On Saturday and Sunday September 17 and 18, 2016, The 6th Annual Key West Musicians Festival was held to benefit Sister Seasons. The popular festival was held at Smokin Tuna Saloon here in Key West. This two day event featured a potpourri of Key West singer/songwriters and musicians. Music started each day at 2pm and went on until well past midnight.
Day one featured the likes of Nick Norman, Derik Reay, James Whitehead, Daryl Brooke, Ray West, Dani Hoy, Key West Chris Rehm, Bob Tucker, Rachel Grace, Ericson Holt, Mick Kilgos, Rolando Rojas, Luis Vera, Michael McCloud, Terry Cassidy, Clint Bullard, Alfonse, Woody Jenkins, Liz O’Connor, Mike Festa, Ian Barber, Dave Parkhurst, Richard Vier, and was headlined by the great Caffeine Carl Wagoner and his band.
Day two featured the likes of Tony Baltimore, Tony Roberts, Dora Gholson, Greg Gerace, Kim Jade, Russ Scavelli, Laura Black, Jeep Caillouet, Bubba Lownotes, Deb Hudson, Lee Venters, Henry Lysy Jr, Ross Brown, Gina Maseratti, Gabriel Wright, Cliff Cody, RG Wells, Stan Kaufman, Mary Spear, Jersey Slim, and was headlined by the brilliant Captain Carl Peachey.
Local celebrity and experienced Emcee Will Thompson hosted the two day event. Festival founders Ken and Laura Floyd and Steve Mellette were in attendance both days. This event is held each year to raise money for Sister Season Fund which helps service employees who are unable to work due to injury, Illness, or other circumstances that are no fault of their own. This great fund has helped many hard working Key West service industry workers over many years. The Key West Musicians Festival has raised thousands of dollars for this worthy cause.
Aside from fantastic live music sets all day long for two days, there are CDs available for purchase featuring music from previous years Key West Musicians Festivals as well as t-shirts, koozies, and other swag. Author and photographer Ralph De Palma is always in attendance with autographed copies of his books ‘The Soul Of Key West ‘ Volumes 1 and 2 for sale. De Palma gladly donates a large portion of his sales to Sister Season Fund and encourages purchasers to have the musicians sign their copies.
“We are so blessed here in Key West,” says De Palma. “There is so much incredible musical talent here. This weekend is especially great because all these great musicians gather in one venue to perform for us.”
“Key West music fans can just stay put here at The Smokin Tuna,” smiles De Palma, “and the musicians all come to us. It’s truly one of my favorite events each year.”
Popular Key West radio station 104.9 THE X FM broadcasted live from the event. Radio personalities Key West’s Most Eligible Bachelor Ben Solove and The Soundman from Hell conducted live interviews with musicians and even broadcasted several live performances over the airwaves.
This annual event seems to grow in popularity each year resulting in one of Key West’s most popular yearly event. A lot of hard work goes into organizing this event, but organizers seem grateful to put in the work.
“Cindy and Wayne Plum and Sally Galbraith all helped us out tremendously,” says event organizer Ken Floyd. “We are also quite grateful to Charlie Bauer and the entire crew at The Smokin Tuna for being such gracious hosts.”