2017 ENTERTAINMENT HIGHLIGHTS                                                                                         

Boat Parade on the May River and Blessing of the Fleet Sunday, October 15





We are very proud to announce this year's Admiral of the Fleet: COLLINS DOUGHTIE, self described as a graphic designer by trade but a fishing guide by choice.  Collins has been an islander since 1960; owner of an advertising and design firm for 30 years; outdoor columnist and avid angler offering part time guiding for people in their boats as well as a great volunteer for the community participating in many non-profit fundraisers.

Lavon Stevens is known for his Soulful Jazz, Contemporary and Blues music. A native of Savannah, Ga. Lavon began singing and playing piano at the age of 7. He began performing in local groups across the Southeast at the age of thirteen. His first instrument was the violin. He later studied voice and piano at Dekalb College in Atlanta, Ga. from 1979 to 1983.
He has traveled and performed all over the country including Aspen,Co., Atlanta, Ga. and Orlando, Fla. The resort vacation destination of Hilton Head Island, SC has been his home since 1981. He is one of the premier entertainers in Hilton Head Island, SC. Lavon is affiliated with BMI as a Publisher/Songwriter.
He serves on the board as a member of The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and is one of the music producers for The Native Island Gullah Festival. He is very active with The Junior Jazz Foundation at The Jazz Corner and he is also a member of the Circle of Songs organization. His CD "I See Love" was released in 1996 and features all original compositions. He is producing a variety of shows and recording projects including other R&B, Jazz, and Gospel artists.
This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch on the bluff of the May River and be entertained by the music and boat parade. What better way to begin our festival! Plan to join us at 4:00 PM on the grounds of The Church of the Cross at the end of Calhoun Street for a memorable time.

WADDELL TOUR Monday, October 16


AUTHOR NIGHT Wednesday, October 18

West Fraser was born in Savannah, Georgia, and came of age on Hilton Head Island, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in 1979. Fraser served for 9 years as a Board Commissioner of the South Carolina Art’s Commission; he is an artist member of the Salmagundi Club, a signature member of the prestigious PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America) and a signature member of the California Art Club. Fraser has been honored with 8 solo museum exhibitions in the Midwest, the Southeast, and California. His most recent exhibition titled A Native Son: Paintings of West Fraser was at the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah GA, in 2012. In January 2017 Fraser will have his 3rd one man show at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C. There will be a smaller traveling exhibit featured in the fall at the Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head Island, S.C.


His second book, Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West Fraser, was released by the University of South Carolina Press in July 2016. This book represents over 40 years of West’s paintings of the Southeastern seaboard starting around Georgetown, S.C. and ending in St. Augustine, Fla. His paintings are in 9 museum collections and the White House Historic Society as well as numerous significant private and corporate collections nationwide. West Fraser is represented by Helena Fox Fine Art in Charleston, S.C. where he lives with his wife Helena Fox.


Join Capt. Chris Shoemaker and his crew at May River Excursions for a one hour guided "Skiff" cruise on the May searching for local wildlife, discussing history and soaking up the tidal estuary air.
$20/ per person...subject to availability. All trips leave on the hour every hour from the county dock at the end of Calhoun Street. Please call Capt. Chris for reservations and more information. 843-304-2878

Spending summers here since the late 70's, Eric Burns considers himself to be a local waterman.  Although not native, his extended native family taught him to harvest the local waters at an early age and has since been a guide in the local waters for twenty plus years.  Previously a 50 ton Captain in the surrounding waters, Eric has returned to Bluffton to promote paddle sports through MarshgrassAdventures.com.  In previous years, Eric has promoted the kids fishing tournament for our festival and is now bringing competitive paddling and eco-paddling to the local waters.



