ST. PETERSBURG - The Seventh Annual Dinner and Jazz Series at the Museum of Fine Arts spotlights some of the best jazz in the area on Fridays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. July 18-Aug. 29. Admission is $5 for Museum members and their guests and $10 for nonmembers. This includes admission to the entire Museum, as well as to the world premiere of My Generation: Young Chinese Artists.
This is an ideal way to celebrate the beginning of the weekend in one of the area’s most spectacular settings, surrounded by the beauty of art and nature. The talented musicians will perform in the Mary Alice McClendon Conservatory, and listeners can also mingle on the terrace overlooking the bay.
The MFA Café will be open for dinner, and beer and wine will be available. Table reservations are strongly recommended. Call the Café at 727-822-1032 or 727-896-2667, ext. 258. The Museum Store will be open until 8 p.m. on Dinner and Jazz evenings.
July 18: Rio Bossa
Led by Rio de Janeiro vocalist Andrea Moraes Manson, this ensemble presents the very best of Brazilian bossa nova, sultry samba, and música popular brasileira wrapped in an intimate sound.
July 25: Phil Magallanes
Primarily a bassist, Magallanes, born in New York across from the Village Vanguard, also plays guitar and has performed in nearly every venue imaginable - from top jazz clubs across the U.S. to Broadway, from large arenas with rock bands to country gigs. He has recorded with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Arturo Sandoval, and Engelbert Humperdinck, among others. He holds his degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas, one of the finest such programs in the country.
Aug. 1: New York Guitar Cats
An audience favorite throughout the area, the New York Guitar Cats—Gary Relkin and Greg Smith—favor contemporary jazz and modern harmonies, with bebop, rhythm and blues, Brazilian, and pop added for good measure. They have been greatly influenced by the likes of Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. Both attended the illustrious Berklee College of Music in Boston, with its superlative jazz program.
Aug. 8: Vincent Sims and the SideWinders
Raised in St. Petersburg, guitarist Vincent Sims has assembled some of the area’s most talented musicians for his group. They perform music by such artists as Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Mr. Sims has collaborated with Al Downing, Lucky Peterson, Koko Taylor, and Belinda Womack, among others. He, too, attended the Berklee College of Music.
Aug. 15: The Hot Sun Trio - World Jazz Group
Cofounder Nikola Baltic began studying classical guitar at nine and was playing professionally at 12. He studied classical guitar at Eastern Michigan University and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. He found his musical home in jazz, and he and the Trio are now known for their vast repertoire of international styles and sounds. He has studied with Manuel Barreco, Joe Fava, and David Russell, to name just a few. He will be joined at the MFA by Eddie Mercado on bass and Roberto Maldonado on drums.
Aug. 22: Sasha Tuck
This versatile vocalist, composer, and arranger has performed at more than 100 venues and festivals, including the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center, home of the Dallas Symphony. She draws on classics made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Carmen McCrae, among others. Tuck holds a master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas.
Aug. 29: The Johnny Zoom Hi-Fi Show
The jazz series ends with a bang—really a blast from the past. Johnny Zoom, a one-man retro guitar act, will take listeners back to the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. With a repertoire of more than 50 songs, he will bring back the popular surf tunes of The Ventures and the Astronauts, guitar knockouts by Duane Eddy and Johnny Rivers, and the space-age sounds of Joe Meek and Link Wray. Everything is vintage - from his clothes and hairstyle to the PA system. Johnny really zooms like no one else.
The MFA is located at 255 Beach Drive N.E. For more information, call 727-896-2667 or visit www.fine-arts.org.