Norm Bernard and Southern Exposure
Trumpet player Bernard leads this six-piece jazz and Top 40 ensemble, which performs at venues in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Vocalist Kim Evans stands out on standards, R&B, disco and country songs. Find them on Facebook.
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Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra
McMillion, a longtime trumpeter and stalwart of the Tampa Bay jazz scene, has a wide-ranging style frequently compared to Maynard Ferguson. "To me, Maynard's blend of pop and jazz was fun to listen to, and the fact that he was such a dynamic player inspired me to want to put a band like that together," McMillion said in 2008. Find them on Facebook.
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Former St. Petersburg Times music critic Tony Green and his wife, Julia, lead JeZ GreW, a funk-soul fusion outfit that covers everyone from Sly and the Family Stone to Erykah Badu to Bruno Mars to Fishbone to Van Halen. "We do mostly covers, but they are so hip people think we wrote them," Green told tbt* last year. jezgrew.com.
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St. Petersbug native Kendra Morris played and sang in bands around Tampa Bay. After moving to New York, she created a girl group called Pinktricity. But after signing with label Wax Poetics, she released her debut album Banshee in 2012, which attracted comparisons to throwback soul artists like Amy Winehosue, Adele and Joss Stone. kendramorrismusic.com.
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Last year was a big one for Raabe, one of the most prominent musical minds in local jazz and theater. He played piano and led the band in Freefall Theatre's smashingCabaret, right on the heels of his doing the same at American Stage in the Park's performance of The Rocky Horror Show. Other projects include collaborations with jazz singer Sara DelBeato. michaelraabe.com.
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Tampa party band Southtown Fever can adjust to your needs. Want a 12-piece band with horns and three vocalists? You got it. Want a sound that's a little more fleshed out, with a four-piece string section? They've got that, too. Fronted by bandleader/arranger/keyboardist Bob Macar, Southtown Fever performs standards and pop covers at private and corporate events around Tampa Bay. southtownfever.com.