Your weekend arts forecast: The Wailers are back, mon

Kudos going out to the prolific St. Pete muralist Derek Donnelly, whose latest creation is this snappy mural, in the design of a vintage “wish you were here” greetings-style postcard, on the Fairfield Avenue South side of Fairgrounds – which we all hope will be opening up soon. In the meantime, Donnelly’s painting heralds the debut of the Fairgrounds Shop, selling T-shirts and such, and soon to feature cool stuff from Fairgrounds artists.

Second generation reggae

The 40th anniversary of Bob Marley’s death is just around the corner in May, and the reggae legend’s life and legacy are still celebrated the world over, by fans who keep the flame burning in their hearts, and by countless musicians who draw from the bottomless well of his influence.

Chief among these, of course, are the members of the Wailers, Marley’s longtime band. Many musicians have come and gone over the decades, but the Rastafarian message, and groove, remain. This will no doubt be in evidence as the Wailers perform Friday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.


Here come the sons: Aston Barret Jr. (left) and Julian Marley.

It’s a family affair: The singer/guitarist is Julian “JuJu” Marley, one of Bob’s 11 children. The 44-year-old, British born two-time Grammy nominee lost his 11-year-old daughter in 2019 to brain cancer, which had claimed his father in 1981. One of his business interests is JuJu Royal, a retail line of CBD-infused oils and tinctures

On drums is Aston Barret Jr., son of longtime Wailers bassist Aston “Familyman” Barret.

Details and tickets are here.

The Capitol will be hoppin’ Sunday afternoon as well, as the bio-pic Ray, starring Jamie Foxx in his Oscar-winning performance as Ray Charles, is screened at 3 p.m. What’d I say?

Music, theater, art fest and more

Singers from Opera Tampa and the Patel Conservatory Advanced Chamber Ensemble will be among those lifting their voices for Arts Legacy Remix: Life Every Voice and Sing, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Straz Center Riverwalk Stage in Tampa. Created to showcase classical black artists, the event is a tribute to African-American musical legends including Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson. Info here.

Resident conductor Daniel Black takes the reins of The Florida Orchestra Saturday for two performances of a pops concert at the Mahaffey Theater. It’s not the full orchestra, of course – pandemic restrictions remain in place – but the brass and percussion sections. The show, featuring swing, John Williams soundtrack music, one very cool Beatles song and more, is called “Dan Black & the (TFO) Brass Cats.” We’ll have an interview with Mr. Black Friday in the Catalyst. Tickets here.

St. Petersburg Opera Company’s contribution to the month-long Celebration of the Arts arrives this weekend, with “Opera and the Sea” in the covered, semi-enclosed back area of Cage Brewing Co, Sunday (a Friday edition at Opera Central is sold out, as is Saturday’s Cage Brewing debut). The 80-minute program is described as “a nautical journey through operatic selections inspired by oceans, rivers, and seas.” Singers are Jordan Blair, mezzo soprano; Alex Boyd, baritone; Hanna Brammer, soprano; Eric Ferring, tenor; and Chris Romeo, tenor. Tickets here.

Our freakish “limbo” of theatrical productions – some live with limited seating, others purely virtual – continues this weekend with The Lifespan of a Fact ending Sunday at Stageworks (here’s our story), Hand to God premiering at Jobsite (ditto), and American Stage’s virtual presentation of Satchmo at the Waldorf continuing (we have a video interview for that one, here). Satchmo has been extended through March 7.

Saturday and Sunday in South Straub Park (that’s down on the waterfront, a stone’s throw from the St. Pete Pier) around 100 artists (not many of them local) will be set up to show and sell. It’s the eighth annual St. Petersburg Fine Art Festival. Details here.

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Keara McGraw