Sunday, January 25, 2015

Looking Ahead: Southwest Florida jazz preview (February and March)

The 2014-15 jazz concert season is running hot in Southwest Florida. Here is a rundown of noteworthy jazz events, principally in the Sarasota to Naples territory, in February and March.
Pat Martino

  •  Wednesday, February 4 – Guitarist Pat Martino is the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra’s special guest. Daniels Pavilion, Naples. 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, February 9, 2015 – Twin saxophonists Peter and Will Anderson are featured in the Charlotte County Jazz Society‘s Artists Series. Cultural Center of Charlotte County. 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 12 – Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa.
  • Saturday, February 21 – 10th annual Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival, Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, 1-6 pm. Saxophonist Mindi Abair (back for her seventh consecutive year), guitarist Nick Colionne and saxophonist Dave Koz are featured at this smooth jazz event. The mainstream jazz portion of the weekend is at the Isles Yacht Club Sunday jazz brunch, which is sponsored by Presley Beane Financial Services. The brunch will feature drummer-singer Patricia Dean, trombonist Herb Bruce, pianist Jeff Phillips, bassist and guitarist Dave Trefethen, and trumpeter John DiPaola. All will mix it up in varied combinations between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 25 – Singer Rene Marie. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa.
  • Saturday, February 28 – Singer Giacomo Gates, South County Jazz Club concert series, Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Sarasota, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 1 to Saturday, March 7 – 35th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. The lineup includes pianist Dick Hyman, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, singers Freddy Cole, June Garber, Karla Harris, and Kitt Moran. Concerts are at the Riverview High School Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.
  • Wednesday, March 4 – Saxophonist Jimmy Heath is the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra’s special guest. Daniels Pavilion, Naples. 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 8 Trumpeter/sanger Bria Skonberg. South County Jazz Club concert series, Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Sarasota, 2 p.m.
  •  Monday, March 9  – Trombonist Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band in concert, Charlotte County Jazz Society’s Artists Series. Cultural Center of Charlotte County. 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15  – Banjo player Cynthia Sayer. South County Jazz Club concert series, Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Sarasota. Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • -Friday, March 20 – Singer Carla Cook with the Dan Miller-Lew Del Gatto Quintet. Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers.
Several local restaurants (including J.D.’s in Port Charlotte, The Orange House in Punta Gorda, The Roadhouse in Ft. Myers, and Alto in Naples) offer jazz steadily. Be sure to check the Alto and JD's websites for occasional guest headliners. 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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jersey Jazz book review

Mitchell Seidel has reviewed my new book, Jazz in the Key of Light, in February's edition of Jersey Jazz, the New Jersey Jazz Society's monthly journal.

Here is one excerpt from his two-page review:

"There are interesting photographic moments to be found throughout the book, not all of them directly related to playing the music. Dizzy Gillespie is seen warming up his chops on the pool deck of a jazz cruise, his audience a trio of comely bikini-clad women. While Gillespie's quote concerns Louis Armstrong's effect on all musicians, the presence of three curious 'civilians' in the shot echoes Satchmo's ability to draw a crowd, even among non-jazz fans."

The book is available through Amazon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Artful jazz with a few twists

Bill Buchman
Sarasota-based Bill Buchman is an artful guy. He's a renowned painter and art teacher. The several places he teaches these days include the Venice FL Art Center. On Thursday, January 22, he set his brushes aside and wore a different hat - as a very fine jazz pianist. Buchman teamed up with bassist Don Mopsick and drummer Chuck Parr in the South County Jazz Club's  matinee performance series in the Art Center's main gallery.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Special jazz moments, all night long

Larry Coryell
Guitarist Larry Coryell is a musical force unto himself, but when he gets to converse with other musicians, the results can border on magical. Such was the case Saturday, January 17 when the jazz-rock veteran, now more comfortably digging into standard fare, performed in the South County Jazz Club series at Sarasota's Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Newport state of mind

Jon Batiste
Here it is mid-January, and they've already got us thinking about - and planning for - this summer’s Newport Jazz Festival. The 2015 edition will run July 31-August 2 at Fort Adams State Park on picturesque Newport Harbor and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Casino. The latter site was the festival’s original home in 1954. Now it hosts the fancier Friday night concert.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jazz vibes player honors his masterful predecessors

Christian Tamburr
The way vibes player Christian Tamburr sees it, he honors his musical forebears every time he picks up his mallets. He paid homage Monday night, January 12, principally to Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson as part of the Charlotte County Jazz Society's Artist Series in Port Charlotte FL. "The music I play is influenced by all of these great players," Tamburr said, also noting Red Norvo, Cal Tjader and Gary Burton. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Bit more Ellington jazz matinee

It's unusual when a band becomes its own warmup act, but that's what happened when multi-instrumentalist Greg Nielsen's quintet performed in the South County Jazz Club's matinee series at the Venice FL At Center.

Nielsen's band - with the leader on trombone, flugelhorn and soprano sax, Tom Ellison on reeds, Eddie Tobin on piano, Mark Neuenschwander on bass and David Pruyn on drums - featured a few gems during the opening set, including saxophonist Don Menza's lovely bossa nova "Faviana."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking back at jazz in 2014 has published my comprehensive review of jazz-related events and milestones from 2014. In a nutshell, it was a year noteworthy for its numbers.

Newport turned 60, Blue Note turned 75, International Jazz Day's third edition featured 900 events in more than 190 countries. The jazz world lost seven of its NEA Jazz Masters, and New Orleans trumpeter Lionel Ferbos died at 103. Sad but not unexpected, the jazz community again said goodbye to lot of players and industry figures.

I’ve been doing these compilations for several decades, originally for UPI, and for allaboutjazz since 2004. It is always interesting to sift back through the prior 12 months from years that seem to fly by in a blur.