Category Archives: Jazz

First Church of Sarasota Kicks off Sunday Jazz Series November 13

First Church of Sarasota will once again host its very popular Sunday Jazz Concert series beginning November 13th with a “Dixie and Swing” special featuring Bill Carmichael, Dick Hamilton and Jim Martin along with the “Jazz Trio”, Tommy Goodman, Dominic Mancini and Johnny Moore. The series runs monthly through April of 2017. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Concerts are 4-5PM and 5:30-6:30PM.

Jazz Club of Sarasota Announces 37th Season Schedule

(Sarasota, FL) The Jazz Club of Sarasota swings into its 37th season with a 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.

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 and jazz cruises on the water. The schedule will culminate with the prestigious Sarasota Jazz Festival set for March 5-11, 2017.

Events scheduled through the end of 2016 appear below:

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 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. Parking is free. 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.


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.

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.”


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 (707 N. Tamiami Trail) which has teamed with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for this latest concert in their ongoing series. Doors open for gallery visits at 4:30 and the concert begins at 5:30. Tickets will be sold at door. $10 members, $15 guests. There will be Light snacks and a 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 in downtown Sarasota (maps available). Trolleys run from 5:30 pm with music from 6-10 pm. Tickets are $15.00. Wristbands are required for admission and can be arranged by sending an email to or calling the Jazz Club office, 941.366.1552. (Messages will be returned ASAP.)

The Starlite Room, 1001 Cocoanut Ave.

Main level: Eddie Tobin on piano with Linda Baker

2nd level: Singer Debbie Keeton

Mandeville Beer Garden, 428 N. Lemon Ave.

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 Dixieland tunes

Servando, 1525 4th Street.

David Pruyn, singer, drummer and trumpeter

Z’s on Main, 1454 Main Street.

Steve Roiland, trumpet, John Lamb, bass with Tracey Davis

Salute! Ristorante, 23 N. Lemon Ave.

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 at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL 34238 at 7:30 p.m. 941.552.5325; $25 members; $30 guests.

For further information on the Club’s activities visit, email, or phone the Jazz Club office at 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Fri., 9-5).

Follow us at

Big Band Files Classic with guest singer Steve March Torme

WTMY Artist Spotlight guest singer/cabaret artist Natalie Douglas

Natalie Douglas
You may order the CD in the search box below:

Jazz Club of Sarasota and Baltimore Orioles Team Up for Jazz in the Ballpark at Ed Smith Stadium April 9th

(Sarasota, FL) The Jazz Club of Sarasota and the Baltimore Orioles are teaming up for the first time to bring a live, big-band jazz concert to the Left Field Pavilion at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday, April 9, from 7 to 9 p.m.

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. The high-energy band will perform popular favorites from the fabulous career of Frank Sinatra and his pals, covering music from World War II through the end of the 20th century. Their swinging instrumentals will be enhanced by top jazz soloists, along with vocal classics by sensational Miami-based jazz singer Lisanne Lyons and McLain. The evening will also include a special “Armed Forces Salute” in tribute to veterans and those now in service to our country.

“The Orioles are excited to welcome jazz fans to Ed Smith Stadium’s Left Field Pavilion for another ‘first’ in our Arts in the Ballpark event series,” said David Rovine, Vice President, Orioles-Sarasota. “The Orioles’ partnerships with local cultural organizations like the Jazz Club of Sarasota continue to introduce new entertainment opportunities for our community in a unique setting.”
Lisanne Lyons (hi-res)
Peg Pluto, president of the Jazz Club of Sarasota, is equally enthusiastic. “We’re thrilled to present some truly great music, played with all the pizzazz that a big band brings,” she said.

A party atmosphere will prevail in the Left Field Pavilion, where fans can grab ball park food, enjoy the outdoors on a cool Sarasota evening and even dance under the stars to musical selections that will include “All Or Nothing At All,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “In the Mood,” “West Side Story Jazz Suite” and the Sinatra favorite “Come Fly With Me.”

Reserved seats, offered 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.
Sarasota Jazz Project 2016
Tickets may be purchased through the Orioles’ box office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by phone at 941-893-6300, or online by clicking “Events” at The Orioles’ box office is located at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street in Sarasota.

Follow us at