I hear some folks complaining loudly about the Tampa Bay area music scene, when it comes to the volume of good gigs for local players. Yes, there could be more opportunities for more gigs, and more better-paying gigs. Sadly, that could be said about nearly every area of the country.
What IS unique about the region where I’ve lived for 30 years: We’re home to as many top-shelf jazz and blues musicians as any area in Florida, and probably more good players overall than any place of its size in the US.
And many of those good players — particularly the rhythm-section folks — are staying busy 3-4 nights a week playing gigs. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes there are slower periods. Helllo, summer.
So today, I want a send a big shout-out to the many talented jazz and blues guitarists in our area, several of whom I’ve worked with in bands or on the occasional gig.
At the risk of leaving out someone: (in no particular order) Matthew Swenson (above, my bandmate in Acme Jazz Garage & other groups), LaRue Nickelson (below, my former bandmate in Greenwich Blue), Joel Lisi (my former bandmate in Ghetto Love Sugar), Larry Camp, Peter Mongaya Hogsholm, Damon Fowler, Vincent Sims, Jon Puhl, Stephen Burdi, Jordan Garno, Nathaniel Bernard NajarSarasota Slim, Johnny G Lyon, Patty Sanphy, Chuck Hill, Mike Cripe.
Nearly all of these folks are open to good-paying gigs: Hit ’em up!
(And if you find yourself in Tampa on a Thursday or Friday night, come see me play bass with Acme Jazz Garage — Matt Swenson, pianist Bryan Lewis and drummer Pat Close at Timpano Chophouse — in Hyde Park Village. We start at 7 both nights.)