Spike Ivory
has crafted his unique sound and style by drawing on many influences through the years.  Spike played many of the instruments heard on his debut album and put a very personal stamp on each song. The resulting sound and amazing energy were felt through the live shows as Spike Ivory and his newly formed band began touring.
After the release of The Velvet Chains CD in 2005, the band toured many intimate sized venues and played more than 225 shows all over the USA, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Canada and Asia! Spike recently signed with the New LowCountry Music Label.  His new Single “Rollin’ Thunder” (a tribute to our Troops and Military Vets past and present) has been gaining momentum on many radio stations across the states.Spike is currently scheduled to release an EP featuring Rollin’ Thunder along with 3 other tracks in September, followed by a full length album. 


is a five-piece variety cover band that became a Lowcountry favorite almost overnight.  From their first public performance for the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Business After-Hours party in the Spring of 2014, this group has been pleasing different types of audiences with their surprising array of ever-growing musical offerings.  Unlike other variety bands that all seem to play the same song list, MUDDYCREEK has their ownapproach to song selection for putting together a show that suits just about any gathering to create an exciting experience. The band roster includes members who are multi-instrumentalists and the songs they perform often include multi-part vocal arrangements for a band sound that is unique to the area and dynamic throughout their shows.  Put together all of these capabilities and you have a band that has performed at formal private weddings, Bluffton’s annual Mayfest, fundraising events like the Leo’s Legacy Festival, private parties and business grand openings, and many venues throughout Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Daufuskie Island, and beyond.  Audiences throughout the Lowcountry have enjoyed and danced to this band’s unique mix of Pop, R&B, Country, Classic Rock, Blues, Disco, Rockabilly Swing, and more.  And for you musical purists:  no computer accompaniment or alteration, just live music played with the hopes of connecting with the listener.  MUDDYCREEK is simply a collection of fun-loving, highly experienced musicians who play music straight from the heart.  


Lee Tyler Post is a National Touring & Recording Artist whose style is a mix of Acoustic Soul, Roots Rock Americana & Southern Blues. His lyrics convey stories of everyday people. The San Diego Troubadour wrote, “...Post’s sound is as much Springsteen and Van Morrison as it is Otis Redding and Al Green: blue-collar heartland grit mixed with Motor City soul...” Lee calls it “Rock ‘N’ Soul.”
Starting out as a San Diego-based artist in the mid ‘90s, Lee has opened for Missing Persons, Blink 182, Steppenwolf, and was an annual performer at the San Diego County (Del Mar) Fair. Followed were live local TV appearances on The KUSI & KNSD Morning Shows. In 1999 Lee relocated to Nashville, TN where he honed his craft playing alongside such greats as, Grammy nominated hit songwriter Tony Lane, at the renowned "Broken Spoke Saloon."
Having been tagged "The Gypsy Troubadour", Post tours the US extensively, performing 150+ shows a year, while driving 25,000+ miles annually. Along the way he has released 6 studio albums, lived/performed in cities like Austin, Nashville, Seattle, Los Angeles, Asheville, San Diego, Atlanta and Santa Fe, as well as performed live on many TV and Radio Programs. His live shows have been described as “passionate, powerful and moving.” And his down-to-earth on-stage persona complements his dynamic voice and electrifying shows.
Always eager to lend his time and talents to charitable causes, Lee has performed at benefits for M.A.D.D., the M.S. Society, and The Ramona Cancer Resource Center. As well as at benefit fundraisers for camps for seriously ill children, The Victory Junction Gang Camp owned by Kyle Petty, the racecar driver, and Bikers Who Care/Toys for Tots to help underprivileged children. Lee currently resides in the SC LowCountry where he is finishing his next release, "Wreckage of Love". 


