For the second time in less than two months, the Bradenton-Sarasota area is hosting a major blues festival.
Following close behind yet another sold-out Bradenton Blues Festival in early December comes this weekend’s Suncoast Blues Festival. Local blues aficionados started the two-day festival in 2015, partly to fill the void left by the demise of the venerable Sarasota Blues Festival.
The third annual Suncoast Blues Festival is set for Friday and Saturday at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.
Probably the most familiar name to area music fans is Selwyn Birchwood, the young Florida-based, internationally known guitarist. In 2013, Birchwood won the Blues Foundation’s 2013 International Blues Challenge and the Albert King Guitarist of the Year Award. Just a few years back he thrilled Bradenton crowds at a free outdoor concert the night before the Bradenton Blues Festival. Birchwood will headline the second day of the festival.
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Texas blues-rocker Chris Duarte is slated to headline Friday. Jams featuring festival musicians follow the headliner each day.
Others slated to play are the psychedelic rock band Balkun Brothers, Miami native Kat Riggins, who draws from blues, soul and hip-hop; zydeco artist Dwayne Dopsie; Chicago blues-soul singer Charles Wilson; Tommy Z., whose latest album hit No. 8 on the blues chart; Houston blues singer Annika Wilson; and Studebaker John, who has released 17 albums since 1979.
Here’s the schedule:
6 p.m.: Balkun Brothers
7:15 p.m.: Kat Riggins
8:30 p.m.: Chris Duarte
Noon: Dwayne Dopsie
1:15 p.m.: Charles Wilson
2:30 p.m.: Tommy Z.
4 p.m.: Studebaker John
5:30 p.m.: Annika Chambers
7 p.m.: Selwyn Birchwood
Details: Jan. 27-28, Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota. 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday. Friday $15 advance, $20 at the gate; Saturday $25 advance, $30 at the gate; two-day pass $35 advance, $45 at the gate, $60 reserved.; 941-748-7585, suncoastbluesfestival.com.