BIG BAND BASH:   The Jazz Club’s 2nd Annual Big Band Bash event will present two of this year’s hottest groups.  Both bands are relatively young but strong in experience and talent.  For Latin jazz lovers, the 12 - piece Latin Roots Ensemble will be kicking off at 1 PM.  Prepare yourselves to hear some of the best Latin jazz played in the Tampa Bay area.  Latin Roots Ensemble is a creation of four friends who came together with different musical backgrounds, and were able to develop their own distinctive sound.  The sound is a blended mix of their individual Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican Republic heritage.  It is a music consisting of tunes with a crisp and fresh sound, containing the spirit of Latin jazz, and reverberating like the Caribbean winds. 

A bonus feature will be the premiere performance in Sarasota by classical and jazz violinist LeMay Olano James.  Formerly a member of the Cuba Symphony Orchestra, he is a relentless innovator and will amaze you with his musical brilliance.   

The second band appearing on the program will be The Helios Jazz Orchestra, an 18-piece orchestra plus vocalist, performing in Sarasota for the very first time.  The band is an ensemble-in-residence at St. Petersburg College, who originally came together in September 2008.  It is a creative mix of students, professional musicians and skilled amateur musicians who love big band music.   The Helios Jazz Orchestra is the brainchild of David Manson, music professor at St. Petersburg College, and director of the orchestra.  In concert, the band is known to cover the music of Charles Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Steve Speigel, Tom Jobim, and Victor Lopez.  At the Big Band Bash, you will hear popular Tampa Bay vocalist Rita Wilson.  Rita owns a unique style that commands attention and admiration as a jazz vocalist.  Expect the Helios Jazz Orchestra to present its exciting collection of Popular, Straight-Ahead, Swing and Bebop charts written by the director and band members.  

The JAZZ AT TWO series continues in the Bayfront Community Center, 803 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Admission is $10; $5 for Jazz Club members.  Scheduled to perform in December is:

December 4, 2 p.m. The Mancini Brothers
December 11, 2 p.m. Richard Drexler Trio
December 18, 2 p.m. The Lorri Hafer Group  

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