FLORIDA KEYS — Providing Florida Keys visitors year-round entertainment options, live musical performances, concerts and music festivals illuminate the area’s artistic scene.
The well-rounded winter 2018 roster of arts and cultural events is a delight for the senses. While some “notable” upcoming musical offerings are listed here, a complete calendar of creativity can be found at fla-keys.com/calendar/arts-culture/florida-keys/current/.
Florida Keys Concert Association presents “An Evening of Opera Highlights” (Feb. 5, 6; floridakeysconcerts.com) with two performances: the first in Marathon at San Pablo Catholic Church and the second at Islamorada’s Island Community Church. Remarkable performers So Young Park, Federico De Michelis and Cesar Canon are to offer the best and most exciting music from the world of opera. Shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Leading Americana and “Red Dirt” musical acts are to perform in a subtropical waterfront setting Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 7-10, at Key West’s inaugural Mile 0 Fest (mile0fest.com). Several dozen groups and bands, ranging from established acts to talented newcomers, are to appear in mainstage shows at the Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheater and smaller “song swaps” and acoustic sessions at other island locations.
Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton St., presents multiple live musical opportunities. Among them are shows by Grammy-nominated Seth Glier (Feb. 8; tskw.org), with a vocal range said to echo Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel; and Ellen Cherry, who unveils a series of portraits of powerful women in history through song (March 30).
“Rumours, A Fleetwood Mac Tribute” (Feb. 11; thekeywesttheater.com), presented by the Key West Theater, captures the energy of Fleetwood Mac at the height of their career by blending perfect harmonies, precise instrumentation and a visually engaging stage show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West has brought stellar chamber music artists, ensembles and string orchestras to the Florida Keys for many years. The acclaimed organization’s 2018 season continues that tradition with the a cappella sound of internationally recognized vocal sextet Western Wind (Feb. 11; keywestimpromptu.org/) and the “must-see” classical guitar symphony of the Katona Twins (Feb. 25), Performances take place at 4 p.m. at the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 401 Duval St.
In Marathon, the Second Annual American Legion Riders Coral Head Music Festival (Feb. 17-18; coralheadmusicfest.com) is a fully loaded weekend of rock ‘n’ roll music by national and regional bands. Popular 1980s “hair bands” Great White and Slaughter, whose hits include “Up All Night” and “Fly to the Angels” are to join several other musical groups including Atlanta Rhythm Section, with smash hits “Imaginary Lover” and “So Into You,” all to raise money for veterans and Florida Keys charities.
Classical audiences will delight in one of America's premier young performing ensembles, the Attaca Quartet (Feb. 19-20; floridakeysconcerts.com), presented by Florida Keys Concert Association. Two shows by this internationally acclaimed prize-winning New York–based string quartet are to be held at Marathon High School and Island Community Church in Islamorada.
Key West’s Sunset Green Event Lawn presents Michael McDonald (Feb. 28; 24northhotel.com), whose career encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes and personal and professional accolades. In the 1970s McDonald honed his talents as a studio musician before becoming an integral part of Steely Dan, and was invited to join the redefined Doobie Brothers as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as "Takin' It To The Streets," "It Keeps You Runnin'," "Minute By Minute" and "What A Fool Believes." Still an enduring force in popular music, McDonald will perform at the new multipurpose event lawn located at Key West’s 24 North Hotel.
March 2018 and Beyond
For an outdoor blanket-on-the-lawn experience, the Florida Keys Community Concert Band has hosted free public concerts at Founders Park, mile marker 88 bayside on Plantation Key, since 1992. Upcoming performances, each on Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m., include a pet-friendly music concert (Feb. 17; keyscommunityconcertband.org/), Florida heritage in history and song (March 3) and a traditional end-of-season young musicians’ concert featuring local music students (April 21).
First-rate, distinctive classical offerings of Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West continue in March with the Grammy-nominated, all-female Eroica Trio (March 11) and Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and visionary pianist Michael Brown (March 15). Performances take place at 4 p.m. at the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 401 Duval St.
The cool arrangements and multiplatinum timeless classics of Little River Band hit the stage at Tennessee Williams Theater (March 28; twstages.com/), located at 5901 College Road.
Noteworthy live, musical events also are planned for late spring. Highlights to watch for include BayJam24 (April 8; facebook.com/keyiceFL/), a music and art fest at Islamorada’s ICE Amphitheater at Founder’s Park.
In May, two multiday events feature America’s foremost performing songwriters appearing on multiple stages and venues. The Key West Songwriters Festival (May 9-13; kwswf.com) includes more than 50 shows and over 200 country and pop music hit-makers, and the Key Largo Original Music Festival (May 17-20; keylargooriginalmusicfest.com) combines pop, rock, blues, jazz and country.
Florida Keys calendar of events: fla-keys.com/calendar
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West brings the a cappella sound of internationally recognized vocal sextet Western Wind, Feb. 11.
The Second Annual American Legion Riders Coral Head Music Festival, Feb. 17-18, is a fully loaded weekend of rock ‘n’ roll music by national and regional bands.
Florida Keys Community Concert Band hosts free public concerts at Founders Park, mile marker 88 bayside.