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Barry Cuda

“Barry Cuda” was born in Pensacola, Florida on Christmas Eve. 1953. His surgeon dad and his nurse mom met at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the late 1940s. When not sewing up eyeballs in southern Japan during  


the Korean War, surgeon dad “Smitty” found time with nurse mom “Jan” to insure that “Baby Boy Smith” - the future “Barry Cuda” - would be made in Japan and it came to pass in 1953. Made in Japan and born in the U.S.A. 

The minnow’s childhood would be spent in the tall long needle pine forests and soothing Gulf waters in the panhandle of Florida. Young Barry enjoyed taking lessons with his dad every Wednesday after school from Pensacola jazz pianist, band leader and arranger Ray Parker. This was to form the basis for his love of all things musical. Classical lessons were augmented with jazz and pop studies. His discovery of old ragtime sheet music in the 1960’s, opened the door for research into roots American music. Naturally, this scholarship was slanted toward his instrument; the piano. Barry Cuda has been fortunate to sit at the feet of giants and learn from them.  

Knocky Parker (from Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) mentored him in Tampa 1975-7. He traveled to Chicago in the late 70’s and listened to Little Brother and Sunnyland Slim and furthered his love of all things New Orleans in the early 80’s while attending the New Orleans Jazz Fest and soaking up as much music as he could. Pianists he encountered and learned from in this period include James Booker, Roosevelt Sykes, and Cousin Joe as well as fellow piano “Junior G.I.’s” Diz Watson, Tom McDermott and Jon Cleary. 

In 1981 he formed the Silver King Band and based the band in the Tampa Bay area. Consisting of harmonica powerhouse Rock Bottom and washboard player Flo Mingo, the band became one of the most successful bands in the area and developed a cult following in Scandinavia. He met Memphis Slim and Champion Jack Dupree during this time and gleamed as much knowledge as he could from these masters- not only piano and singing technique, but also showmanship. 

The Silver King Band broke up in 1985 and tired of the rigors of touring, Cuda moved to Key West, Florida. He has lived and worked in the Keys since then with occasional forays to Europe. He continues to play solo gigs as well as team up with players that enjoy his aesthetic slant. He also continues to research and transcribe old piano blues instrumentals as well as early twentieth century Caribbean roots music. His album “Lonesome Mama” has received international acclaim and he has since released a companion CD of early rare blues instrumentals entitled “Snowy Morning Blues” (2011). He continues to play between 6 and 8 gigs a week in the Key West area. 

In addition to “Lonesome Mama”, in the past 20 years he has released 3 CDs with the Silver King Band, 3 CDs with “Barry Cuda and the Sharks”, a solo collection of X- rated vintage R & B “After Hours Sex Party” and 3 other CDs including a 2010 release with “The Bong Hits For Geezers”; a band consisting of brass man Ted Mulet (band leader/arranger for Gloria Estefan, current lead trumpet for Blood Sweat and Tears), drummer Richard Crooks (Bob Dylan and Dr. John associate) and trumpet man Kenny Fradley (former horn arranger /player for Celia Cruz and Kid Creole).Barry Cuda

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Drew Gunning

I was born and raised in Columbia, SC for 18 years before moving to Orlando where I studied at Full Sail Univeristy, graduating with a bachelor's in recording arts.  Shortly after school, my cousin and local musician, Tim Hollohan, invited me down to Key West to play drums with him just for a week.  When I arrived, we realized we had a great chemistry with me along side of him on guitar instead and we quickly started performing several times a week together.  I was also recruited to operate a high quality recording studio out of the newly renovated Key West Theater shortly after arriving here and have since recorded many tracks and albums of various Key West Musicians.  

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Rick Fusco

Rick Fusco of Wilmington Delaware has been playing guitar professionally since the age of fifteen.  In more recent years Rick has been enjoying the successes of being an Acoustic solo player/singer covering a variety of past and present popular material. 

Rick joined the United States Air Force right out of high school. While serving his country Rick entered an Air Force Wide talent competition. After several rounds of competing, Rick became a finalist in a music competition for the USAF Tops In Blue (a touring variety show promoting moral)..

Rick is known for his ability to adapt to many styles of music.  

During his career Rick and his colleagues from the band Final Mixx were signed with Motown Records. Rick was also an original member of Atlantic Records, Mike Hines & The Look. During this period Rick shared the stage with The Ohio Players, Taylor Dayne, Al B. Sure, Chris Rock, Sinbad,  War, Miles Jay and Millie Jackson.  

Rick also has many shared success with the Wilmington Delaware based band called The SNAP. A great band known for their original music as well as the cover material they perform. During this period and thereafter, Rick has been a part local bands opening for national acts such as America, Sophie B. Hawkins, FireHouse and Lisa Loeb. More recently while performing in Key West Rick has shared the stage with Zack Brown and Eddie Money.

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Big Daddy Rich

Big Daddy Rich has been a professional musician his entire life. Starting in his early teens playing drums in many high profile musical outfits in western N.Y.. He quickly moved onto playing guitar, bass, piano and many other instruments. Rich also owns one of the greatest independent music stores in the U.S. that has taught musicians who make their home and careers in Nashville, Boston, N.Y. and Key West. Music is his life and he would love to share it with you.

