Clearwater Jazz Holiday kicks off Thursday with Al Jarreau; Neville Brothers coming Sunday
Music festivals come and go, and several have fallen victim to recession-driven cutbacks.
The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, though, celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend with a lineup largely focused on smooth jazz. Singer Al Jarreau (above), saxophonist Boney James, trumpeter Chris Botti and bass virtuoso Brian Bromberg are among the headliners, along with veteran New Orleans funk band the Neville Brothers. All except Jarreau are making encore appearances at the festival.
The event, which annually draws tens of thousands to breezy Coachman Park on the waterfront, has presented genuine jazz legends over the years, from Dizzy Gillespie to Count Basie to Branford Marsalis.
Fans of straight-ahead jazz are marking their calendars for Sunday’s performance by the Marcus Roberts Trio, scheduled for 4 p.m. The acclaimed pianist has worked with Wynton Marsalis and released a string of solo albums, including seven albums in as many years for Sony.
The four-day festival is free at Clearwater’s Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. You’ll want to bring blankets or lawn chairs, but leave pets, coolers and all food and drink at home.
After the jump, get a look at some of this year's acts not to miss. For detailed schedule, go to clearwaterjazz.com.
5 p.m.: Gates open
8:30 p.m.: Al Jarreau
Earlier: Tom Brantley Collective, Mike MacArthur and Nate Najar
4 p.m.: Gates open
9:30 p.m.: Chris Botti
Earlier: Organic Trio, Joe Baione Quartet and Nicole Henry
2:30 p.m.: Gates open
9 p.m.: Boney James
10:30 p.m.: Fireworks
Earlier: Gumbi Ortiz and the Latino Projekt and Les Sabler
2 p.m.: Gates open
8 p.m.: Neville Brothers
Earlier: Youth jazz band with BK Jackson, Marcus Roberts Trio and Brian Bromberg’s It Is What It Is Band
-- Philip Booth, tbt* correspondent. Photo: Getty Images.