The Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; $40 cover, $35 meal; 941-388-7539; blueroostersrq.com

Passerine.
Passerine.

New Year's weekend at Cottonmouth

Southern food restaurant and music venue Cottonmouth, located in Bradenton's Village of the Arts, will hold a weekend full of live music. First, Sarasota-based folk group Passerine will play a New Year's Hootenanny on Friday. Then on New Year's Day, the venue will throw a bluegrass bash featuring multiple Florida bands in the genre including Sycamore Shade, Stumble Creek, The Stillhouse Shakers and The Wandering Hours. A Hillbilly Gospel Brunch on Sunday featuring bluegrass/gypsy swing group Gypsy Wind rounds out the lineup. 8:45 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St W., Bradenton; $15 advance, $20 day of Friday; no cover Saturday, $7 Sunday, 941-243-3735; cottonmouthsoul.com

Damon Fowler.
Damon Fowler.

Damon Fowler

Guitarist, singer-songwriter and former Anna Maria Island resident Damon Fowler is set to play Sarasota brewery Big Top Brewing Company for its Blues & Brews series. Fowler scored a No. 1 Billboard blues album with this year's full-length "Alafia Moon," drawing its name from Hillsborough County's Alafia River. Along with his solo work, Fowler has played in groups including Southern Hospitality with Grammy-nominated pianist Victor Wainwright and fellow Floridian J.P. Soars, and in the bands of founding Allman Brothers Band members Dickey Betts and the late Butch Trucks. 3 p.m. Sunday; Big Top Brewing Company, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 941-371-2939; bigtopbrewing.com

Whitney James.
Whitney James.

Whitney James and Friends

Jazz Club of Sarasota's Monday Night Jazz Cabaret series, held in Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret, continues with Whitney James and Friends. Vocalist James appeared on the NPR series "Piano Jazz: Rising Stars" after releasing her debut album "The Nature of Love," and was a former WUSF All Night Jazz host. She's set to be joined by guitarist LaRue Nickelson, as well as bassist Alejandro Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman of the popular Tampa Bay jazz group La Lucha. 6:30 p.m. (doors, dinner/drinks), 7:30 p.m. (show) Monday; John C. Court Cabaret, 1265 First St., Sarasota; $34-$39; 941-260-9951; jazzclubsarasota.org

Shawn Lane.
Shawn Lane.

Bennett, Lane & Walker Bluegrass Trio

Fogartyville hosts a show featuring Shawn Lane, Richard Bennett and Cory Walker, a trio of skilled bluegrass instrumentalists. Singer and fiddle/mandolin player Lane is a founding member of Blue Highway, which has earned three Grammy nominations, while guitarist and vocalist Bennett played in J.D. Crowe and the New South, including on the Grammy-nominated 1994 album "Flashback." The pair, who also released the 2019 collaborative EP "Land & Harbor," will be joined by Florida-raised banjo player Walker, who's performed in groups including The Dillards and Mountain Heart. 7 p.m. Wednesday; Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $25, $20 members, $12.50 students; 941-894-6469; fogartyville.org

If you are an area musician who’d like to be considered for this list, please email ticket@heraldtribune.com with your event information at least a week in advance. Show schedules are subject to change; check venues/pages in advance to confirm or for questions on COVID-19 protocols.

Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at jimmy.geurts@heraldtribune.com. Support local journalism by subscribing.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Top 6 Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte concert picks, Dec. 30-Jan. 5