Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking Ahead: A Southwest Florida jazz preview

Here’s a preview of some of the more interesting jazz events in the Sarasota to Naples territory from now through March. There are also a couple of Tampa Bay-area listings for those of you who don’t mind driving a few miles more to hear great music.

  • Monday, February 3 – Singer-pianist Freddy Cole (Nat’s brother) guests with The Naples Jazz Orchestra, Cambier Park, Naples. 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 5 – The Dukes of Dixieland, Daniels Pavilion, Artis Naples. 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 9 Pat Metheny Unity Group, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, 7 p.m.;
  • Monday, February 10 – Naples-based singer Jebry (Judy Branch) and her band, and pianist Mike Markaverich’s trio are the double bill at this Charlotte County Jazz Society’s Artists Series concert, Charlotte Cultural Center in Port Charlotte. 7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 14 – Singer Tony Bennett is at the Van Wezel in Sarasota, and at Artis NaplesHayes Hall on Sunday, February 16. Both concerts are 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 18  Jonathan Batiste and the Stay Human Band, Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall, Tampa, 8 p.m.
    Mindi Abair
  • Saturday, February 22 – Ninth annual Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival. This smooth jazz event features St. Petersburg native Mindi Abair (for the sixth straight year), Richard Elliott (for the second consecutive year), and the closing act tandem of Gerald Albright and Norman Brown, Laishley Park, Punta Gorda 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Local mainstream jazz musicians at this otherwise instrumental pop event will be featured at the third annual jazz brunch at the Isles Yacht Club on Sunday the 23rd. They include trombonist Greg Nielsen, trumpeter Bob Zottola, saxophonists Gilly DiBenedetto and Bill Rignola, pianist Matt Bokulic, bassist Dominic Mancini and drummer Rich Ianuzzi. Brunch tickets must be purchased at the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce or through its website.
  • Feb 23 – March 1 34th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. It opens with a free afternoon concert at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Bring a blanket or a chair, but no coolers. Major concerts at The Players Theatre: Tuesday, February 25 – trumpeter Charlie Bertini’s quintet; Thursday, Feb. 27 – The Anderson Brothers; Friday, February 28 – Singer Alexis Cole; Saturday. March 1 – pianist Dick Hyman and clarinetist Ken Peplowski.
  • Sunday, March 2 – Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli team up for Straighten Up and Fly Right, a Nat King Cole tribute show, Hayes Hall, Artis Naples. 7 p.m.
    John Pizzarelli Jr.
  • Saturday, March 15 – Jim Cullum’s Riverwalk Jazz Band, The South County Jazz Club’s concert series at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Sarasota. 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 16 - Bayshore Cultural and Performing Arts Center’s Jazz on the Green concert series presents guitarist Steve Uscher’s group. Edison State College Collier Campus, 7007 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Free. 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 19 – New York-based guitarist Peter Bernstein is special guest with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra. Daniels Pavilion, Naples, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
  • Monday, March 24 – Singer Carmen Bradford guests with The Naples Jazz Orchestra, Cambier Park, Naples. 7 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.

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