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First sunset jazz concert on horizon

Published April 20, 2007


KEYSTONE - The smooth sounds of trombones and saxophones drift over a crowd of families as the sun slinks away for the night.

That's the scene Keystone Civic Association leaders envision for the first Keystone Sunset Jazz Fest and Picnic in the Park.

The free event runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Keystone Community Center, 17928 Gunn Highway.

Sonny LaRosa and America's Youngest Jazz Band, composed of musicians younger than age 12, will perform.

"It's really a community event, so I thought bringing in a band that involves the community and helping and encouraging children would be very cool," said Debra Benoit, vice president of the civic association.

The association will sell chips and drinks and will accept donations to pay the band. Guests should bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Alcohol is prohibited.

Organizers hope the event, paid for by a grant from the Hillsborough County Office of Neighborhood Relations, will help bring a positive, friendly face back to Keystone. In recent years, the community has been embroiled in battles to keep its rural character intact.

"We wanted to start to bring in some things that were definitely much more community oriented and have some fun," Benoit said. "We do hope to make this an annual event and grow it in future years."

The event falls on the same day as Keystone's Adopt-A-Road event, which runs from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

Cleanup participants should meet at the community center between 7:30 and 8 before heading out to clean up Gunn Highway.

Keystone leaders don't think the cleanup will deter people from attending the jazz fest.

"We all talked about it," Benoit said. "Generally, the people that will do the cleanup will still probably come out for the concert. It's early enough that they have the rest of the afternoon to rest up."

Questions? Call 813 484-4052.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at or (813) 269-5303.

[Last modified April 19, 2007, 07:24:16]

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