Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jazz, live on WMNF - Trio Vibe and others

Thanks to Jimmy Lyons, the engineers and live-broadcast producers and the management at WMNF, 88.5 FM for doing what it took to make possible another parking-lot jazz party last night. As it turned out, my new group, Trio Vibe, with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Don Capone, gave its first official performance -- live, on the air. The party/concert was an outgrowth of the Charles Vann Jazz Party that airs every Saturday night (6-9) on the station.

We played Miles' "All Blues," Jobim's "Wave" and other tunes before several other players -- trumpeter Dwayne White, guitarist Vincent Sims, trombonist Andy Foertsch and saxophonist Pamela Epps -- joined us for "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and more. The download of the show should be available soon, here.

It's always nice reconnecting with various folks on the jazz scene, including Jimmy, bassist Kenny Walker, who took over bass duties for the evening's second set of music and superb photographer Herb Snitzer (who very kindly let me use his Thelonious Monk pix for a charity-benefiting tribute disc, Monk in the Sun, that I produced about 10 years ago).

I also got a chance to meet Rick Gee, who has done so much to promote jazz in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota/Manatee areas in recent years, including his work with the Jazz Club of Sarasota and the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association. "Let's Keep Jazz Alive!" is the slogan of Rick Gee's Jazz Jamm productions. Below, from Rick's website, is the info about his latest series of jazz shows:

ST PETERSBURG, FL (April 2, 2007) – The Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts proudly announces JAZZ JAMM, a monthly jazz series presented by local music aficionado Rick Gee. Each Jazz Jamm features eclectic performances by recognized artists in the intimate, cabaret atmosphere of the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center’s newly renovated Bayview Room.

Music aficionado Rick Gee brings years of experience in concert promotion to the Jazz Jamm series. He has served on The Jazz Club of Sarasota’s Board of Directors, was the former president of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association, and is the co-creator of the popular “Side Door Jazz Concert Series” at the Palladium Theater.

He also writes his own jazz column as an independent correspondent for The Weekly Challenger. For the last three years, Gee has locally produced the popular annual events in Sarasota, “Jazz in the Park” and “Jazz on the Water.”

Rick Gee’s love of music in general, his many years of involvement in the world of jazz combined with his business and financial experience, plus the determination to achieve his goals, gives just cause to expect nothing but the very best for the Jazz Jamm Series at the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts.

Tickets for each performance are only $20. The full schedule of artists and event dates for this exciting Jazz Jamm series at the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts follows on the next page. The Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts is St Petersburg’s cultural jewel on the bay. A 2030-seat performing arts center located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, the newly renovated facility features breathtaking ballroom spaces and dramatic lobby areas overlooking the Tampa Bay waterfront.

Visit for more information. For the Box Office call 727-892-5767. The Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts is managed by SMG. Headquartered in Philadelphia, SMG provides facility services to 195 venues, in 41 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada and Europe, controls over 7 million entertainment seats worldwide.

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