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Hip-hop group featuring 'Hamilton' star Daveed Diggs playing St. Petersburg

Daveed Diggs, who won a Tony for his role in Hamilton, will be performing with his group clipping. on Nov. 1 at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Daveed Diggs, who won a Tony for his role in Hamilton, will be performing with his group clipping. on Nov. 1 at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg.

Hamilton may not be any closer to reaching Tampa Bay, but one of its Tony-winning performers is coming to play an intimate show here. 

Clipping (stylized as clipping.), the hip-hop group featuring Daveed Diggs, will be playing with Youth Code on Nov. 1 at the Local 662 in St. Pete. Tickets are $13; click here for details.

Diggs won a Tony for his performance as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the hip-hop musical, which he left in July. He also plays the adult version of the main character in the Netflix show The Get Down, which chronicles the creation of rap in '70s New York.

But before that, Diggs performed in clipping., and that hasn't changed following his newfound fame. The group will release Splendor & Misery, the follow-up to their 2014 debut studio album CLPPNG, on Sep. 9. (They've also remixed Youth Code, the industrial duo performing as well.) 

If you miss out on this show, or aren't in the mood for abrasive rap and electronic music, it's not your only chance to see a Hamilton star perform locally. Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony for his turn as Aaron Burr, comes to the Straz Center on Feb. 26

-- Jimmy Geurts

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Review: Steven Tyler goes solo, sticks to Aerosmith's spirit at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Forget the notion that Steven Tyler has gone soft by going country. Heck, forget the notion he’s gone country at all.

The 68-year-old Aerosmith frontman is touring behind his solo Nashville record We’re All Somebody From Somewhere, but judging from his concert Monday at a sold-out and raucous Ruth Eckerd Hall, Tyler’s physically incapable of stripping rock ‘n’ roll from his soul.

Backed by a band, Loving Mary, that could match him wail for wail and wiggle for waggle, Tyler did all he could to cram his stadium-sized personality – and plenty of Aerosmith classics – into the relatively intimate theater.

No, part-time Sarasota resident Joe Perry didn’t drop in for a cameo. But if you wanted a rare taste of Aerosmith in Tampa Bay, Tyler’s lone solo Florida stop was as close as you were going to get.

“Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” he purred, his brilliant pearly whites gleaming up through the crowd. “Because no great story ever started with anybody eating a salad.” Full Story

SoundBytes: David Crosby, Copeland, Animals As Leaders and more

-- According to Rolling Stone, legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby is comign to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Nov. 27. Click here.

-- Los Lobos are performing at the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Jan. 14. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here.

-- Beloved, reunited Central Florida pop-rockers Copeland are coming to the Orpheum on Dec. 13. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.

-- Heavy math-rockers Animals As Leaders are coming to the State Theatre on Dec. 6. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- Overkill and Nile are coming to the Ritz Ybor on March 4. Tickets are $22. Click here.

-- Rittz is coming to the Orpheum on Dec. 9 with Jarren Benton. Tickets are $20 and up. Click here.

-- Trash Talk is coming to the Orpheum on Nov. 7. Tickets are $12 and up. Click here.

-- Snails, Ghastly and Lookas are coming to Beach Bar in Tampa on Sept. 18. Tickets are $15 and up. Click here.

-- Hawthorne Heights is coming to the Local 662 on Oct. 16. Tickets are $15. Click here.

-- Salsa legend (and Fear the Walking Dead star) Ruben Blades is coming to Orlando's Amway Center on Nov. 6, alongside El Gran Combo, Andy Montanez and Gilberto Santa Rosa. Tickets are $49 and up. Click here. …

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Jill Scott talks growing into womanhood, letting love find her and more

Jill Scott, who performs Thursday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, is one of modern soul's great philosopher poets, a three-time Grammy winner who's made a career of mindful meditations on love and relationships.

Her fifth album Woman, released last year, is all about the glory of finding love that works, love that fits, love that feels like love should feel. So to hear her go deep on her own winding path to a stable and loving relationship during a recent phone interview ... well, how can you not love that?

"There are things that happen as you grow up, as you mature, that you start to see the bigger picture," she said. "All along, I've been telling these stories of life, and I feel that I've really advanced into the maturity and wisdom of a woman. … Making room for what I want in my life, loving myself enough to focus on the things that matter to me, and forgetting about the rest of it — that takes time."

Scott's show is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mahaffey. Tickets are $70.50 and up. Click here.

For our full interview with Jill Scott, click here.

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Review: Drake works Tampa fans hard in magnetic concert at Amalie Arena

Drake performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Aug. 27, 2016.

Luis Santana

Drake performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Aug. 27, 2016.

From the moment Drake emerged in a Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning jersey, sparks blasting behind his back, he had them.

He could’ve sleepwalked the rest of the night, and the vibe on the floor of Amalie Arena never would’ve dipped below 100. He could’ve plopped into a comfy sofa and read lines from Degrassi, and not a dancing, screaming soul would’ve cared.

