Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Band jazz at its finest

Bob Stone and Mark Pettey
Drummer Bob Stone brought The Naples Jazz Orchestra to Port Charlotte last night for the Charlotte County Jazz Society's best-attended concert of the 2012-13 season.

Stone led a big band in Chicago from 1976 to 1989. He's been living in Naples FL for 23 years - and his enthusiasm for big band excellence hasn't diminished.

The band draws its all-star membership from all over southern Florida - including the Tampa Bay area, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. At least half of the players are highly respected bandleaders in their own right, such as pianist Kenny Drew Jr.

"I am thrilled to be sitting in the midst of all these musicians," Stone said. I've been doing this all my life - and this is as good as it gets."

There were extraordinary moments all night long. Standout solos came on several tunes apiece from high-octane trumpeter Mark Pettey, alto saxophonist Rodney Rojas and trombonist Greg Nielsen.

The Naples Jazz Orchestra

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