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Music in the Park returns to Seminole
The annual music series kicks off with performances by hometown artists
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Rebekah Reid opens this year’s Music in the Park series Sept. 5, at Seminole City Park.
SEMINOLE - September will see the return of a favorite series of outdoor concerts in Seminole.

The city’s annual Music in the Park series will kick off Friday, Sept. 5, at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road, Seminole.

The music will run 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Six concerts are planned, including the following:

• Sept. 5 – Rebekah Reid and Those Guys, sponsored by Waste Management of Pinellas
• Sept. 12 – Charlie Souza and the New Tropics, sponsored by the city of Seminole
• Sept. 19 – Charlie Morris Band, sponsored by Barnhorn Financial
• Sept. 26 – Voices of Jazz, sponsored by DeLoach & Hofstra
• Oct. 3 – Comfort Zone, sponsored by the city of Seminole
• Oct. 10 – D.A. Smith and the Soul Injectors, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Seminole Lake

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.

For information, call 391-8345 or visit www.m­ysemi­nole.­com.

Kicking off this year’s series on Sept. 5 will be two of the city’s rising stars.

The first, Rebekah Reid, was born and raised in Seminole. The 16-year-old singer/songwriter is “all country at heart,” according to a biography on her website. She got her start singing in her church and school choirs. She taught herself to play guitar and had plenty of practice performing for neighborhood audiences from the back of her father’s truck.

In 2012, she wrote her first song. The song, “Moving On,” helped her win the 2012 City of Seminole Talent Contest.

Reid performed at the city’s annual Pow Wow festival in 2013 and returned this year to play a two-hour set. She also sang the National Anthem last year at the Music in the Park series. She plays a wide variety of music but is known mainly for singing original songs and for putting her own spin on pop-country music.

“When I found out about being one of the first performers in the 2014 Music In The Park series, I felt a sense of accomplishment,” Reid said in an email interview. “I was very excited to hear the news because playing such a popular series has been a goal of mine for a while now. Being able to not only attend and support the other bands this year, but also perform, just immediately puts a smile on my face. I am so thankful.”

As a city resident, Music in the Park has had some influence in Reid’s own aspirations.

“Being a Seminole native and also a musician, this performance has definitely sparked a separate interest in performing as a whole,” she said. “I try to put a lot of energy into my performances, each one where I aim to get more energetic and better at working with the crowd. I'd love to keep moving up the performance scale, and I surely believe this series is a nice step up.”

Reid’s first album, featuring all original songs, is due out in October.

Also performing Sept. 5 will be Those Guys featuring Sean McQuiston.

McQuiston, a vocalist and guitar player with a penchant for playing rockabilly, is a recent participant in the Grammy Museum’s Music Revolution Project Tampa Bay hosted by the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts. He attends the Pinellas County Center for the Arts music magnet program at Gibbs High School.

Charlie Souza and the New Tropics hit the stage on Sept. 12.

Souza has worked and performed with some of the top names in the music industry, including Tom Petty and Gregg Allman. In the 1960s, he was part of The Tropics, one of the most popular pop-rock bands in the Southeastern United States. The band recorded “Time,” their first single, in 1968.

Souza, along with Tropics’ co-founder Buddy Pendergrass, played in the psychodelic/glam rock band White Witch in the early 1970s. He also has toured and recorded with the New Rascals, featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish with Bill Pascali of Vanilla Fudge.

The rock and roll veteran released his solo albums "Live Your Dream” and "9 Ball in the Corner Pocket" on Souzaphone Records. His song “Carry Me Back to St. Petersburg” was selected as the city song for St. Petersburg, earning almost 13,000 votes in an online competition.

Souza (bass and vocals) is joined by Todd Plant (vocals and guitar), Mike Conway (drums and vocals) and Jaybo Key (guitar and vocals).

Souza still loves playing outdoor concerts in the Sunshine State.

“I love to play with the Florida backdrop of the beautiful palm trees, the seabirds and pelicans, the boats on the water,” Souza said in an email. “I love the rain and the sunshine and the puffy clouds and the grateful crowds. I wrote about it in the song ‘Carry me Back to St. Petersburg.’”

When asked to name some of his influences, the musician points the music of the ’60s and ’70s – from Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees and Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Monkees, The Rascals, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills Nash and Young.

“But the best and most influential for me were the Beatles,” Souza said. “That's probably why The Tropics went over so well because of our live show doing Beatles medleys along with our James Brown show.”

The Tropics have a new release out of all of the original recordings on a vinyl LP available in Europe on Guerssen Records. The album, “As Time’s Gone,” is distributed in the United States by Forced Exposure.

The Charlie Morris Band will bring the blues to Seminole this year, performing Sept. 19.

Born in Miami in 1963, Morris began writing songs and playing instruments at age 6. It wasn’t until he was 15, however, that he picked up the guitar.

Morris went to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1984. He and fellow Eckerd students – including Alan Craig, Devin Rice, Sue Finger and Dave Bawel – formed the band Lotus. The band released an album of original music in 1984. He next joined a band called Cheers, playing cruise ships, before returning to St. Petersburg to play the Florida club circuit as a solo artist or as part of a band. During the early 1990s, he appeared at some of the state’s best blues clubs such as The Ringside, Skipper's Smokehouse, the Bamboo Room and the Bradfordville Blues Club.

Beginning in 1992, Morris and his band began building a fan following in Europe. In 1998, he released his first blues CD, “Bluer Than Thou,” featuring 10 original selections as well as one by pianist Gary Doyle. The album includes such future classics as “Mr. Miracle,” “Can't Stop Cleanin'” and “No Mo' Money.”

Voices of Jazz, based in Dunedin, plays Sept. 26.

The band boasts a big band sound and performs classic big band jazz as well as swing music and modern arrangements of popular tunes.

The band’s members are engaging and energetic volunteers who participate purely for the love of music, the enjoyment of playing their instruments and their passion for performing. Band members are from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

“We perform regularly throughout Pinellas County – most notably Safety Harbor's Third Friday Music Series at Café Orlando,” Ron Scarcelli said in an email. Scarcelli is president of Voices of Jazz. “We also have performed at the Dunedin Recreation Center, Gulfport Casino Ballroom and at Treasure Island's Sanding Ovations.”

Comfort Zone will perform Oct. 3.

This band specializes in tight vocal harmonies. Based in Treasure Island, the act got its start as a vocal trio in 2009. With the addition of a rhythm section boasting seasoned professionals, the Pinellas band has made a name for itself covering classic hits by The Temptations, Tommy James & the Shondells or The Eagles as well as performing some of today’s favorites from acts such as Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum.

D.A. Smith and the Soul Injectors closes out the Music in the Park series with an evening of funk, soul and R&B on Oct. 10.

D.A. Smith & The Soul Injectors are quickly gaining recognition as one of the premier and energetic live performance acts in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. This nine-piece soul band is known for delivering a high-energy show filled with original material, dance music from the ’60s Motown and Stax records era and big hits from ’70s soul and funk superstars. The band also has a reputation for tossing in a few contemporary hit songs, played in their own distinctive style.
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