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Your weekend arts forecast: Jazz icon Billy Cobham tonight

Bill DeYoung



Fusion drummer Billy Cobham, who performs in Largo tonight, played in Miles Davis' band, and with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Publicity photo.

Among contemporary jazz drummers, they don’t come more legendary than Billy Cobham, who plays Largo’s Central Park Performing Arts Center with his Crosswinds Project tonight. How about this: He was a drummer on Miles Davis’ first foray into fusion with the landmark album Bitches Brew; after which he and guitarist John McLaughlin departed to form the Mahavishnu Orchestra (Chick Corea, Miles’ fusion keyboard guy, left too and started his own band, Return to Forever).

Mahavishnu, which also included keyboardist Jan Hammer, bassist Rick Laird and violinist Jerry Goodman, produced two classic albums of ‘70s electric fusion: The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire. He began an extensive career as a solo artist and bandleader with 1973’s Spectrum. He is a member of both the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame.

Tickets are available here for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. performance.


More concerts

Jack Harlow

A few tickets remain for Friday’s show from country music’s Chris Stapleton, with Elle King and Morgan Wade, at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. Check ‘em out here.

Rapper/singer Jack Harlow (“First Class,” “Industry Baby”) plays the Yuengling Center, on the University of South Florida Tampa campus, Saturday with City Girls. Tickets are here.

Busy couple of days at Ruth Eckerd Hall, with Ray LeMontagne Friday, “Weird Al” Yankovic Saturday, and the always-touring Yes Monday. All Ruth tickets here.

Also in Clearwater, of course, is the 43rd annual Jazz Holiday Friday through Sunday, with very little jazz but a lot of high-profile rock, funk, blues and soul from the likes of Charlie Wilson (ex-Gap Band), Gov’t Mule, Trombone Shorty and St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Here’s what you need to know.


Sound works

Jaap Blonk

Sunday brings Dutch “sound artist” Jaap Blonk to the Tully-Levine Gallery, at the ArtsXchange campus at 515 22nd Street A. This 3-5 p.m. performance is connected to the current Dada at Wada exhibit, which celebrates the nonsensical. Blonk, a world-renowned avant-garde composer and vocalizer whose performances “channel the provocatively pioneering nonsense of Dadaism” (San Francisco Weekly) will perform Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters, a classic of the genre – a sound poem existing of nothing but (mostly) meaningless syllables. He will be joined, improvisationally, by local musicians Jim Stewart (drums), Tom Kersey (cello) and David Manson (trombone). Tickets ($15) are here.


The classics

Vocalist Julie Reiber joins The Florida Orchestra for Hollywood Sings, Friday at the Straz Center and Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater. Michael Krajewski is the conductor for a program ofr orchestral film music, and vocal chestnuts from the likes of A Star is Born, Flashdance and Beauty and the Beast (here’s hoping Reiber dedicates the latter’s title song to the memory of Angela Lansbury, who originated it so sweetly back in the day). All tickets are here.

St. Pete Opera is back in action at the Palladium Theater with a fully-orchestrated and -costumed production of Puccini’s Tosca. The dates are Friday Sunday and Tuesday. Here’s our story about SPO from earlier this week.



It’s the first weekend of the 2022 SHINE Mural Festival, with something like 18 large-scale painters adding to the city’s colorscape all day, every day. Click here for a description and locater map.

These events, which come under the SHINE umbrella, are happening this weekend, and they’re free:

Friday, Oct. 14, 7-10 p.m. at MIZE Gallery, 689 Dr MLK Jr St N: The Female Gaze: Opening Reception

Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Childs Park Rec Center, 4301 13th Ave S: CARMADA ’22: Street Carnival

Saturday, Oct. 15, 5-8 p.m. at Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave.: Reception for Tes One’s Good Intentions and SHINE group show Comes with the Territory

The SHINE “Grand Finale Event,” at the Morean Workshop Space, 2025 3rd Ave S, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, 7-11 p.m.


The thea-tuh

Bonnie Agan in “Ann”

There are two theatrical shows in St. Pete, both of them one-woman tours de force. At thestudio@620, Bonnie Agan is onstage in Holland Taylor’s Ann, playing legendary Texas governor Ann Richards. Read about Agan and Richards here; tickets for this weekend’s final performances are here.

And at freeFall, Rupert Holmes’ All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, starring Michelle Azar, enters its second weekend. Read about the actress here, and about the playwright here.

ThinkTank, Tampa’s Theatre for Young Audiences, is onstage (at Stageworks) with The Lightning Thief; The Percy Jackson Musical Saturday through Oct. 23. All info and tickets are here.

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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