Music Venues

The Rich History of the Ritz

Jay Mafela Located in LaVilla, the Ritz Theatre and Museum is not only a gorgeous venue for concerts and theatrical productions but also serves as a tribute to the lives and contributions of local African-Americans. The Ritz stands on the same spot as the movie theater of the same name built in 1929. At the time, LaVilla was considered by many to be the “Harlem of the South,” attracting performers including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and a young Ray Charles. The original building was eventually torn down with the new Ritz opening in 1999. Today, it …

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November Entertainment Go-To Guide 2021

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Music Industry In Trouble – Small Venues Like Blue Jay Listening Room Need Your Help

When the Blue Jay Listening Room first opened its doors Aug. 18, 2017 in Jacksonville Beach, owner Cara Murphy hoped to create an intimate space for music lovers to really hear the music being played, listen to the stories and engage with the artists on a personal level. No audience chatter, no rowdy bar noise or big flashy stage acts; just a warm, inviting environment catering to a comfortable listening experience with a soft glow and artfully arranged vignettes of cozy seating nestled close to the stage. It’s exactly the kind of space that is struggling to find safe and …

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Will the Florida Theatre’s Darkened Stages and Empty Seats Survive COVID?

The iconic marquee at the Florida Theatre is among the most recognized landmarks in the downtown Jacksonville landscape. Since its second act from a movie house to a performing arts venue, the neon lights have illuminated some of the biggest names in entertainment, until March when it all went dark. No one could have predicted what was to come in early 2020. After closing out 2019 on a high note, the year was off to an auspicious start. But when Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre, took the stage March 12 to welcome the audience to that evening’s show …

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Jacksonville Symphony to Perform at JFK Center

Jacksonville Symphony to Perform March 23-29 for the Festival of American Orchestras at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.   The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joins an elite group of musicians chosen to perform as part of the 3rd annual SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras in Washington, D.C. The prestigious event held March 23-29 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the identity and artistry of orchestras in our culture. This year, SHIFT will also feature the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Jacksonville Symphony …

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THE AMP: St. Augustine Amphitheatre Leads Nation as an Eco-Friendly Live Music Venue

Tame Impala at The Amp in May 2019, The Amp St. Augustine, Florida, Live Music Venue, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

An Epic Celebration of Live Entertainment The recent exit of as the driving force behind the has left big shoes to fill. But it also cemented Murphy’s legacy as a forward-thinking leader who implemented a series of green practices to make the Amp a fully sustainable venue and put St. Augustine on the map as a live music destination. Murphy stepped down April 20 after a decade-long tenure as the county’s Director of Cultural Events. He was responsible for programming at The Amp and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, both county-owned and operated venues which he developed into profitable, innovative and …

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Lend Us Your Ear! The Blue Jay Listening Room, An Intimate Music Venue in Jacksonville Beach

When Cara Burky set out to bring her vision for a music venue to life, she had a specific idea in mind. Her goal was to create an intimate space that catered to the consummate music lover and gave music makers a home to share their art without the chatter and restless energy of a bar crowd. The Blue Jay Listening Room makes space for the stories and inspirations behind the music for people who really want to hear it. Some shows are ticketed events; others require a cover at the door. Open mic nights and jam nights give players …

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