Jazz Club of Sarasota, Baltimore Orioles Team Up for “JAZZ IN THE BALLPARK” on April 22 at Ed Smith Stadium

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Jazz Club of Sarasota, Baltimore Orioles Team Up for
“JAZZ IN THE BALLPARK” on 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 a jazz concert, “Big Band Jazz Through the Decades,” for Jazz in the Ballpark. The special event is set for Saturday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street. The concert will feature music of America’s favorite big bands from the 1940s to the present. Highlights of the evening are songs of the Andrews Sisters and a tribute to Harry James.

The trio titled “Michele and the Swing Sisters” will sing hits by the Andrews Sisters, 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. Trumpeter David Pruyn will solo with music of Harry James, and his wife, Michele James-Pruyn, will join him in a nostalgic rendition of “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.”

James-Pruyn, a native of North Carolina, has been performing since the age of 15 and has won dozens of vocal competitions. She has sung at the White House, Disneyworld and other venues throughout the world and has opened for numerous stars including Robert Goulet, Shirley Jones, Bob Newhart, Lee Greenwood and Sandi Patti.  James-Pruyn 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 longtime 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. The trio, which specializes in great harmonies, will join the Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band to present “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” and 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 other tunes from nostalgic to newer, including songs made famous by Harry James, Glenn 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.

Jazz in the Ballpark 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, with reserved seats priced 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 37 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, which presented the 37th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival in March. In addition to producing numerous jazz events, the Club also operates an active scholarship program for aspiring young jazz musicians. For further information visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org, phone the Jazz Club office at 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Thurs.-Fri.) or email [email protected].

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 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.


Biographical Notes

SARASOTA JAZZ PROJECT 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, 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.

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