Featured LEISURE

Jimmy’s Buffet will sail into Hoyt Park 

Chris Maddox (thejimmysbuffet.com)

Jimmy’s Buffet will sail into Hoyt Park 

By Terry L. Wilson

The rhythms of steel drums and steel guitars will provide a Caribbean atmosphere at Hoyt Park when Jimmy Buffet’s party band makes its Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park debut on June 11.

“I’ve been a huge Jimmy Buffett fan for years,” said Chris Maddox, leader of the tribute band which is named to honor of popular singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. “We spell Buffet with one ‘T’ for legal reasons, but the audience knows from the name of our band what they can expect from us.”

Maddox is no stranger when it comes to creating a tribute band. He has been in the biz of putting tribute groups together for more than a decade.

“My last band was a 12-piece Elvis Vegas show band called Graceband,” Maddox said. “It was all the songs Elvis did in his live shows. But even back then I was a Buffett fan, going to Buffett concerts every chance I had. I once went to four concerts in seven days.”

A die-hard Parrot-head, the 50-year-old Maddox still attends Buffett’s live concerts when he isn’t on stage singing Buffett’s hits with his tribute band. 

“This will be our first show at Scripps Ranch. I’ve heard great things about their concerts from other bands. They say that the audiences are great and that it’s a great location. I’m excited about doing a show for them,” Maddox said. “We have a secret weapon that sets our band apart – we have a live steel drum player. That was one of the first things I wanted to have in order to make this a real Buffett tribute band. No keyboard, no backing tracks, it has to be real. Steel drums have a unique sound. Unless you’re in Hawaii, you’re not going to hear a steel drum in any concert, plus we added a conga player and drums, giving our audience a real Caribbean experience.” 

Maddox has assembled an all-star cast to create an evening to be remembered. So, put on your best-flowered Aloha shirt, a pair of flip-flops and be prepared to party with an island-beat. Peter Hix is on lead guitar; playing the steel pans is Jackie Powers; Vasili Panos is the drummer; GD “The Dog” Walker is on bass and adds to the vocals; Ivan “Nando” Rios plays congas; George Logemann plays keyboard and adds to the vocals; and Maddox leads the party band with lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

To ensure that everyone enjoys the concert, visitors are asked not to bring high-backed chairs and to keep your kids safe – don’t let them climb that steep hill that runs along the side of the park; and leave pets at home.

Jimmy’s Buffet party band takes center stage to start the 2023 Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park summer concert season off with a Caribbean flair on Sunday, June 11. These free summer concerts begin at 6 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m. at Hoyt Park.