A Party with a Purpose

You spoke and we’re listening. We are changing the format of the event and negotiating with venues to bring you a new and improved Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribs Music Fest. Therefore, we have decided not to host an event this year in order to plan appropriately and solicit additional sponsorships. We will have an even better festival in Spring 2019.

Sunday October 16th - 2016

6:30 PM - Jaheim


You know the voice. It’s the sensuous, hot-buttered tenor oozing through such hits as “Put That Woman First,” “Finding My Way Back” and “Fabulous.” It’s also the sizzling, seductive charmer pushing temptation on such additional fan faves as “Anything,” “Ain’t Leavin’ Without You” and “Age Ain’t a Factor.”

Now that singular voice is back as Jaheim heats up the airwaves once again–this time with the aching ballad “Back in My Arms.” The track doubles as the lead single from the three-time Grammy Award nominee’s new album, Struggle Love. Jaheim’s seventh studio album, due this fall, is also the first under the recently minted association between the singer/songwriter’s Julie’s Dream Music Group and Primary Wave BMG Label Services.

“It’s a serious, serious ballad; one of those songs where you don’t want to give up on love,” says Jaheim of his latest single. “Because there’s still fire at the end of the tunnel.”

The same can be said of Jaheim. As Struggle Love proves, he’s lost none of the spark that first stoked attention in 2001 with debut album Ghetto Love. Written and produced by Jaheim, Struggle Love embraces all of life’s ups and downs from falling in and out of love to just plain surviving. “We are all going through a struggle right now,” the singer explains. “Losing jobs, respect, love … It’s time to pull it all together.”

The album’s conceptual theme is revealed in the title track, which the singer describes as “up-tempo with a Jaheim feel. It’s about looking back at where you came from and telling yourself you wouldn’t mind going back there for a minute.”

Then there’s the spiritual mid-tempo “Speak Up,” that touches on domestic violence and constitutional rights. A simple yet powerful read on being able to speak your mind, one key verse succinctly points out, “a closed mouth will never get fed.” Born and raised in the hard-knock projects of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jaheim Hoagland began singing his mind at five years old. He came by his vocal talent naturally: Jaheim’s grandfather was Victor Hoagland, a member of legendary ‘60s group the Drifters.

“I’d be singing Luther Vandross songs at the top of my lungs on the way to school daycare,” recalls the artist. “His voice was the one thing that made me sit still and say, ‘Ahh, that feels good.’”

Before reaching 17, however, Jaheim was buffeted by two major, life-altering events. His father died following a biking accident when the fledgling singer was just two years old. Then his mother–a huge fan of Whitney Houston, another Jaheim influence–lost her battle with cancer when he was 16. By then he was competing in high school and local talent shows (including three wins at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater) while also discovering a penchant for juvenile delinquency. “Trouble always seemed to find me,” Jaheim remembers.

Singing the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” at his mother’s funeral service became a prophetic moment for Jaheim. “After doing her service,” he reflects, “I realized I could perform in front of anybody.” The Apollo gigs evolved into performances at Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson’s popular Sugar Bar as well as other New York City venues. Four years after his mother’s death, a tape of Jaheim’s work made it into the hands of Naughty By Nature DJ Kay Gee. He signed the newcomer to his Warner Bros.-distributed label Divine Mill Records in 2000.

The platinum selling debut album Ghetto Love arrived a year later, followed in 2002 by Still Ghetto, his second platinum album. The sophomore set also yielded the platinum single “Put That Woman First” as well as the top 40 tracks “Fabulous” and “Anything.” Third project Ghetto Classics in 2006 gave Jaheim his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Rounding out his subsequent catalog are three more albums: The Makings of a Man (2007), Another Round (2010, featuring “Ain’t Leavin’ Without You”) and Appreciation Day (2014). The latter notched No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on both Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and R&B Albums, thanks to the single “Age Ain’t a Factor.”

See the entire entertainment lineup.


Please consider volunteering your time at the 10th Annual Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribs Music Fest. You will not only have fun volunteering at the event, but are able to stay before and after your shifts to enjoy the music and food. It will truly be a great weekend!
Registration Form


“Greatest Ribs in America”, “Golden Ribs Award”, “Best Sauce in the Nation” and numerous “People’s Choice Awards” are just a few of the Titles and Awards, the attending Rib Masters share amongst them. Last year’s winners of the “Best Ribs” and “Best Sauce” Awards will attend again and are ready to defend their titles.

Kids Fest

Families will find plenty to do and will enjoy Games, Rides, Prizes, Thrill Shows, and Live Entertainment in our Interactive Kid’s Fun Zone.


Read what The Sarasota Post had to say about last year's event.


Don’t miss your opportunity to place your products and services in front of the THOUSANDS that will attend Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribs Music Fest. Sponsorship levels range from $500 up to $20,000 and we can even customize a sponsorship package that is perfect for your company!

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Sponsored by

MCR Health Services