Jazz Club of Sarasota joins Smithsonian Institution in celebrating April as Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) with six April events, Schedule through May 1 includes four Jazz at Two concerts, free afternoon concert in Venice, Jazz at the Ballpark (Frank Sinatra tribute); a Harry James tribute in Sarasota; Jazz on the Water cruise

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Jazz Club of Sarasota joins Smithsonian Institution in celebrating April as Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) with six April events


Schedule through May 1 includes four Jazz at Two concerts, free afternoon concert in Venice,

Jazz at the Ballpark (Frank Sinatra tribute); a Harry James tribute in Sarasota; Jazz on the Water cruise


Jazz at Two concerts present world-class musicians on Fridays, 2-4 p.m.;

Marc Mannino Quartet plays in Venice on Sunday, April 3, 2-4 p.m.;

Sarasota Jazz Project teams with Orioles for Jazz in the Ballpark on Saturday, April 9, 7-9 p.m.;

James Suggs performs Music of Harry James with Nate Najar Trio on Saturday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.;

Jazz on the Water cruise presents Skip’s Dixie Mix on Sunday, May 1, 3 p.m.


SARASOTA, FL: The Jazz Club of Sarasota has completed its 36th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival and now resumes its regular—and very busy—schedule for the rest of “the season.” The Club has joined the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution in celebrating April as Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) in honor of jazz as an early American art form. “We are thrilled to participate in this national observance,” said Peg Pluto, president. In fact the Club, founded in 1980, far antedates JAM, which was established in 2002. “We’re so happy to see this significant recognition of jazz as the original American musical art form,” she said. The Club has scheduled six concerts in April, along with two others through May 1. These include four Jazz at Two concerts, a free concert in Venice, a Jazz in the Ballpark concert with the Orioles, an evening concert in Sarasota and a Jazz on the Water cruise.




Jazz at Two concerts are presented at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, from 2–4 p.m.


Friday, Mar. 18:  Jerry Eckert Trio with Rich MacDonald, drums, and Bruce Wallace, bass

Jerry Eckert was a pianist/arranger for the USAF Air University Band. He has played with a number of stars including Donald O’Connor, Frank Gorshin and Bobby Vinton. This retired public school teacher performs regularly in this area. Rich MacDonald, drummer, has toured the world with bands for Robert Goulet, Little Anthony and the Imperials and others. A Sarasota resident since 2013, he plays with major touring acts. The repertoire of double-bass player Bruce Wallace includes jazz, rock, show tunes, big band and contemporary Christian styles,

Friday, Apr  1: Hoyt Miller and the Sea Notes Dixieland 

Dr. Hoyt Miller, reeds & vocals, leads the Sea Notes in this Dixieland concert. Members of the band are John Tomovich, trumpet; Marv Luckett, trombone; Art Whitacre, banjo & vocals; Keith Carmen, keyboard; Bruce Wallace, bass; and Scott Blum, drums.


Friday, Apr.  8: Butch Thomas Quartet. Saxophone player Butch Thomas began his career in NYC with the great instrumentalist and composer Jaco Pastorius. He continued to perform with name performers including The Temptations and Lenny Kravitz . He has numerous recording and video credits and has been in the FOX Network detective series “New York Undercover,” appearing with featured guests including Al Jarreau, Al Green, Mavis Stables, Mary J. Blige, and many others. He also toured with Sting and played for James Taylor, Elton John, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin, among others.


Friday, Apr. 15: Patricia Dean Trio. Patricia Dean is both drummer and vocalist. As a drummer, she’s an inspiring time-keeper, accompanist and soloist. As a Jazz vocalist, Dean is swinging, sensitive, and wonderfully musical.


Admission: Members $10; Guests $15. Tickets are sold at the door. Information: Jazz Club office (941-366-1552, Wed.-Fri., 9-5) and www.jazzclubsarasota.org.






Sunday, April 3: FREE Joy of Jazz concert, 2-4 p.m., Marc Mannino Quartet & Vocalist. Centennial Park Gazebo, Venice Ave., Venice, FL


Guitarist Marc Mannino, director of jazz studies at SCF, is a lifelong music educator, veteran of the United States Air Force bands and performer at major jazz and community festivals. He has been the guitarist for Florida productions of numerous touring Broadway shows. Mannino was also guitarist for the Sarasota Opera Company’s production of “Otello” and “Barber of Seville” and for Broadway stars Idina Menzel at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach and Bernadette Peters at the Rudy Diamond Auditorium in Tallahassee. The quartet includes Bob Lunergar, drums; Isaac Mingus, bass; George Mancini, trombone; and Shari Morningstar, vocalist.


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, April 9: Jazz in the Ballpark, 7-9 p.m., “Music of Sinatra & Friends” by Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band & Vocalist Lisanne Lyons. Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota


The Jazz Club of Sarasota and the Orioles team up for the first time to bring a live, big-band jazz concert to the Left Field Pavilion at Ed Smith Stadium. The concert, titled “The Music of Sinatra and Friends,” features the Sarasota Jazz Project, a 17-piece big band under the direction of co-founder and tenor sax player George McLain, sensational Miami-based jazz singer Lisanne Lyons and an “Armed Forces Salute.”


Reserved seats at $30 and $20 include table tops or counters for food and beverages.  Parking is $5 in the East Lot, with a portion of proceeds supporting the Sarasota Y.  Tickets: Orioles’ box office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; by phone at 941-893-6300; or online by clicking “Events” at jazzclubsarasota.org <http://www.jazzclubsarasota.org/> .



Saturday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.:  James Suggs presents “The Music of Harry James” with the Nate Najar Trio. Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota


Trumpeter James Suggs and the Nate Najar Trio team to perform the Music of Harry James in marking the centennial of James’s birth. Trumpeter Suggs was the trumpet soloist in the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Larry O’Brien, touring  the United States. He also played in Argentina for eight years,  has toured the world and has performed with musical legends including Kenny Burrell, Maria Schneider and Sean Jones.


Nate Najar has received international recognition as a fingerstyle guitarist, using a classical guitar to play jazz music. The musician/producer/composer regularly places at the top of jazz music charts for his artistry. He has performed for international festivals, concerts and television and also composed for film.


Tickets: Advance purchase, Jazz Club members $15; Guests $20; on sale from March 18 from brownpapertickets.com or 1.800.838.3006; Purchase at the door:

Jazz Club members $20; Guests $25



Sunday, May 1, 3 p.m.: Jazz on the Water with Skip’s Dixie Mix.  Marina Jack II, Marina Jack Plaza, US 41 and Main St, Sarasota, FL


Enjoy an afternoon cruise on Sarasota Bay with other jazz lovers, accompanied by the music of Skip’s Dixie Mix.


Tickets: Jazz Club members $30; Guests $35; available from www.jazzclubsarasota.org, [email protected] and 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Fri., 9-5).



The Jazz Club of Sarasota, founded in 1980, is dedicated to preserving, promoting, presenting and educating people about jazz, America’s original musical art form. The Club has provided over 50 jazz-related events annually for more than 35 years including the highly respected annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. In addition to producing jazz events, over the years the Club has granted approximately $200,000 to aspiring young jazz musicians. To learn more, visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org.


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