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Music in the Park series adds concerts

The crowded lineup for the series, which begins Friday with the Barracudas, means there is no room for rain dates.

By JULIANNE WU

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001


SEMINOLE -- Rock and roll with the Barracudas on Friday as they open the fifth annual Music in the Park series at the newly revamped Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road.

This year, there will be six free concerts on Friday nights, from Sept. 14 through Oct. 19. They will run from 6 to 9 p.m.

"We are expecting between 800 and 1,200 concertgoers," said Jim Sheets, recreation director for the city of Seminole. "We also have activities for the kids."

Sheets is working with the Music in the Park series for a second year. Other committee members are Barbara Nickse, also representing the city of Seminole, and Chuck Oldanie and Sandy Halloway from Seminole.

Although music lovers will be happy to have two extra concerts this year, there is no wiggle room for rain dates.

"If the weather looks threatening," said Sheets, "people can call the recreation center (391-8345) for updated information, either a new time or whether a concert is canceled."

He said that most likely a concert would not be rescheduled because Halloween festivities come up right after the concert series ends.

Other dates are as follows: Blackbird Abbey, Sept. 21; the Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra, Sept. 28; Hank Shaw and Cactus Creek, Oct. 5; Suzette Jennings & Moodswingz, Oct. 12; and T.C. Carr and the Catch, Oct. 19.

Blackbird Abbey is strongly rooted in '60s-style pop rock, but with a contemporary sound. The members, mostly from Orlando, are C.H. Valentine and Jay Rauchwarg, vocalists/guitarists; Neil Carpenter, bassist/vocalist; and JD Fosse, drummer. They just recorded a new album titled Blackbird Abbey.

Reminiscent of Maynard Ferguson, trumpeter Dan McMillion and his eight-piece Jazz Orchestra take the audience to a new level of sound. They recently made a debut recording, Got the Spirit, for Sea Breeze Records.

Hank Shaw, a WQYK-99.5 FM disc jockey, has been into country music for years, "but now we are offering a variety of music, from country, to oldies, to rock 'n' roll. We run the gamut, but stay away from the hard rock stuff." His six-piece band, Cactus Creek, is actually a combination of musicians from the Hank Shaw Band and a few others, he said.

"I think the Music in the Park series is a great idea," said Shaw. "It gives one a real sense of community. More municipalities should have something like this."

Motown born and bred, Suzette Jennings and her band, Moodswingz, specialize in rhythm and blues, contemporary jazz and classic "old soul" music. Band members include Janet Street on keyboards; Michael James, drums; Mike Foley, bass; and guest players from time to time.

T.C. Carr and the Catch play the blues. Carr, a Tampa Bay area native, plays harmonica, while Lenny Austin plays guitar, Steve Vitale plays bass and Brian Austin plays drums.

Activities for kids and families are also planned before the concert, Sheets said. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic supper, if they wish.

Food and beverages will also be sold at the park. No alcoholic beverages or coolers are allowed, however. For information, call the recreation center, 391-8345.

-- Information from Times files used in this report.

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