Monday, November 20, 2017

Bud Leeds goes Bob-Bob-Bobbying along

Clarinetist Bud Leeds was in fine company - and good spirits - for the South County Jazz Club's first concert of the 2017-2018 season on Monday, November 20.

Bud Leeds
His quartet included multi-instrumentalist Bob MacInnis, Bob Leary on banjo, rhythm guitar and occasional vocals, and piano marvel Bobby van Deusen. (Leeds could have named the band Three Bobs and a Bud.

Together, they delved deeply into ragtime, Louis Armstrong fare and other classic jazz staples.The free-and-easy repertoire included "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," cornetist Wild Bill Davison's theme song "I Never New," "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?," "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," Bix Beiderbecke's "Singin' the Blues," Scott Joplin's "Rose Leaf Blues," and "Back Home in Indiana," among others.

Looking ahead: Southwest Florida jazz preview

Here is a rundown of noteworthy jazz events, principally in the Sarasota to Naples territory, from now through January.
  • Saturday, November 25 – Guitarists John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring’s Meeting of the Spirits tour, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 29 – 20th anniversary tour of Dave Koz Christmas, teaming the alto saxophonist with fellow smoothies David Benoit, Rick Braun, Peter White and Selina Albright. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 2 –the Dan Heck Blues and Truth Sextet, featuring trumpeter Dan Miller, performs the Music of Charles Mingus and Oliver Nelson. CAPA at the Wang Center, Naples. 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, December 4 – Dan Miller-Lew Del Gatto Orchestra holiday concert featuring the finest players from Miami, Orlando, Tampa and SW Florida, North Naples United Methodist Church. 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9 – Trumpeter Bobby Shew is featured with The Naples Philharmonic Youth Jazz Orchestra. Artis-Naples’ Daniels Pavilion, Naples. 4 p.m. free.
  • Monday, December 11 – Bebop saxophonist Greg Abate’s quartet, Charlotte County Jazz Society concert series, William H Wakeman III Theater, Cultural Center of Charlotte County, Port Charlotte, 7 p.m.
    Greg Abate
  • Wednesday, December 13 – Singer Carmen Bradford guests with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra in the sextet’s concert series at Artis-Naples’ Daniels Pavilion. 6 and 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 15 – Guitarist Nate Najar's Jazz Holiday with Chuck Redd, Jeff Rupert, John Lamb, Mark Feinman and James Suggs. A South County Jazz Club concert at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Sarasota. 8 p.m.  
Nicki Parrott
  • Monday, January 8 – Joe Delaney and Friends in concert at the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s Latin Jazz Night. William H Wakeman III Theater, Cultural Center of Charlotte County, Port Charlotte, 7 p.m.
  • Wed, January 10 – Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli in concert with their Straighten Up and Fly Right tribute to Nat King Cole. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 24 – Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon with the Ed Metz-Rossano Sportiello-Nicki Parrott trio. A South County Jazz Club-Venice Institute for the Performing Arts concert. Venice Performing Arts Center. 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 27 – Singer Kenny Washington is featured with the Dan Miller-Lew Del Gatto Quintet, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Fort Myers, 8 p.m.
Several local restaurants (including J.D.’s in Port Charlotte, 88 Keys Florida and The Turtle Club in Punta Gorda, Fandango in Sarasota, The Roadhouse and The Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro in Ft. Myers, and Slate’s in Cape Coral, offer jazz steadily). 

A variety of matinee concerts sponsored all season by the Jazz Club of Sarasota and the South County Jazz Club also keep things swinging for jazz lovers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tapping into the lingering love for swing jazz

Johnny Varro played with the elder statesmen of classic swing jazz  in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, working with Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, Roy Eldridge and Pee Wee Russell to name but a few. Now at 87, he is one of the elder statesmen.

Johnny Varro
Pianist Varro returned to Port Charlotte with the Florida edition of his Swing Seven band on Monday, November 13. It was the band’s third appearance in five years in the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s concert series.

The band included saxophonists Terry Myers (alto and clarinet) and Rodney Rojas (tenor), trumpeter Charlie Bertini, trombonist Jeff Lego, bassist Mark Neuenschwander and drummer Eddie Metz Jr. The roster was identical to Varro’s October 2012 visit. A couple of subs were aboard in the band’s November 2014 concert.