Article and Photos by Ray Proetto of bluespowerphoto.com
Zaida Zoller of ZShowz has done it again! Her one woman promoting company has single-handedly kept the blues alive in Orlando.
She books national and local blues artists year round at various venues including the Plaza Theater and McWells Restaurant and Bar. Located on Orange Avenue south of downtown Orlando (meaning plenty of free parking), McWells is my favorite place to catch the Blues in Orlando.
With live performances from an intimate concert room in the back of the restaurant, it’s a very special place to see your favorite band. The room is rectangular shaped like your smartphone with the stage at one end, high tables along the sides of the room, and a bar in the back. To give you an idea of just how close to the performers you will be, the bar is only about 30 feet from the edge of the stage. This means there isn’t a bad seat in the house, including a seat at the bar, the area furthest from the stage. And if you’ve gotta move, there is also plenty of room to dance.
I’ve seen so many amazing artists at McWells, many of whom often play much larger venues. Beth McKee, E.G. Kight (picture upper right), the Tommy Castro Band, Johnny Sansone, Selwyn Birchwood, RJ Harman, and Curtis Salgado are just a few of the talented artists I’ve seen perform at McWells within the past year.
Zaida books both local talent and national touring acts at McWells.Some of the acts that have appeared at McWells include:
- Lurrie Bell
- Albert Castaglia
- Davina and the Vagabonds
- Gina Sicilia
- The Sauce Boss
- Guitar Shorty
- Tommy Talton
- Terry Hanck
- Randal Bramlett
- Sean Chambers
- John Nemeth
… have all played at McWells.
McWell’s doesn’t seem to have a current website, so search for them on Google and you will find them listed via the big directories. Looking ahead at McWells, Zaida has booked JP Soars (Feb. 22), Mike Zito (March 8), and Albert Castaglia (March 30).
Come out and support live Blues!