Top 5 Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte Concerts, July 14-20


After recently being on the road, playing in cities such as Buffalo, New York and Asheville, North Carolina, Sarasota vocal-guitar duo Ariella returns to the Florida Studio Theater this week for a CD release party Homecoming for the album “Songs from the Vault”. Members of Sarasota’s music scene likely first became familiar with singer Ariella McManus when she fronted the popular group Ari and the Alibis, whose sound blended soul, blues, rock, funk and jazz. Although the entire band has since disbanded, she continues to play the role of Ariella, accompanied by guitarist and husband Nicolaas Kraster. 7:30 p.m. Thursday July 14; Florida Studio Theater, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota; $25; 941-366-9000;

After:10 Best Restaurants, Bars and Breweries for Live Music in Sarasota and Bradenton

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Tom Craig’s Group

Tom Craig.

Philadelphia-based blues band Tom Craig Band will return to Sarasota County’s Englewoods Restaurant and Venue in Dearborn on a tour through Florida this week. Guitarist and singer-songwriter Craig released new album ‘Good Man Gone Bad’ last year, earning three Independent Blues Award nominations recently, including Contemporary Blues CD and Song. Yet Craig, a formally trained jazz vocalist, incorporates other genres into his sound as well, with the track “You Made a Good Man Go Bad” featuring jazz club piano flourishes and another song by the album titled “I Like Soul in My Blues.” 7 p.m. Thursday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $5; 941-475-7501;

Matt Burk

Matt Burk.

Returning to the restaurant and venue in Bradenton, Cottonmouth this week is the frontman of one of Friendly City’s most successful musical groups, Matt Burke of Have Gun, Will Travel. Burke is the primary singer-songwriter for the group Americana, which has been covered by outlets such as NPR and No Depression and has seen its music appear on the television shows “The Good Wife” and “The Ranch.” The group has a new EP in the works with the single “Buyer’s Remorse”, and also recently released the song and music video “Our Fair City”, paying homage to Bradenton. 7 p.m. Friday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; 941-243-3735;

fish kettle

Dana Lawrence from Kettle of Fish.

Van Wezel’s Friday Fest series, with free outdoor concerts held on the waterfront lawn overlooking Sarasota Bay during the summer months, continues this week with Kettle of Fish. The blues-rock band led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Dana Lawrence ranks among the most popular musical acts in the Sarasota area, regularly playing other local venues and festivals. Other skilled musicians back Lawrence, which included former Freddie King guitarist and Sarasota native Greg Poulos until he sadly passed away earlier this year. 5 p.m. Friday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; free; 941-263-6799;

Daniela Soledade and Nate Najar

Daniela Soledade and Nate Najar.

The Florida Studio Theater’s live musical lineup this week also includes Daniela Soledade and Nate Najar as part of the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s Monday Night Jazz Cabaret Series, held at the John C. Court Cabaret. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and now based in St. Pete, singer Soledade released her debut album “A Moment of You” in 2019, featuring songs in English and Portuguese. Guitarist Najar is another of the most well-known musicians in the Tampa Bay jazz scene. He has released numerous albums, including “Under Paris Skies” in 2018 and “Christmas in December” in 2017. 6:30 p.m. (doors, dinner/aperitif), 7:30 p.m. (show) Monday; John C. Court Cabaret, 1265 First St., Sarasota; $34 to $39; 941-260-9951;

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Corina C. Butler