South Florida State College (SFSC) Performing Arts presents a five-show Jazz Series that features traditional jazz from January to April in the 250-seat SFSC University Center on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park. Ted Huff, an avid jazz music lover and musician, says, “The intimate setting and the best live jazz around is a real treat for a winter resident like me.”
The Jazz Series began in 2004 and continues to feature traditional Dixieland and swing jazz. “There is no other place in Highlands County where a person can hear world-class jazz music and have the opportunity to meet and chat with the musicians,” Huff said.
The Eddie Metz Trio kicks off the 2018 Jazz Series on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. with Rossano Sportiello on piano and Nicki Parrott on bass and vocals. Metz, a longtime favorite at SFSC, is known for his creative technique and imaginative improvisation. This performance will feature dramatic interpretations of jazz classics and standards. Tickets are $29.
Led by trombonist Herb Bruce, the Herbicide Dixieland Band, will delight jazz lovers on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. with fresh arrangements and plenty of humor. Joining Bruce are clarinetist Jim Snyder, trumpeter Don Johnson, pianist Jeff Phillips, drummer Terry Wadell, guitarist Bob Leary, vocalist Patricia Dean and William Pillucere on bass. Tickets are $26.
A Tribute to Stan Getz with Jeff Rupert and Veronica Swift is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Since the Swing era, saxophonist Stan Getz had been known as “The Sound.” Jeff Rupert, along with Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition runner-up, Veronica Swift, Richard Drexler and Ben Kramer revisit classics made famous by Getz. The Bossa Nova recordings include: “Desafinado,” “Girl from Ipanema,” “Moonlight in Vermont,” and “Pennies from Heaven.” Tickets are $27.
Grammy Award winner, composer and brilliant jazz pianist, Bill Cunliffe travels from Los Angeles with his trio to perform on March 2 at 7 p.m. Cunliffe began his career as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band and worked with Frank Sinatra, James Moody, and Freddie Hubbard. He has since established himself as a solo artist and bandleader, with more than a dozen albums under his name. Tickets are $27.
Alexis Cole has been compared to Sarah Vaughan and Anita O’Day, and she is one of today’s leading jazz vocalists, performing at the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and with the New York Philharmonic. Her program, “The Magic of Disney Love Songs,” features the all-time greatest love songs from Disney including: “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “So This is Love” and “Once Upon a Dream.” This performance is scheduled for March 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28.
Jazz Series subscriptions are available now for only $109 per person—a savings of $28.
Subscribers also save 15 percent on any SFSC Performing Arts presentation including Artist, Matinee, and Trending Now performances. Additional benefits include invitations to exclusive events, a 10 percent dining discount at the Hotel Jacaranda and reduced ticket prices for select events.
Students with a current, valid student ID get a free ticket to jazz performances. Student tickets are available night of show at the box office. Student ID must be presented.
Groups of 12 or more can save up to 50 percent, and the group organizer receives a free ticket.
The SFSC Jazz Series is sponsored by Lake Placid Health & Rehabilitation, Patricia McShane, Charles Reynolds, Clem and Betz Newbold, Dr. Norman and Laurie Stephens, Bill Browning, Lynne Josselyn, and Larry Conrad, and Peter and Dale Caldwell.
The SFSC Box Office, which is located on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park at 600 West College Drive, is open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tickets and videos of upcoming productions are available online at sfscarts.org. Telephone orders can be placed by calling 863-784-7178.