Florida Evening Programs
Here are many of the entertainers scheduled
exclusively for Paddle Florida participants
each evening during various trips down
Florida's rivers. Entertainment is included
in your Paddle Florida package. Check your paddler.info link
(in the nav column) closer to the
paddle date of your trip to see what entertainment
we have in store for you.
Florida's Water Management District Leaders
Want to know more about the people who direct the activities of Florida's water management districts? Go here.
the "Back" links to return to your
Karen Ahlers is a grassroots environmental activist known for her tenacious defense of Florida waters. She has worked independently for the past two years to protect Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River from feared devastation the Adena Springs Ranch may bring. Karen served nine years as president of the Putnam County Environmental Council and now, in addition to her work as an independent citizen activist, serves as Ocklawaha Project Coordinator for Florida Defenders of the Environment. She is the recipient of several awards including Florida Wildlife Federation's Conservationist of the Year, Florida Sierra Club's Oak Leaf Award, Florida Defenders' Outstanding Defender of the Ocklawaha River and, most recently, the University of Florida Levin School of Law's annual Public Interest Environmental Award. She also served as a delegate to the Florida Water Congress in 2008.
Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, and Mother Earth News. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.
Daniel Alvarez After graduating from the University of Florida, Daniel Alvarez stepped on the Appalachian Trail and wound up walking from Georgia to Maine. He then skipped out of the last semester of Yale Law School to start the Pacific Crest Trail, hiked 200 miles, flew back for exams, then continued north until he hit Canada. After a stint as a lawyer, he grabbed his backpack again and hiked the Continental Divide and Hayduke Trails, then got the idea to kayak 4,000 miles from the northern tip of Minnesota to Key West. When he got to the end, he had no idea what to do next so he decided to paddle back. He still has no idea what he will do next, but is pretty sure it won't be working for a corporate law firm. Stories, photos, and videos of his adventures can be found at www.predictablylost.com.
Lars Andersen, outfitter and trip leader out of High Springs will present a pictorial preview of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Lars leads most of the tours provided by Adventure Outpost, a North Florida outfitter. He is author of the North Florida Adventure, an educational audio cassette, sefl-guided tour of north Florida, and Paynes Prairie: A history of the Great Savanna. His Paddlers Guide to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail compiles a lifetime of experiences and understanding of the area's cultural and natural history.
visited Florida in 2002 and never left. In her own words, "I have and ongoing love affair with Wild Florida." A manatee fanatic long before she ever met one, Katherine wrote her first mandolin tune "Manatee Waltz" after her first encounters with the graceful water muse in Titusville.
“Katherine is a gifted songwriter and performer whose music possesses the rarest of qualities: the ability to hush a crowd and touch the hearts of her audience.” —Clint Partridge, Real Time Recording Studio.
Katherine is an all around, truly engaging performer. It's hard to say what she is best at– singing, songwriting, guitar/mandolin–she's mastered them all and floats her audience through a heartfelt landscape of toe-tapping tunes aimed at honoring our connection with each other and our precious natural environment.
“Archer writes and plays deftly detailed songs about stuff that few singer/songwriters touch . . . plus she writes wonderfully witty love songs and has a voice that slithers, slides and glides.” —Steve Israel, Times Herald Record, NY
“First Rate guitar player and songwriter with a voice to match. Catch her if you can . . .” — Phil Ciganer, Owner, Towne Crier Cafe, NY
Katherine is a dynamic "live" performer, creating an intimate and powerful bond with her audience. With her trademark wry between-song humor, she weaves a musical journey through love, laughter and tears.
She is active in conservation efforts and performs regularly in St. Augustine and all over Florida.
Check out her music, links and videos at www.katherinearcher.com.
Franklin Baker, Florida
Watershed Coordinator, U.S. EPA Region
Mr. Baker with an informative, well-illustrated
presentation will show how parts of the Suwannee
River are not up to the standards of the
Clean Water Act, why it's happening and what
needs to be done to fix it.
