VENICE — For decades, Venice restaurants, hotels, and beaches utilize the musically inclined to persuade business to their venues.

Snook Haven, located on 5000 E. Venice Ave, is known for their musical guests and performances. The Gulf Coast Banjo Society, or The Banjos, are a group of 54 musicians mostly in their 80s and one of Snook Haven’s most popular bands.

For over 32 years, they have been playing every from from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday October through May.

“In February and March, we get up to 1,000 people out here,” said Jenny Makowski, the manager of Snook Haven.

With the influx of viewers, Snook Haven also gets more customers.

“When the restaurant was being handed down, we were in the contract. It makes sense, because a large part of the revenue is generated by us,” said the director of the Banjos, Paul Jacques.

Their music style consists of both modern and classical pieces sometimes led by one of their many singers in the band. From classics to contemporary, The Banjos play banjo-centered tunes for the whole family to enjoy.

Different venues ask for different musical styles: Jon M. Wilson, or his stage name “Jonny Puma” brings an old school feel in a modern fashion.

Moving from Wisconsin, Wilson came to Venice to pursue his passion for music.

“I have been playing instruments since I was a little kid,” Wilson said, “I knew that I wanted to incorporate music into my future because of how connected I felt.”

Wilson plays for weddings, restaurants, and any venue where he can share his artistic capabilities. He performs from noon-3 p.m. every Friday at The North Jetty Tap and Grill on 1000 S Casey Key Road and heads to Cucina Gloria 625 N Tamiami Trail Suite D, Nokomis from 6-9 p.m.

“In a short time performing at the North Jetty, he is quickly becoming a fan favorite. We enjoy his music, so very glad to have him here,” said one reviewer, Gary Durbin, posted to the Jonny Puma social media pages.

Since his move, he has been overwhelmingly grateful for the support and positive reviews,

“I am incredibly lucky to be around such talented and encouraging individuals that notice my talent and help me grow,” Wilson said. “Moving to Venice was the best decision I could’ve made.”


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