In the News

Five Bands, Five Stories

Five Bands, Five Stories

Chelsea Coto

March 12th, 2016


The Gasparilla Music Festival is all about celebrating the music that makes TampaScreen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.39.14 PM great. What better time to check in with some of Tampa Bay’s best bands and artists – especially since so many have new albums, tours and more in the hopper? After GMF this weekend, check out the big noise these five artists are making. For longer interviews with each of these acts, see


The Tampa rap-rock-funk group Bangarang bested seven other local acts to win a Tampa Bay bands battle for a slot at last weekend’s inaugral Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival. Not bad for a group that had never even opened for a national act.

Banarang started in 2012 with each member coming from a different musical background – vocalist Senyo Fugar was a rapper, Arsenio Curry drummed at his church, guitarist Wes Bland came from psychedelic rock, and guitarist Tyson Gordon loved reggae and hip-hop. Throw in bassist Lucas Price and keyboardist Alex Bowers, and the band covers a lot of sonic terrain from rap to rock to reggae to funk to jam.

Last fall the group released Galaxy Dust, an LP that honors their hometown with a loping, groovy song called Jose Gaspar – “The most amazing beer’s made and manufactured here in the city of cigars,” Fugar raps. “The land where gators roam and the pirates made their home.”

“I don’t want to say we’re a party band, because we take it more seriously than that, but its fun music,” Bland said. “The main goal is to make sure everyone is having fun.”


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