Pensacola JazzFest 2000


Whether you enjoy the sultry low tones of a whining saxophone begging to be heard, or you prefer a little swing with an up-beat, up-tempo rhythm that won't let you keep your toes on the ground, you will find something you like during Pensacola's 17th Annual JazzFest 2000 the weekend of April 15 and 16.

Perhaps your taste is for a little background keyboard tune which lets you continue your tasks without commanding a great deal of attention, but letting you know just slightly it is there to share your time.

Music doesn't get any better than this as gifted talents come from across the United States to join our celebration of live music.

Starting Saturday's program will be the Pensacola Junior College Jazz Band, just to get everyone in the mood for the wonderful melodies to follow as pianist Bobby Oliver takes us to the nightclub with great sounds of Sinatra, Bennett and Ray Charles.

Keeping your toes tapping through lunch, Tim Jackson's Mr. Big promise to entertain you until John Webb and High Strung come to deliver dessert, with his group of talented guitar players.

After lunch, settle back and relax to sparkling sounds of Crystal Joy as she delivers her divine contemporary tunes with her own Crystal twist.

"I like to get in touch with the audience," says Joy, "and I try to create an atmosphere."

Joy's CD, "Crystal Joy Sings Strictly Strayhorn," will be available at the event. Joy studied at Boston University, where she learned the styles of Billy Strayhorn, who collaborated with the master, Duke Ellington.

Pianist John Colianni will come in from New York to perform, and Keith Hercules, originally from the West Indies, will be traveling from his home (now in Tampa) to accompany Colianni and Joy.

If lunch has made you sleepy, never fear. vocalist Giacomo Gates will wake you up to familiar sounds and stealthy ballads.

The Jazz Ensemble of the Band of the Air Force Reserve and Beverly Spaulding with Bop DuMond will end this spectacular day.

These headliners are a mere sampling of all the delights awaiting you this year.

Our local 'man of music', Joe Occhipinti and members of the American Federation of Musicians, will keep you in the groove between acts.

This is just day one. Tired yet? Be sure to get a good night's sleep so you can enjoy thrills of Sunday, which promises to be every bit as wonderful with Rosie Butler and the Downtown Jazz Band, UWF Jazz Ensemble, Jones and Company, Jazz Ensemble Band of the Air Force Reserve, Holly Shelton Quartet, Watters Brothers Quintet, and Stephanie Nakasian and Hod O'Brien.

Holly Shelton currently has her own CDs available "Errand Girl For Rhythm" and "Perdido". Don't pass them up and miss a marvelous listening experience.

"We have incredible female vocalists," says bass player Harvey Etheridge. "Each is individual, with outstanding talents all their own."

Like to watch something while listening? Pensacola's sleekest, most graceful dancers will draw your attention and keep you entertained.

This two-day event is free, thanks to individual and corporate sponsors, in an attempt to keep music live and free to the public.

Artist Rierce Walton has created this years' 'back to free, live roots' poster.

While there, give a shout to Dr. Norman Vickers--the fellow with the harmonica--and Pat Ashton, who make this all possible through their enormous time and energy given along with other Jazzfest council members Crystal Joy, Jim Robinson, Sandi Hlubek and Harvey Etheridge.

JazzFest 2000 will be held Saturday, April 15, and Sunday, April 16, at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola. For more information, call the Jazz Society of Pensacola at 850-433-8382.