Top 6 local concerts picks, December 23-29


Jah movement

Live music programming in Sarasota-Manatee this Christmas week includes local reggae favorites Jah Movement, who are set to perform their weekly concert at the Gator Club in downtown Sarasota. The group includes soul singer Shantel Norman as well as Damie Caines, who used to perform with another popular reggae group in the area, Democracy, alongside his late father, Oswald Caines. Jah Movement performs regularly at other venues and festivals in Florida, including his own annual homage to reggae block party Osfest, which is slated to return in February. 9:30 p.m. Thursday December 23; The Gator Club, 1490 Main Street, Sarasota; 941-366-5969;

Memphis lightning.

Memphis lightning

Blues band Memphis Lightning performs at Sarasota County Restaurant and Englewoods blues spot on Dearborn and Celtic Ray pub and venue in Punta Gorda this week. The group includes father-son duo Darren “Big Red” Thiboutot Sr. and Darren “Lightnin ‘” Thiboutot Jr. Memphis Lightning has also released music including the album “Borrowed Time”, with special guests including award-winning guitarists at the Grammy Paul Nelson and Brent The Mason. 7 p.m. Thursday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $ 7; 941-475-7501;; 9 p.m. on Friday; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115;

RJ Howson.

RJ Howson and Mike Kach

RJ Howson and Mike Kach are scheduled to play at Sarasota Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse BBQ and Big Top Brewing Company this week. Guitarist and singer-songwriter Howson performed in the Chicago blues hub before moving to Sarasota-Manatee, and now ranks among the area’s most prolific performers (including Wednesdays in Joyland). collaboration with founding Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts, appearing on this year’s archive album “Official Bootleg Volume 1.” Thursday 6 p.m. Stottlemyer Smokehouse, 19 East Road, Sarasota; 941-312-5969;; 3 p.m. Sunday; Big Top Brewing Company, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 941-371-2939;

Doug Deming and the jewel tones.

Doug Deming and the jewel tones

In addition to their weekly gig at Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones will also be playing Englewoods on Dearborn this week. Although the blues group is based in the region, they have a national fan base, earning a Blues Blast Music Award nomination for Blues Band in 2019. They also reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Blues Albums chart for their 2018 album “Complicated Mess,” featuring guest guests including Kim Wilson and the late Little Charlie Baty. Thursday 6 p.m. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, 101 Riverfront Blvd. # 120, Bradenton; 941-896-9660;; 7 p.m. Wednesday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; 941-475-7501;

Dive bombers.

Dive bombers

Sarasota roots rock band The Divebombers are set to perform Celtic Ray on Christmas Day for those looking to listen to some live music after the holiday festivities. The group includes George Worthmore, a member of the New York Blues Hall of Fame who also lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, before moving to Sarasota, with acoustic guitarist Nat Langston and bassist Chad Clifford. The group released the album “The Nashville Sessions” earlier this year, recorded by National Finger Style Guitar Championship winner Richard Smith at his studio in Tennessee, along with classic country hits. 9 p.m. Saturday; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115;

The Rocket Man Show.

The Rocket Man Show

The Rocket Man Show tribute act, starring Tampa Bay-based Rus Anderson as young Elton John performing his greatest hits and wearing his extravagant costumes, heads to the Venice Theater for a series of shows . Anderson was recently selected to appear on E! “Clash of the Cover Bands” music competition series, featuring Adam Lambert, Meghan Trainor and Ester Dean as judges. He has also appeared in promotional material for John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, most notably as a body liner for a virtual reality video. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Dec. 31; Venice Theater, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice; $ 58 to $ 68; 941-488-1115;

If you are a local musician who would like to be considered for this list, please send an email to with your event information at least a week in advance. Show times are subject to change; check sites / pages in advance to confirm or for questions about COVID-19 protocols.

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