And on Saturday at the Straz, possibly the area’s best jazz show of 2013 — Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, with singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist Chris Potter, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Benny Green and drummer Lewis Nash (below)
Also, the critically acclaimed jazz singer Kurt Elling, one of the highlights of last year’s Clearwater Jazz Holiday, returns to the area June 7 at the Palladium. Whitney James, a superb jazz vocalist who makes her home part-time in the Tampa Bay area, will open that concert.
More good news: The recently canceled Chick Corea/Bela Fleck show at Ruth Eckerd Hall has been rescheduled for Aug. 23.
For more info on these, see below.
Thursday, April 11 — Nate Najar, John Lamb and Kenny Drew, Jr., Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14 — Tampa Bay Blues Festival (partial list): Dickey Betts, Rod Piazza, (Fri); Jonny Lang, Curtis Salgado (Sat); Trombone Shorty, Tab Benoit, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Walter “Wolfman” Washington (Sun) — Vinoy Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg
Saturday, April 13 – Straz Student Jazz Festival, Straz Riverwalk, Straz Performing Arts Center, Tampa (daylong; free)
Saturday, April 13 – Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Potter, Benny Green, Lewis Nash — Ferguson Hall at the Straz Performing Arts Center, Tampa, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 18 – David Benoit & Brian Culbertson, Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 — Mark Markham and the Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts Jazz and Wind Ensembles: “Rhapsody on Fifth,” Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 21 — “Organs for Organs”: Michael Aloia, Shawn Brown, John “Dash” Dixon, Gary Doyle, Dean Germain, Jack “Funkman” Henriquez, Michael “The Professor” Hensley, Rick Mendoza, Dennis “The Torpedo” Toerpe, Gene Wimmer, and Dave Woodie, Skipper’s Smokehouse, 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 – Chris Botti, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 28 – Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association: Shelly Berg Trio, Side Door at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 3 p.m.
Friday, June 7 — Kurt Elling (left) and Whitney James, Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 8 p.m.
Friday, June 7 — Dave Koz “Summer Horns” with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 22 – Bob James and David Sanborn, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 23 — Chick Corea & Bela Fleck, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 8 p.m. (rescheduled from March 24)
October 17-20 – Clearwater Jazz Holiday (lineup TBA)