Cynthia Barnett, senior writer, Florida Trend, has covered investigative, environmental, public policy and business stories at newspapers and magazines for 25 years. Her numerous awards include a national Sigma Delta Chi prize for investigative magazine reporting; a gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards; and eight Green Eyeshades, which recognize outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states.
is the author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.,named by The St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read, and Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis, due out September 2011.
and blue grass from Randy Slaughter on
vocals and guitar, with his wife Kim on
vocals and mandolin. They are joined
by Randy Lewis on lead mandolin, Eric Daniels
on stand-up bass and Alan Everette on banjo. They
are from Trenton, Florida and play regularly
at The Barn in Lake Butler, Florida. Dixielee1@netzero.com
Bill and Mary Burnham, guide book authors and kayak guides. Call them crazy, but they've always thought work should be fun. For 15 years, guide-book authors and kayak guides, Mary and Bill Burnham (aka Burnham Guides), have combined the things they love — writing, hiking, paddling and photography. Authors of Florida Keys Paddling Atlas and Knack Kayaking for Everyone, these American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors run a kayak shop on Virginia's Eastern shore in the summer and run Florida Keys trips in the winter, ranging from easy overnights to the annual 10-day Key Largo to Key West bucket-list trip of a lifetime. Share their journeys in this multi-media tour! Book-signing to follow. The Burnhams will be staying at Knight's Key this winter. Learn more at www.BurnhamGuides.com
Mike Devlin, of Paradise Coast Paddlers, will give a kayak talk and demonstration.
Garrison Doles, songmaker
One of Florida’s premier performing songwriters, Garrison Doles has enchanted audiences for more than 30 years with his wide ranging assortment of award winning songs. With the hands of an artisan and the heart of a poet his richly expressive voice, guitar and harmonica conjure a vivid folk and blues landscape. He travels throughout the southeast and beyond playing at coffee houses, festivals and house concerts and writing to add to his collection of original soul songs.
Most recently he was a winner of the 2008 North Carolina Songwriter Co-op song contest and he won the singer/songwriter category of the 2008 Dallas Songwriters Association song contest.
You can find out more about Garrison Doles at sonicbids.com.
has been playing Appalachian mountain dulcimer since 1986 and is one of the most high-profile performers of this uniquely American instrument today. He was a founding member of techno-punk trio CRAZED BUNNYZ, which enjoyed moderate success in the underground music scene with college radio and international airplay in the mid to late 80's.
In 1999, he founded Americana band MOHAVE, a free-wheeling, good-timing collective of musicians that has performed at numerous festivals and county fairs, played to audiences at venues such as Hard Rock Live Orlando and the House Of Blues at Walt Disney World, and opened for national acts MOLLY HATCHET, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, ST. SOMEWHERE, WRONG and THE CRESTS, all while keeping the dulcimer front and center.
Over the years, he has also worked steadily as a composer of music for film, television, theater, commercials and themed attractions. In 1997, he served as composer and musical director of "Jungle Book: The Musical", which ran for 67 shows in Orlando. He also composed music for The Castle of Miracles at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.
Find out more at sonicbids.com.
Mark Gluckman is a native Floridian and retired land planning consultant, living in Alachua County. He paddles, fishes and observes nature along the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers and Big Bend coastline of Taylor, Dixie and Levy Counties.
Gluckman's academic credentials include a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Florida, and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Washington, Seattle. Gluckman's professional career as a planning consultant began in Jacksonville in 1969, spans 41 years, 35 as the founder and principal in his own consulting firm. His clients included private developers and local governments throughout Florida. During the 10 years prior to retirement, he specialized in rural planning; and, under contract with the Suwannee River Water Management District he consulted with local governments on greenways, blueways and nature tourism projects in the Suwannee Valley.
A few of these projects include the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, Nature Coast State Trail, Branford/Ichetucknee/Oleno trail and the Big Bend Historic Paddling Trail. Gluckman was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa from 1962-1964; and, recently coauthored Sea Kayaking in Florida, Second Edition.
Willie Green Bluesman
style bluesman: Born in Montgomery, Alabama, in the early 1930s, worked many years with
a rural share crop family. learned the blues early on in his teens when he would
hitch hike or hop a freight train to town to hear the old blues masters in the juke
joints. He is self taught on both harmonica and guitar. Has opened shows for John Hammond,
Jr (who calls him "the real deal"), Tommy Castro, Charlie Musselwhite, Maria
Muldaur, John Lee Hooker, Jr, James Cotten, Eddie Kirkland, Joey Gillmore, JJ Grey
(MOFRO) and many others including an outdoor opener at Veterans Coloseum for Eric Clapton.
