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Comfy, classy and jazzy

Published October 18, 2006


Jazz Holiday organizers are trying something different this year: They want to start with a bang.

Enter Kenny G.

Organizers said kicking off the festival with the popular jazz saxophonist and closing with swing band Cherry Poppin' Daddies is part of this year's attempt to start off with a bang, stay strong and leave the audience dancing.

While jazz purists concede that Kenny G will fill Coachman Park, they have been critical of the lineup.

Some are politely critical.

"Well, they're starting with a big name," said Bob Seymour, jazz director at WUSF 89.7-FM, "and a short name at that."

Others are not.

"In the straight-ahead jazz community, it's a joke," said Jimmy Lyons, president of the Tampa Jazz Club and co-host of the Charles Vann Jazz Show on WMNF 88.5-FM.

Ray Biscoglia, a member of this year's music selection committee, said bringing in popular smooth jazz artists who will fill Coachman accomplishes two things:

It makes sponsors happy and keeps the concerts free.

As Seymour and Lyons looked at this year's lineup, they suggested that crowds come early Thursday to hear the opening act, the Kenny Drew Jr. Quartet.

Strike a stylish note

Dressing for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday means taking a casual sunny afternoon look into a polished cool night style.

With limited seating, comfort is king, but with the jazzy tunes coming from the stage, class is key.


Click your way through more pictures and stories about the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

[Last modified October 18, 2006, 07:58:17]

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