Bam Jazz Some of the best Jazz Blues Cajun Latin Reggae R&B Beach Worldbeat Swing and more - with a New Orleans feel. The Gumbo Kings of Jazz and Blues - The Professors of that Gulf Coast Rhythm & Groove - Whispering Smooth Ballads from the Greats - Steaming Swing of the Big Band Era. From the most CLASSIC to the most MODERN Jazz, Jitterbug, Mambo, Swing, Latin, Reggae, Caribbean, Dinner Music, Smooth Jazz, Klezmer, Motown, Beach and more…

With over 30 years experience in the music business, Bam-Jazz has some of the most professional musicians with the highest standards of excellence in the region. Comprised of some of the most accomplished and versatile players around, trumpeter/vocalist Bill Averbach brings it home with vintage to modern jazz, blues, swing, jumpin’ jive, Latin, reggae/ska and more... Influenced heavily by artists such as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, Louis Prima, Clifton Chenier, Dr. John, The Meters, and Bob Marley the band plays that jumpin’ jive so reminiscent of zoot suits and two-tone shoes. And when they play that New Orleans sound you can almost taste the creole and gumbo at Mardi Gras. 

We are lucky to have Julie Gribble back again this year. This is a show not to be missed! It just comes naturally for Julie Gribble, writing, singing, and performing.  But what she loves most is to inspire, to reach people with her music.  With her Traditional Americana/Country Music, Gribble has entranced audiences with her modern stories of life, love and relationships.  When you think about the edge of an artist like Lucinda Williams, the melodies of Allison Krauss, and a likeness to Natalie Merchant, you'll find Julie.  Audiences connect immediately to the unique lyrics because they’re not the same old love clichés. As Craig Ferguson said, on his show about her record, So Typical, "It's Fantastic!"
Gribble has toured the US and Canada, opened for major label artists, become the face of Hotel Indigo's Featured Artist and be asked to perform on many national television shows around the country as well as numerous radio spots. With her recent endorsement through Martin Guitars, Julie has been touring supporting her newest release, "Letting Go." This is followed by her appearance in October, 2010 on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  After wrapping up her supporting role in the upcoming Sony Pictures Film, Quarantine 2, she also was a songwriting teacher and performer on Seth Green's new webshow, ControlTV. Before her recent move to Nashville,TN, she managed to gain a full page interview in Atlanta's Finest Mag, a finalist in GA Lottery's All Access Music Competition, and is nominated for a GA Country Music Award. 

In August of 2015, Detroit-based jazz musician, Gino Fanelli, relocated to Lookout Mountain, Georgia in pursuit of something new. Having played western swing and jazz, Fanelli eventually forged his signature style with old time New Orleans party jazz, which he has spent the last 16 years honing. Fanelli’s combination of guitar virtuosity, good-time music and charismatic stage banter--coupled with his charming vintage mien--has earned him a reputation as the go-to guy for club bookings, events, weddings and more. Fanelli is currently a full-time touring solo musician, performing in places such as Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina. He also leads a three-piece group, the Jalopy Brothers, who are based in Detroit, Michigan.



Equally adept with the acoustic Hawaiian lap steel guitar and dobro, John Emil first appeared on the South Florida music scene in 2000. Fans hear haunting, subtle hints of Delta bluesmen Son House and Blind Willie Johnson, but Emil ultimately creates a unique style all his own by integrating country blues, folk, bluegrass and lush Hawaiian sounds into his repertoire.
Routinely taking the lost art of slide guitar in a new direction, Emil has composed a wealth of slide guitar tracks for media production libraries. His instrumental tracks have been published by LA Post Music in Los Angeles, Westar Music in Canada, and Strange Fruit in South Africa. Emil recently became the first American musician to be published by London’s KPM, one of the world’s largest production libraries. Among the many television and cable network shows Emil has supplied music for are “Dateline,” Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” CMT’s “Cribs,” and several international wildlife and nature documentaries. 







Rockin' On the Dock Fireworks & Party!            
The 13th annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival fireworks spectacular will present the best fireworks show in Bluffton at dusk on Saturday evening, October 21. Shot from the May River and viewed riverside at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park on Wharf Street, this will be the grand finale to a day full of festivities, not to be missed!