Sax player Sue Terry has a sense of humor. In the 19th century, when the saxophone was invented, classical music traditionalists came up with a derisive name for the instrument that paved the way for jazz: pink slimy worm.
So now it's the title of a CD by Perry, who headlines the first St. Petersburg College Jazz Festival, featuring three concerts this week.
"Sue's a musician's musician," festival director David Manson says. "She's been burning it up in New York. One of the nice things about her playing is that she's not one-dimensional. She can sound like her teacher, Jackie McLean, and she can sound like Charlie Parker, and she can also play on the (John) Coltraneish side."
For Terry's concert Saturday, she'll be joined by the Florida all-star combo of Richard Drexler on piano, Mark Neuenschwander on bass and Tracy Alexander on percussion. They'll play some pieces from Pink Slimy Worm.
The saxophonist also is featured in Thursday's concert by the SPC big band, the 22-piece Helios Jazz Orchestra, with vocalists Joanna Rose and Rita Wilson. That program ranges from Paquito D'Rivera's Chu Cho to Burt Bacharach's The Look of Love.
Friday's concert has a world music theme, with a double bill of Manigua, a quintet led by guitarist Alfredo Rivero, and the Brazilian sounds of O Som Do Jazz with singer Andrea Moraes Manson.
All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. at the SPC Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 341-4301.
USF ground-breaking is music to their ears
The University of South Florida School of Music is finally getting a proper home. On Thursday, there is a groundbreaking ceremony for a $46 million music building on the Tampa campus. Scheduled to open in fall 2010, the building includes a 500-seat concert hall that will be a great addition to the musical resources of the Tampa Bay area.
"We're on top of the world," says Wade Weast, director of the music school, which has 408 undergraduate and graduate students and 31 full-time and about 20 part-time faculty numbers. "This building is so long overdue, and so desperately needed."
The music school has long been housed in a converted humanities complex that is woefully inadequate. USF officials tried for decades to line up state funding for a music building, and the Legislature approved it in 2006. The money was allocated before the recession and the state's budget crunch.
"The money is already in the bank and has been for some time," Weast says. "They tell us that once the funds are released and a shovel goes in the ground, there's no turning back."
The 103,000-square-foot building, designed by the architectural firm Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas, will have two concert halls, rehearsal spaces, practice rooms, classrooms and faculty offices and studios. It will be located just northwest of the school's current quarters in the fine arts complex.
"When we were picking the architect, we said there were three important things: acoustics, acoustics and acoustics," Weast says. "What that means is that wall thickness and acoustical treatment are specific to music."
The USF marching band will play at the ground-breaking at 2 p.m. Thursday.
John Fleming can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8716.