Forget the naysayers who only look back and not around them. Jazz is very much alive in Tampa Bay. Its history and tradition continue thrive on both sides of the bay, as so does a spirit of forward momentum.
In Pinellas, we’ve been fortunate to see the growth of the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival and Palladium‘s Side Door jazz concerts as well as some other notable open jam nights happening on both sides of the bay. Here’s a rundown on where you can sway with other local hepcats:
Avant Garde Jazz Night at the Gallerie 909
First Saturday of the month, 7 p.m.
909 22nd St. S., St.æPetersburg
Catch an exquisite freeform performance with the elegance of traditional jazz but none of the standards. Horn player Rick Adams and drummer Edward Burrows headline the intimate, eclectic gallery with eye candy to spare. Adams and Burrows also do street performances most Friday nights on Third Street and First Avenue North (outside Starbucks). $10 donation.
Al Downing Jazz Jam at Hangar Lounge, Albert Whitted Airport
540 First St. S.E., St. Petersburg
First Monday of the month, 8-10 p.m.
Trumpeter Dwayne White and a rhythm section back up all interested musicians and vocalists. It’s where you might spot a veteran performer sitting in and hobnobbing with a former mayor or other politico. Vocals, instrumentals and a blend of styles can be enjoyed week to week.
With Special Guest Anthony Castellano
Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy some “straight-ahead jazz” at a joint that strives foræa retro-lounge ambiance, hearkening back to the night clubs of bigæcities in the ’40s and ’50s. Classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned are served; stogies are a staple.
The Tom Kats Jazz Orchestra at the Blue Parrot
Mon, May 22, 8-10:30 p.m.
Blue Parrot, 85 Corey Circle, St Pete Beach, (727)368-9619 äó_
Kick it old school with big band on the beach. The Tom Kats Jazz Orchestra features several experienced instrumentalists who mix standards and contemporary arrangements.
Jazz Night at Clearwater Yacht Club
Wednesday, May 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Enjoy sunsets and Intracoastal breezes with smooth jazz styling; happens monthly.
Jazz Night at Iberian Rooster
Wed., May 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
455 Central Ave., St. Petersburg
Vessoul open the night followed by It Factor Band. Special guest is trumpeter Will Haynes.
Jazz Wednesdays at Mandarin Hide
231 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, (727)231-4007
Catch the Ray Biscoglia Trio withæNate Najaræwhen not on tour.
Palladium Side Door
June 15, 8 p.m.
253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Nate Najar and guitarist Chip Henderson present “Swing Guitars!” with John Lamb on bass and Mark Feinman on drums.æmypalladium.org.
For more listings, visitæjazzbluesflorida.com/West-Central.