LAKE WALES, Fla. — The 14th annual Live at the Gardens! Summer Music Series brings an eclectic mix of Big Band, Jazz, Bluegrass, Latin, and Irish music to the air-conditioned comfort of the Bok Tower Gardens Visitor Center select Saturdays throughout the summer. The series is presented by
Allen & Company, and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Now with six performances to choose from, ticket options include an All-Season Pass, Pick Four, and individual concert tickets, all on sale now at boktowergardens.org/live-at-the-gardens Guests can opt to add dinner in the Blue Palmetto Café before each show beginning at 5:45 p.m., and all concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required.
“We decided to make this a six-concert series because of the popularity of these performances,” says Jennifer Beam, Director of Visitor Services & Programs at the Gardens. “Our guests love the variety of music and the fact they can enjoy a great dinner in our Café before the shows begin, all for a really great price,” she said. “We’ve also added a new Pick Four ticket package that offers flexibility for everyone’s summer schedules.”
Brian Sutherland Band – June 6
Dinner options: Herb Pork Loin or Vegetable Polenta
The first performance takes place June 6 featuring Central Florida’s own Brian Sutherland Band. From their humble beginnings on the campus of Florida Southern College to their debut at the 2014 Child of the Sun Music Festival, this dynamic ensemble is complete with cello, guitar, bass, violin, drums and three vocalists. Their unique musical style combines folk with jazz and pop to make an indie sound all their own. The Brian Sutherland Band stems from five musicians whose backgrounds and styles greatly differ, but who all have one thing in mind - creating and sharing music for the love of the music.
Big Chill Band – June 27
Dinner options: Sweet & Sour Salmon or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls w/Vegetables & Rice
Back by popular demand on June 27 and featuring Big Band sounds from the 40s and classic rock-n-roll from the 50s and 60s, Tom Butler and his Big Chill Band will perform an evening of musical hits from Motown, the Blues Brothers, Miami Sound Machine, Huey Lewis & the News, and many more. A musician in demand, Butler has performed with Wayne Newton, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Dionne Warwick to name a few. The group played to a sold-out house during last year’s Summer Music Series and returns for an encore performance.
Carlos & Carlos – July 11 – sponsored by Winter Haven Honda
Dinner options: Chicken Marsala or Vegetable Skewers
On July 11, the guitar duo of Carlos & Carlos present a blend of Latin American folk genres, Flamenco techniques, and jazz improvisations. Carlos Odria is a guitarist, composer, and educator. Originally from Lima, Peru, he studied classical and Peruvian folk guitar in his hometown and then jazz and world music at Florida State University, from which he holds a Ph.D. in Musicology. In 2014, the debut album of Omnimusica, an ensemble in which he was the lead guitarist, was included on the official ballot for the 57th Grammy Awards in the World Music category.
Good Times Jazz Band – August 1 – sponsored by Terrie Lobb Catering
Dinner options: Lasagna or Stuffed Shells
The Good Times Jazz Band brings their brand of Dixieland Jazz to the Gardens August 1 in a show featuring patriotic, spiritual and classic American pop songs everybody knows. As numerous displaced cultural groups descended on New Orleans, a unique influence was born giving root and form to all American music of the last 150 years. Top-notch musicians in this five-piece group have played this music for decades at Walt Disney World, in New Orleans, in churches, and on the paddle-boat cruise ships on the Mississippi River. Band leader Fred Case proudly says, “We defy you to keep still even for a few seconds when this energetic, toe-tapping joyous sound starts up.”
Southern Express Bluegrass Band – August 22 – sponsored by Jahna Chiropractic
Dinner options: Flank Steak or Stuffed Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
The Southern Express Bluegrass Band is a cross between a hard-driving bluegrass concert and an entertaining dinner show. On August 22, guests will enjoy a mix of music from The Beatles to Bill Monroe. One minute it’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the next, they’ll jump right into “Proud Mary” from CCR. This is a group of very experienced musicians with great talent and drive to perform. Expect some gospel bluegrass tunes, as well as recognizable songs like “Rocky Top,” “The Legend of Jed Clampett” (Beverly Hillbillies), and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
Justin Murphy Irish Band – September 19 – sponsored by Camp Rosalie
Dinner options: Braised Country-style Ribs or Vegetable Stuffed Peppers
The Justin Murphy Irish Band comes to the Gardens September 19 to close out the series with foot-stomping jigs and pub favorites, offering a diversity of Irish, Scottish and Celtic flavors. Justin Murphy has been playing traditional Irish music for over 25 years, though not really discovering it until high school. An immigrant to the U.S. from England in 1978, Murphy attended university in New Orleans and began playing tin whistle and flute, later adding vocals and guitar to his repertoire. He currently performs in the Orlando area and teaches anthropology at Seminole State College in Sanford, FL.
Ticket prices are: $22.50 single concert, $45 with dinner; $75 any four concerts, $165 with dinner; and $105 all six shows, $240 with dinner. Order online at boktowergardens.org or call 863.734.1222 for assistance.
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About Bok Tower Gardens:
Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales in Central Florida’s rolling hills of citrus. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with last admission at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. LEGOLAND ticket holders will receive free admission for children under 12. For more information, contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit