The AURA Music & Arts Festival festivities kicked off last night, March 1st, with a pre-party at The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton, FL. The show featured classically trained pianist, Holly Bowling, The Heavy Pets’ jazz side project trio, Lather Up! and local, young talent Ben Sparaco and his band.

Holly Bowling’s devotion to the legendary rock band Phish shined through during the course of her 45-minute solo piano set. Her set included an opening “The Curtain With” and a stellar set ending “Theme From the Bottom.” Holly also touched on “Cassidy” by the Grateful Dead as well as a lovely “It’s Ice > I Can’t Feel My Face (The Weeknd cover) > It’s Ice.”

Bowling sat in at the end of The Ben Sparaco Band’s set and closed the show with a killer “Deal > Tweezer Reprise” encore. 

The Heavy Pets’ jazz trio side project Lather Up! performed an eclectic mix of covers including John Legend‘s “You Don’t Have to Know”, Stevie Wonder‘s “Jesus Children”, Cannonball Adderley‘s “Mercy Mercy Mercy” as well as some Heavy Pets originals. Here is Lather Up! paying tribute to Freddie Hubbard‘s classic “Red Clay.” 

Ben Sparaco is an 18 year old guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Coral Springs, FL living in Nashville, TN with a sound that combines energetic and soulful guitar playing with a unique blend of soul, blues, jazz, and folk music. Please enjoy Ben and his band performing the original “Walk On The Levee.” 

Thanks to our friends at CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS for providing video highlights as well as full show audio via Mixcloud:

Setlist: Holly Bowling at The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery, Boca Raton, FL – 3/1/6

Set: The Curtain With, Cassidy, It’s Ice > I Can’t Feel My Face > It’s Ice, A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing, Theme From The Bottom

***The AURA Music & Arts Festival gets underway on Thursday at the magical Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida and features sets by The Disco Biscuits, Thievery Corporation, ALO, Snarky Puppy, The New Deal, The Werks, Pink Talking Fish, The Bright Light Social Hour, The Main Squeeze and many, many more.***