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Bayshore CAPA Festival of the Arts returns for Year No. 2 nipped and tucked and ready for the swimsuit competition. Organizers announced they have snagged country chanteuse-composer Casey Weston for its featured singer Jan. 28 and the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve of Warner-Robins, Ga., on Jan. 29, this time with a full show.
Weston, who grew up in Naples, has been performing regionally for years, with her sights set on Nashville, Tenn., where she moved this summer. A few weeks before that, Weston made the cut three times to perform on “The Voice,” an NBC prime-time competition with celebrity judges. Weston made it to the semifinals and is currently on a “Voice” tour with other finalists to major markets, including performing at Boston’s Bank of America pavilion tonight.
Her performance will be one of only three she has scheduled back in Southwest Florida the coming season, said Chellie Doepke, vice president of Baysore CAPA.
“She has a strong following here, and we think she’ll draw a tremendous local crowd,” Doepke said.
Weston plays as the final act Jan. 28, following a performance by Frontline Bluegrass, local favorites with whom Weston has shared the stage a number of times. The Jan. 29 closer, the Air Force Reserve band, played a 45-minute show last year, but will give a full 90-minute concert this year.
“They do pop, classical, jazz, standards — you name it — it’s incredible how talented they are,” she said. The reserve band drew a large crowd last year and so is returning as the only nonlocal act in two days with wall-towall music and an art show of local artists, all of them juried status. Local artist Gabriel Nappo is coordinating it. There’s room for more artists. But the music slots have been entirely filled already.
“We got our favorites, Stu Shelton on keyboards — although it’s not going to be his group this time, he’ll be playing with some of them. There’s the Dan Miller-Lew Delgatto quartet. When they get together it’s amazing,” Doepke said of the trumpet player and saxophonist who have played with big-name performers such as Harry Connick Jr. and Quincy Jones.
Other returning stars: the Naples Concert Band, Paradise Coastmen Barbershop Quartet and the Seacrest Chorus, directed by Jodie Desalvo. There’s a good helping of jazz with singer Rebecca Richardson and her quartet. Two competitive high school jazz bands, Naples and Barron Collier, will show their chops on Jan. 29.
But there was such a wealth of Irish entertainment, Doepke said, the festival devoted a block of time to it, too: Two of the area’s best known bands, West of Galway and Inish, and one Irish dance academy, Tir Na Nog, are among the performers Jan. 28. “One group that’s new, and it’s very unusual and eclectic, will be the Naples Klezmer Revival Band,” she added. Klezmer is a musical tradition with roots among the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe that specializes in dance tunes and celebration music.
The festival has shorn off the low-traffic 10 a.m. opening hour for an 11 a.m. start time, a promising atmosphere for lunch, for which there are an eclectic group of vendors: Caribbean and Jamaican; Italian; barbecue; grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken; and more.
An 11 a.m. opening also means a better crowd for the unique opening performances both days. Sahara Brown, 7, of Marco Island and 11-year-old Zofia Majewski of Naples will sing the Star Spangled Banner on Jan. 28 and 29 respectively.
In its 2011 inaugural year, the festival drew between 4,500 and 5,500 people, according to Bayshore CAPA counters.
The outdoor festival has a purpose, according to Doepke: “To raise awareness — public awareness — of the need for the cultural and performing arts center that we hope to have serve as a home for local talent.” \
The organization recently announced that it has aquired a right of first refusal for a parcel of property on Bayshore Drive The group’s new website, which debuted today, holds information on the center proposal as well as a potential drawing and requests for resident artists’ needs. See the proposed drawing here: bayshorecapa.org/uo-form
Doepke said the purpose of the festival also is to provide accessible cultural enrichment for community, and admission is free. There is a $5 charge for onsite parking.
The Bayshore CAPA board and its advisory board includes representatives from Naples Concert Band, Naples Orchestra and Chorus, Naples Music Club, Classic Chamber Series, Paradise Coastmen Barbershop Chorus, Bob Zottola’s Expandable Jazz Band, Flute Cocktail and community leaders with legal, financial and business expertise.