All is in readiness for Sarasota Jazz Festival despite last-minute change of venue;
‘Greatest living jazz clarinetist’ Ken Peplowski directs 14 acclaimed musicians from 7 nations
in new combinations for a memorable once-in-a-lifetime jazz party
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2018
SARASOTA, FL: All is in readiness for the 38th Sarasota Jazz Festival, “A World of Jazz,” despite a last-minute change in location for four major concerts according to Ed Linehan, managing director of the festival and vice president of the Jazz Club of Sarasota, producer of the nationally recognized festival. The festival is set for March 7-10 in various Sarasota locations.
The major concerts, four of the festival’s six events, had been booked into the Art Ovation Hotel that is currently nearing completion on Palm Avenue. However, the hotel encountered unforeseen construction delays and won’t be ready in time. “The staff of the hotel expressed its deepest regrets,” Linehan said. “We’re disappointed, but as a successful arts presenter since 1980, we at the Jazz Club know that the show must go on. We were fortunately able to secure an alternative venue quickly for the four concerts.”
Accordingly, the Sarasota Jazz Festival will return to its home of recent years, Riverview Performing Arts Center, at Riverview High School, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, for the four concerts. The locations and schedules for the other two festival events, the Pub Crawl by Trolley and the screening of the film Django remain unchanged.
Programming and performance times for the concerts remain the same. “Our program will not be diminished by one note. We will still present ‘A World of Jazz’ with the fabulous Ken Peplowski as music director and the same fourteen exceptional musicians from seven nations,” Linehan said.
Peplowski, described as “arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist” (Russell Davies, BBC2), has booked established jazz musicians and fast-rising young stars from around the world to create “A World of Jazz” for the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the 38th in an annual series. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a presenting partner for the four-day jazz party.
In addition to the four major concerts at Riverview PAC, the festival includes 50 area musicians playing for a Pub Crawl by Trolley and the French art film Django, preceded by a live gypsy jazz performance. The Jazz Club of Sarasota will also bestow its highest honor, the Satchmo Award—presented every year since 1987—to someone chosen for a “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz.”
The international performers will play in first-time-ever combinations to create once-in-a-lifetimeexperiences. Peplowski has designed a playbook of two sets for the concerts, each with a different mix of performers. “We’ll present distinctive pairings of musicians for every set, creating a fresh sound for each segment,” he said. He’ll also add another treat: “After each evening concert we’ll bring back all of that night’s musicians for an All-Star jam session number or two—an improvised finale that takes us into the very essence of jazz.”
Peplowski will emcee the four concerts, joined by one radio personality for each: Bob Seymour (former director of Jazz, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa ), Mike Cornette (director of jazz and on-air host, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa), Kayonne Riley (general manager and on-air host, WUCF 89.9 FM, Orlando) and Whitney James (jazz vocalist and on-air host, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa).
Here are abbreviated lists of the international performers and the festival schedule. For further information visit the Sarasota Jazz Festival website (https://www.sarasotajazzfestival2018.org/), which contains musician bios, photos and audio clips; up-to-date schedules; and ticket information.
The Scandinavian Jazztrio is house band for the festival: Writer/musician/composer Kristian Leth, (Denmark) drums, Danish Academy Award-nominated film composer and Grammy-winning recording artist; Hans Backenroth (Sweden), bass, “one of the best bass players Sweden has developed—ever!”; Ole Kock Hansen (Denmark), piano, “one of the most significant artists in modern Danish Jazz.”
Other festival musicians (in alphabetical order) are Ehud Asherie (Israel), piano, “a master of swing and stride” (New Yorker); Graham Dechter (U.S.) guitar, “Rising Star Guitar” (DownBeat Critics Poll 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017); Sinne Eeg (Denmark),vocalist, considered the preeminent jazz vocalist in Scandinavia; Diego Figueiredo, (Brazil) guitar, “one of the greatest jazz guitarists in the world” (Montreaux Jazz Festival); Jimmy Greene (U.S.), saxophone, GRAMMY® Award-nominated saxophonist, composer, and arranger; Jeff Hamilton (U.S.) drums, leads his own trio and plays with other respected groups including the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra; Chiara Izzi (Italy) vocals, “a talent to be heard, admired and anticipated” (JazzTimes); Jeremy Pelt (U.S.) trumpet, “Rising Star – Trumpet” for five years by DownBeat and Jazz Journalists Association; Houston Person(U.S.) saxophone, winner of the Eubie Blake Award; “rock-solid, full-toned”; and Akiko Tsuruga(Japan) organ, “Queen of the Organ”, winner, 2017 Best Organist (Hothouse Jazz Magazine).
- Wed., Mar. 7: 20th Annual Jazz Trolley & Pub Crawl. Trolleys depart from the parking lot of Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota from 5:30 p.m. and carry pub crawlers to and from venues in downtown Sarasota
- Thurs., Mar. 8: International Concert, 7:30 p.m.; Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota.
- Fri., Mar. 9: Music and film, 10 a.m. Keven Aland (violin) and Jon McLaughlin (guitar) of Hot Club of SRQ play gypsy jazz to set the mood for the 2017 film Django, about guitarist/composer Django Reinhardt and his flight from German-occupied Paris in 1943. Burns Court Cinema, 506 Burns Court, Sarasota
- FRI., MAR. 9: International Concert, 7:30 p.m.; Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota.
- SAT., MAR. 10: International Concert, 2:00 p.m.; Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota.
- SAT., MAR. 10: International Concert and presentation of Satchmo Award, 7:30 p.m., Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota.
Sarasota Jazz Festival ticket prices peak at $49, with discounts available for Jazz Club members and through several combination packages including a VIP ticket that includes a VIP/Sponsor reception, admission and preferred seating for all concerts and private receptions with the musicians. Prices for the movie Django and the Jazz Pub Crawl are lower. Contact the Jazz Club* for Jazz Pub Crawl wristbands ($20/advance; $25/at event), information about the movie, VIP Combo Ticket Packages, and other options. To purchase general admission tickets for single concerts ($39/member; $49/nonmember), contact brownpapertickets.com or 800.838.3006.
*For further information and tickets for the Pub Crawl by Trolley, the film Django, VIP packages, and discounted ticket combinations contact the Jazz Club of Sarasota: For more information visithttp://jazzclubsarasota.org/, e-mail admin@JazzClubSarasota.com, or phone 941.366.1552 (Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Monday-Friday during Festival Week).
The Jazz Club of Sarasota, founded in 1980, is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz, America’s original musical art form. The Club has provided over 50 jazz-related events annually for more than 37 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, including the 38th Annual Festival set for March 7-10, 2018. In addition to producing numerous jazz events, over the years the Club has granted more than $250,000 in scholarships to aspiring young jazz musicians.