A beloved area drummer is remembered at “The” Jeff Wood 50th Birthday Celebration

Friends, former bandmates, family and fans gather on what would have been Wood's 50th birthday.

Every so often, I interview someone who performed with Jeff Wood, and he’s always referenced with equal parts love and reverence. The late drummer played the area for a few decades and with so much stamina that he came to be known as “The” Jeff Wood, dividing his time between bands in the Tampa Bay and Orlando music scenes in his later years. Forgotten Apostles, Joe Popp, Barely Pink, Spiller and Nutrajet all counted him among the ranks, and when he lost his long battle with brain cancer in 2007, the outpouring of grief was immediate and widespread.

He would have turned 50 on July 2, and onetime bandmate Butch Ryan didn’t want to let the date pass by without some sort of event commemorating the occasion. Thus, “The” Jeff Wood 50th Birthday Celebration, which finds friends and family honoring his memory, and Ryan and his band performing originals and covers of songs by some of Wood’s favorite bands. Copies of Wood’s final album with the Butch Ryan Band, 2008’s Time to Wait, will be given away at the door, and slide shows and edited video clips of Jeff at work and play will be featured throughout.

Details: Jeff Wood’s 50th Birthday Celebration with Butch Ryan and friends, Fri., July 3, 8:30 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $5. 

What's your favorite Jeff Wood memory? Tell us in the comments below...

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