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Where to Find Live Music on Sanibel Island

Live Music with Acoustic GuitarThe music and nightlife scene on Sanibel Island is fairly low key, as it is a family oriented community. The restaurants and bars host local musicians and smaller acts in the evenings and on weekends. An evening performance of classical music is a short drive away in neighboring Ft. Myers. If you have a younger family member looking to cut their musical teeth, they might find an audience in a local restaurant or by auditioning for the SWFL Symphony Youth Orchestra or joining the Sinfonietta. Here are some intimate venues to enjoy an evening of live music on Sanibel Island and nearby. 

Blues, Folk, Reggae, Rock & Zydeco (and more) 

George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille: This popular restaurant was voted “Best Place for Entertainment of the Islands” by the Island Reporter in 2021 and continues to provide live entertainment every night of the week. Their event calendar is rich with a variety of musical performances including blues, folk, and reggae. 

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille: Local musicians take the stage at 6:00pm at the Captiva location of Doc Ford’s. If you’re looking for rum coupled with an evening song you’ll want to dine in Captiva (Sanibel has the rum, but not the music). Doc Ford’s is one of several venues to host musicians for the annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest in Southwest Florida. The festival features performances from some of the greatest singer-songwriters from Nashville and across the nation. The 2022 ten-day festival begins on Friday, September 16th at Doc Ford’s Captiva. 

Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen: Live music is on the menu every night from 5:00pm-9:00pm. Enjoy a spicy treat of Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo with a side of red hot Zydeco: scrub the washboards and squeeze those accordions! 

Tipsy Turtle Restaurant and Bar: The restaurant features family-friendly dining, and live music at 6:00pm. Cruzan Vibes performs live on Saturday nights with the sweet sounds of reggae and soca music to soothe your weary soul. It’s best to check the Tipsy Turtle FB page for scheduled shows throughout the week. 

Traders Restaurant: Live music is offered up daily at Traders. Danny Morgan (classic rock on electric guitar), Chariot Duo (an acoustic take on classic oldies), and Gypsy Roads Duo (acoustic mix of R&B, jazz, country, and rock) are on the menu Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. 

Classical Music (big band & broadway to boot) 

Sanibel Music Festival: This annual classical music festival was founded in the 1980s and presents concerts of piano, chamber music, recital, and vocal ensemble in the month of March every year. Past notable artists have included the Emerson String Quartet, the Praák Quartet, and the Juilliard String Quartet. The mission of the festival is to present excellent classical music at affordable prices (by promoting emerging artists). 

Southwest Florida Symphony: You are a short 18+ mile drive away to enjoy an excellent classical orchestral performance in neighboring Ft. Myers. The Masterworks is the signature concert series of the SWFL Symphony featuring the full symphony orchestra with guest artists from around the world. Additional performances include big bands, broadway, and chamber music. There’s even a little rock n roll in the mix an Elton John tribute performance is scheduled in January 2023 with a full stage performance capturing the music, costume, and energy of “when rock was young”. Maestro Please!

Phaidra McDermott is a lifetime resident of Sanibel Island, Florida. When you partner with Phaidra to find your perfect island home, you will be connecting to a lifetime of island resources and relationships. Contact Phaidra McDermott today!

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