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Next Two Dates in the Free Florida Blue Concert Series Announced

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April 22, 2015 – Orlando, Fla. – The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announces the next two concerts in the partnership with Florida Blue Foundation for the Florida Blue Concert Series. A leader in Florida’s healthcare industry, Florida Blue’s mission is to help people and their communities achieve better health. By partnering with the Dr. Phillips Center that mission has expanded to improving the quality of life in Central Florida. The Florida Blue Concert Series is free and open to the public. The concert series is set in the outdoor Seneff Arts Plaza which can accommodate up to 3,000 guests.  

Thomas McClary, co-founder of the Commodores, will perform at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015.  Rico Monaco Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015.   

Thomas McClary, one of the founders of the original Commodores, played an intricate role in creating the essences of the Commodores sound with his funky, rock flavored, smooth intimate guitar licks and his collaboration with Lionel Richie. Together they wrote over two thirds of all the songs recorded by The Commodores. Lionel once referred to the Richie /McClary writing team as “the Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Commodores”. 

In 1974, The Commodores broke The Beatles attendance record at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines. This happened after the first album “Machine Gun” made history by becoming the first gold album sold in the history of Motown Records. This writing team wrote hits such as: “Brickhouse”, “Slippery When Wet”, “I Feel Sanctified”, “Too Hot To Trot”, “Flying High”, and “High On Sunshine” just to name a few. McClary’s guitar licks on The Commodores smash “Easy” have been hailed
as one of the best solo guitar performances of all time. Whether it’s “Sail On”, “Three Times A Lady”, “Just To Be Close”,” Zoom”, “Oh No”, “Lady You Bring Me Up”, “Sweet Love”,“This Is Your Life”,” Still”, or the smash instrumental hits “Machine Gun”and “Cebu”.

It all started when Thomas McClary went to Tuskegee University in 1967 from Eustis, Florida pursuing a degree in Business Administration. While standing in the registration line, he met Lionel Richie who was whistling the song “Listen here” by Eddie Harris. Thomas asked Lionel if he was a musician, introduced himself as the man on a mission to put a band together. The two colleagues began recruiting other musicians to form “The Mystics”. Members from the Mystics merged with another Tuskegee based group called “The Jays” to form The Commodores. The Commodores big break came after touring for two years as the opening act for the red hot Jackson 5, in 1972-73. 

After taking some time from touring and recording to spend with his family, and to fulfill philanthropic goals to volunteer and support worthy non-profit organizations such as Shepherd’s Hope and Celebs 4 Kids- he’s back touring. The man who started the band that started it all, with unparalleled high energy you won’t forget– introducing his cutting edge band: Thomas McClary’s Commodores has sold out audiences everywhere creating a ground swell of excitement that’s just contagious.

Rico Monaco Band (RMB) is a red hot Rock band with Latin influences that has performed around the world. Based in Florida, the band performs their unique original songs and classic RMB stylized remakes for concerts. They also add more classic and newer rock material for corporate events and club type shows. 

Monaco himself performs in the band on guitar, vocals, and as musical director. Monaco has performed with national acts, platinum producers and has gained international notoriety as a stellar guitarist out of Florida. He has produced all of RMB’s recordings and is the main songwriter of the band. His leadership and vision for RMB has helped the band win many awards.  Rico won “Musician Of The Year” honors in 2002 at the JINO Awards. The band has a won a national battle of the bands sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe & Cabo Wabo Tequila, won Best Latin Rock Act seven times in Orlando, won Song of the Year, CD of the Year.  

About the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization operating the new state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts For Every Life® by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion plans include a 1,700-seat Acoustical theater, rehearsal room and commercial development spaces. The Dr. Phillips Center is a public-private collaboration with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida and generous donors. For more information please visit drphillipscenter.org.