He now resides in Ocala, Fl and plays regularly at the Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek,
Magda’s career as a musically diverse, intelligent performing songwriter has had her sharing the stage with Vangelis at London’s Royal Alber Hall, & folk legend Odetta at the Ottawa Folk Festival. She’s opened for or performed with acts as diverse as Bob Dylan, Chick Corea, Huey Lewis & The News, Dan Fogelberg, Al Dimeola, Richie Havens and Steve Forbert. Hiller has won “Best Acoustic Performer” and/or “Solo Act” awards for years from multiple Florida news publications. Madga’s music draws from fingerstyle guitar to jazz, blues, and country Americana, with rich earthy vocals. Magda Hiller’s music is available through Little Silver Records, CFL, P.O. Box 1121, DeLand, FL 32721. email@example.com, www.magdahiller.com.
Robert L. Knight, Ph.D.
is an environmental scientist with more than 35 years of professional experience in Florida. He is the founder and director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, a nonprofit program dedicated to supporting science and education necessary for restoration and wise management of Florida's artesian springs.
Dr. Knight is an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida where he teaches a graduate-level course on the ecology of springs. Dr. Knight is also currently active on restoration efforts for the Santa Fe River springs, Crystal River springs, Ichetucknee Springs, and Silver Springs, and is on the Board of Directors for both the Silver River Alliance and the Wakulla Springs Alliance, two citizen advocacy organizations.
is the 62-year-old poster child for crafting authentic and traditional sound into new and original song.
A resident of the flat woods of Sopchoppy, Florida, Lindamood is a life-long student of the likes of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon and Jimmy Rogers. His songs ring with voices and voicings from the past.
He's a bare-knuckled guitar player, a master of early 20th century banjo style, and a lucid but gritty bender of notes on his metal bodied resonator. His 2011 Gatorbone Records release, "Hewn From The Rock," is a solo masterpiece of original songs, whose no-overdubbing, no-pitch correcting, one-take production style salutes and honors the masters Lindamood has studied.
Annette Long moved from the Orlando area to Chiefland, FL because she and her husband Mark spent so much time on the Suwannee and in its springs. She's been a cave diver since 1989 and has watched the springs and rivers in North Central Florida change significantly over the last two decades. She became a serious environmental activist when she "discovered that it was not against the rules for a business or farm to completely wreck a first magnitude spring – even one that is the center piece of a Florida State Park." Annette got involved with Save Our Suwannee, Inc. over 12 years ago and has served as its president on and off for about five years. She combines her love of boating, paddling, diving, photography and science with a desire to change a system that won't move forward to protect our precious springs, lakes, rivers and estuaries.
Rod MacDonald has performed publicly for more than 35 years, and released 12 albums in the U.S. and Europe. He is considered a folk singer although his music transcends the typical folk genre, straying into rock, pop, country, light jazz, and blues. Regarded as a prolific songwriter and a gifted singer, his music embraces his obvious passion and personal commitment to communicating political and social events that effect and shape our world's societies. Since 2006 he is also an instructor for Florida Atlantic University (Lifelong Learning Center), conducting a lecture and performance series. He continues to tour and to record, releasing two new cds in 2011.
Rich Mistretta is a well-known and respected fixture in the Polk County music scene for over 30 years. Having played with blues, country, rock, top-40 new wave, disco and acoustic bands through the decades, his solo acoustic performances blends a bit of all the above with pub-like presence and enthusiasm. Musical influences from David Gilmore, The Beatles and Eric Clapton are evident in his style.
Being a founding member and the lead guitarist of the popular Sofa Kings band keeps Rich’s music calendar rather full, however he eagerly makes room for solo performances, as he finds the one-on-one interaction of solo work is a much greater thrill for him.
five women who like to play everything
from original Florida folk, country and
bluegrass to forties swing and rhythm & blues, all on acoustic instruments! Featuring
award-winning banjoist and fiddler Tammy Murray, the band hails from Gainesville,
Florida, and performs at concerts, festivals, schools, clubs and parties throughout the
state. They’ve even been known to call a square dance or two.
In addition to adding their feminine Florida flavor to special events at the
Appleton Museum in Ocala, the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville and the Sunday Sampler
in Dunnellon, they have also been broadcast live on national public television and
radio. They are a favorite at the Florida Folk Festival, where they have graced the
Mainstage for over ten years.
