Friday, September 20, 2013

Looking Ahead: Southwest Florida jazz preview [Oct. 14 updated]

The snowbirds won’t be back in Florida in full force until January, but the earlybirds have begun trickling in. That’s another way of saying the concert seasons by southwest Florida jazz presenters are starting to ramp up.

I plan to do these previews quarterly for events in the Sarasota to Naples territory, with a few major items from the Tampa-St. Pete area now and then.

Here’s a look at some of the more interesting concerts set from late September through December.
  • Sunday, September 29 – Bassist Michael Ross’s quartet performance at this Tampa Jazz Club concert
    will feature material from his fine new jazz CD Ginger. Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor Mainstage Theatre, Ybor City, Tampa, 3 p.m. 
  • Monday, October 14 – The Charlotte County Jazz Society opens its 2013-14 monthly concert series at the Charlotte Cultural Center in Port Charlotte with a double bill featuring pianist Kenny Drew Jr.’s trio and saxophonist Tom Ellison's band, Hip Pocket. 7 p.m. 
  • Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20 – The 34th annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Singer Jane Monheit  and guitarists Paul Brown and Larry Carlton are on the bill. The  non-jazz headliners include Tower of Power, Chicago, Average White Band and Brandi Carlile. Coachman Park, Clearwater. 
  • Friday, October 25 – The Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band with guest singers June Garber and Joe Ephraim performs at Holley Hall for the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s first evening concert of the season. 7:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, November 6 - Singer-pianist Harry Connick Jr., the newest American Idol judge, opens the jazz season at Artis Naples as part of his Every Man Should Know tour. The venue is home to the Naples Philharmonic, the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and the Naples Museum of Art. 8 p.m., Hayes Hall.
  • Monday, November 11 – The Jim Roberts Saxtet performs for the Charlotte County Jazz Society, The Orlando-based pianist was the first performer booked by the CCJS when it began its series 23 years ago. 7 p.m., Charlotte Cultural Center in Port Charlotte.
  • Friday, November 15 – Vibes player Joe Locke guests with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra. Daniels Pavilion, Naples, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, November 22 - Sunday, November 24 – The Suncoast Jazz Classic in Clearwater presents an extensive schedule of Dixieland and traditional jazz from near and far – such as High Sierra, the St. Louis Stompers and Your Father’s Mustache. Sunday’s closing acts, apparently in a bid to draw a younger audience, includes smooth jazz (instrumental pop) saxophonist Will Donato. Time will tell if that flies with the regulars. Pianist Dick Hyman performs Thursday night at the festival’s gala. 
  • Monday, December 9 – The Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band performs for the Charlotte County Jazz Society, 7 p.m., Charlotte Cultural Center, Port Charlotte. 
  • Wednesday, December 11 – Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson is guest artist with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra. Daniels Pavilion, Naples, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, December 13 - Guitarist Nate Najar’s band featuring tenor saxophonist Harry Allen will open the Glenridge segment of The South County Jazz Club’s multi-venue, multi-city concert series, which includes a variety of Englewood and Venice venues as well. Allen will be back in the area January 13 as the Eddie Metz trio’s special guest for the Charlotte County Jazz Society). Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Palmer Ranch, 8 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, December 18 – Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with special guest Cécile McLorin Salvant (the 2010 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition winner) perform a big band holiday concert at Artis Naples, Hayes Hall, 8 p.m. The orchestra is also at the Van Wezel in Sarasota on the 17th at 8 p.m. 
A few local restaurants (including J.D.’s in Port Charlotte and The Roadhouse in Ft. Myers) offer jazz steadily, and there will be a variety of varied afternoon concerts sponsored all season by the Jazz Club of Sarasota and South County Jazz Club.

No matter your specialized taste, keep supporting live music. You’ll be richer for it.

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