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Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
12/19/2016
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department hosts Downtown Countdown, a free outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration concert, in downtown Gainesville Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. at Bo Diddley Plaza. Headlining the concert are The Couch Messiahs, who will play tribute to the music of numerous rock ‘n’ roll all-star bands including The Allman Brothers, The Band, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young and The Rolling Stones.

Over the years, Mick Marino, a local musician who leads The Couch Messiahs, has organized tribute concerts for each of these bands especially for the “Free Fridays” Concert Series. According to David Ballard, coordinator for “Free Fridays” and the Downtown Countdown, “These tribute shows have been some of the most popular concerts at “Free Fridays” each drawing some of the largest audiences each season. The musical quality of these shows has been extraordinary and it seemed a natural fit to highlight them all at our Downtown Countdown.”

The Couch Messiahs were formed in 2007 in Gainesville by Mick Marino (lead vocals, lead guitar). Marino, has played music with various bands in the Gainesville community for more than 40 years. He also has been the organizer and promoter of the annual GramFest, which celebrates the music of country rock inventor Gram Parsons, since 1999. Bill Kellogg (drums) was a member of The Berkley Five, who had a Florida regional single “You’re Gonna Cry" in 1965. He was also a member of the Gonzo Gator Band for many years. Kenny Shore (bass guitar and vocal harmonies) previously played with many local bands, including The Archer Road Band and Skatterbrainz, and has opened for the legendary B.B. King. Paul Goble (lead guitar) also plays with the R. Mutt Blues Band.

Popular local band Wild Blue Yonder opens the tribute concert at 9 p.m. Wild Blue Yonder was formed in 2015 by Allan Lowe and Jeff Sims. Recent additions include Jim Millsaps (drums) and Frank Velosi (bass). Lowe, Sims and Millsaps are all formerly of the popular band Dixie Desperados. Formed in 1976 in Gainesville, Florida, Dixie Desperados toured the southeastern U.S. roadhouse circuit and as openers/co-headliners for The Allman Brothers, Axe, Molly Hatchet, The Charlie Daniels Band, Henry Paul Band, Johnny Winter, Three Dog Night, Grinderswitch, Louisiana Leroux, Doc Holliday, Winters Brothers, Johnny Van Zant Band, Pat Travers and more as they played their brand of southern country rock. Combining classic rock ‘n’ roll hits from other artists, along with their own special blend of original songs, Wild Blue Yonder enjoys a multi-generational audience at their shows.

Downtown Countdown begins at 9 p.m., and continues until midnight when there will be a countdown to the New Year, along with the sounds of noisemakers, which are passed out to the audience earlier in the evening.

The 2016/17 Downtown Countdown is sponsored by classic rock radio station WIND-FM (92.5, 95.5, 107.9).

The Downtown Countdown is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and is funded in part by a grant from Culture Builds Florida. Downtown Countdown is located at the Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.
Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017.

Gainesville transforms into a masterful blend of art, music and entertainment during the 35th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show, one of the nation’s premier outdoor fine arts festivals. Presented by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA), the festival draws a crowd of more than 100,000 visitors each year. On Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6 from 10 a.m.-4p.m., visitors can meet the exhibiting artists, enjoy live music and sample international cuisine.

The soulful sound of blues will usher in the Downtown Festival & Art Show weekend Friday, Nov. 4 with a free Downtown Blues Concert on the newly renovated Bo Diddley Plaza from 7-10 p.m. The North Central Florida Blues Society is pleased to announce an evening under the stars featuring three incredible blues performances.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
10/12/2016
University of Florida’s World Music Ensembles will present a “Free Fridays” concert at the Bo Diddley Plaza Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.  The event features student and faculty musicians and dancers from UF’s College of the Arts for an evening of lively Brazilian and West African music and dance traditions.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
10/5/2016

GramFest, the annual concert tribute to the life and music of country rocker Gram Parsons, joins the “Free Fridays” concert lineup Friday, Oct. 14 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. Parsons was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist, and is considered to be the father of the country-rock music genre. He was a member of The International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Parsons is also known for teaming up with country star Emmylou Harris on recordings and duets, as well as performing as a solo artist. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him no. 87 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. During his short life, Parsons was considered a cult figure whose songwriting and musical style influenced many groups of his era including such notables as The Rolling Stones. According to longtime GramFest organizer Mick Marino, “Gram was the first artist to blend real country music with rock and roll and rhythm and blues. He was a real innovator.” Parsons died in 1973 of a drug overdose at the age of 26.

Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
9/29/2016

Local musicians Tony McMahon, Mark Miale and friends have put together a special tribute concert celebrating the music of two of the world’s greatest electric guitarists, Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale. This tribute plays at the “Free Fridays” Concert Series Friday Oct. 7 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
9/14/2016

The City of Gainesville’s “Free Fridays” Concert Series and the Gainesville Latino Film Festival (GLFF) have partnered to bring the Gainesville community an incredible Latin night with “el Maestro de la salsa” Gilberto de Paz and Tropix Friday, Sept. 23 from 8-10 p.m.

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