With the extraordinary harmonies and sisterly rapport that can only come from years of
singing together, Patchwork's performances are a delight to see and hear. They bring
a spirit of camaraderie and fun to all their appearances, along with the professional
ease of fifteen years of playing together.
Patchwork epitomizes the idea that "Girls just want to have fun"--and they want to
make sure everyone else does too!
For music that makes people feel like kickin' up their heels while managing to impart a little
bit of history and education at the same time, Patchwork is an unbeatable combination!
"I'm a vegetarian that watches NASCAR, a tree-hugger that keeps a gun under the car seat."
So goes the introspection of Grant Peeples.
This finger-in-your-eye styled songwriter, seventh generation Floridian and former ex-patriot, began his improbable touring career ("from Hell's Angels biker bars to Unitarian Churches") on his 50th birthday. "It's never too late to change your major," he says.
His latest release, Okra & Ecclesiastes, produced by the legendary Gurf Morlix, garnered critical acclaim, and top rankings on the Folk, Roots and Americana radio charts. John Conquest, of Third Coast Music Magazine says "Grant Peeples is the only songwriter I have ever called 'ruthless.'" www.grantpeeples.com
Bill and Eli Perras
Bill & Eli Perras are Performers of Original, Inspired, Acoustic Folk & Blues from DeLand, FL.
The many inspired lyrics given to and interpreted by Eli, combined with Bill's bluesy finger-style guitar playing create a very uniquely modern take on true Americana music in its purest form.
Receiving much recognition for their tightly woven musical creativity, and having shared the stage with many nationally recognized entertainers, they humbly remain true to their personal values. They speak out with strong heartfelt lyrics accompanied by soulful genuine pentatonic rhythms against social injustices, corporate greed, and daily follies in everyday life.
They can grip your heart, search your soul, change a mindset, or softly strike a funny bone, all the while leaving the audience with a sentiment for the common good we desire in all mankind. Bill & Eli are regulars at the many Florida folk music venues and festivals and frequently travel the country sharing their music beyond the Sunshine State. More information can be found at www.bluesgotus.com.
Published songwriter, South Florida country band member, biker-oriented blues band organizer, acoustic-based singer/songwriter, Chris Rehm's music represents a refreshing diversity of music styles sure to please. His passion is blazing new trails in an easy to listen to format of song composition.
Chris believes that certain geographic regions stimulate art and creativity. He considers Key West, his home since 2008, one of those regions. "Here, sometimes the ideas come so quickly you can't take them all in," he says.
Chris Rehm's newest release, "Shanghai'd and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)," is a compilation of songs written in the Florida Keys.
Professor Stephen Robitaille is President of the Board of Florida Defenders of the Environment and Interim Executive Director. He has worked with FDE in various capacities dating back to 1981 when he produced the PBS documentary, Seven Ways to Kill the Suwannee, after being inspired by a talk given by Helen Hood, who headed FDE's Suwannee River Coalition. He later produced Archie Carr: In Praise of Wild Florida (1987, also in conjunction with FDE. Robitaille is an Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker and a full-time member of the English faculty at Santa Fe Community College, where he also teaches courses on media studies.
Tom Shed presents “history, humor and the human condition” in an exciting evening of music.
Florida native, singer songwriter Tom Shed has written and played music for over 30 years. Tom performs at concerts and folk festivals across the US, including Florida festivals such as the Florida Folk Festival, Will McLean Festival, Gamble Rogers Festival, and Ravine Gardens Festival. Performing on guitar and banjo throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia for many years gives Tom his unique perspective of life, love and truth.
Tom has written and performed sound tracks for several films for television including “Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings” and the award winning “Archie Carr, A Naturalist in Florida.”
Tom also produces albums for fellow musicians. Most notably “Walk Proud My Son” for the late, Florida folk icon and Native American, Don Grooms.
Tom sings about real events...
• The Native American’s journey on the Trail of Tears
• The great hurricane of 1928
• The great fire of Jacksonville 1901
• A murdered politician in 1953 serves as a window into small town relationships in pre civil rights Florida.
• One man’s nightmare in a swamp gives insight into the unforgiving nature of wild Florida.