From the jump, all 16,078 bodies were in motion, every torso tilting and tipping with a drink in one hand, phone in the other, as the world’s most popular rapper flexed his unstoppable pop-chart muscle.

Does it matter that, in the studio, Drake can come off as a little too emo, a little too sad-sack, a little low-motor? Not in a crowd this lit, where even a single note from a single Drake song – to say nothing of two straight hours of them – is enough to start a near riot.

But just in case they didn’t see the Stamkos jersey, Drizzy, kind Canadian that he is, never stopped buttering their their bread, over and over and over again.

“It’s Saturday night in Tampa,” he said. "It's summertime. You should be drunk right now.” Full Story

Review: Fifth Harmony brings joy, empowerment to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Fifth Harmony performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 25, 2016.

Luis Santana

Fifth Harmony performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 25, 2016.

Two-fifths of Fifth Harmony hail from Florida, making Thursday’s concert at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre something of a homecoming show.

“You guys know Lauren and I are proud Floridians, right?” shouted Camila Cabello, her fellow Miamian Lauren Jauregui looking on behind her. “We’re so happy to be home!”

An army of pre-teen Harmonizers (and slightly older Harmonizers at heart) was beyond thrilled to have them.

With a huge summer hit (Work From Home) in their pocket, Fifth Harmony has an honest argument for the title of World’s Biggest Girl Group – and, with the dissolution of One Direction, you might as well just toss out gender. True, only 6,000 fans piled into the Amp on Thursday – school nights are tough – but that’s not too bad in the era of the solo pop superstar, when grinding it out as a vocal group isn’t such an easy path. …

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Lauryn Hill coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Lauryn Hill

Luis Santana

Lauryn Hill

We freaked out yesterday when we learned ex-Fugee Lauryn Hill was coming to the House of Blues in Orlando. Now we get to freak out even more, because Hill's also booked a last-minute trip to St. Petersburg.

The multiple Grammy winner -- who prefers these days to go by "Ms. Lauryn Hill" -- will peform at the Mahaffey Theater on Dec. 6, the venue announced Thursday. Tickets are $61.50 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Click here for details.

No need to rehash why we're so excited about this show, since we just did it yesterday -- and really, Hill needs no hype of her own. Suffice it to say she's a magnetic performer with a ton of hits whose life tours are too few and far between. Don't miss this show.

-- Jay Cridlin

 

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Steven Tyler talks about shifting from Aerosmith to country, staying unpredictable at 68 and more

Associated Press

Why did Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler decide to drop a country album? Simple.

"Country is the new rock and roll, if you will," he said in a recent teleconference. "There really isn't rock. Dave Grohl's trying his hardest to keep it alive, but there's no format, and no one's playing it. Z100 is not going to play hard-core rock and roll. So country's doing its hardest to do it."

When Tyler hits Ruth Eckerd Hall on Monday in support of his new album We're All Somebody From Somewhere, he'll spin a few Aerosmith hits (Dream On, Walk This Way, Sweet Emotion) amid all his new country songs. And then? Who knows?

"I didn't know what was going to happen when Aerosmith first made it," he said. "But I did notice the looks on people's faces when they kind of liked it. And I'm just looking forward to that again."

For our full interview with Steven Tyler, click here.

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2017 Tampa Bay Blues Festival lineup: Buddy Guy, Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and more

Getty Images

If you're booking blues legends, they don't come much bigger than Buddy Guy.

So expect another huge turnout for the 2017 Tampa Bay Blues Festival, which returns April 7-9 to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

Guy is one of next year's headliners, along with Tab Benoit, Ana Popovic, Coco Montoya and the Rides, a blues supergroup featuring Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg.

The lineup by day:

Friday, April 7: Buddy Guy, Ana Popovic, Albert Cummings, the Jordan Patterson Band, Doug Deming with Dennis Gruenling

Saturday, April 8: The Rides (Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Barry Goldberg), Coco Montoya, Toronzo Cannon, Samantha Fish, Matt Schofield

Sunday, April 9: Tab Benoit, Dawn Taylor Watson, the Lee Boys, JW-Jones, Backtrack Blues Band

Early-bird tickets (through Dec. 31) start at $30-$40 per day and $100 for the weekend. Montoya will headline a kickoff party on Thursday, April 6; tickets are $20. Details on each night's after party are still in the works. About 30,000 fans pack the festival each year.

Click here for all the details about the 2017 Tampa Bay Blues Festival.

-- Jay Cridlin

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2016 EDC Orlando lineup: Bassnectar, Hardwell, the Chainsmokers and more

It's no Ultra Music Festival, but Orlando's Electric Daisy Carnival has evolved into one of the top electronic music events in the Southeast. With the branding of Las Vegas' ginormous, flagship EDC behind it, is it any wonder?

So expect a flood of ravers to flow east to Orlando's Tinker Field on Nov. 4 and 5, as EDC Orlando returns with another star-studded, candy-colored lineup.

