Jazz Club of Sarasota Presents
April “Jazz at Two” Series
This popular jazz concert series closes out its 2014-15 season with performances by more of the region’s top jazz performers, including Al Hixon and the Underheard Herd, Betty Comora and Joe Bruno’s Dixieland Hotdogs.
(Sarasota, Florida) The Jazz Club of Sarasota’s “Jazz at Two” 2014-2015 concert series concludes with drummer Al Hixon and his Underheard Herd (April 10); pianist and vocalist Betty Comora presenting her musical history of jazz in “All Those Jazzes”(April 17); and Joe Bruno’s Dixieland Hotdogs (April 24). Founded in 2001, the Jazz at Two series showcases the region’s top jazz performers on Fridays, 2-4 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $8 for Jazz Club members and $12 for non-members. A portion of ticket sales is directed to the Jazz Club’s scholarship program. For more information, call 941-366-1552.
The Jazz Club of Sarasota’s April Jazz at Two series kicks off with the return of Al Hixon and the latest edition of his Underheard Herd (April 10, 2 p.m.). Veteran area drummer Al Hixon founded his Underheard Herd program to introduce local audiences to talented musicians who are either new to the area or are not often heard in this market. “Our region attracts a treasure trove of musical talent from all over the country and the world,” says Hixon. “My mission is to uncover some of these hidden musical gems–all great, undiscovered players who I guarantee audiences will love.” This year’s “Herd” is no exception. Hixon, former Duke Ellington bassist John Lamb and pianist Dick Reynolds will be joined by three talented and virtuoso newcomers: reed player Bill Bower, trumpeter James Scuggs and trombonist Louise Wilson. “I’m thrilled by these three new horn players this year,” says Hixon. “And the rhythm section isn’t too shabby either. It’s going to be quite the band!”
The April Jazz at Two series continues with pianist, vocalist, and washboard player, Betty Comora (April 17, 2 p.m.). Comora has put together “All Those Jazzes,” an entertaining program that explains and demonstrates, in Comora’s enthusiastic and infectious style, the various forms of jazz, including ragtime, big band, bebop, cabaret and more. Joining Comora on this musical history tour are Tony Bruno, drums, Mike Evans, banjo, Dick Hamilton, trombone and flute, Dick Poland, bass and tuba, and Jim Prosser, piano.
The 2014-15 Jazz at Two series concludes with an afternoon of the spirited Dixieland jazz of Joe Bruno’s Dixieland Hotdogs (April 24, 2 p.m.). Founded in 1991, the band brings together three generations of the Bruno family of musicians, including bassist Joe Bruno Jr., his father, trumpeter Joe Sr., who has been playing professionally for over 75 years, and son Nick, who is carrying on the family tradition with his own budding career as a percussionist. All three are offspring of legendary New England bandleader Tony Bruno, who backed up such artists as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. One of the region’s most experienced Dixieland bands, the Bruno boys and their accompanying musicians are also one of the most entertaining, building their programs on audience requests and ensuring that everyone just laughs and has fun.
“We’re delighted to close out another successful Jazz at Two season with a local institution like Joe Bruno’s Dixieland Hotdogs,” says Peg Pluto, president of the Jazz Club of Sarasota. “Joe Bruno Sr. is the real thing, playing music of the 1930’s and 40’s so masterfully because he was doing it back then. And with two more generations of this great jazz family on the ticket, the Hotdogs are a wonderful example of how jazz thrives in Sarasota.”
For more information about the Jazz Club of Sarasota, call 941-366-1552, or visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org.
About the Jazz Club of Sarasota
The Jazz Club of Sarasota’s mission is to promote, preserve, and educate people about jazz, the original American art form. Founded in 1980 by the late Hal Davis, the club presents ongoing concert series, events, lectures and the annual Sarasota Jazz Festival.