Tom also sings humorous songs about: alien abduction; experiencing unique southern hospitality while traveling; motor home mayhem on Florida’s highways; and learning to appreciate your grandmother.
Tom’s music looks at questions facing all of us as we go through life: a questionnaire for marriage?; the many faces of fear; dreaming of lost opportunities; and love at first sight.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org • 352.283.4848
Tom Shed, Curly Maple Music • P.O. Box 358599 • Gainesville, FL 32635-8599 © 2005 Curly Maple Music, a Service of SCI. All Rights Reserved.
Sarah Mac Band
Learn more about this thoroughly entertaining trio at the Sarah Mac Band web site.
Claire, Charlie and Sarah Mac joined together in early 2005 aspiring to create original music that blended the unique styles that each brought to the group. The Sarah Mac Band offers an engaging combination of blues, jazz and acoustic rock that has been classified as both Americana and Alternative. The band simply describes the sound as "jazzy, bluesy, rock with a healthy dose of soul."
For 17 years, Mark has made Florida resonate in new ways for longtime residents and visitors alike. While his musical style reflects influences from Country, Rock, Blues and even Pop, it’s his lyrics that bring people closer to the mystical and complex place called Florida, and in doing so, closer to themselves. A regular at Florida’s major folk festivals, Mark has enjoyed significant commercial and public radio airplay and has shared the stage with prominent regional and national artists. Mark Smith songs. How Florida Sounds. www.marksmithsongs.com
(a human jukebox and true American icon)
...just an ol’ hombre trying to make sense of discord and chaos with my broke-cherry red WMD (Weapon of Mass Distortion) Silvertone hollow-body guitar and a gunny sack full of songs.
Mac Stone A Florida native, photographer Mac Stone spent his childhood exploring the swamps, prairies, and springs of North Central Florida. Over the years his photography has brought him from the wilds of the Amazon rainforest to the ranches of Wyoming, but he always finds his way back to his home state. Currently he resides in the Florida Keys working with the National Audubon Society helping to promote Everglades restoration efforts. Stone's newest projects are focused around the fragile Florida Bay ecosystem and the wildernesses surrounding the southern Everglades. Recently with a grant from Disney he produced a multimedia website, RestoreFloridaBay.com, highlighting the research of Audubon's Tavernier Science center in the imperiled River of Grass watershed.
Ken Sulak, USGS.Dr. Ken Sulak is a research fish biologist in the U.S. Geological Survey, Gainesville, Florida. He is lead scientist for the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Research Group and leader of the ‘Sturgeon Quest’ project – aimed at developing scientific knowledge of the life history, population biology, and habitat requirements of the Gulf Sturgeon in the Suwannee and other Gulf Coast rivers.
Dr. Sulak has degrees in biology and marine science from Harvard University ant the University of Miami School of Marine Science. He has 30+ years experience in marine, estuarine and anadromous fish research and conservation biology. From 1985-1994 he was Director and Senior Fish Biologist at the Atlantic Reference Center, Huntsman Marine Science Centre in Canada.
He has conducted international research as a NATO Fellow in England, a U.S. National Academy Exchange Scientist to Russia, and collaborator in marine fish research in the Atlantic, Arctic, East Pacific and Indian oceans. Dr. Sulak has published extensively on fish community ecology, population biology, and endangered sturgeon life history and conservation biology. He is involved in the scientific basis for conserving Florida’s living and water resources.
Tammerlin – Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith
Since 1992, Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith -Tammerlin have been placing their own stamp on folk/roots music. Always aiming to convey their passion for the story.. …..this is the magic of the music of Tammerlin. What you’ll hear is exceptional musicianship accompanying clever original songs and traditional tunes pulled from the roots of American music-a little bit folk, pop, country, old time, British Isles and blues-with some world music flavorings. Dirty Linen Magazine has described the duo as “captivating” and “one of the best kept secrets in America.” www.tammerlin.com.
Margaret Tolbert is an artist based in Gainesville, Florida. Over the last twenty years she has executed series of paintings, drawings and lithographs from studios in the U.S., France and Turkey. Her commissions include projects for series of paintings with residencies in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Oman, enabling her to continue her research for her series, Doors and study of language and dance from the regions of the ancient trade routes. Another continuing focus is the Springs of North Florida, whose paradisiacal presence provide a sense of ideal destination and the exotic in the here-and-now that counterpoints the sense of passage, time and journey implicit in the Door paintings.
