The National Convention of the National Convention of the Blind is an annual event, which has taken place in American cities in many states. The event draws from two to three thousand or more blind people from all over the world, as well as many sighted people interested in improving the lives of the blind.
The 2014 NFB Convention was scheduled to take place in July, in Orlando. As president of the Florida Affiliate, it was my responsibility to arrange entertainment for convention's Opening Ceremonies, which took place on July 4, at about 9:50 AM. I wanted to do something which would be different from what had been done in the past. I also wanted to do something that would reference the State of Florida. And, most important of all, I wanted to do something that would be amazing -- something that would entertain and uplift the audience, to set the tone of the convention.
After reading reviews and talking to knowledgeable friends, I decided to see if we could book Craig Singleton and the Big City Band.
I was able to talk to Craig the same day. I told him that I needed a band to perform for about 20 minutes. I asked him if they could perform covers of four Florida-associated bands and musicians: Matchbox 20, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, K C and the Sunshine Band, and Jimmy Buffett. He assured me it would be no problem. In a subsequent conversation, he suggested we add a Gloria Estafan tune. I said, as long as it would not go over the time limit, that would be great. He later suggested adding "Key Largo," a one-hit-wonder by Tampa performer Bertie Higgins. Again, I said that would be ideal, as long as the time limit would be met. He said they could do it.
The band arrived up nearly two before this morning performance. They set up and did multiple sound- and equipment-checks, and were ready to go by the time the convention started.
The performance was everything we could have hoped for. Craig and the band rocked the house! The audience members were dancing in the aisles and singing and clapping along!
My only regret was that we had to hold Craig and the band to that 20-minute time limit. I think they could have kept the audience revved up and partying for hours. We definitely left them wanting more.
Regardless of your situation or whatever you might need a band for, I urge you to give careful consideration to Craig Singleton and the Big City Band! They were just what we had in mind and so much more!
Dan Hicks, President
National Federation of the Blind of Florida