South County Jazz upcoming 21-22 season update

There'll be Friday afternoon concerts with top area talent again this season, thanks to an arrangement with the Jazz Foundation of America.  The season opener will be on November 5 at the usual 2-4 PM.  It features the Jim Wellen Quartet with Dave Trefethen on guitar, Johnny Moore drums and Vince Evans bass and vocals.  The Emmanuel Lutheran Church 790 South Trail.

The Unitarian Congregation where we have been for the past three years has gone to limited seating due to the virus, and wouldn't work for our purposes.  The Emmanuel Church is an excellent room with a great piano and I'm sure you'll all enjoy it.  There will be no charge for admission, but we will ask for donations to the foundation.  Contributions will go to replenish a fund set up three years ago when we dissolved the South County Jazz Club.  The fund has helped area musicians who have been impacted by health or the covid economy.

The Glenridge is closed for a year due to remodeling, so I'm working on a larger hall to present the many fine, internationally-known artists we've been able to present there.  We have  the very popular Nate Najar Jazz Holiday standing by in December, the extraordinary Ed Metz-Rossano Sportiello-NIcki Parrott Trio in February, and the superb guitarist Diego Figueiredo in November.    

The Friday afternoon schedule is as follows:

Nov 5 - Jim Wellen Quartet

Nov 19 - To Be Announced

Dec 3 To Be Announced

Dec 17 To Be Announced

January 7 Stephanie Nakasian

January 28 To Be Announced

February 11 To Be Announced

February 25 To Be Announced

March 11 To Be Announced

March 25 To Be Announced

Several are already chosen to play but dates haven't yet been assigned.  Among them are Bobby vanDeusen, Al HIxon, Patricia Dean, and Don Mopsick.  We expect to have all the dates assigned in the next couple weeks



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Diego Figueiredo

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Glenridge Performing Arts Center GPAC, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL

A new star of the guitar world. Diego is only 37, and has released 23 CDs, 3 DVDs, and has played in more than 60 countries. He's the winner of several important competitions including The Montreux Jazz Competition, and the VISA Prize. His concerts are a blend of mainstream Jazz, Bossa Nova and Classical. Diego has a unique interpretation, with tremendous techniques, enormous emotion, and his shows have been a great success to all audiences. NOTE: Immediate past members of SCJC qualify for the jazz-club member ticket discount.

Jeff Rupert Quartet with Veronica Swift

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Glenridge Performing Arts Center GPAC, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL

Veronica will be performing for us one day after the Jazz Cruise, where she will be prominently featured, docks in Miami. Now living in New York, she performs every Saturday night at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, when she isn't on the road. Veronica has been on tour with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator/author Stephanie Nakasian. She has appeared on stage with Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Bob Dorough, Kim Nazarian, Danilo Perez, and others.

Jeff Rupert is a freelance tenor saxophonist, a Yamaha Artist and a record producer under the Flying Horse Records label. His numerous recordings as a featured soloist include dates with Maynard Ferguson, Sam Rivers, Diane Schuur, Mel Torme, Benny Carter’s Grammy winning recording, Harlem Renaissance (Music Masters), and the New Jersey Blues band TheFins, to name just a few. NOTE: immediate past members of SCJC quality for the jazz-club member ticket discount.

Bobby van Deusen

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Unitarian Univeralist Congregation UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice, fl

Philadelphia native Bobby began his musical training at age 7. Precocious from a very early age, he started picking out tunes by mimicking the family player piano. Classically trained, he attended Whetstone School of the Performing Arts in Columbus, Ohio, graduating with distinction. Further studies at Capital University, Ohio State, Eastman, and Curtis helped develop the dazzling technique that became a trademark of his playing style.

