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Announcing FRIDAY FEST 2017 at Van Wezel

With summer just around the corner it's time to announce Friday Fest '17, theFREE outdoor summertime concert series, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall! The family-friendly party of the summer will take place select Friday nights from 5-9PM on the Bayfront Lawn of the Van Wezel featuring some of Sarasota's top musical talent.

Opening up Friday Fest '17 are blues aficionados Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones on Friday, June 16th. Detroit native Doug Deming, now hailing from Florida's Gulf Coast, has garnered widespread attention for his deft guitar work and memorable songwriting with nods from legends in Louisiana swamp and urban Chicago blues. Doug leaves his own mark, whether swingin' on the big jazz box or playing straight-up blues on the solid body Fender guitar. Leading his band, The Jewel Tones, Doug continues to bring noteworthy traditional and original roots music to his audiences.

The fun continues with Kettle of Fish, one of the hottest live acts in Southwest Florida, on Friday, July 21st. Kettle of Fish play festival music that features blues, soul and funk with the energy of rock 'n roll. They make old songs new again, and their originals sound like classics - from Blues to Bluegrass; Hank Williams Jr. to Jimmy Hendrix. They have opened for some of the biggest bands on the road, including Roger Waters, Dickey Betts, Eddie Money and many more.

Local favorites Jah Movement Reggae Band bring their infectious groove to the bay for the second year in a row onFriday, August 25th. Winners of Creative Loafing's 2016 'Best Local Reggae Band', Jah Movement feature a glorifying sound where individual talents of each member come together. Highlighting the talented ensemble is vocalist Shantel Norman, hometown hero, who will be celebrating her birthday with this Friday Fest party. Adding their own touch of R&B, soul and funk to some of the best live reggae music, it's always a surprise to see which popular songs they will pull out of the box at the show.

Closing out the Friday Fest 2017 series are Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul on Friday, September 15th. The 8-piece funk & soul band return to the Friday Fest stage playing the most popular dance hits from the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, James Brown & more. Accompanied by The Hellacious Horns, a super-tight 4-piece horn section, the group bring these great songs to life the way they were meant to be heard.

Grab your blankets or lawn chair, take in the music along with the beautiful Sarasota sunset and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Friday Fest '17 will take place "rain or shine" and, in the event of inclement weather, will be moved indoors to the Grand Foyer or Main Stage of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Outside food and drink are prohibited; coolers and large umbrellas are also prohibited.

For more information, visit or call 941-953-3368.

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