SEMINOLE – This Sunday, October 19, KAM-BABS Promotions will be presenting “Rockin for a Reason”, a benefit concert for veteran Tampa Bay blues and rock musician, Lee Pons, at the Historic Porpoise Pub located at 8701 Seminole Blvd. In Seminole.
Pons was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while performing live onstage at one of his shows last August. One week after being released from the hospital, Pons was hospitalized once again due to complications from his surgery. Being a full-time musician, Pons does not have medical insurance to cover the large medical bills accrued from his hospital stay. Proceeds raised at the “Rockin’ for a Reason” concert will go towards covering Pons’ medical bills.
Whether he is playing piano, Hammond B3 organ, bass, or singing… whether he is playing Jazz, blues, R&B, rock or metal… Lee Pons is among the most highly respected artists in the Tampa Bay music scene, and has been a staple in the local music scene for many, many years.
Born and raised in the Streets of Tuscaloosa, Pons began playing piano at a very early age. Following in his father’s footsteps, Pons was performing in clubs all around town by the young age of 16. He avidly played clubs, backrooms and juke joints all over New Orleans while he learned all he could about New Orleans’ style of jazz, blues and R&B.
Pons went on to be classically trained at the prestigious Juilliard School of Dance, Drama and Music in New York where he earned 2 degrees. After relocating to the Tampa Bay area, Pons would go on to become a major part of countless memorable local bands, with Cheeky Monkey being one of the more popular among them. In addition, Pons has performed on several occasions with the Florida Symphony, and even filled in on bass for Twisted Sister.
Pons has earned both critical and fan acclaim alike. He has been called “one of the best” in several major blues magazines, and his songs have charted on XM Satellite Radio, as well as in Roots Music Report. Pons was a semi-finalist in The Blues Foundation’s “International Blues Challenge” two years in a row in 2010 and 2011. Locally, Pons won Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay” award in 2009 for “Best Local Blues Artist.”
In 2010, Pons released his “Big Boogie Voodoo” CD on Mind Balm Records. With it’s heavy New Orleans boogie woogie blues feel, the CD would go on to sell extremely well and receive heavy radio air-play. In 2012, Pons followed up “Big Boogie Voodoo” with the release of his “Togged to the Bricks” CD.
The “Rockin for a Reason” – Lee Pons Benefit Concert will feature live musical performances from 8 different acts including Sammy Davis Jr., Rebecca Field of Undercover Betty, Third Story Basement with Lee Pons, Redline, Loudmouth, Wise Guyz, Axis, and the long-awaited live debut of Primal Shift.
In addition to the live music, Sunday’s event will also feature a buffet, 50/50 drawing, raffles, and a silent auction. Some of the items being raffled off at the event include free tickets to The Florida Orchestra, free general admission tickets to Scorpio Fest, free VIP tickets to Scorpio Fest, and a $140.00 value gift certificate at Full Access Photography. Some of the items scheduled to be auctioned off include a 3-stone Amethyst and Garnet ring, and a pair of Harley-Davidson earrings. All proceeds will be used to help pay for Lee Pons’ medical expenses.
The Tampa Bay Music Scene Historical Society (in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Music Hall of Fame and the Florida Musicians Hall of Fame) will also be making a special on-stage presentation to Lee Pons at the event as well.
The “Rockin for a Reason” – Lee Pons Benefit Concert event will begin at Noon with a performance by Sammy Davis Jr. on the outside deck. Performances on the main stage inside will begin at 1:00pm. Admission to the event is free. Keith Wilkins will be the guest Emcee for the event.
The event is sponsored in part by Seminole Music & Sound, Full Access Magazine, KAM Music Publishing, Bay Area Band Source, Full Access Magazine’s “Local Access with Keith Wilkins” music news column, yeahstub.com’s “St. Petersburg Live Music Bar Scene” music column, Tampa Bay Music Scene Historical Society, Tampa Bay Music Hall of Fame, Florida Music Hall of Fame, Shark Alley Records/Entertainment, and the Brittany Nation Foundation Against Drunk Driving.