Tag Archives: Ken Peplowski

40th Anniversary Sarasota Jazz Festival Swings Into Town March 8-14

(Sarasota, FL) The Jazz Club of Sarasota marks its 40th anniversary with its biggest series of concerts ever. The events take place in various Sarasota County venues from March 8-14, 2020. Ken Peplowski returns for his third year as music director for the mainstage concerts. “Since it’s a big anniversary, we’re presenting an overview of the best of straight tahead jazz going on now,” he said. We’ve booked Sarasota favorites who have returned often over the years as well as people coming here for the first time.”

Peplowski has chosen The Manhattan Transfer to headline the milestone event. Other jazz stars include Dick Hyman, Clairdee, Houston Person, Charles Mcpherson, Russell Malone, Terell Stafford and festival band La Lucha (Alejandro Arenas, Mark Feinman and John O’leary). “We try to have something for everybody on each night. If people already know one performer, they can come and discover another,” Peplowski said.

This year the Jazz Club has added four new events: two Master Classes, one taught by Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer and the other by acclaimed trumpeter and educator Terell Stafford; a fifth stage for its Jazz Party, now offering a reduced admission price; and a Founders Luncheon honoring the Hal and Evelyn Davis family.

The Sarasota Jazz Festival was born when Hal Davis, publicist for Benny Goodman, decided to bring live jazz to like-minded friends when he retired to Sarasota. That was in November 1980, just as another young group, The Manhattan Transfer, was beginning to garner acclaim and Grammy awards. Now the two organization are merging their talents for this landmark event.

In a significant change of venue, the festival’s mainstage concerts will be presented in the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail, with several other concerts staged at venues within a short walking distance of the Auditorium and a master class at Fogartyville Art Center. Other long-established festival events will be held in their traditional venues at Philippi Estate Park, Burns Court Cinema, and night clubs in downtown Sarasota.

Detailed information and tickets can be found by visiting www.SarasotaJazzFestival.org or by contacting the Jazz Club office 941-366-1552 Wed.-Fri., 9-5.






39th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival Returns March 3 through 9th

(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.