FOR IMMEDIATE RLEASE

December 9, 2010

                   Bringing the Star Power to Tampa!

Jim Belushi and his rhythm & blues band, The Sacred Hearts, will perform at the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa on Jan. 28th

The following afternoon, Sat., Jan. 29 at 2 p.m., Belushi will lead the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates as its 2011 Grand Marshal

TAMPA, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa announced today that actor, comedian, and musician, Jim Belushi will perform with his blues band, The Sacred Hearts, on Fri., Jan. 28 during the second edition of the Hard Rock at Nite Concert Series at 10 p.m. in the new Hard Rock Cafe. The very next day, starting at 2 p.m., he will appear on Bayshore Blvd. as grand marshal of the 2011 Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates, presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, part of the Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

Jim Belushi and The Sacred Hearts tickets go on sale Fri., Dec. 17 at the Hard Rock Retail Store and all Ticketmaster outlets. General admission, standing-only tickets are $40. For special bottle service, please call the Cafe at 813-627-7755. Doors for the concert will open at 9 p.m.

“As  the title sponsor, Seminole Hard Rock is committed to bringing star power to the Gasparilla event, said John Fontana, president of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa. “And Jim Belushi is perfect for the grand marshal role. He’s a tremendous celebrity talent in music, movies, and television.”

Years ago, Belushi crashed the rehearsals of the House of Blues’ band, The Sacred Hearts,  and it was so much fun that they decided to form Jim Belushi and The Sacred Hearts. Then they hit the road to play their brand of “rhythm and blues seasoned with soul with a Memphis sound” for politicians, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Governor Gray Davis, all of the House of Blues venues, casinos nationwide, numerous benefits and hundreds of corporate events for Fortune 500 companies. Belushi sings, talks, “flirts shamelessly”, dances on table tops, and does at least one back flip every show. The band includes Larry Lee Lerma on bass, Glen Clark on piano, Joe “Lester” Sublett on sax, Julie “The Dove” Delgado on vocals, Johnny “The Beast” Rubano on trumpet/vocals, J.J. “Taboo” Holiday on guitar, Jimmie “The Dynamic” Wood on harmonica/vocals, Darrell “The Good Shepherd” Leonard on trumpet, and Tony “Diamond Ring” Braunagel on drums.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa expanded their Gasparilla Pirate Fest sponsorship to title sponsor for three years, 2010 through 2012. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa had been one of Gasparilla Pirate Fest presenting sponsors and a Gasparilla Stage Sponsor for several previous years, but agreed last year to elevate their support as its title sponsor.

Naming a prominent public figure as the parade’s grand marshal has only been done six times in the event’s 107 year history. “Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa, with their multi-year commitment to title sponsorship of Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest is elevating the festival and parade to new heights as they continue to add a touch of their celebrity culture to Gasparilla festivities,” said EventFest, Inc., Gasparilla Pirate Fest organizers.

About Jim Belushi

Known worldwide for his comedic as well as dramatic TV and film roles, Jim Belushi played the lead role in “According to Jim,” on ABC from 2001 until 2009. Recently nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama, his latest hit television show, The Defenders, about Las Vegas defense attorneys that debuted in 2010, has been renewed for the full 2011 season by CBS.

Belushi attended the College of Dupage and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Speech and Theater Arts. From 1976-80 he became a resident member of Chicago's famed Second City.  In 1979, writer-producer Garry Marshall saw him performing for the Second City comedy troupe and arranged for him to come to Hollywood and co-star in the TV pilot "Who's Watching the Kids" for Paramount, and then for a role in the television show "Working Stiffs" (co-starring Michael Keaton).  Later, in 1983, like his already famous brother John, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) for two years.

He came to national attention through his role in Edward Zwick's film "About Last Night" with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, playing the role he originated in the Chicago Apollo Theatre's production of David Mamet's Obie-award winning play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago".

He has come a long way from Second City, SNL, and his early role in the TV series "Working Stiffs".  His numerous feature credits since then show an extraordinary range: He was James Woods' spacey DJ buddy, Dr. Rock, in Oliver Stone's "Salvador"; the mentally handicapped dishwasher befriended by Whoopi Goldberg in the Andrei Konchalovsky film, "Homer and Eddie"; and the defiant high school principal standing up to drug dealers in "The Principal". In 2000 Belushi co-starred in MGM's "Return to Me," directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver, and he received rave reviews for his work with Gregory Hines in Showtime's "Who Killed Atlanta's Children?”

Belushi has performed on Broadway in Herb Gardner's acclaimed "Conversations with My Father" at the Royal Theatre, off-Broadway in "True West," at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of John Guare's "Moon Over Miami," and for Joseph Papp as the Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance." In addition, he does numerous voiceovers for film, television and for commercials. (For a complete list see http://www.jimbelushi.ws/filmography.htm).

Belushi has little time outside career and family, but has made a major commitment as founder and member of the board of the John Belushi Scholarship Fund, which supports college and college-prep students pursuing performance and visual arts education. Most recently Belushi has added authorship to his repertoire, with his first book entitled "Real Men Don't Apologize." He’s a dedicated husband and father of three children.   

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Fla. is Florida’s ultimate entertainment destination with its new 17,500-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe Tampa and live music venue, nearly 190,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action featuring Blackjack, Mini and Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, 3- Card Poker, Let it Ride Poker and Texas Hold ‘Em Poker along with over 4,100 of the most popular slot machines, plus our smoke-free poker room, with 50 live action tables dedicated to Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven Card Stud.  For the fourth year in a row, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has awarded this 250-luxury room hotel its prestigious Four Diamond rating.  Enjoy a variety of critically-acclaimed restaurants and bars, including Tampa’s premier steak house Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and Fresh Harvest for a seven live-action kitchen dining experience. Garage parking is free and valet parking is also available. The hotel & casino is located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa.  For more information, call 813-627-ROCK (7625), 1-800-937-0010 or visit www.hardrockhotelcasinotampa.com.

 

About EventFest, Inc.

EventFest, Inc. is a full-service company specializing in the production of multi-dimensional, interactive public and community festivals throughout the Southeastern United States. EventFest, Inc. markets, manages and produces Tampa’s annual Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, Gasparilla Pirate Fest and Gasparilla Outbound Voyage. www.EventFest.com

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