Here is a rundown of noteworthy jazz events, principally in the Sarasota to Naples territory, from now through November, as the 2019-20 concert season heats up….
- Saturday, September 7 – Saxophonist and singer Valerie Gillespie opens the Firehouse Cultural Center’s 2019-20 jazz series with her Blues in the Night band. Ruskin. 7:30 p.m.
- Monday, October 14 – Clarinetist Allen Vache’s quintet opens the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s 2019-2020 concert series. William H. Wakeman III Theater, Cultural Center of Charlotte County. Port Charlotte. 7 p.m.
- Thursday, October 17-Sunday, October 20 – 40th annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday. With headliners including Boyz II Men, Alison Krauss, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Chicago, you have to look hard, and arrive early, to hear most of the jazz on the program. But it is there this year. Check out the Young Lions Jazz Masters Sessions, featuring trumpeter James Suggs, at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the University of Miami’s Frost Jazz Ensemble featuring trumpeter John Daversa, and a 40th anniversary tribute to jazz vocalists, with singers Valerie Gillespie, Karen Benjey, Erica DiCeglie, Fred Johnson, Theo Valentin and Belinda Womack, backed by the jazz trio La Lucha. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue close out the Friday night show. Coachman Park, Clearwater.
- Saturday, October 26 – The Jazz Club of Sarasota opens its 40th season with a concert by pianist Shelly Berg’s trio with bassist Mark Neuenschwander and drummer Ian Goodman. La Lucha opens the evening with tenor saxophonist Jeremy Carter and singer Synia Carroll. Holley Hall, Sarasota, 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 30 – Trombonist Michael Dease guests with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra in the sextet’s 2019-2020 concert series. Artis-Naples’ Daniels Pavilion, Naples. 6 and 8:30 p.m.
- Monday, November 11 – Pianist Johnny Varro's Swing Seven performs in the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s concert series. William H. Wakeman III Theater, Cultural Center of Charlotte County. Port Charlotte. 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, November 20 – Singer Carla Cook guests with the Naples Philharmonic
Jazz Orchestra in the sextet’s 2019-2020 concert series. Artis-Naples’
Daniels Pavilion, Naples. 6 and 8:30 p.m.
- Friday, November 22 to Sunday, November 24 – The 28th annual Suncoast Jazz Festival’s lineup includes drummer Jason Marsalis and his 21st Century Trad Jazz Band, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, reed player Adrian Cunningham, singer Molly Ryan, Tom Rigney & Flamabeau, and Tom Hook & the Terrier Brothers, plus a long list of area guest musicians. Sand Key, Clearwater Beach.
- Friday, Nov. 29 – Dave Koz & Friends Christmas tour with Jonathan Butler, Melissa Manchester, Michael Lington and Chris Walker. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, 8 p.m. The saxophone smoothie and his friends also perform on Sunday, December 1 at Artis-Naples.
Several local venues offer jazz steadily. They include J.D.’s Bistro in Port Charlotte, 88 Keys Florida and The Blue Turtle in Punta Gorda, Amore, the Art Ovation Hotel and the Burns Court Bistro in Sarasota, The Roadhouse, Society and The Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro in Fort Myers, and Slate’s in Cape Coral. A variety of matinee concerts sponsored all season by the Jazz Club of Sarasota and Morrie Trumble Productions also keep things swinging for jazz lovers.