Tune In to the Florida Keys’ Live Music this Season
FLORIDA KEYS — Live musical performances, concerts and music festivals provide Florida Keys visitors a well-rounded winter 2023 roster of arts and cultural events.
While a number of notable musical goings-on are listed here, a comprehensive calendar of offerings can be found at fla-keys.com/calendar/arts-culture/florida-keys/current/.
Florida Keys Concert Association presents a handful of extraordinary performances in both Marathon and Islamorada through February. Audiences can enjoy the brilliance of rising star pianist Derek Wang, winner of the New York Liszt Competition (Feb. 13, 14); the dynamic Spanish Brass chamber ensemble, recipients of the Spanish National Music Award (Feb. 20, 21); and a riveting performance by acclaimed violin soloist William Hagen (Feb. 27, 28). Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Concerts take place at the Marathon High School Performing Arts Center at 350 Sombrero Beach Road and the Coral Shores High School Performing Arts Center at 89901 Old Highway.
The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton St., presents multiple opportunities to enjoy live music. Performances include Jazz on the Roof with vocalist Libby York (Feb. 6), the retro groove of Miss Tess (Feb. 7), the working-class folk stylings of Chicago Farmer (Feb. 14), the cabaret mastery of Amanda McBroom (March 9, 10) and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (April 18, 19). Times of shows vary.
Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West has brought stellar chamber music artists, ensembles and string orchestras to the Florida Keys for decades. The acclaimed organization’s 2023 concerts continue that tradition with this season’s rising star, Hungarian pianist Zoltan Fejervari (Feb. 12); the Aizuri String Quartet (Feb. 26); American Brass Quintet, hailed by Newsweek as “the high priests of brass” (March 12); and the renowned Dutch reed quintet, Calefax Winds (March 22). Performances take place at 4 p.m. at the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 401 Duval St.
Rams Head Presents Key West brings several big-name acts to two separate venues as part of the Key West Concert Series:
- The Key West Theater at 512 Eaton St. delights music lovers with a packed season of performances including the country rock band Firefall (Feb. 3); legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Jim Messina (Feb. 17); and country and bluegrass musician Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives (Feb. 20). Subsequent headliners include the Devon Allman Project with Donavon Frankenreiter (Feb. 23) and the Led Zeppelin tribute band Get the Led Out (March 20-22), among a jam-packed schedule. For most shows, doors open at 7 p.m. and shows start at 8 p.m.
- At the Coffee Butler Amphitheater, 21 E. Quay Road, music lovers can catch Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band (Feb. 9 and 11); KC and The Sunshine Band (Feb. 26); Willie Nelson (March 1); a special concert and event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Florida Keys’ Monroe County (March 25); and Old Dominion (March 31-April 2) among others.
Also in Key West, the acclaimed South Florida Symphony Orchestra performs two concerts at the Tennessee Williams Theatre (Feb. 18, March 25) located at 5901 College Road. The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The theater’s other offerings include “The Simon & Garfunkel Story” combining video projection, dynamic lighting and a live band (Feb. 10); “Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock N’ Roll, Part 3” (Feb. 28); and the original musical, “On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan” (April 5).
For an outdoor bring-your-own-lawn-chair experience, the Florida Keys Community Concert Band hosts free public “Pops in the Park” concerts. Upcoming performances, each on Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m., include the pet-friendly “Who Let the Dogs Out” (Feb. 18); a “Festival of Music” including a sensory experience of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (March 18); and the season-ending “What a Wonderful World” concert featuring poetry and narrative music (April 22). Performances are held at Founders Park, mile marker 87 bayside on Plantation Key.
Sunday, March 19, Bay Jam 28, is to take over Islamorada’s ICE Amphitheater at Founder’s Park, mile marker 87. Not-for-profit Islamorada Community Entertainment presents the annual art and music festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Proceeds help fund in-school programs as well as art, music and dance scholarships for Upper Keys high school students.
Fans of live music and distinctive cultural events can look forward to the annual Afro Roots Fest, scheduled to feature performances in Key West April 27-29 and Islamorada May 27-28. While the artist lineup and other details have not been announced, the festival is known for presenting musical artists from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas in a fascinating global fusion.
In May, the Key West Songwriters Festival features America’s foremost performing songwriters appearing onmultiple stages and venues in the island city. The multiday event (May 3-7) typically includes more than 50 shows and over 200 country and pop music hitmakers.
Florida Keys calendar of events: fla-keys.com/calendar