(Sarasota, FL) The 39th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival returns from March 3 through 9 with over 120 performers and 48 jazz related activities.
The schedule this year features five styles of live jazz (straight ahead, blues, Latin, classic and contemporary), a movie starring Dexter Gordon, and a new play with music about Louis Armstrong and Lil Hardin Armstrong, the wife who helped make him a star. In keeping with the theme “Generations of Jazz,” artistic director Ken Peplowski teams established musicians with rising stars, to create never-before-heard combinations of talent.
Sarasota’s Hyatt Regency Hotel is the festival’s home venue this year. Thirteen other venues are also participating during the week.
The festival has grown exponentially, from seven events in 2018 to 48 this year. “We’re bringing more jazz, and more styles of jazz, to more places,” said Jazz Club president Ed Linehan. Besides the Hyatt, other festival locations in Sarasota include Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail; Burns Court Cinema, 506 Burns Lane; St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2256 Bahia Vista Street and ten area clubs participating in the pub crawl by trolley.
On his return engagement as music director, Peplowski has assembled nationally and internationally prominent musicians for “Generations of Jazz,” teaming established performers with rising stars: Dick Hyman, Bill Charlap, Shelly Berg (piano); Randy Brecker, Randy Sandke, Jjames Suggs (trumpet); Houston Person, Roxy Coss, Aaron Johnson (saxophone); John Lamb (bass) and Mary Stallings and Charles Turner (vocals).
In addition to the mainstage performances, this year the Jazz Club introduces afternoon concerts on Friday and Saturday featuring four bands playing concurrently on four themed stages, allowing festival-goers to move among them.
Admission to Sarasota Jazz Festival events ranges from free to a peak of $55 for single tickets, with discounts for Jazz Club members and buyers of combination tickets. Packages including hotel and other VIP offers provide admission to private musician meet-and-greets and preferred seating at some events. The Sarasota Jazz Festival website offers a one-stop approach for information and tickets at https://www.sarasotajazzfestival.org.