Sarasota’s premier outdoor music festival, Giving Hunger the Blues, will return to the beautiful bayfront of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center on October 12 and 13. The two-day event, which will kick of with the second annual Jazz on the Bay, will be headlined by blues star Lauren Mitchell. Mitchell first played GHTB in 2012, when the event was still on Hillview Avenue, but her set was rained out after only three songs. The blues diva, who’s in the midst of a big U.S. tour in support of her hit album Desire, says she can’t wait to come back.
“It’s an honor to be part of such a killer lineup,” said Mitchell. “I’m really excited to come back home and play for such a good cause.”
Other acts on the Oct. 13 Giving Hunger the Blues card will include the Tony Tyler Trance, Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio, Rj Howson, the Koko Ray 5, the Florida Blues Brothers, Trevor Bystrom, Brandi Sparks, Undine Shorey, BABYL, Trey Wanvig, and the Fogt’s Music All-Stars. Music begins at noon and will continue until 9:30 p.m. with craft beer and food vendors onsite.
At last year’s GHTB, Jazz on the Bay debuted with a second stage at what had always been a one-day event. This year, jazz fans will get a full day of the area’s best artists on the main stage, Oct. 12, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Headlining Jazz on the Bay will be percussion superstar Gumbi Ortiz and New Groove City. Ortiz, who spent a quarter century playing with fusion guitar legend Al Di Meola, brings a high-energy blend of Jazz/Fusion, Pop, Funk and Retro-Soul to create one of the most wholly unique sounds in the music business. Tampa jazz legend Fred Johnson will also perform at the event, backed by the Michael Ross Quartet. Philadelphia native Synia Carroll will also play, backed by the Phil Magallanes Trio.
Local favorites Hot Club of SRQ will also take the stage, as will the the Thomas Carabasi Quartet. Friday’s event will kick off with the Pine View School Jazz Combo, a renowned group of local high school students.
Giving Hunger the Blues and Jazz on the Bay are rain or shine events. Tickets are $20 for each day, and 100 percent of proceeds benefit the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program, providing food support to our area’s most vulnerable over the holiday season. VIP packages are also available. Food and craft beer vendors will be on site.
Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair for seating. Click here for more information and advance tickets.
Photos courtesy of Giving Hunger the Blues.