Ralph Ameduri Jr. was one of Orlando’s most unassuming yet most beloved musicians, so when he was murdered in a botched robbery of $25 in 2011 while subbing for a friend at a Winter Haven gig, the local music community, at first devastated, was pushed into action. In addition to working to assist the authorities in locating a suspect, friends of Ameduri rallied to keep his name alive via three increasingly impressive annual Ralphfest concerts. This year’s third iteration in February even saw one of Ameduri’s heroes, Sebadoh songwriter and Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow, on stage. Perhaps of even greater significance – especially to Ameduri’s family, according to his sister – was that Ralphfest in 2014 occurred at the same time as the trial of suspect Samuel Sweet Jr. In the bittersweet end, Sweet was found guilty of all six of his criminal charges just in time for the show; he was sentenced to life in prison in March.
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