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Festival lets football fans get in groove

By MAUREEN BYRNE

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 15, 2001


CLEARWATER -- Football fans around the bay area may chant Who let the dogs out ... Woof! Woof! Woof woof! -- the catchy lyrics that became an anthem of sorts at sporting events across the country -- at any one of a number of events scheduled for Super Bowl weekend.

But at Coachman Park, folks will be able to hear the real deal.

The Bahamian band Baha Men, nominated for a Grammy award for best dance recording for Who Let the Dogs Out, the hit song from the group's triple platinum album of the same name, will perform Jan. 26 at the waterfront park.

The group made a splash in New York last summer with its performance at a huge concert in Central Park. Before long, Who Let the Dogs Out became the most-requested song at one of New York's most-popular radio stations.

The rest of the country soon followed New York's lead, and the infectious pop song with a distinctive island flavor became a nationwide hit.

The Baha Men's concert is part of a city-sponsored, three-day music extravaganza featuring the popular 1970s band Atlanta Rhythm Section, vocalist Taylor Dayne and veteran jazz saxophonist David Sanborn.

Called Clearwater Super Celebration, the ticketed event is an officially sanctioned activity of Super Bowl XXXV, which will be Jan. 28 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Organizers says the football championship game will draw 100,000 visitors to the area.

Kevin Dunbar, director of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, expects some of those visitors to attend one or more days of the festival. He said with such a diverse lineup, there should be something to please just about everyone.

"The Baha Men will entertain the younger crowd and the Village men will entertain their parents," Dunbar said. "All are party bands, so it should keep things lively and festive."

Super Celebration will kick off on Jan. 25 with the '70s Rock and Roll Bowl featuring Three Dog Night, which struck gold in 1971 with Joy To The World, and Atlanta Rhythm Section, which hit the charts for the first time in 1977 with So In To You.

The music continues the following day with the TGIF -- Let's Party Bowl. That's when Baha Men will take the stage along with New York native Dayne, who has had eight top 10 hits, including Tell It To My Heart and Prove Your Love, and the Village People, whose members dress up as cowboys, Indians, cops and construction workers. The group's act will feature a light show and their signature songs YMCA and Macho Man.

The event will conclude Jan. 27 with Jazz Bowl, which is sponsored by Clearwater and Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Roberta Flack's 30-year career produced a dozen albums and garnered three 1973 Grammy awards, including one for the single Where Is The Love. A year later, Flack's Killing Me Softly With His Song won a Grammy for record of the year.

The jazz lineup also will include three-time Grammy winner Dr. John, whose album, Duke Elegant, is a tribute to one of his favorite artists, Duke Ellington. The New Orleans musician has covered Ellington tunes in the past, rendering the title tune of his 1989 In a Sentimental Mood album, which also featured his Grammy-winning Making Whoopie! duet with Rickie Lee Jones.

The Jazz Bowl will face some competition. Tampa's annual Gasparilla celebration, a daylong event featuring a mock pirate invasion, is scheduled for the same day.

A relaxing day in the park listening to jazz offers an alternative to the throngs of people who will roam Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard and downtown streets, said Jazz Holiday executive director Karen Vann.

"People who like jazz are going to come see this," she said.

Krista Soroka, director of special events and public relations for the Tampa Bay Super Bowl XXXV Task Force, gives Clearwater a thumbs up for its Super Bowl party.

"We're thrilled with the efforts Clearwater has (made) to put on a festival," Soroka said. We think the entertainment is fabulous. It's such a great mix."

Dunbar said the celebrating at Coachman Park really begins this weekend with the Charlie Daniels Angelus Jam. The lineup for the two-day event, which is a fundraiser for a group home in Hudson for developmentally disabled children and adults, includes Yes, Molly Hatchett and Bad Company on Saturday and Montgomery Gentry, Confederate Railroad and Daniels on Sunday. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show.

But it's the Super Celebration that has everyone talking in the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

"Last time we did something to this level was when the Final Four was here (in 1999)," Dunbar said. "We've really refined our ability to do this. The staff and the city are extremely excited."

- Staff writer Maureen Byrne can be reached at 445-4163 or at byrne@sptimes.com.

Three days of music at Coachman

Clearwater Super Celebration is a three-day music festival at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater. Gates open at 4 p.m. Jan. 25 with shows by the Atlanta Rhythm Section at 7 p.m. and Three Dog Night at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 the day of the show. Gates open at 4 p.m. Jan. 26 with music by Baha Men at 7 p.m., Taylor Dayne at 8:15 p.m. and the Village People at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. On Jan. 27, gates open at noon. Dr. John performs at 2:30 p.m., David Sanborn at 4:45 p.m. and Roberta Flack at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster locations and the Clearwater Parks and Recreation office, 100 S Myrtle Ave. No coolers allowed. Call 562-4800.

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