Jazz Club of Sarasota, Baltimore Orioles Team Up for
“JAZZ IN THE BALLPARK” on Saturday, April 22, at Ed Smith Stadium
Sarasota Jazz Project and Michele James-Pruyn and the Swing Sisters perform “Big Band Jazz Through the Decades”
SARASOTA, FL: The Jazz Club of Sarasota and the Baltimore Orioles have teamed up to present Jazz in the Ballpark on Saturday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street. Tickets go on sale February 17 for the outdoor concert, titled “Big Band Jazz Through the Decades.” The performance will feature music of the Andrews Sisters and America’s favorite big bands from the 1940s to the present. Vocalists Michele James-Pruyn and the Swing Sisters are backed by the Sarasota Jazz Project, a lively big band that played to a standing-room-only sellout in last year’s Jazz in the Ballpark concert.
Michele James-Pruyn, a native of North Carolina, has been singing and acting since the age of 15. During her career she has won dozens of vocal competitions and performed at the White House, Disneyworld and other venues throughout the world. She has been the opening act for numerous stars including Robert Goulet, Shirley Jones, Bob Newhart, Lee Greenwood and Sandi Patti. She has also toured with the Harry James orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey and Nelson Riddle. Most recently, she completed a six-week tour of Hawaii and New Zealand with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
As “Michele and the Swing Sisters,” James-Pruyn and her friends, Kim Kollar and Cathy Noeth, have performed their cabaret act, “The Sounds of Harry James and the Andrews Sisters,” across the country for more than 17 years. A professional girls’ trio that specializes in great harmonies, the Swing Sisters will join the Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band to present such great classics as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” along with other hits of the ’40s and ’50s.
The Sarasota Jazz Project, formed in 2010, is a 17-piece big band under the direction of co-founder George McLain, who also plays tenor sax and sings. In addition to songs of the Andrews Sisters, the high-energy group will present tunes from nostalgic to newer, including songs made famous by Harry James, Glen Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Tower of Power. The band will feature many of the top jazz soloists in Florida including David Pruyn on trumpet, Tony Benade on saxophone, and Greg Nielsen on trombone.
The concert promises an evening of memorable fun in a party atmosphere, wrapped in the sounds of music everyone loves. While enjoying the nostalgia, fans can feast on ball park food including hot dogs, drinks and snacks in the beautiful Sarasota twilight and evening.
Tickets are available from the Orioles beginning on February 17. Reserved seats are offered to adults at $50 (VIP), $30 and $20. Children and students may buy $20 seats for $10. “Proceeds from this exciting event will be donated to the Jazz Club Scholarship Fund, which benefits local young musicians,” said Peg Pluto, president of the Jazz Club.
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 37 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, with the 37th Festival set for March 5-11, 2017. 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, email admin@jazzclubSarasota.com, or phone the Jazz Club office at 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Fri., 9-5).
What: Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Jazz in the Ballpark
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota.
Admission: Tickets are available beginning February 17 from the Baltimore Orioles in three ways: at the box office, 2700 12th St, Sarasota, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; by phone, (941) 893-6300; and online: orioles.com/jazz.
Parking and Entry: Parking is in the East Lot at 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue for $5, with a portion of proceeds going to the Sarasota YMCA.
- Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band (credit Mike Valasek)
- Michele James-Pruyn
- Michele and the Swing Sisters: Kim Kollar, Michele James-Pruyn, Cathy Noeth
SARASOTA JAZZ PROJECT, formed in 2010, is dedicated to the preservation and performance of both classic and current big-band jazz with an emphasis on modern arrangements. Sarasota native GEORGE McLAIN, director and co-founder of Sarasota Jazz Project, has been involved in music and singing his entire life. He has performed with big bands and jazz musicians in Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle and North Carolina and is a lifetime fan of Frank Sinatra.
THE SWING SISTERS—Michele James-Pruyn, Kim Kollar and Cathy Noeth—is a professional girls’ trio that specializes in singing the great harmonies of the Andrews Sisters and many of the upbeat favorites from the ’40s and’50s. The three, all seasoned performers ( and longtime friends!), continue with their long-running “Sounds of Harry James & the Andrews Sisters,” now in its 18th season.