Lakewood Ranch Winterfest Music Festival

Posted by donna soda on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 9:55am.


Winterfest Music Festival Acts Announced

LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL—The acts for Winterfest 2015 have been announced, and will include the Doobie Brothers, War, Sam Woolf and Les Sabler.

 Northern California’s four-time Grammy-winning Doobie Brothers sound has become part of America’s musical firmament, sampled on dance records, reinterpreted on “American Idol,” and a fixture on radio formats from top 40 to classic rock. They continue to write and record new material, tour the world, boasting one of the most loyal fan bases in music, all while breaking new creative ground in the exploration of their musical connection with Nashville. Beginning with their multi-million-selling sophomore collection Toulouse Street (1972), the Doobies have three multi-platinum, seven platinum and 14 gold albums. Their Best of the Doobies (1976) has sold more than 11 million copies – a rare “diamond record.” The Doobies propulsive roots-based, harmony-laden, guitar-driven style has sold more than 30 million albums. Their No. 1 singles “Black Water” (1974) and “What a Fool Believes” (1979), both

gold, lead a catalog of indelible songs that include “Jesus Is Just All Right,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “China Grove,” “Take Me In Your Arms,” Takin’ it to the Streets,” “Minute by Minute,” “You Belong to Me,” “The Doctor,” and more. In all, the Doobies have tallied up five top-10 singles and16 top-40 hits.

 WAR has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, with its mix of funk, jazz, R&B and rock & roll. Whether listening to “Lowrider” on “Grand Theft Auto San Andreas” or on classic vinyl, WAR’s music is a timeless thread in the quilt of American pop culture. WAR has had a profound influence on contemporary American music, selling nearly 50 million records and performing for one million people per year. In addition, WAR has been honored with 17 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. These include: triple platinum “The World Is A Ghetto,” multi-platinum “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” “All Day Music,” and “Deliver the World,” and gold singles from their quad platinum greatest hits album. Also, “Summer,” their single from WAR’s Greatest Hits Live album sold gold and set a new record as the first single from any greatest hits package to become a hit. Today, WAR is a permanent part of America’s pop cultural landscape and has profoundly impacted the music industry. Some of WAR’s best known hits include “Low Rider,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” and “Spill the Wine.”

 Folk/pop singer and songwriter Sam Woolf gained national recognition as a finalist on American Idol’s 2014 season, where he placed in the Top 5 and performed with the other finalists on the 40-city American Idol Live Tour. The 18-year-old Woolf is known for his original arrangements, beautiful pitch-perfect tone and emotional original songs. His performances and recordings have received millions of views on YouTube and Woolf receives tremendous support from his fan club, the “WOOLFPACK” on social media. Independent Grammy-winning producer Danny Blume has agreed to produce and record Woolf’s originals for release. Woolf trained with opera singer Bob Lischetti during his high school years, and began performing locally in Bradenton at restaurants and cafés. He was a mentee of the Del Couch Music Education Foundation, which booked him for performances at local events. In the summer of 2013, Woolf attended a five-week program for high school students at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he was one of four students chosen to perform live in the “winners” showcase as well as one of four students selected to perform in the theater-in-the-round singer/songwriters performance. He was also one of the Berklee students referred to American Idol for auditions.

 Les Sabler’s first recording project came in 1989 when asked to score a Canadian Television Network documentary titled “Lost Treasures of the Titanic.” The following year, he released his solo debut CD, “Hidden Treasure.” Five years later, Sabler’s second album, “Time For Love,” garnered radio spins and hit the charts, enabling him to land concert dates headlining or opening for artists such as Lorber, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot, Michael Lington, Diane Schurr and Fattburger. In 2003, Sabler’s third album, “Bridge the Gap,” achieved top 20 status in some markets. The album exhibited staying power, as Sabler was nominated for Album of the Year and Guitarist of the Year honors at the inaugural Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards two years later. In September 2009, Sabler released “Live at the Sarasota Opera House,” and “Crescent Shores” was released in August 2010. His most recent release, “Jobim Tribute,” has been very well-received by critics, radio and listeners and reached No. 1 on Amazon Brazilian jazz and Latin jazz best sellers. Like many Canadians, Sabler grew up an avid hockey fan thus it was a thrill for him to team with vocalist Marshall Gillon to perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before numerous games for his adopted hometown hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as prior to Tampa Bay Rays baseball games.

 Winterfest will be held Feb. 28 at Lakewood Ranch’s Premier Sports Campus on Post Road in Lakewood Ranch. Gates open at noon and the music starts at 1 p.m. Festival-goers should bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

 Winterfest will offer food and drink for purchase from various vendors, as well as an artisan village for a little shopping fun! VIP tickets are available for purchase, which include food, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and air conditioned restrooms for the duration of the event. Winterfest is a family-friendly event: The Kids’ Zone – an area for children to be entertained away from the main stage – will feature crafts, activities and kids-only food.

 Tickets will go on sale via the website on Nov. 14; pricing (which includes parking) ranges from $30 to $125. The concert will be held rain or shine. No refunds will be issued.

 The Palmetto-based Del Couch Music Education Foundation will be a Winterfest beneficiary. The non-profit organization was formed to provide students with opportunities to create and learn the art of music.

 "We are really looking forward to having the Dobbie Brothers, WAR and all the other acts – like our own Sam Woolf and Les Sabler – perform at this year’s Winterfest,” said organizer Antonio Saviano. “It is a chance to see some great performers in a great environment. It gives people in and around our beautiful Lakewood Ranch community an opportunity to gather together to enjoy great music. This year’s Winterfest will also include plenty of entertainment activities for kids and variety of foods vendors.

 “We are really excited to have many generous sponsors who have been very supportive of this event,” Saviano continued. “The support from our local business community has been tremendous.”

 Sponsors include Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch, Holiday Inn Sarasota-Airport, Land Rover Southpointe, Taylor Morrison, All Star Laundry and Dry Cleaning, Gravity Free, Bud Light and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Primetime Limousines, Mote Marine Laboratory, Planet Stone Marble & Granite, Inc., North American Properties, LGM Contracting, Sarasota Sign Shop, Stantec, SRQ Media, 107.9 WSRZ and 106.5 CTQ. For information on sponsorship, contact 941-757-1582 or email To get on the official mailing list for updates, or to download the sponsorship packet, visit


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