The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department presents the Nancy Luca Band with Anna Marie as part of the “Free Fridays” Concert Series Friday, Sept. 6 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. The public is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to our beautiful downtown amphitheater, and enjoy this free concert under the stars.
Nancy Luca lives the life she sings about in her rock anthem entitled "I Play Guitar." She got her first Stratocaster guitar while attending Gainesville’s Buchholz High School. In 1974, she took guitar lessons from future Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, and has been playing ever since. She was a mainstay playing at Gainesville’s Dub's, Main St. Bar and frat parties in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1990, she moved to Los Angeles with her best friend, Anna Marie, and still lives there now. Anna Marie, who now lives in Gainesville, is locally-known for her band Anna Marie and Friends. Luca still considers Gainesville home, and continues to return several times a year to play with her bandmates from the Nancy Luca Band. They include Larry Thompson, a well-known Gainesville drummer, who also teaches at the Gainesville Guitar Academy; Joe Loper, a fellow Buchholz graduate, on bass guitar; and vocalist Anna Marie, who Luca describes as “a lead singer with attitude.” Luca continues that “the camaraderie of these best friends creates an atmosphere of peace, love and searing lead guitar.”
Luca currently plays in the bands git'ERdone, Whole Lotta Rosies, Ashleigh Flynn and the Riveters, Madame Ozzy and Mistress of Reality. She has played abroad in Bosnia, Korea, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Croatia and Canada. She is also a guitar instructor, audio engineer and songwriter. She won the Rock City Music Award Best Female Guitarist in 2005, and her band Whole Lotta Rosies won the Rock City Music Award Best Female Tribute Band in 2004 and 2005.
Musician and former Gainesville mayor Gary Gordon says, “Nancy Luca by herself is rock ‘n’ roll incarnate. It doesn't take a whole band. Maybe it's because she's not only talented but also because she started young, but that guitar is part of her. It walks, it talks, it postures, it jokes, it wails, it moans, it begs, it teases, it demands, it cries out for more, it strokes, it caresses… Nancy was (and still is) not only great; she was one of the first, if not the first, woman guitarist in the territory.”
“Free Fridays” is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council. The entire “Free Fridays” 2019 schedule may be viewed at www.freefridaysgnv.com. The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville.