[Tampa, FL] The first-ever Gasparilla Music Festival (GMF) – held March 10 in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Kiley Gardens – featured both national and local acts. So let’s re-cap: 20 amazing bands on 3 stages and great food from some of the bay area’s finest restaurants and food vendors.
Sounds like fun? Photographer Lance Turner, a regular contributor to Sunshine Slate, was there and offers these snapshots and notes on the proceedings.
Turner also got an exclusive with GMF’s Jamie Zinober, who said that the festival, “exceeded my expectations in every way. … I was so pleased with everything.” More from Jamie below as well as some festival details and Lance’s amazing photography…
The Groves opened Gasparilla Music Festival main stage
Gasparilla Music Festival is organized by the Gasparilla Music Festival Corporation, a Florida non-profit corporation (501-C3 pending), whose mission is to create a sustainable community event for the Tampa Bay region while benefiting local musicians, organizations and businesses.
The Lee Boys performing
GMF was founded by a dedicated group of board members with support from the generosity of its founding members, The Ring of Fire. The founder’s circle of the Gasparilla Music Festival consists of community leaders, area professionals and music enthusiasts who have the common goal of creating a signature music event in Tampa Bay, according to the GMF website.
Alvin Cordy Jr. of Miami’s The Lee Boys
The Lee Boys play Sacred Steel-infused funk music with gospel lyrics, along the same lines as Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Each member of The Lee Boys began making music at the ages of 7 and 8 in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, FL.
Kaleigh Baker’s soulful sounds graced the Gasparilla Music Festival
“The most challenging part was not know how many people to expect,” offered Zinober. “Most people purchased tickets the day of the event, so we hoped and planned for more than we had sold, but we could only pray they came.”
Have Gun Will Travel
Multiple “Best of the Bay”- winning Americana makers HGWT “have a natural instinct for combining folk, pop, rock and country influences to create a distinctive sound that is all their own.” The band hails from Bradenton. HGWT’s latest release, Mergers & Acquisitions, was released in November.
Geri X performing in The Amphitheater
“I am most pleased with the way that every board member did what they were there to do,” said Zinober. “When it came down to it, there were 13 people that made it happen. Our board was excited and nervous, but when game time came, everyone did exactly what they promised. It was amazing how it all came together.”Tampa local Michael Keohan (center, foreground) didn’t stop dancing to Alvin “Youngblood” Hart’s Mighty Muscle Theory band
Country blues legend Alvin “Youngblood” Hart and his Mighty Muscle Theory band were one of the featured national acts at GMF. Fun Fact #1: In 2004, “Youngblood” scored a Grammy for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs Of Stephen Foster. Fun Fact #2: In 2007, Alvin hit the big screen as a juke-joint musician in the Denzel Washington-directed film The Great Debaters
Plucked from the crowd, a concertgoer dancing with The Distinguished Men of Brass
“We would like to eventually have a 2 day festival, but only time will tell,” says Zinober. “I thought our mix music was tops for our first year. I think we will have more companies that want to sponsor next year so we will be able to reach out to the larger bands earlier, late booking lost us some of the bands we originally tried to book. I hope to include something for everyone again!”Bob & Joanne Crews, of Tampa, Bob is the one devouring what’s left of a BBQ pulled pork sandwich
Food was provided by Tampa Bay favorites 3 Suns Organic Bistro, Cafe Hey, Cigar City Smoked Salsa, Cupping Cake, Fly Bar & Restaurant, Holy Hog BBQ Food Truck, Holy Cow Kettle Corn, Kona Ice, Louis Pappas Market Cafe, Lettuce Eat Healthy, Malio’s Prime Steakhouse, Pipo’s Cafe, Sono Cafe, Stinky Bunz Food Truck, Tun-du-ree and Your Pie Pizza Food Truck.
John McCauley of Deer Tick
Providence, Rhode Island alt-country act Deer Tick is led by guitarist and singer-songwriter John McCauley (pictured). They play a mix of folk, blues, and country. They get comparisons Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse and Uncle Tupelo. Not bad company, eh?
Lindsey & Grant Parna (left), Amber Knecht (right), fans of Deer Tick, said they’ve enjoyed their afternoon at the Gasparilla Music Festival
“We would like to eventually have a 2 day festival, but only time will tell,” said Zinober, who reported the attendance for 2012 at 6000. “I thought our mix music was tops for our first year.”
Zinober concluded by saying that, “I think we will have more companies that want to sponsor next year so we will be able to reach out to the larger bands earlier, late booking lost us some of the bands we originally tried to book. … 2013 here we come!”
Photos and captions by Lance Turner/latuphoto.com/For Sunshine Slate. Lead photo: The Distinguished Men Of Brass
Some words by: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate