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Swing into High Gear at the Suncoast Jazz Festival

The Suncoast Jazz Festival returns on November 19 – 21 with five indoor venues at the Sheraton & Marriott Sand Key Hotels on Clearwater Beach.

The 30th Anniversary of the festival would have been in 2020 – if the whole world hadn’t gone topsy turvy!

Music will play from morning into the late evening.

Ticket prices start at $30.  Students get in free on Saturday and Sunday. There will be free parking and complimentary Jolly Trolley shuttles between hotels and venues.

The Festival’s Venue and Partner hotels are offering special Jazz Festival rates at the Marriott Suites on Sand Key and the Sheraton Sand Key & Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites.

During the weekend there will be over 80 musicians performing, a three-band swing dance on Friday night, a Jazz Gospel hour on Sunday morning and non-stop musical fun!

Headliners this year are The Brubeck Brothers Quartet- two sons of the legendary Dave Brubeck,

and Jason Marsalis, who is part of the talented New Orleans Jazz family and an accomplished multi-instrument performer & composer.

Local musicians performing include La Lucha, Nate Najar and Daniela Soledade, John Lamb (former Duke Ellington bass player), Synia Carroll (Sarasota) and the Al Downing All Stars.

The festival is also importing Professor Cunningham and His Old School from Australia (by way of NYC); Dave Bennett from Detroit; Cornet Chop Suey from St. Louis; Tom Rigney & Flambeau from the west coast; and Heather Thorn from Orlando.

The Festival will present a Master Class primarily for young jazz musicians led by Chris and Dan Brubeck.

The VIP Gala is a Thursday night dinner dance with the Bill Allred Band entertaining. It’s a way of saying thank you to the Festival’s sponsors and donors. Sponsorship levels are on the brochure or website.

The Parasol Parade kicks off the entire Festival on Friday morning starting at 11 a.m. on the pool deck of the Sheraton Sand Key. There will be a Dixieland band leading the parade and festival goers dress up in their finest, including boas, Mardi gras masks, and bow ties along with the parasols. From there the party heads into the air-conditioned ballrooms to enjoy the three-day festival.

The Swing Dance Party is a highlight of the festival, too. Four different swing bands rotate throughout the evening and two-thirds of the ballroom at the Sheraton becomes a dance floor. Dancers from all over the Tampa Bay area come to enjoy the party. There’s rumor that some of the studios in the area will be presenting a showcase dance or two.

While last year, the Festival was virtual, this year it will be entirely an in-person event.

You can create your custom festival experience, as Sponsor, Weekend, Daily and Twilight tickets are available.

2021 Lineup

  • Dick Hyman

  • Brubeck Brothers Quartet
  • Jason Marsalis
  • Diego Figueiredo
  • Professor Cunningham and his Old School

  • Bill Allred and the Suncoast Festival All Stars – Bob Leary, Johnny Varro, Allan Vache, Davy Jones, Theo Valentin, Jay Mueller and Ed Metz
  • Dave Bennett Quartet
  • Tom Rigney and Flambeau

  • Cornet Chop Suey

  • Eddie Metz Trio with Rossano Sportiello and Nicki Parrott

  • Heather Thorn and Vivacity
  • La Lucha with Mark Feinman, John O’Leary and Alejandro Arenas
  • The Legendary John Lamb

  • Nate Najar

  • Daniela Soledade

  • James Suggs

  • Synia Carroll
  • Bakey and Betty

  • Betty Comora and Mike Evans
  • Amateur jams with Dr. Jim Gover and his Naples Pals
  • Cat’s Meow
  • Swing dance lessons … and more to be announced

You can watch the virtual festival from home as well.

Come out and face the music and have a swinging good time!

Suncoast Jazz Festival


Festival office phone: 727-248-9441

The Suncoast Jazz Festival is a 501©(3) organization and funded through grants, sponsorships, donations and Festival ticket sales. The musicians always appreciate your generous support, and in light of the pandemic, they are especially grateful this year.

Photos and video courtesy of the Suncoast Jazz Festival

Related articles:

Suncoast Jazz Festival Goes Virtual

Clearwater Institution Draws Aspiring Local Musicians and National Stars

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Kelly Kelly
the authorKelly Kelly

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