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SunFest's 'new community' stage nurturing South Florida talent like Jutt Huffman

'It was a wild sense of freedom when you're going after your dream,' Huffman says
Jutt Huffman is playing SunFest on May 5, 2024.
Posted at 9:38 PM, May 03, 2024

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — SunFest is putting the spotlight on local artists and bands this year as the festival celebrates 40 years.

The event's "new community" stage is bringing fresh sounds to the waterfront festival.

WPTV got to hang out with Jutt Huffman at Rudy's Pub in Lake Worth ahead of his performance at SunFest Sunday night.

"Getting in front of people that want to hear music ... that's the best thing about SunFest," Huffman said. "People are coming in, they want to be there, they want to see the bands."

He is part of more than a dozen local artists selected to perform at SunFest's Sandbar Stage.

Huffman is originally from Ohio but now calls South Florida home.

"During COVID, after touring down here for about five years, I realized that this is the best place on earth," he told WPTV anchor Janny Rodriguez.

Jutt Huffman explains to WPTV anchor Janny Rodriguez about his music career and the opportunity to play at SunFest.
Jutt Huffman explains to WPTV anchor Janny Rodriguez about his music career and the opportunity to play at SunFest.

Music has always been his passion, but it was a friendly push that made him quit his day job and do music full-time.

"I was doing ironwork in Ohio, and I'll never forget there's a day I brought my guitar to a hotel room," Huffman said. "I think we were in West Virginia or Kentucky, and I'm just jamming in the hotel room and my buddy Sergio started laughing at me, and he's like, 'Dude, what are you doing' and he's like, 'Dude, if I could play guitar like that, I wouldn't be doing this stuff.'"

Huffman said a move to Nashville changed everything.

"It was a wild sense of freedom when you're going after your dream and all of a sudden your day job is gone and now you have to rely on this," Huffman said.

He started playing at bars basically for free.

"They were paying me just a little grilled cheese sandwich," Huffman said. "That's how I got paid at first. No, they didn't pay me anything."

Twelve years later he's still doing what he loves full-time and touring all across the U.S.

The singer, songwriter and producer is also adding a new title that he's very excited about — dad.

"It's so wild. I don't even know what to think of it right now," he said. "I don't think it's hit me yet."

He and his wife are expecting a baby boy this September.

"I'm going to have a ukulele in his hands by the time he's like 2 or 3, I'm sure," Huffman said.

Inspired by soon becoming a father, he's hoping to continue raising money for local children so they can buy instruments through his "Music and Arts for Change" event.

Learn more about Huffman by visiting his website.