CORTEZ – The 37th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival will feature eight musical acts the weekend of Feb. 16-17, including homegrown Cortezians Eric Von and Soupy Davis, and a motley band of sea shanty singers based in Cortez.
The festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, kicking off with the blessing of the Cortez fishing fleet at the docks on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m., followed by two days of live music, nautical arts and crafts, Dock Talks about different types of fishing vessels, a marine touch tank, and, of course, fresh seafood.
The main admission gate is at the Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W. with another gate at the FISH Preserve parking lot east of 119th Street West. Shuttles are available from G. T. Bray Park (5502 33rd Ave. Drive W., Bradenton) and the Coquina Beach parking lot in Bradenton Beach ($1.50 one way, $3 round trip), and paid parking for various prices is available on private property in the fishing village.
The cost is $4, with kids under 12 free, with proceeds going to enlarge and restore the 95-acre FISH (Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage) Preserve east of the fishing village.
Here’s the musical program and the players.
Saturday, Feb. 16
- 10-11 a.m. Shanty Singers
- 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Doug Deming
- 1-1:30 p.m. Awards and introductions
- 2-4 p.m. Eric Von Band
- 4:30-6 p.m. Koko Ray Show
Sunday, Feb. 17
- 10:30 a.m.-noon Soupy Davis and his Band
- 12:30-2 p.m. Ted Stevens & the Doo Shots
- 1-5 p.m. Eric Von (on the Bratton Store Porch)
- 2:30-4 p.m. Jason Haram
- 4:30-6 p.m. Karen and Jimmy Band
Doug Deming is an American blues and roots guitarist and vocalist living on Florida’s Gulf coast and playing traditional blues, West Coast and Texas swing, and early 50s roots rock.
The 2013 recipient of the Blues Blast Music Awards’ Sean Costello Rising Star Award, Deming draws his influence from greats like T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian.
Deming’s traditional taste and style are evident in his original music, with three recordings of primarily original tunes to his credit throughout his 20+ year career.
Deming has toured and recorded with many top blues artists, including Kim Wilson, Gary Primich, Lazy Lester, Alberta Adams, AC Reed and Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones to name a few.
Born and raised in Cortez, Eric Von is a singer and songwriter, infusing country tunes with an island flair. A performer since age 14, he has opened for Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Aaron Tippin, Casey James and John Anderson.
Von lives in Orlando and Nashville and plays regularly at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Universal City Walk and Nashville’s Broadway locations.
In 2007, he was named the Colgate Country Showdown Winner for the state of Florida. In 2008, he was named the winner of Kenny Chesney’s “Next Big Star” contest for the Tampa area.
Jason Haram moved to Anna Maria Island at 5 years old and started plucking on the guitar at 8. He was exposed to lots of roots type music while growing up on the Island and has always been drawn towards blues and roots music, which shows in his style of guitar playing, singing and songwriting.
His band consists mostly of a power trio with the occasional addition of a harmonica or keyboard player. The Jason Haram group’s style of music is based around blues, funk, rock ‘n’ roll and a little bit of country picking thrown in. The band has played with many blues and rock ‘n’ roll greats.
Karen and Jimmy Band
The Karen and Jimmy Band is a merging of two bandleaders with a distinctive sound of classic rock, southern rock, R&B and country. The band features the guitar styling and vocals of the husband and wife team Jimmy and Karen Lally, and each band member (Donald John, keyboard; Chuck Purro, drums; Paul Justice, bass) has an exceptional voice.
Karen was trained in Classical Music at the University of Michigan, then went on to leading Gospel Music during which time she was nominated three times for a Dove award. Jimmy, who hails from the Washington D.C. area, has performed locally, regionally and nationally and recorded for years in Nashville, traveling
extensively with heavy hitters such as Lee Greenwood and Daryl and Don Ellis. Jimmy was recently inducted into the Maryland Entertainer’s Hall of Fame.
Koko Ray Hansen is a multi-instrumentalist, playing flute, saxophone, guitar, keyboard, percussion and vocals. A bandleader music producer, radio podcaster, visual artist and teacher, Koko Ray plays acoustic, jazz, reggae and rock ‘n’ roll.
He lives on the Gulf coast of Florida and works with several local acts as well as touring and recording.
The Main Hatch Motley Shanty Singers were founded in 2005 in the fishing village of Cortez, and meet weekly at the Florida Maritime Museum. They perform sea shanties throughout the community at schools, churches and folk festivals.
Soupy Davis and his Band
Soupy Davis, a Cortez commercial fishermen since 1938, plays fiddle and mandolin, and often sits in at the Florida Maritime Museum’s Music on the Porch series from 2-4 p.m. the second Saturday of every month.
Soupy’s music and the village of Cortez are featured in “Diamonds Along the Highway.”
Ted Stevens and the Doo-Shots
Ted Stevens creates music that combines rockabilly, roots rock and surf with a reverb-drenched guitar and a twangy vocal line. The Doo-Shots deliver a hard-driving, instantly danceable blend of homegrown rockabilly with tunes by rock pioneers like Johnny Cash, Elvis and Buddy Holly.
Formed in January 2011, Ted Stevens and The Doo-Shots play more than 150 shows per year and have sold thousands of CDs worldwide. Their recently released CD, “Hits, Misses and Close Calls,” features 16 live tracks.
Stevens has worked with some of the biggest names in rock and roll, including The Temptations, Percy Sledge, The Drifters, Platters, Coasters, and dozens of other pop, blues, soul, and rock and roll artists.