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Jazz up your Sunday afternoon

The band shell at West Park Village is the site for the first West Park Jazz Festival, a free concert with local talent.

By JANE BOKUN
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 3, 2002


WESTCHASE -- Melodic jazz riffs will replace the usual hum of noise in West Park Village this Sunday.

The band shell on Montague Street will become center stage from noon until 6 p.m. for the first West Park Jazz Festival.

The free concert will showcase the local talents of Allon Sams and Chuck Drake, featuring Theo Valentine. Applebee's, the Downtown Sports Grill and other restaurants will sell samples from their menus. An art show and sale will accompany the afternoon of food and music.

Sponsors include the newly formed West Park Village Merchants Association, Anheuser-Busch and local restaurants.

Many of the village's retail business owners formed the Merchants Association last month with the goal of bringing more business into the Westchase area.

Frank Lombardi, president of the Merchants Association, said he thought of the jazz concert because he wanted people in and around Westchase to get to know West Park Village.

"I knew that West Park Village was set up for concerts and events, and I wanted the Merchants Association to get in and get this thing going," said Lombardi, owner of West Park Galleria, a home decorating store.

Parking along the main drives in Westchase and West Park Village will not be a problem, Lombardi said. Additional parking is available at Westchase Elementary School on Linebaugh Avenue.

All people need to bring is a blanket or lawn chair, Lombardi said.

"We have a lot of things for them to see here -- a wonderful bell tower that rings and our band shell. We just want to say, 'Hey, we're here.' "

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