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Ericson Holt

Born in Richmond Virginia, Ericson began playing blues and boogie piano on the East coast.  Ericson now lives in Key West.  He has opened for major acts over the years including The Band, Delbert McClinton, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  His resume includes international tours and television show appearances with Grammy winners the Mavericks, Oscar nominee Allison Moorer,  Rodney Crowell, Jim Lauderdale and Lee Roy Parnell, to name just a few. 

 “ … an exceptional vocalist and an emotionally vivid songwriter …. his tightly crafted material  moves  from  smoking roots rock to New Orleans jive to revved up country shuffles …think Jackson Browne with more swagger.”  -Nashville Scene .

Mark Wehner of Americana Tonight writes:  “As a writer and performer, he has all the magic a front man needs to succeed.  It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.”     We could not agree more.

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Shastina

Shastina Chiles has been musically influenced throughout her life. After moving to Key West and due to its large music scene, Shastina began to focus solely on guitar and her voice. With the help of many over the years, Shastina now plays her own solo gigs all over the Florida Keys.

Shastina has had the great opportunity to play alongside many talented musicians.  Shastina opened for Deana Carter (2016) and for Phil Vassar (2017), both at The Key West Theatre, and with her duo Myles Mancuso, were the opening act for Jimmy Buffet’s (2015) live show in Key West.

“I would like to continue to become a better musician, and learn from as many people as I can. I dream of traveling the world and playing all over, with many different musicians. Someday I would like to professionally record and produce my music as well as for others.“

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C.W. Colt

In 1958, at the age of 5, C.W. won his first talent contest with his Elvis impression, singing and dancing. When he was 10 years old Chet Atkins taught him his first guitar chords and he started his own band in San Antonio Texas. C.W. met Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubbs and Ray Price during this time and began performing for basic trainees on Lackland Air Force Base.

At 12 years of age C.W. was entertaining troops in the Philippines.Thailand and Okinawa. Moving to Colorado at 16, C.W. mastered the banjo and fiddle, playing on a mountain. He started the band named Free Lunch that included World Class slide guitarist, Sonny Landreth. 

At 25 C.W. recorded “America The Beautiful” at Marty Robbins studio in Nashville and put together ‘The America the Beautiful” show. During this time, he performed with Hank Thompson, Buck Trent and Sons of the Pioneers. 

Turning 30, C.W. was working with Jimmy Buffet, Alvin Lee, Bo Diddley and Edgar Winters. He worked with Rita Coolidge, Bill Champlin, and Ronnie Hawkins’s in Jim Carrey’s first movie Copper mountain in Colorado . Later that year he recorded “The Cowboys Lullaby” with Patsy Montana and toured with her for 2 years.

In Santa Rosa California, at the age of 35, C.W. had the pleasure of performing shows with Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Jon Conley, Roy Clark, Doug Kershaw and worked for Narada Michael Walden. 

Relocating to Key West Florida , C.W. resided there, compiling 40 years of his original songs and recording the Legends and Treasures series, his personal collection of music. Only to be Knighted by the King himself Mel Fisher of Treasure Salvers of Key West, Florida.

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Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams, a Philadelphia native, has been a professional musician for almost 15 years. Along the way, he found himself in nearly every musical scenario imaginable...as a supporting musician with a blues band, performing for-hire work for TV and film, engineering a recording session, playing some relaxing music by a hotel pool, or even knocking out classic rock covers in a neighborhood dive bar. All of these experiences define his approach to performing: thoughtful song selections that cover over 50 years of music’s biggest hit songs, mixed with an attention to sonic detail and presentation borrowed from his music production background.

Jonathan currently resides in Key West, Florida; entertaining people from all over the world in some of the finest establishments on the island. He also regularly performs at weddings and private events of all kinds in the Florida Keys and South Florida's mainland

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James T. Slater

JAMES T. SLATER…BMG Music Publishing…Singer/Songwriter…

 

James Slater  is a two time, grammy nominated, piano-playing, bilingual singer-songwriter of Bolivian American descent signed to BMG Music Publishing in Nashville, Tennessee.   Born in Durham, North Carolina, and raised in the tropics of the Panama Canal Zone in Central America.

Willie Nelson,  Tim McGraw, Enrique Iglesias, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Pickler, Alabama, Reba McEntire, Gloriana, Martina McBride, Chris Brown, Chris Young and a host of others have all recorded his songs.   His Grammy nominations include Jamey Johnson's "The High Cost of Living", country song of the year, and Martina's “In My Daughter’s Eyes”, which has become a modern day standard.

James lived in Zurich Switzerland for six years touring, recording and writing with Belgian super group Vaya Con Dios and has traveled the world from Panama to Dublin, from Spain to Havana.

James’ “Key West Address" is a love letter to the island, so much so that the mayor of Key West has awarded James the "keys to the city" and proclaimed the song "Key West Address" the island's official theme.

   James' latest release is “Mexicoma”, which is available on Spotify and I Tunes….featuring 15 new songs including the raucous Mexicoma which Tim McGraw recorded.