Suncoast Jazz Classic Brings Top Jazz Musicians will bring New Musical Styles to Clearwater Beach this year. Clearwater Beach’s Suncoast Jazz Classic is back and bigger than ever with all that jazz in five indoor venues at the Sheraton and Marriott Suites Sand Key resorts from morning to night on Thursday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 24.
Top Jazz musicians from across the country will join with local youth bands to help raise money for youth music programs in the area with performances at Zorch’s Place for Jazz, Haley’s Hall and Condon’s Corner at the Sheraton and at Al Downing Memorial Hall and Waterside Jazz at the Marriott with performances rotating every hour throughout each day and night. (Photo TOP of Adrian Cunningham)
One of the highlights of this year’s event will be the Swing Dance Party in Haley’s Hall at the Sheraton. The Cat’s Meow will give Swing Dance lessons from 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by a series of performers playing for the Swing Dance Party including Tom Hook and the Terrier Brothers, the Dave Bennett Quartet, Professor Cunningham (above LEFT) and his Old School and Tom Rigney and Flambeau. (Photo RIGHT of Jason Marsalis)
The Suncoast Jazz Classic provides opportunities for professional musicians from all over the United States and Canada as well as for aspiring young musicians from the local area to perform and share their music with enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. (Photo LEFT of Tom Rigney). There will be free parking for attendees throughout this year’s Suncoast Jazz Classic as well as free Jolley Trolley rides between the Sheraton and the Marriott Sand Key resorts.
This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Suncoast Jazz Classic on the award-winning Clearwater Beach. In its early years, the festival featured bands and musicians with a focus on classic jazz, but more recently, working with acclaimed guitarist Nate Najar (Photo RIGHT), has expanded its line-up from traditional jazz to include swing, big band, zydeco, Cajun, and some rockabilly. This year, Jason Marsalis and the 21st Century Trad Band will headline the festival. New Orleans drummer Marsalis is part of one of America’s best-known jazz families, winners of the NEA Jazz Masters Award.
“We are looking to preserve the tradition of jazz, never abandoning its early roots, but becoming inclusive of more contemporary stylings and the audience’s evolving tastes.” Festival Director Joan Dragon
Marsalis is not the only nationally celebrated artist who will perform at this year’s festival. Trumpeter Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Harry Allen (LEFT-playing sax) and bassist Tommy Cecil will also be on hand, joining the more than 80 musicians and bands who will perform on the festival’s five stages. A complete lineup of the 2019 Suncoast Jazz Classic schedule is available online.
Tickets are on sale now for a variety of packages, ranging from Sponsor, Benefactor and Three-Day Weekend packages to single day and evening tickets, which include the Friday evening Swing Dance Party. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s web site at www.suncoastjazzfestival.com or call (727) 248-9441.
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