Friends of the Arts Concert Series Wrapping Up


Want to be part of the popular Friends of the Arts Concert Series? There’s still time! In fact, there are two more concerts scheduled over the next couple of weeks that are guaranteed to knock your socks off.



Many of our readers will remember Lynn Richardson and the huge following she drew on the island in the late 90’s and early 00’s. This March, Lynn returns to the beach on March 31st for a very special concert with her new band, The JazzMatics.

“Lynn made a name for herself on the beach and in this area playing with The Juice, a very popular blues band from days gone by that she still performs with,” List said. “She and the JazzMatics play regularly at The Roadhouse in the Big Lots plaza, and they are amazing.”

The JazzMatics are also connected to the beach through the drummer – Joe Bilardo – whose wife, Amy, works at our own beloved Beach Elementary School.


Finally, on April 7th, Jo returns to the stage herself for a reprise of the previous two season’s legendary concerts. Performing with the same lineup of Michael Oakland, Bill Rountree, Carveth Clauson and Joe McConaghy, ‘Jo List & Friends ‘ will be performed ‘cabaret style’, meaning each musician will intermingle with the audience and each other, highlighting the best of each one’s unique talents.

“Michael Oakland has this very unique guitar style He literally makes magic with that guitar.” A career musician and recording artist, he is the host of the television show ‘It’s the Music, Man’ and has shared the stage with folks like Michael McDonald and the Boston Pops Orchestra, among many others.

Like Oakland, bassist Bill Rountree is also a musical snowbird and can be seen performing with another eclectic group ‘Left of Center’. A lifelong musician, he spends his summers playing bass and singing lead and backup vocals for the very popular band, ‘Hazy, Hot and Humid,’ and has recorded his original songs in Nashville.

Percussionist Carveth Clauson has been performing professionally since the age of sixteen. In his career, he has taken part in over sixty bands spanning a wide variety of musical styles. He has performed at the Monterey Blues Festival twelve years in a row, and has opened shows for headliners such as Bonnie Raitt.

Tickets for all five events in the Boat Barn concert series can be purchased for $25 per concert. A cash bar will be available, as will light fare served by Skye’s Mexican & More. Buy tickets in advance at the Fish Tale Marina Office or at the door on the night of the event – though in past years the series has sold out so advance purchases are recommended. Concerts are held in a boat barn, known as the Propeller Room, at Fish Tale Marina, located behind Santini Plaza facing the back bay, so attendees can watch the moonrise over the bay. Parking is free by the Ship’s Store and shuttle service will be provided between the parking area and the event.

Friends Board Member Bob Layfield explained that the concert series serves as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Arts, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization formed to promote the arts on Fort Myers Beach and aid in enhancing the image of the island to be that of a place to come for culture, not just cocktails.

“Our primary focus is raising funds for the Friends ‘ mission,” he told us. “Most of the proceeds go into the budget for Paint the Beach and the Film Festival, but hopefully more funds can be raised to support other events that feature our local performers and visual artists.”

“This concert series is designed to be a step above your typical beach bar type of music,” Layfield said. “We wanted to bring something different to the music scene on the beach and we think we’ve succeeded with this lineup. There will also be a dance floor as spontaneous dancing has been known to erupt at previous concerts!”

List agrees. “The focus is on the music, so it’s a real treat both for those who love to hear music and for those who love to perform it,” she said.

For more information, visit the Friends’ new website at

Keri Hendry Weeg