Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

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 [email protected] or (727) 445-4151.

 
Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

WEST PALM BEACH — The new U.S. National Hurricane Center director says learning about specific storm hazards is key to preparing for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Ken Graham leads the U.S. government’s hurricane forecasting hub in Miami. At...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Unveiling for

Unveiling for "Fortune Taylor Bridge" marker rained out, but celebration continues indoors

TAMPA — There’s a saying that everyone dies twice, Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco said Sunday: Once when they take their last breath. And again the last time someone mentions their name.So in this case, he said, the name "Fortune Taylor" ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

TALLAHASSEEFlorida districts fight charter school lawEleven school districts in Florida are refusing to give up their legal battle over an education law that steered more money to charter schools. A Leon County circuit judge in April threw out the la...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Venezuela elections draw protests

Venezuela elections draw protests

Photos by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesMarcos Carbono, center, joins with others in front of the Consulate General of Venezuela in Miami to protest the Venezuelan elections taking place on Sunday. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to be set to win ...
Updated: 8 hours ago