4/7/10: C. Wakeley’s Gainesville Music Summit

My homeboy C. Wakeley had invited me to Gainesville, Florida for his annual Gainesville Music Summit, which was held on a Wednesday, so I had driven down to Florida on the Tuesday before, and Wakeley had gotten me a nice hotel room in Gainesville. The next day, after breakfast, I went around to Hear Again Music and Movies and Hyde and Zeke Records, which were the only two record stores in Gainesville, and then I spent some time in the library on the University of Florida campus researching the civil rights movement in Jacksonville before grabbing a burger at a place called The Swamp and some gelato at The Gelato Company downtown.

The actual summit was held at The Venue, a former theatre downtown, and I was actually surprised at the number of artists who showed up. Some of the performances were in fact fairly good, and I especially noticed groups called 1900 Block and Iceburg Tony. Of course, having driven all the way from Memphis to Gainesville the day before, it didn’t take me long to be exhausted. As soon as the event was over, I headed back to my hotel and to bed.

10/22/08: Michelle Obama Speech/Gainesville Music Summit

After waking up, I checked out of the hotel, and ate breakfast at 43rd Street Deli and Breakfast, which was really good. I then spent the day going around to record stores, such as Hear Again on University Avenue, where I found a number of jazz CDs that I purchased. Then, wanting a latte, I headed downtown, but Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak at a theater, so downtown was absolute pandemonium, with crowds and lines of people waiting to get in to the event, and police everywhere, as there were rumors of threats.
I walked past a number of sidewalk cafes, and managed to get to a coffee bar, where I purchased a latte, and then a few blocks away, I discovered a gelato bar, and I stopped there to enjoy a chocolate gelato. Finally, my hotel room was ready at the Holiday Inn across from the University of Florida campus, so I checked in, and headed up to the rooftop pool, but I found the water too cold, despite the warm, pretty weather.
Heading to dinner at the Stonewood Tavern, I got a call from the Mississippi raper Skipp Coon regarding his new release, and then after dinner I headed back downtown to the Gainesville Music Summit, which got underway late, as most rap events usually do. Afterwards, I walked around downtown to see if I could find a jazz club. I didn’t, although a neo-soul/funk band was playing at a club a block away. I thought about going inside, but decided against it, and I headed back to the hotel instead and went to bed.