Jazz Club of Sarasota continues busy schedule with eight February events;
gears up for internationally recognized 36th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival, set for Mar. 6-12
SARASOTA, FL: February may be the shortest month but the Jazz Club of Sarasota has managed to schedule eight events in its mix of free and ticketed activities. The offerings include a free afternoon concert in Venice, a special evening concert in Sarasota, five Jazz at Two concerts and even a Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance—all of this happening even as the Club’s busy volunteers also gear up for its internationally recognized Sarasota Jazz Festival.
The week-long 36th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival, set for March 6-12 will present world-famous jazz artists as well as high school musicians performing in various venues in Sarasota City and County. The Festival is underwritten in part by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Cultural/Arts Grant. Information is available at http://jazzclubsarasota.org/festival–2, from the Jazz Club website (www.jazzclubsarasota.org) and the Jazz Club office ([email protected] or 941-366-1552 on Wednesdays-Thursdays-Fridays).
Here are the February concerts:
Sunday, February 7, FREE Joy of Jazz concert, 2-4 p.m., Ron Kraemer & the Hurricanes
Who/What: Free concert in the Park. Ron Kraemer provides guitar and vocal talents for this concert, joined by Michael Finley, drums; JP Coley, upright bass; and Robin Swenson, keyboards. For Super Bowl fans, Ron’s blues and swinging jazz are a great pre-game warm-up; for non-fans, the concert is a delightful alternative to football talk.
Tickets/Information: Free! Bring your chairs or blankets and enjoy a wonderful concert in the park. Jazz Club: 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Thurs.-Fri.) or email: [email protected]
Saturday, Feb. 13, 5:30 p.m.: Jazz Club of Sarasota’s 5th Annual Valentine’s Dinner Dance
Who/What: Bring your sweetie to the Jazz Club’s 5th Annual Valentine’s Dinner Dance in the beautiful Bayfront Room of Marina Jack, where you can take in the breathtaking views, enjoy delicious food and dance to music by the Patricia Dean Trio. Pianist Stu Shelton and bassist Joe Porter join drummer/vocalist Dean, a 25-year veteran of cruise ship entertainment, as they perform jazz standards and music from the Great American Songbook.
Where: Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota
Tickets: $50 per person by Feb. 6 from the Jazz Club office.
Sunday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Sharon Scott Sings Jazz, Blues, Gospel
Who/What: Internationally renowned singer, actress, playwright and Sarasota favorite Sharon Scott has performed throughout the world including North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe, starring in “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Nunsense” and sharing the stage with notable performers such as “Roots” author Alex Haley. Sharon has brought her four-octave voice to off-Broadway productions including “Bingo” and the one-woman play “High-Hat Hattie.” She conceived the idea and served a key role in writing “Hattie,” is based on the life of Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar. She also wrote and performed in the musical, “Just as I Am: The Life, The Times, The Voice of Mahalia Jackson.” Locally Scott has performed in a concert series with the Sarasota Orchestra and appeared on many area stages in the Tampa Bay area.
Where: Holley Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Van Wezel Way
Tickets: Members $25; Guests $30 from Jazz Club office; Students Free (at the door).
Jazz at Two concerts are presented at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, from 2–4 p.m. Admission: Members $10; Guests $15. Tickets are sold at the door. Information: Jazz Club office and www.jazzclubsarasota.org.
- Friday, Feb. 5 – Kitt Moran Quartet: Mike Moran, piano; Dominic Mancini, bass; Dane Hassan, drums. Singer Kitt Moran performed in major jazz clubs in NYC and NJ as well as casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She worked with Merv Griffin for eight years and has recorded or performed with prominent figures including Burt Bacharach, Vic Damone, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy Greco and John Pizzarelli. She also opened shows for Jay Leno, Jackie Mason and Rodney Dangerfield. The actress, vocalist, playwright and award-winning painter and her husband Mike perform often in Sarasota and Charlotte County.
- Wednesday, Feb. 10 – Libby York Quartet: Mark Kahny, piano; Jim Wellen, sax; Mark Neuenschwander, bass. Jazz singer Libby York has been compared to Anita O’Day, Chris Connor, June Christy, Julie London and Peggy Lee. Libby has appeared at NYC’s Metropolitan Room, the Kitano Jazz Club and top clubs in Chicago. She has performed and recorded with Warren Vache, Howard Alden, John diMartino and Russell Malone, among others. “…a jazz singer of cool composure and artful subtlety”—New York Times
- Friday, Feb. 12 – Mac Chrupcala Quartet: Evelyn Thomas, vocals; John Lamb, bass; Dave Morgan, drums. In addition to an extensive career in southern New England and eastern Canada, pianist, composer, band leader and producer Mac Chrupcala has added Florida’s Southwest Gulf coast and the Tampa Bay area to his schedule. This respected jazz veteran has 35 recordings to his credit.
- Friday, Feb. 17 – Al Hixon & the “Underheard Herd”: Mark Burke Kramer (widow of Oscar-winning songwriter Johnny Burke), vocalist; John Lamb, bass; Jazz Club newcomers Mark Moultrup, piano and vocals; Dennis Connelly, alto sax; Harley Sommerfeld, tenor sax. Drummer Al Hixon, sometimes called “Mr. Jazz” in Sarasota, has led a successful Monday night jazz jam for 25 years, bringing top artists as well as newcomers to Jazz Club audiences.
- Friday, Feb. 26 – Eddie Tobin: This “Sarasota Lounge Legend” (Sarasota magazine) has played on cruise ships out of Miami, performed throughout the U.S., opened for Kenny Rogers and accompanied Brenda Lee while living in Nashville. Tobin also traveled the world as pianist, musical director and conductor for Englebert Humperdinck for almost eight years. He has since landed in Florida, where he joined the Sarasota-based Venturas in 2004, and performs extensively with many of the great jazz artists in the Tampa Bay area.
Jazz at Two concerts coming in March:
- Friday, Mar. 4 – Billy Marcus
- Friday, Mar. 18 – Jerry Eckert Trio w/Rich McDonald & Bruce Wallace
The Jazz Club of Sarasota, founded in 1980, is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz, America’s original musical art form. The Club has provided over 50 jazz-related events annually for more than 35 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, with the 36th Festival set for March 6-12, 2016. In addition to producing numerous jazz events, over the years the Club has granted approximately $200,000 to aspiring young jazz musicians. To learn more, visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org.