Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center Present an Intimate Evening with Award-Winning Guitarist Sam Pacetti


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc., once again welcomes award-winning guitarist and vocalist Sam Pacetti to the next Jewel Box Concert on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $20, and VIP seating is $30 at the door. Seating is limited, but tickets may be purchased in advance online at

Sam Pacetti has the rare ability to connect to his audience through the atmosphere of the venue. His performances at the Thomas Center leave his audience's feeling the excitement as if they were seeing him for the first time, each time. 

"We are always encouraged and when you can present an artist who says the Thomas Center is one of his favorite places to perform and the audience is telling us that the artist is one of their favorites to see at the Thomas Center, it's a ‘no brainer’ that this show has to happen," says Ernie Evans, Vice President of Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc. 

Sam Pacetti grew up in north Florida. At age 13, he found the music of both Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, profound influences on his early musical development. Then fate intervened shortly afterward in the person of Gamble Rogers, the legendary picker and raconteur from St. Augustine, who took the young Pacetti under his wing. It was a time of astonishing musical and emotional growth. Pacetti and Rogers met and played weekly for a year until Rogers tragically died while trying to save a drowning tourist caught in an undertow at Flagler Beach, Florida. Though brief in their time together, Rogers was able to instill in Pacetti the importance of the folk process, the passing of music and oral tradition from teacher to student. Pacetti still counts Rogers as his most influential mentor.

When writing of Sam Pacetti, Eric Fidler of the Associated Press says, "This young guitarist is an enormous talent. Whether playing a reel, covering Martin Simpson or dishing out a ravishing original, Pacetti is a simply astonishing guitarist."

More information on Sam Pacetti is available at A photo of Sam Pacetti may be viewed online at

Dinner from Radha's Kitchen will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m. Customers may pre-order by calling 352-214-4180 for $10 per plate or purchase on site for $12 per plate.Customers may also bring their favorite wine or champagne, and an attendant will tend their bottle. Plastic cups will be provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own glasses. More information is available at

The next concert scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21 features yet another Jewel Box Concert favorite, Verlon Thompson. 

The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts is 904-886-8378. For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532, or contact Ernie Evans, the vice president of Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc. at or 904-886-8378.