This past Sunday November 27, 2016 The Key West Theater played host to the popular Key West concert series, The Sunday Ramble. This was the first Ramble of the theater’s concert Season and the seventh in the ongoing Sunday Ramble series.
This concert series has become a favorite of the Key West community and music fans. The Sunday Rambles feature an all-star band made up of some of Key West’s best musicians. Each Ramble includes several featured local artists who perform individually with the Ramble Band.
The seventh Ramble Band was made up of Jeff Clark on guitar, Ericson Holt on keyboards, Randy Morrow on drums, Claire Finley on bass and Robyn Whitehead on percussion and backing vocals. The featured artists, each of whom performed three songs with the Ramble Band, were Miguel Perez, Raven Cooper, and Rolando Rojas. Also included as part of this show were special guests Yvan Ago and Toko Irie. The show also included, for the first time, a special guest host in local radio personality and music promoter ‘Key West’s Most Eligible Bachelor’ Ben Solove.
The Show opened as the band took the stage with popular Jeff Clark performing his original song ‘The Best’. The joyous crowd welcomed the beginning of the show with cheers and applause. Solove then came out and welcomed the excited crowd to the theater and Ramble.
The first Featured artist to perform with the band was Miguel Perez. A Key West native, Perez dazzled the crowd with his Key West vibe. He performed three original songs including ‘Open Your Love’, ‘Café Con Leche’, and ‘Cruise Ship’. His high energy performance was the perfect kick off to the show.
The next to take the stage was the legendary Raven Cooper who has been performing in Key West since 2000. Cooper‘s set began as a trio with drummer Randy Morrow and guitarist, and fellow featured artist, Rolando Rojas on guitar. The trio performed a beautiful version of the Spanish song, ‘Paloma Negra’. Cooper continued her set with the full band playing an original in ‘Hold Up’ and then a fantastic cover of ‘Killing Me Softly’.
Keyboardist and Ramble Band member, for all seven Rambles, Ericson Holt then performed his original song, ‘Tired of Waiting Around’ with the band. The singer/songwriter then passed the torch to fan favorite bassist and singer Claire Finley. Finley opened her set by setting down her familiar 5-string bass to sing ‘It’s You I Like’, a song by Mr. Rodgers. Yes, THAT Mr. Rodgers. The crowd loved it. Finley then picked up her bass and led the Ramble Band in performances of ‘Bag Lady’ by Erykah Badu and ‘Lights’ by Journey.
Talented vocalist and Ramble Band member Robyn Whitehead was next up. Whitehead, a talented and powerful vocalist, led the band in a rendition of the Pop song ‘Side Pony’. The show continued when the evening’s final featured artist Rolando Rojas took the stage with special guest Yvan Ago on guitar and Roy Chavez on congas. Rojas, a Chilean born virtuoso, and Agbo, also a virtuoso from Senegal, amazed the crowd with beautiful renditions of ‘Entre Dos Aguas’, ‘Vamanos Pa’l Monte’, and ‘El Cuarto Tula’.
Ramble host Ben Solove, who took the stage to introduce each act, took the stage after the Rojas set telling the crowd that they would be “hard pressed to find that much talent all on one stage anywhere” and congratulated them for their decision to come to The Ramble. Solove then introduced Grenada born, Reggae legend Toko Irie.
Irie played his steel drum kit along with The Ramble Band performing an original song ‘Sunrise’. The show ended when legendary Key West musician/saxophone player Marty Stonely took the stage to share some memories of the legendary George Victory. Both Stonely and Agbo spent years playing with the Key West legend Victory, who passed away earlier this year. Stonely then joined in as the Ramble Band played a medley in tribute to Victory. The medley included ‘No Woman, No Cry’, ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, and ‘Purple Rain’.
The crowd erupted into applause before the entire cast and crew took the stage for an encore performance of the Miguel Perez original song ‘Keys Disease’. The seventh Sunday Ramble proved to be a memorable show. Who and Where in Key West will keep you posted on details for the next Sunday Ramble performance and ticket sales.
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