Sarasota's known for great classical music and for its strong blues scene. Jazz doesn't get as much attention, though discerning jazz fans can almost always find some quality live music around town.
In the week ahead, jazz takes the forefront, as the 36th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival opens Sunday and runs through Saturday at venues around town. Lots of the musicians are world-class, and some are world-famous, including Sarasota's own Dick Hyman.
Here are some highlights:
Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, March 6: Free outdoor concert in a picnic setting. Performing bands include the SCF Jazz Ensemble with Marc Mannino directing the college's 12-piece Little Big Band and the 18-piece SCF Jazz Ensemble Big Band. Phillippi Estate Park
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7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8: Trumpet virtuoso and vocalist Byron Stripling performs with the Naples Jazz Orchestra big band directed by Bob Stone. Riverview Performing Arts Center.
6-10:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9: Festival-goers can hop on and off the Jazz Trolley for a pub crawl through eight downtown Sarasota clubs where jazz musicians will be playing. Trolleys depart from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10: Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo and reedman Ken Peplowski will re-create the seminal album "Jazz Samba" by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. Riverview PAC.
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 11: Wycliffe Gordon headlines a concert with the Billy Marcus Trio (of the Florida Jazz Hall of Fame). Gordon has been honored with "DownBeat" magazine's Critics Choice Award for two different instruments: Best Trombone for three consecutive years (2012- 2014) and Rising Star Award for Tuba (2014).
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12: The Jazz All-Stars take the stage -- Dick Hyman, Howard Alden, John Lamb, Russell Malone, Mark Feinman and a "surprise guest." Riverview PAC.
Details: March 6-12, locations around Sarasota. Hours: noon-4 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday, 6-10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets: Various. Information: 941-366-1552.
-- Marty Clear