Just months after Kip Cline formed Late Night Brass in February 2005, he got a chance to live out a childhood fantasy. Late Night Brass is a Tampa-based, 10-piece horn band. After the members began rehearsing, they heard the Chicago/Earth, Wind & Fire tour was coming to the Ford Amphitheater.
"I took a demo down to the amphitheater just for the heck of it," said Cline, 41. "Who knew we'd be picked, and our first gig would be doing pre-show entertainment for our heroes?"
Three years and 100-plus performances later, Late Night Brass is the featured band at Saturday's Summer Concert in the Park.
"The band continues to be a labor of love, and we play covers of those '70s bands that were horn-powered, from an era before synthesizers took over," Cline said. "Our brass takes up lots of stage space, which is fun to see."
The city of Largo created the Summer Concert in the Park as a nighttime event to give families a chance to enjoy music during summer's cooler hours.
Although the city presented two concerts in 2007, it allocated funding differently this year. As a result, Saturday's event will be the season's only concert, according to Charla Lucas, special events coordinator for Largo.
Along with coordinating the band's schedule, Cline holds weekly rehearsals in his Temple Terrace home.
"The guys are spread out from the living room to the dining room,'' he said.
For Saturday night, Cline, who will be playing the saxophone and woodwinds, expects the highlights will reflect his band's roots: medleys of songs by Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool and the Gang.
"That seems to really be when the energy gets going," Cline said, "Both on stage and in the crowd.''