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Your weekend arts forecast: Jazz, and all that jazz besides

Bill DeYoung



Vibraphonist Cole Hazlitt wll perform as part of Les Petites Fleurs, tonight at thestudio@620. Facebook photo.

You can never have too much jazz, apparently.

Two St. Petersburg downtown venues are skewing jazz-centric: It’s “January Jazz Weekend” at thestudio@620, kicking off with a performance by the newly-formed quintet Les Petites Fleurs (guitarist Philip Charos, trumpeter Jason Charos, vibraphonist Cole Hazlitt, bassist Joe Porter and drummer Ayrias Pedigo) tonight (Jan. 13).

Friday’s concert is from St. Pete’s venerable Downtown Trio (David Pate, saxophones; Michael Ross, bass; John Jenkins, drums), and Saturday brings a performance by trumpeter Jackson Harpe and his “Collective.”

All tickets for thestudio@620 here.

At the Palladium, the annual Jazz Awards concert takes place Sunday at 4 p.m., with a who’s who of area players paying tribute to the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association – celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Downing (1916-2000) was a keyboard player, educator and visionary who began the association as the Allegro Music Society. It became the Al Downing Florida Jazz Association in 1981.

At Sunday’s concert, the Palladium will honor former WUSF-FM Jazz Director Michael Cornette, who retired last month.

On the Hough Hall stage: The Al Downing Jazz All-Stars, plus a quartet consisting of pianist John O’Leary (from La Lucha), trumpeter James Suggs, drummer Rick Costa and singer, saxman and celebrated songwriter Danny Bacher. Info and tickets.

(A previously-announced jam session, with La Lucha, has been canceled.)

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Palladium has pianist Fred Moyer and his trio booked – playing note-for-note transcriptions of great jazz trio recordings from the past. Info here.

And jazz is certainly key to the DNA of the marvelous group known as Pink Martini, performing at the Mahaffey Theater Tuesday. Info here.

But this is a Weekend Arts Forecast, so sticking to the upcoming few days:

Non-jazz events

Solo guitarist Willy Porter, who’s kind of a cross between Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges, is at the Palladium Friday. Info and tickets.

Sunday brings acclaimed Americana singer, songwriter and guitarist David Wilcox to Craftsman House Gallery. Call (727) 323-2787 for tickets to the 6:30 p.m. concert.

The national tour of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical continues at the Straz Center. Here’s what we wrote about it earlier this week.

At Stageworks Theatre, in Tampa’s Channelside district, the explosive production of the deadlocked-jury drama Twelve Angry Men continues. Info and tickets.

Longtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre and his band play Thursday and Friday nights at the Central Park Performing Arts Center in Largo. Here’s the Catalyst interview with the surprisingly frank rock legend, from earlier this week.

The Florida Orchestra has taken the weekend off, citing Covid concerns.

At the Mahaffey Theater Friday, The Doo Wop Project is a touring show about the history and impact of five-part streetcorner a capella singing, from its origins in the 1950s to today (hopefully the five dudes in the cast will sing Billy Joel’s doo-wop classic  “The Longest Time”). Info and tickets.

At Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Capital Theatre (downtown Clearwater), it’s an eclectic lineup, as always. Progressive bluegrass outfit The Steeldrivers has a gig tonight, with whitefaced Puddles Pity Party, the “sad clown with the amazing voice,” onstage Saturday. And Sunday night, who else but folk music legend Judy Collins? Try saying that fast three times.

Not to be outdone, Ruth Ecker Hall proper (on McMullen-Booth Road, way east of downtown) has the Floridian classic country band The Mavericks (featuring the great Raul Malo on vocals) Friday, and the Canadian Classic Albums Live aggregate – NOT a tribute band – playing the Who’s Next album, note for note. tickets for all Ruth Eckerd-related performances here.

The Mahaffey Theater concert by the British synth-pop duo Erasure, schedule for Sunday, has been canceled – along with every other January and February stop on the group’s tour, “as a result of circumstances beyond our control” according to the official Erasure website. “We will announce the rescheduled shows shortly, so please hang on to your tickets and we will bring you more information very soon.”



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