Solo exhibits include: AQUIFERious, at Lemieux Galleries, New Orleans. Currently she is installing Orlando Springs, a commissioned springs mosaic with canvases from Orlando area springs, lenticular, photography and graphics for the Orlando International Airport.
Mickey Thomason graduated with a B.S. degree in Parks and Recreation from the University of Florida in 1990 and has been a parks and recreation professional since 1994 with the Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails. He has also attended graduate level courses in fisheries management, limnology, aquatic plant sciences and others at UF and served as a wilderness guide for at risk youth in Marion County.
Mickey was one of the first employees hired on the Cross Florida Greenway when it was created out of the former Cross Florida Barge Canal project in the early 1990s and has worked in numerous positions during his career, from an OPS Ranger to his current position as a Park Manager IV over the 70,000+ acre Cross Florida Greenway.
He is married to his lovely wife, Michelle, and they have a beautiful daughter Elizabeth who keeps them both busy.
Dan Tonsmeire has served both as Apalachicola Riverkeeper and as the organization's Executive Director since May of 2010. He began his tenure with Apalachicola Riverkeeper in 2004. Dan is passionately committed to saving not only the Apalachicola River, which is truly an American treasure, but to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola Bay, one of the last great estuaries left in America.
Previously, Dan served as principal coordinator for the development and implementation of the Northwest Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program for the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Before that, he was the resident manager of a 1,250-acre Wilderness Preserve on Dog Island, Florida where he facilitated and coordinated research and program development for the Nature Conservancy. Dan has also been a backcountry guide in Idaho, a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and the owner/operator of a small marine construction company in Alabama and Florida. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Civil Engineering and currently holds a United States Coast Guard Ocean Operator's license and a Florida Real Estate license.
Dr. Katie Tripp is Director of Science and Conservation for the Save the Manatee Club. She received her bachelor's degree from Eckerd College in Marine Science and her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research on manatee physiology. She has worked as a manatee consultant for one of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and as a biologist with FWC's Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab, where she assisted with manatee necropies, carcass salvage, marine mammal rescues, and various research projects. Among her many honors, Katie was chosen as the Florida League of Conservation Voters' Betsy Wood Fellow and was a Ford Foundation and Morris K. Udall Scholar. At the 2008 Marine Mammal Health Conference organized by the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and others, she received the Reep-Bonde Florida Manatee Biology and Conservation Award for her research that furthered the basic knowledge of fundamental manatee biology.
Cheryl Watson and Watertown draws its music from the rootsy branches of Bluegrass and Americana, playing original compositions as well as its own inventive cover versions of songs. The band prides itself on strong vocals and creative instrumentals.
The Weeds of Eden, from Gainesville, Florida, plays original bio-regional music, folk and rock standards, Celtic tunes and filthy pirate songs. You can find them on Facebook (Weeds of Eden) and at
Photo: Joe Parker
Violinist, vocalist, and songwriter Rebecca Zapen won Best Album & Song (cabaret genre) in the Just Plain Folks Awards 2009, receiving 5 nominations. A classically-trained violinist and versatile musician, Rebecca was named Jacksonville's Musician of the Year 2008. Recent career highlights include her performance as the musical guest on Public Radio International show Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?; original songs in a national promotion for Crocs Shoes; winning 2nd in the Bushman World Ukulele Video Contest and her resulting endorsement with Bushman Music Works. Zapen was a Finalist in the 2007 DiscMakers&squo; Independent Music World Series. Other highlights include appearances as jazz vocalist with the Hollywood Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the mandolin soloist in Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. She is an award-winning composer, earning the Silver Medal of Excellence for Best Use of Music in a Short Film at the 2008 Park City Film Music Festival. Her original songs appear in Look Both Ways, which won for Best Music in the 2009 San Francisco Seven Day Film Festival. As a session musician, Zapen has composed for and performed on recordings for soundtracks, television, public radio, theme parks, and various musical groups. Her music has been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered: Open Mic. Past performances include Florida Folk Fest, Gamble Rogers Fest, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, and venues such as Hotel Cafe (L.A.), The Bitter End (NYC), and Paganini Auditorium (Italy). www.zapen.com