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Weekend forecast: Bluesman Bobby Rush, wiseguy Ron White

Bill DeYoung

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"Chitlin' Circuit" legend Bobby Rush, 90, is onstage tonight in Safety Harbor. Photo: Kim Welsh.

Blues legend Bobby Rush, who won his first Grammy at age 83, performs tonight (Thursday, April 18) at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center.

That was seven years ago, for the album Porcupine Meat. He’s won two more Grammys since. Do the math – this living legend of funky, soul-infused blues is 90.

The Louisiana-born, longtime veteran of the legendary Chitlin’ Circuit (southern dance halls and juke joints) burst forth from the electric blues stomping grounds of Chicago. He is a 16-time Blues Music Award winner, the author of a memoir (I Ain’t Studdin’ You: My American Blues Story) and since the 1980s, a fulltime resident of Mississippi.

He appeared in the 2003 documentary The Road to Memphis (part of Martin Scorsese’s series The Blues) and had a cameo in the Eddie Murphy film My Name is Dolemite in 2019.

Find tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance here.

Tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Event Center: Caustic Texas comedy legend Ron “Tater Salad” White. Ask him about that time Barney Fife busted him on his private plane at the Vero Beach airport. Shows at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.; tickets here.

Seether and Staind headline the 2024 98 RockFest Friday at Amalie Arena. Also on the bill are Asking Alexandra, Dayseeker and others. Tickets here.

Billy Prine performs the songs of his late and great brother, John Prine, tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Murray Theatre. Tickets here.

Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, a frequent visitor to Ruth Eckerd Hall, is back once more Friday, with opening sets from Firefall and Pablo Cruise. Tickets here.

Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre has country singer Morgan Wade Friday, and jazz/world music guitarist Ottmar Liebert (and Luna Negra) Saturday. All tickets are here.

Siobhan Monique performs Saturday in Williams Park. Photo: Joey Clay.

Saturday at Williams Park: Versatile jazz and soul vocalist Siobhan Monique and her 10-piece band headline a program of locally-made music at the annual Motherland Music Festival, 6-10 p.m. Food and beverage trucks on site; bring chairs or blankets. Also available: “Voting information, financial services, arts and culture, and mental health professionals.” Find tickets (and additional information) at ancestralfunk.com.

Saturday at Raymond James Stadium: Country megastar Kenny Chesney, along with the formidable Zac Brown Band. Tickets.

Saturday at the Palladium: The Brigham Young University-Idaho Sound Alliance and Vocal Union, an 18-piece big band with 14 singers. Tickets for the performance, “Night at the Swing Club,” are here.

Gloria Trevi, known as “The Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop,” sings Saturday at Amalie Arena. Tickets here.

 

Frank Strunk III. Photo provided.

And some art news

Innovative metals artist Frank Strunk III has announced he’s moving away from St. Petersburg. His last show and sale, fittingly, is called Exit Strategy (a co-exhibit with David Williams). It’s 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Strunk’s studio, 2638 6th Avenue S.

“I feel like I’ve been losing my connection to this city for quite some time,” Strunk wrote on his Facebook page. “For the past seven or eight years St. Pete has been growing more pale. I’ve had friends and friendships die here, each one equally an ache and a reminder of life’s impermanence. The rabid development has only served to accelerate that disconnect … I feel like my best art is still in me, and I’m going to go find it.”

Wishing you well, my friend.

Look to Vinoy Park for this weekend’s 49th annual Mainsail Art Festival, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the juried, 250+ artist event is free; here’s all you need to know.

 

The classics

Chelsea Gallo conducts The Florida Orchestra for this weekend’s chamber concerts, with the program encompassing Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings, Philip Glass’ Concerto Grosso and Arthur Honegger’s Pastorale d’ete. It’s performed Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, Clearwater; Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre; and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Palladium. Find tickets (and additional information) here.

Opera Tampa is onstage at the Straz Center (in Ferguson Hall) with Verdi’s La Traviata Friday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.), with The Florida Orchestra. OT director Robin Stamper conducts. Tickets.

“The Book of Mormon” at the Straz Center: Photo: Juliana Cervantes.

On theater stages

Broadway singer/actor Chrissie Whitehead performs her one-woman autobiographical cabaret In My Own Little Corner at 7 p.m. Friday at Hillsborough Community College’s HCC Studio Theatre in Ybor City. There’s a serious meaning behind the show, which is subtitled My Work in Progress with Bipolar Disorder. Get all the details here.

The Straz Center’s Broadway-tour showcase continues with the return of the uber-popular musical The Book of Mormon. It’s onstage in Morsani Hall through Sunday. Also ending with Sunday’s performances is the parody musical Stranger Sings! in the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theatre. Straz Center tickets.

In St. Petersburg, freeFall Theatre has the uplifting comedy Nollywood Dreams (read all about it here), while American Stage is outdoors in Demens Landing Park with the Disney musical version of Beauty & the Beast.

Your weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

Please add us to your mailing list – send all press releases and event info to bill@stpetecatalyst.com.

You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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