'American Idol' contestant Sam Woolf plays 2 local shows Saturday

February 6, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Bradenton's Sam Woolf, the 17-year-old singer who's been impressing the judges and advancing through the Ranks on "American Idol," will perform two free concerts Saturday in the Bradenton area.

He'll perform first at 11 a.m. at the farmer's market on Old Main Street in Bradenton. He'll play for about an hour from the balcony of O'Brick's Irish Pub at 427 Old Main St.

In the evening, he'll perform at Sutton Park on Sixth Street in Palmetto. That concert starts 4 p.m., but Woolf is set to take the stage at 6 p.m.

"He'll be arriving in a limo," said Del Couch, the founder and director of the Del Couch Music Education Foundation. "We're doing the whole nine yards."

Woolf has been working with the foundation for about a year and a half, recording original songs and polishing his performance. Other foundation musicians will fill out the bill for the Sutton Park concert.

On Wednesday, Woolf advanced through two rounds on the first of this season's Hollywood Week episodes.

He once again impressed judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. This time, it was his performance of John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" that earned him a tickat to the next round.

Back in January, in his audition in Boston, Woolf advanced to Hollywood with a rendition of Ed Sheeran's "Lego House" that seemed had all three judges trying to outdo each other in their praise for the Braden River High School student.

On Wednesday's show, before he sang the Mayer song, he passed a new round called "Hollywood or Home." Fifty contestants sang for the judges right after they arrived in Los Angeles, before they event unpacked. Some were immediately sent home, but Woolf advanced and got the chance to perform in the next round.

Woolf appeared later in the show, rehearsing dance steps for the group audition round.

Couch said that, although Woolf has only performed covers so far on the show, he had performed his original songs off-camera for the "Idol" judges, and they have all been impressed.

"He's an excellent songwriter," Couch said. "His songs are great. He's writing more every day."

-- Marty Clear

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