Playing with Fire Igniting 2017 with Exclusive Acts, Back-to-Back Excitement

Playing with FireOmaha’s world-class, free summer concert series – is fanning the flames, announcing a smokin’ 2017 lineup that includes back-to-back concert experiences and entertainment you won’t see anywhere else in the U.S. this year.

“Our worldwide reputation is known for recognizing brilliant artistic talent and our commitment to providing the people of Omaha with an exceptional musical experience,” says Jeff Davis, founder of Playing with Fire, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Featuring the best in blues, soul, funk, R & B and rock, Playing with Fire (PwF) celebrates its fourth year at Midtown Crossing’s Pavilion at Turner Park in 2017. The free, family-oriented series was established in 2004 to improve the community’s quality of life by showcasing the most accomplished international, national and local musical artists.

The 2017 Playing with Fire summer concert series line-up:

Friday, July 14  |  Gates: 4:30 p.m.  |  Music: 5:30 p.m.

  • Headliner: Dawn Tyler Watson
  • Support: The 24th Street Wailers
  • Opener: BluesEd/Us and Them

Dawn Tyler Watson returns to Omaha as firstplace winner at the 2017 International Blues Challenge (IBC) finals in Memphis. Her backup guitarist, Ben Racine, won this year’s IBC Albert King Award for best guitar performance in a band.

Saturday, July 15  |  Gates: 3:00 p.m.  |  Music: 4:30 p.m.

  • Headliner: Aynsley Lister 
  • Support: Ben Poole Band
  • Support: Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers
  • Opener: BluesEd/five minute drive

“14th time is the charm,” Davis says. “After offering UK guitarist Aynsely Lister a spot 13 times in a row, he has finally accepted our offer to play Playing with Fire.”

This will be Aynsley's only appearance in the USA for 2017.

Both PwF dates – Friday and Saturday – will also include multiple prowls by Saurus, a “totally unique international troupe of street theatre artists from the Netherlands.” Omaha will be the only North American performance for Saurus in 2017.  (Check out Close Act Theater - Saurus at 

“Never has this form of creative entertainment been brought to the Omaha community,” Davis says.

Over the course of its 14-year lifespan, PwF has produced 70+ events with performances by 350+ bands featuring over 1,000 musicians playing to an estimated 750,000 fans. Each year, PwF supports other non-profit organizations in the community, including BluesEd, a non-profit youth artist development program. BluesEd performers open each PwF concert series and have the opportunity to attend clinics by presenting artists. Pwf is also partnering with Donate Life Nebraska to support its mission and help raise awareness of the life-saving power of organ donor registration.

Playing with Fire is sustained with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Douglas County Visitor Improvement Fund, private sponsorships plus in-kind donations and volunteers. Free-will donations are accepted online and day of show.

For more information about the concert series, artists and online videos:   


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