Fans Offered an Intimate Jazz Weekend Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
St. Petersburg’s beloved John Lamb, Nate Najar, Daniela Soledade and James Suggs Showcased
For the past 32 years, fans from around the country have gathered on Florida’s West Coast the weekend before Thanksgiving to attend the SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL on Sand Key in Clearwater Beach. This year’s annual event offers the chance to enjoy live performances from over 80 jazz musicians inside resort settings overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. This year, the “purely jazz” weekend will take place November 18-20, 2022.
New for 2022: several top “legends of jazz” will be honored including Houston Person, John Lamb and Johnny Varro. The musical line-up also includes dozens of local, regional and national musicians ranging from New York’s Grammy nominated pianist/vocalist/songwriter/radio host, Judy Carmichael to New Orleans Jazz trumpeter and singer Kermit Ruffins to St. Petersburg’s beloved Nate Najar, Daniela Soledade and James Suggs.
What makes the annual event so popular? Joan Dragon has been the SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL director for 15 years and a member of the Board of the non-profit organization for 20 years. “We are dedicated to preserving and promoting jazz,” she says. “We offer an indoor, intimate setting held inside venues at The Sheraton Sand Key Resort and the Marriott Suites on Sand Key with the addition of The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Clearwater Beach for nearby lodging overlooking the Gulf. The “Jolley Trolley” offers a free shuttle between hotels and free parking at Sand Key Park.
“We encourage locals and out-of-towners alike to enjoy three days on beautiful Sand Key for some of the best, live performances today from American Songbook Jazz, New Orleans Trad, Swing, Blues, Zydeco, a little Rockabilly, Swing dance, aspiring Youth Bands, and Gospel on Sunday Morning.”
A variety of admission tickets are available with six options ranging from: $40 (after 6 pm) up to $225 for three days of non-stop music. SPONSORSHIPS ALSO AVAILABLE. For tickets and information, visit online at suncoastjazzfestival.com; or write firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone (727)248-9441. Early Bird tickets are available before October 1. Students with ID are admitted free of charge Saturday and Sunday. www.suncoastjazzfestival.com
SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL Performers and Bands:
RETURNING FAVORITES: Professor Cunningham and His Old School, Dave Bennett, Jason Marsalis, Diego Figueiredo, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Cornet Chop Suey, Sierra Seven
NEWLY ADDED: New Orleans Jazz trumpeter and singer Kermit Ruffins
NEW AND RETURNING: Galvanized Jazz Band with Janie Campedelli, Talk of the Town JB, Judy Carmichael, Katie Thiroux
LOCAL FAVORITES: Nate Najar, Daniela Soledade, Jeff Rupert Quartet, La Lucha, James Suggs, Ed Metz, Jean Bolduc, Synia Carroll, Pepper and Fine Thyme, Theo Valentin, Bryan Hughes, Betty Comora, Mike Evans, Bob Price, Bakey and Betty, the Al Downing All Stars, Jam Sessions with Dr. Jim Gover
HONORING JAZZ LEGENDS: Houston Person, John Lamb and Johnny Varro