Among your 2016 headliners: The Chainsmokers (above), Bassnectar, Hardwell, Porter Robinson, Axwell, Nero, Dash Berlin, RL Grime, Alison Wonderland, Ferry Corsten, W&W, Morgan Page, Above & Beyond, a live set by Rabbit in the Moon and dozens more.

The event features an array of carnival rides, interactive art installations and more. Last year's event brought a crowd of some 65,000, according to organizers.

Two-day general admission tickets start at $169 and are on sale now. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Grace Potter to replace Gregg Allman on 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup

Hollywood Records

As Gregg Allman recovers from an ailment that forced him to bail on this year's Clearwater Jazz Holiday, festival organizers have finally tracked down a replacement: Grace Potter.

The Vermont blues-rock singer will take Allman's place headlining the final day of the 2016 holiday, which runs Oct. 13-16 at Clearwater's Coachman Park. Rounding out the bill on what has become the festival's "Americana day" will be Houndmouth, the Lone Bellow and more.

Potter might not be a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer like Allman, but she's a powerful draw in her own right, having sold out venues like Jannus Live. And she fits in with the festival's recent tradition of booking younger acts on Sunday. She joins previously announced headliners Daryl Hall, Kool and the Gang, the Commodores, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, the Mavericks and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Four-day tickets start at $52; daily tickets are $16 and up. Click here for all the details on the 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

— Jay Cridlin

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CountryFlo festival lineup: Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, more coming to Lake Wales

Chris Stapleton

Getty Images

Chris Stapleton

Another day, another new festival on Florida's crowded country music lineup.

The inaugural CountryFlo Music and Camping Festival is coming to Lake Wales on Nov. 4 and 5, with a lineup that includes chart-topping, award-winning headliners Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton.

Also on the decidedly new-school bill: Randy Houser, Joe Nichols, Chris Janson, Margo Price, Old Dominion, Jana Kramer, A Thousand Horses, the Railers, Phil Vassar, Dallas Davidson, Tegan Marie, Brandon Lay and more.

CountryFlo will take place at the 420-acre Triple Canopy Ranch in Polk County, about 90 minutes east of Tampa. Because it's a camping festival on private grounds, it sounds a little like this year's inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, though on a much smaller scale.

But that alone might help it stand out from all the other country festivals in Florida. Locally, we're all familiar with the long-running Florida Strawberry Festival each March. But there are also newer, star-studded affairs like the Country 500 in Daytona Beach, the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach and Runaway Country Festival in nearby Kissimmee. …

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UPDATE: Jingle Ball, Mistletoe Show concerts returning to Tampa Bay in December

Luis Santana (2014)

Who's on the 2016 lineup?

That's the question that'll be on our minds for the next few weeks, now that we know radio empire iHeartMedia is bringing its Jingle Ball and Mistletoe Show concerts back to Tampa Bay this fall.

The Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show will hit the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Dec. 9, while the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball will return to Tampa's Amalie Arena on Dec. 17, according to iHeartMedia in Tampa.

The Jingle Ball is the bigger deal by far. Tampa's one of only a handful of cities in the country that gets one of the iHeartMedia-backed pop parties, and they typically attract acts like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Pitbull, Ariana Grande and Maroon 5. Last year's headliners included Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes and 5 Seconds of Summer. The 2016 lineup will be unveiled in mid-October. …

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UPDATE: Lauryn Hill coming to the House of Blues in Orlando

Luis Santana (2011)

Lauryn Hill is one of those artists you just have to catch when you can.

Her tours are all too rare, her live presence unpredictable. But when the former Fugee and multiple Grammy-winning singer and rapper comes around, you'd best not miss the chance to see her, because there's no guarantee she'll be back again anytime soon.

So don't delay in grabbing tickets to her just-announced tour, "The MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Concert Series," which stops at Orlando's House of Blues on Dec. 8. Tickets start at $57 and go on sale Saturday. Click here for details.

"The MLH Caravan allows me to continue the theme of unity and celebration of the many facets of cultural and artistic beauty throughout the African diaspora while on tour this summer and fall," Hill said in a statement. "In these days of tension, tumult and transition, an exchange of this kind can yield direction, expression, understanding and empowerment as well as connection, self love and appreciation that hopefully overflows into our respective communities." …

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As Drake comes to Tampa, we ask: Where's his music and legacy going next?

Drake has the Feels.

He always has, from Best I Ever Had to Hold On, We're Going Home to Hotline Bling, and his new album Views does little to flesh those Feels out. It's music you can set and forget in the car, in the pool, at a party, in your bedroom. It works anywhere, anytime, on any device. It's easy-listening hip-hop.

And as he comes to Amalie Arena with Future on Saturday (click here), it's time to ask: Is all of that enough from one of North America's biggest pop stars?

From the permafrost far below, he appears to be idling atop his mountain, pleasing all kinds of people but going nowhere in the process. After Saturday's show in Tampa, where will Drake go next?

Click here for Jay Cridlin's story about Drake's maddening medium-ness.

For an alternate perspective, Stephanie Hayes wrote about why Drake's calm, consistent coolness is the musical equivalent of comfort food, something everyone can agree on at any time of day. Click here for her column.

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