Full Sail grads in Time magazine
Somehow, Time magazine found space between its early 2011 coverage of Egypt and Mark Zuckerberg to shine a spotlight on local entertainment and media school Full Sail University. The reason: Apparently, their audio program is a full-on Grammy factory. In fact, every nominee for Album of the Year in 2011 was either mixed or engineered by a Full Sail grad. “Could it be the best-kept secret in higher ed?” they wondered aloud. Not anymore!
The Beacham Theater
46 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419; thebeacham.com
The Beacham Theater on North Orange Avenue officially opened its doors in 1921 as a vaudeville venue. Since then, it’s had multiple renaissances, but none as dramatic as the one seen in March. Although the grand opening was technically on March 11 with G. Love & Special Sauce, we prefer to think of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ rollicking set a couple weeks later as the venue’s real start date. With an improved look and better acoustics, the Beacham is already a power player in town, and the hits keep coming as evidenced by last week’s Animal Collective show.
But wait! There is another? On Jan. 4, one Melvin Benn of event promoter Festival Republic, which has produced festivals at Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury and elsewhere, stood outside the Amway Center and proclaimed that he has chosen from on high the city of Orlando as the location for his next giant fest, to be knighted “Orlando Calling.” No details were given – no musical acts, a specific location or even a date – but they were indeed promised. Seven months later, here’s what we know (that they tell us): It will be held Nov. 11-13 at Citrus Bowl Park, more than 100 acts will perform on four stages and a “major announcement” will come July 18. In other words, now-ish. It will have to be a big enough info bomb to make folks reach for their wallets, since they say tickets will go on sale July 23. We shall see.
Bluegrass jam in the Twistee Treat parking lot
10920 W. Colonial Drive, Ocoee
It’s the unlikeliest of places to catch a stellar lineup of bluegrass musicians: A paved parking lot of a strip mall off Route 50 in Ocoee, bordered by a Twistee Treat and a Pizza Hut. But every Friday night at 6:30, a group of musicians comes to this spot with their banjos and fiddles and mandolins and guitars. Things may start out slowly, but as newcomers trickle in and join in the jam session, the pace picks up. Before you know it, it’s nearly midnight and there are more than a dozen players of all ages and skill levels pickin’ and grinnin’ under the eerie glow of the parking-lot street lamps. If there is a better time than this to be had in a parking lot in Ocoee, we’re guessing it’s probably not legal.