Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

It's not all jazz, but the Clearwater Jazz Holiday still draws music lovers

CLEARWATER — For a while, all the stressful things grabbing for people's attention got drowned out by the sounds of keyboards and guitars and horns.

Worried about our dysfunctional government, flood insurance rates, the jobless recovery or Tampa Bay's winless NFL team? Those kinds of problems faded into the distance Thursday as musicians took the stage for opening night of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

A local classic that's now in its 34th season, the festival will continue today through Sunday at Coachman Park on the downtown Clearwater waterfront.

"Yes sir, it's Jazz Holiday time. I'm ready to be carried away, baby," Clearwater music lover Patty Knapp said as she settled herself amid a sea of people in collapsible lawn chairs. "I look forward to this time of year."

The weekend forecast looks like a mixed bag for an outdoor festival. It calls for partly sunny, partly cloudy days with temperatures in the high 80s and a chance of scattered showers on Sunday.

Two sorts of people seemed to dominate Thursday's crowd: regulars who come every year, and those who had never been before. The newbies showed up for Thursday night's headliner, the long-running rock band Chicago.

"This is my first concert at Coachman Park. I was afraid it would be complicated to navigate. But I've got a great spot," said Susan Tyburski of Largo.

At the first Jazz Holiday in 1980, the bands played on the bed of a flatbed truck. Since then, the festival has evolved into Clearwater's signature event, backed by an army of volunteers who do the bulk of the work.

There have been two major changes in recent years.

Not just jazz: It's not just about jazz anymore. Organizers seek a lineup that will appeal to a broad base of fans. That means a diverse grouping of jazz, funk, alt-country and pop talent.

No longer free: Last year was the first time the festival charged for admission. General seating lawn tickets now cost $10 per day in advance, or $20 the day of the show. Kids 12 and younger get in free.

The changes have led to some grumbling.

"They should just call it Clearwater Music Holiday if they're not going to bring back the jazz," said Kathy Dalpiaz of Belleair Beach, who has attended the festival for 22 years. "And it used to be free. We would come two or three times a weekend. This year, tonight's the only night we're coming."

"Then again," said her husband Nick, "where else can you go see Chicago for 10 bucks?"

Organizers say selling tickets allows them to book better headliners.

"We had very little negative feedback" about the decision, said Bob Childress, president of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday Foundation. "Most were asking us why we waited so long."

Tonight's lineup is loaded with jazz bands. Saturday brings some funk, including headliner Tower of Power. Sunday features Americana sounds, including alt-country singer Brandi Carlile.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151.

If you go

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Tickets are $10 in advance or $20 at the gate. Buy them at clearwaterjazz.com or (727) 461-5200 or 1-888-695-0888.

Today

• 4:30-6 p.m., Gumbi Ortiz and New Groove City

• 6:30-8 p.m., Jane Monheit

• 8:30-11 p.m., Paul Brown and Larry Carlton

Saturday

• 2-3:15 p.m., Chris Godber

• 3:45-5 p.m., Acme Jazz Garage with Belinda Womack

• 5:30-6:45 p.m., Level 10

• 7:15-8:45 p.m., Average White Band

• 9:15-10:45 p.m., Tower of Power

Sunday

• 2-3 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall's Clearwater Jazz Holiday Youth Jazz Band

• 3:30-4:30 p.m., Have Gun, Will Travel

• 5-6 p.m., Lake Street Dive

• 6:30-7:30 p.m., Amos Lee

• 8-9:30 p.m., Brandi Carlile

It's not all jazz, but the Clearwater Jazz Holiday still draws music lovers 10/17/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 12:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.