Jazz Club of Sarasota swings into new season with lively roster of 13 events through 2016 and more next year; Schedule through end of 2016 includes ten concerts in Jazz at Two series, concert in an art gallery, downtown pub crawl by trolley and evening concert at Glenridge Performing Arts Center

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Jazz Club of Sarasota swings into new season with lively roster of 13 events through 2016 and more next year


Schedule through end of 2016 includes ten concerts in Jazz at Two series, concert in an art gallery,

downtown pub crawl by trolley and evening concert at Glenridge Performing Arts Center



SARASOTA, FL: The Jazz Club of Sarasota, one of the most active jazz societies in the United States, swings into its 37th season with a typically busy slate of concerts by acclaimed musicians, many with national credentials. The Club’s annual schedule of over 50 concerts includes a mix of free and ticketed events, some priced as low as $10 for members and including a donation to the Club’s scholarship fund according to Peg Pluto, president.


Events through the end of 2016 comprise ten concerts in the Jazz at Two series, a concert in an art gallery (Jazz Meets Art), a popular downtown pub crawl by trolley (Oktoberfest) and an evening concert by multi-talented musicians Valerie Gillespie and John DePaolo. The schedule in 2017 will include the weekly Jazz at Two concerts; afternoon and evening concerts in Sarasota, Venice, and Longboat Key; jazz cruises on the water; and the awarding of scholarships. The schedule will culminate with the prestigious Sarasota Jazz Festival, set for March 5-11 in several Sarasota venues.


Events scheduled through the end of 2016 appear below. For further information on the Club’s activities visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org, email [email protected], or phone the Jazz Club office at 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Fri., 9-5).

Jazz at Two Concert Series


The popular Jazz at Two concerts present renowned musicians, some with international reputations, in a highly affordable series of afternoon performances. Where: Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. Free parking. When: 2–4 p.m. on most Fridays. Tickets: sold at the door. $10 members; $15 guests, with $1 of every ticket sale allocated to the Club’s Scholarship Fund. Information: Jazz Club office (941-366-1552, Wed.-Fri., 9-5) and www.jazzclubsarasota.org.



  • Friday, Oct. 14:  Lorri Hafer Quartet presents “The Music of Their Lives.” It’s a family affair as Lorri sings to the sounds of husband Mike on keyboard, son Paul on bass and Joe Renda on drums. They’ll play jazz standards and songs of the big band era, featuring music by such composers as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Harry Warren.
  • Friday, Oct. 21: Jim Wellen Quartet. Tenor sax player Wellen heads up his lively quartet with Dave Trefethen on guitar, Vince Evans playing bass and Johnny Moore on drums. The quartet will feature light-hearted tunes selected from American standards and jazz favorites.
  • Friday, Oct. 28: Sarasota Jazz Project. Tenor sax player and SJP co-founder George McLain conducts a high-energy, 16-piece big band composed of some of the region’s finest musicians in a concert of original compositions and standard tunes, creatively arranged in a unique, contemporary big-band style.


  • Fri., Nov. 4: Eddie Tobin. This “Sarasota Lounge Legend” has played on cruise ships out of Miami, performed throughout the U.S., opened for Kenny Rogers and accompanied Brenda Lee. He also traveled the world as pianist, musical director and conductor for Englebert Humperdinck for almost eight years. He has since landed in Florida, joined the Sarasota-based Venturas in 2004, and performs extensively with many jazz artists in the Tampa Bay area.
  • Fri., Nov. 18: Thomas Carabasi, drummer, percussionist and bandleader, has performed and recorded with many of the area’s top jazz artists and is in demand for guest appearances with numerous nationally acclaimed organizations and musicians. (http://thomascarabasi.com/)
  • Fri., Nov. 25: Whitney James, nationally acclaimed jazz vocalist, brings  “polished musicianship” that “helps her interpret the best of American popular music as well as challenging originals of jazz composers rarely attempted by singers.” (http://www.whitneyjames.com/)


  • Fri., Dec. 2: Austin Vickrey
  • Fri., Dec. 9: Tony Benade
  • Fri., Dec. 16: Synia Carroll
  • Fri., Dec. 30: Jazz Club Scholarship Winners



Jazz Meets Art: Wednesday, Oct. 19

Jazz vocalist Debbie Keeton presents intimate musical renditions in a gallery of unique paintings and sculpture at Art Center Sarasota, which has teamed with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for this latest concert in their ongoing series. Where: Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail. When: Doors open for gallery visits at 4:30; concert begins at 5:30. Tickets: sold at door. $10 members, $15 guests. Light snacks, cash bar.


Oktoberfest Pub Crawl by Trolley: Wednesday, Oct. 26

The Jazz Club presents its second annual Oktoberfest Pub Crawl with eight bands playing in seven downtown nightclubs. Jazz fans can board trollies at the north parking lot of the VanWezel Performing Arts Hall, 770 N. Tamiami Trail, then hop on and off at three locations in the heart of the seven nightclubs. Where: downtown Sarasota (maps available). When: Trolleys run from 5:30; music from 6-10.  Tickets: $15.00. Wristbands are required for admission and can be arranged by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Jazz Club office, 941.366.1552. (Messages will be returned ASAP.)

  • The Starlite Room, 1001 Cocoanut Ave.

o   Main level: Eddie Tobin on piano with Linda Baker

o   2nd level: Singer Debbie Keeton

  • Mandeville Beer Garden, 428 N. Lemon Avenue: Matt Bokulic with a pallet of texture for Jazz, unique and exciting for the 21st century
  • The Gator Club, 1490 Main Street: Skip Conkling & the Dixie Mix with knee slapping Dixieland tunes
  • Servando, 1525 4th St.: David Pruyn, singer, drummer and trumpeter
  • Z’s on Main, 1454 Main St.: Steve Roiland, trumpet, John Lamb, bass with Tracey Davis
  • Salute! Ristorante, 23 N. Lemon Avenue: The sensational Al Hixon & his band
  • Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth Street: Synia Carroll’s clear, smooth tones to classic jazz standards from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s & Jazz pianist Joe Delaney


Evening Concert Series: Saturday, November 12, 7:30 p.m.
Multi-talented musicians Valerie Gillespie and John DePaola present “Music of Jazz Legends,” featuring the collaborations of Nat and Cannonball Adderley along with the work of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie “Bird” Parker.  Gillespie will also perform vocal interpretations of the songs of Nancy Wilson. They are joined by Patrick Bettison, bass; Chris Rottmayer, piano; and Dave Rudolph, drums. http://valeriegillespie.com/  Where: Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL 34238. When: Saturday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. Tickets:  Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 941.552.5325; $25 members; $30 guests.


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, email [email protected], or phone 941.366.1552, (Wed.-Fri., 9-5).


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