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. Florida Bar revokes former state representative’s law license

    Blogs

    The Florida Bar revoked former state representative Larry Crow’s license in light of allegations that he misappropriated client funds and mishandled an estate case, according to court records.
    A petition filed in the Florida Bar case provides details of the disciplinary charges against Crow, who was elected …

    Larry Crow, a former Republican state representative from Palm Harbor
  2. Emergency crews responding to reports of explosions, deaths at Ariana Grande concert in England

    Public Safety

    Authorities in Manchester, England, say they are responding to an incident in which people were injured and killed during an Ariana Grande concert.

    Authorities in England are responding to a report of explosions and deaths during an Ariana Grande concert. She is shown here in a 2016 photo in Las Vegas. Reports are that the singer was not hurt. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)
  3. Tampa man driving ATV killed in Gibsonton crash on U.S. 41

    Public Safety

    GIBSONTON — A 24-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle died Monday afternoon in a crash on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Questions about Russia chase Trump during first Israel visit

    World

    JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Monday, sending a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians. But his historic gesture- and his enthusiastic embrace of Israel's leader - were shadowed …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making joint statements, Monday in Jerusalem. [AP photo]
  5. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]