After turning pro in 1976, Bobby toured the Midwest, playing clubs, piano bars and providing concerts. Moving South in 1985 led him to the Rosie O’ Gradys Dixieland Band, and gigs in New Orleans with Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, and The Dukes. He performed with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company for 5 years, perfecting his stride and ragtime styles. Marvelous technique, a mastery of numerous styles and a great sense of humor make Bobby a perennial crowd pleaser. Admission $15 at the door

Ed Metz, Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott Trio

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Glenridge Performing Arts Center GPAC, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL

The Ed Metz Jazz Trio, featuring bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott, pianist Rossano Sportiello and drummer Eddie Metz Jr., return to central Florida by audience demand! Metz has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band, the Les Brown Orchestra and many others. Metz has also worked with such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Arturo Sandoval, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Chick Corea, and Patti Page. He continues to record with top jazz artists and perform at jazz festivals and events around the country.

The trio might be described as cosmopolitan, because Ed Metz is American, Rossano Sportiello is Italian, and Nicki Parrott comes from Australia. NOTE: Immediate past members of SCJC quality for the jazz-club member ticket discount.

Al Hixon's Jazz Jam

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Unitarian Univeralist Congregation UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice, fl

NEW ADDITION: Internationally renowned valve trombonist Francois de Lima!

Al is host of the Oldest Established, Permanent, Floating Jam Session in Sarasota history. In this invitational jam, he will feature a half-dozen top area players, backed up by Al, Dick Reynolds piano and John Lamb bass. Greg Nielson will play trombone and tango with Ella Shell. Rufus Drazuka on alto and tenor sax, Rick Aaron flute, and Chris Brown and Dick Smolens vocals. NEW ADDITION: Internationally renowned valve trombonist Francois de Lima!

Nate Najar's Jazz Holiday

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Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC), 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL

Nate Najar’s Jazz Holiday has become a welcome annual tradition. A true master of jazz on the acoustic, classical guitar, Nate has enthralled audiences across the globe with his trademark and distinctive style. He’s an acclaimed composer, arranger and record producer, whose recent release “Under Paris Skies” explores his passion for French jazz and pop with a deeper commitment and purpose than ever before. It showcases the “rabbit hole” of research he did to curate a unique eclectic variety of pop, jazz and classical songs rarely re-imagined by American jazz artists. Nate’s all-time hero and major influence is the late Charlie Byrd, who also played the gut-string guitar. As always, Nate brings to us an extraordinary coterie of accompanists. Vibe master Chuck Redd has a long association with Nate, as do our area’s John Lamb on bass and trumpeter James Suggs. Adrian Cunningham on woodwinds is back for a second year, with Jean Bolduc drums and rising star, Brazilian vocalist Daniela Soledade. An outstanding lineup of musicians at the top of their profession. NOTE: Immediate past members of SCJC qualify tor the jazz club-member ticket discount.

The Bud Leeds Ensemble, featuring violin sensation Jonathon Russell

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Unitarian Univeralist Congregation UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice, fl

A perennial South-County audience favorite. Leeds always features the most exciting players around, and he's done it again. The 24-year old Russell has been a sensation since he was a mere 15. He has played New York's Blue Note, Iridium and Birdland. He has worked with Wynton Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Les Paul, John Bunch, Svend Asmussen, and more than 50 jazz bands from the United States and Europe. Bud and Jonathon will be joined on stage by John Lamb bass, Kieth Carmen piano, Tom Jestadt drums and multi-instrumentalist Bob McGinnis. $15 admission at the door.

The Jim Wellen Quartet

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Unitarian Univeralist Congregation UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Vernice, fl

Tenor saxophone master Wellen is one of the area's most popular and sought-after musicians. He'll be with Billy Marcus piano, Don Mopsick bass and Dave Trefethen guitar. Four of the finest jazzcats you are likely to hear anywhere. Our first concert of the new series was a near record turnout, even though we're not in full season yet. You won't want to miss this great group of artists. $15 admission at the door.

Johnny Varro with Mark Neuenschwander

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Unitarian Univeralist Congregation UUCOV, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice, fl

Johnny Varro ranks among the most important performers in jazz. Mentored by Willie "The Lion" Smith, he became house piano at New York's Eddie Condon Club, and went on to work with Condon. Bobby Hackett, Phil Napoleon, Buck Clayton, and countless other major stars. Mark Neuenschwander is a first-call bassist for many top artists who tour our area. As a long-time staff member at USF, Mark has taught a generation of excellent bassists. Tickets at the door. $15.

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