Can't miss acts for Gasparilla Music Festival

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews performs at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2013 in Byron Bay, Australia.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews performs at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2013 in Byron Bay, Australia.
Published Mar. 6, 2014

Trombone Shorty

5 p.m. Sunday

He's a familiar face in these parts, having headlined the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Tampa Bay Blues Fest and Tropical Heatwave. And you may have caught him backing up Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Madonna at this year's Grammys. But that's no excuse for skipping what'll surely be a compelling performance by swaggering brassman Troy Andrews. Ever heard a big-brass cover of Nirvana's In Bloom? Here's your chance.

Jason Isbell.

3:45 p.m. Sunday

You'll likely hear as much buzz about this Americana singer-songwriter as any artist at this year's fest. That's partly due to the former Drive-By Trucker's heartbreaking, soul-baring 2013 album Southeastern, considered by many his finest work to date. Tip: Get there early, as Isbell will probably make an appearance during wife Amanda Shires' set at 11:30 a.m.

J. Roddy Walston and the Business

4:30 p.m. Saturday

On his 2013 album Essential Tremors, shaggy Southern rocker Walston wears his classic-rock influences on his sleeve, particularly Leon Russell and Led Zeppelin. If you think Kings of Leon went way too Hollywood, way too quickly, then Walston is the guy for you.


7:45 p.m. Saturday

Do the ominous strings and icy-cool pulse of the Mad Men theme send shivers up your spine? You have RJD2 to thank. GMF's first big-name DJ, the producer born Ramble John Krohn, lent his instrumental track A Beautiful Mine to AMC's Emmy-winning juggernaut, but several of his other trippy, funky jams have ended up in commercials and TV shows, so you may recognize more of his work than you think.

Those Darlins

3:15 p.m. Saturday

The Ramones and Runaways were clear influences on this Nashville garage-rock quartet's addictive 2011 album Screws Get Loose, but they explored trippier, more psychedelic waters — without losing an ounce of edge — on 2013's Blur the Line.

Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill

2:30 p.m. Saturday

You can't kill Jamaican roots reggae, not even after founding singer-songwriter Joseph Hill's death in 2006. His son Kenyatta carries on the legacy of his father, particularly that of landmark 1977 album Two Sevens Clash, considered an all-time classic of the genre.

… and


locals, too

Benjamin Booker

noon Saturday

Technically, Booker is a semi-recent Tampa emigrant, leaving his adopted hometown for the greener musical pastures of New Orleans. It's paying off, as the blues-rock guitarist recently signed with ATO Records (Trey Anastasio, Old Crow Medicine Show, Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket).

Good Graeff

12:30 p.m. Saturday

With a cello and guitar, Sarasota identical twins Brittany and Brooke Graeff play poppy and catchy indie folk rock. Tegan and Sara are an obvious (and decent) comparison, but a better one might be Ra Ra Riot, who headlined GMF 2012.

Zulu Wave

2:45 p.m. Saturday

The tiny Tibbetts' Corner stage may not be able to contain fierce alt-rock quartet Zulu Wave. During St. Petersburg's recent Whigfest, singer-guitarist Michael Barrow shredded so hard he nearly took down the Mandarin Hide's famed chandelier.

Planning your weekend?

Planning your weekend?

Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter

We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Matt Hires

2:15 p.m. Sunday

The Seminole Heights singer's latest album title is a mouthful: This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend. But his signature brand of polished pop songwriting remains, from the chugging single Restless Heart to the hands-in-the-air heart-bleeder Forever.

Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer