Tampa Jazz Notes: Child of the Sun Jazz Festival Returns; Don Capone Tribute; Jazz Cellar Underground Orchestra to Play

The Child of the Sun Jazz Festival, a first-class Lakeland event begun in 1988 with major input from late great cornetist Nat Adderley but shuttered after a great 20-year run, will be revived next spring.

That’s the word from Larry Burke, longtime music professor at Florida Southern College, original home to the event. The revived fest, to be sponsored by the Lakeland Rotary Club, will be held April 15-16 downtown at Lake Mirror. An affiliated triathlon is slated for that weekend, too.

Over the years, the fest, directed by Burke and usually held outdoors on campus and at Branscomb Auditorium (and sometimes in Munn Park) featured impressive lineups headlined by major jazzers. A partial list: Adderley, pianists Larry Willis and Rob Bargad, bassist Walter Booker, drummer Jimmy Cobb, saxophonists Antonio Hart and Vincent Herring, and percussionist Gumbi Ortiz (all of whom variously played or guested with Nat), guitarists Barney Kessel and Roni Ben-Hur, saxophonists Junior Cook and Ernie Watts, trumpeters Lew Soloff and Jeremy Pelt, and pianists Manfredo Fest and Kenny Drew, Jr. The fest, which took its name from the architectural theme of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed campus, also provided a showcase for many Tampa Bay area jazz musicians.

The lineup for the 2011 fest is TBA — check back here for updates.

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Several bands and musicians who worked with late drummer Don Capone, including Denise Moore and Then Some, and Trio Vibe (my group) are gathering to play a concert/jam in honor of Don, who passed away Feb. 12. We’re getting together Wednesday, May 12 at Lenny’s Latin Cafe in Temple Terrace, where Don played host to a jam session.

Trumpeter Dwayne White will be master of ceremonies for the evening. Music begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will go to the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association’s scholarship fund. More details are TBA.

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The Jazz Cellar Underground Orchestra, who ruled the roost at Dick Rumore‘s old Jazz Cellar at Ybor Square, are reuniting to play a May 16 concert benefiting the jazz program at Blake High School in Tampa. I’ll post more info soon.

Don Capone, in Vertical/Tampa Bay

The new edition of webzine Vertical/Tampa Bay features several shots of late Tampa Bay area jazz drummer Don Capone, co-founder of my Trio Vibe group with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman.

Alongside the pix is a re-publication of the blog post I wrote about Don. Check out the Vertical feature here.

Vertical additionally spoke with Lenny Cruz, owner of Lenny’s Latin Cafe in Temple Terrace, home to a jam session that Don spearheaded for almost a year. Lenny told the magazine that a concert/jam in tribute to Don is in the works. When I get more info, I’ll report it here.  Tampa Tribune reporter Joyce McKenzie wrote about Don and the jam session, in a piece published in January 2009.

Remembering Don Capone: Memories from Bandmates and Friends

Tampa jazz drummer Don Capone passed away on Feb. 12, and several people have responded to my earlier post with thoughts about our old musical compadre. I’ve also received shots of Don from Alex Spassoff and singer Denise Moore (with whom Don played), and I’m including those below, as well as two of Don’s instructional videos (several are available on YouTube).

T. and Ronda Paramoure: “Don was a wonderful person and musician. He was family. We loved him dearly. Each time we met it was like we had never parted. He loved to play while my wife Ronda Paramoure sang and played her flute.  We have great memories of music and believe it or not ministry with Don. He was passionate about his music and his love for the Lord.  He always talked to me about “the Big Guy” and how he new that he would go to heaven one day…. God Bless you Don… you will be well missed here.  Keep that rhythm strong as we know you can in heaven.  RIP”

David & Bill, All Pro Percussion: “We just learned yesterday of Don’s passing. Don was a great supporter of the local music scene. We always enjoyed his visits to the store and hearing about the latest projects he was working on. Through-out his battle with cancer Don never let up. He was very passionate about his music and gave it his all when ever he sat down behind a kit. Don you will be greatly missed by all of us!”

Jason Stander: “Don was a great friend and amazing drummer. His attack was ferocious and precise, and his heavy right leg earned him his nickname “The Foot”. I had a chance to learn the brush techniques of Charlie Perry from him, whom was one of his earliest mentors. Although we only knew each other for a little over a year, words cannot express the ways in which I’ll miss him.”

Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association: “The Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association is especially grateful to Don for the opportunities he gave youngsters to play at his jams and on CDs he recorded.  He donated to us copies of these CDs to sell to help support our scholarship fund.  This was a gesture of his great interest in young musicians and encouraging them to be involved in jazz.  Thank you, Don.”

Bob Seymour, jazz director, WUSF, 89.7 FM: “A fast and loyal friend is right, and Don’s enthusiasm about playing and all the people he made music with — whether talented youngsters or the area’s more seasoned performers — was really something. Marian (Seymour) knew Don for some time before I did; he was the school cop at Gary Adult HS in Ybor City, and along with stories of the Secret Service and other high-profile security jobs, would talk about his background in music and how much  he’d like to get back  to playing.  I heard those stories about Don for a long time before he did in fact emerge onto the scene, always with that pure joy of making music.  We’ll miss him.”

Sam Koppelman, vibraphonist, Trio Vibe: “His enthusiasm for the music lives in all of us.”

Mark Feinman, drummer: “Don was a great drummer and man. I enjoyed getting to see him play and always talking with him at length about music. He generated an energy that always made his musical experience young and fresh. His contributions to our community are unforgettable. He will be greatly missed.”

If you’d like to express any thoughts or remembrances about Don, please send them my way. I’ll post them here, with the newest thoughts at the top of this post. Write to me at jphilipbooth@gmail.com

Philip’s gigs — 2015

philip-bass

Upcoming——————-2015

Acme Jazz Garage: Every Thursday and Friday at Timpano, 1610 W. Swann Ave., Hyde Park Village (Tampa), starting at 7:30 (until 10:30 on Thursdays, until 11:30 on Fridays).

Monday, March 30 — subbing with TomKats Jazz Orchestra, Blue Parrot Cafe, 85 Corey Circle, St. Petersburg Beach, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 30 — PBJQ, Frescos, 132 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland

Upcoming—————- (2012)

Sunday, Dec. 2 – Acme Jazz Garage, Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, Seminole Heights, 4 to 7 p.m.; free admission

Fri-Sat, Dec. 7-8 – Trio Vibe, Della’s After Dark, Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested

Fri-Sat, Dec. 14-15 — Trio Vibe, Della’s After Dark, Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested

Dec. 31 – (private) Tomkats Big Band, NYE gig

Older————————————

(Most Sundays): P&W Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 and 10:30 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 14 – Trio Vibe, with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon.

Friday, Feb. 18 – Philip Booth Jazz Quartet, with saxophonist Jeremy Powell, pianist Jody Marsh, and drummer Ryan Marsh, Tampa Museum of Art, 8 to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 20 – Acme Jazz Garage, with guitarist Matt Swenson, drummer Tim Diehl, saxophonist Jeremy Powell, more, Skipper’s Smokehouse (Rockin’ for Raulton 2 benefit), 5 to 9 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, Feb 25-26 – Trio Vibe, with saxophonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 – Trio Vibe, with saxophonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, April 16 – Trio Vibe, Child of the Sun Jazz Festival, Lakeland

Previous (2011)———————-

2010———————————–

Monday, Feb. 1 – Tomkats Big Band, The Blue Parrot, St. Petersburg Beach, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 – Trio Vibe (with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz), Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Sunday, March 21 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, dinner cruise from Tampa Convention Center

Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission; reservations suggested

Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Sunday, April 18 – Philip Booth Trio with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and saxophonist/flutist Willie Lawson, Jazz/Poetry event,  Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 West Bearss Ave., 2 p.m.; free

Wednesday, May 12 – Trio Vibe playing with others at the tribute to late drummer Don Capone, Lenny’s Latin Cafe, Temple Terrace, 7 to 10 p.m.

Sunday, May 16 – Andy Irvine‘s “Enter the Thunder Dome” with Andy and Beanstalk hosting, and many other bassists, Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, June 1 – Free Time Trio with pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Ryan Marsh, Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, June 15 – Free Time Trio with pianist Jody Marsh and trumpeter Ron Wilder, Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 20 – Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, July 8 – Duo with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission

Fri-Sat, Aug. 13-14 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested

Sunday, Aug. 22 – Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Friday, Aug 27 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Play, 1701 E. 8th Ave., Ybor City, 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; (813) 443-075

Sunday, Aug. 29 – Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Fri-Sat, Sept. 10-11 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested

Thursday, Nov. 4 – Ybor Jazz Festival (more info TBA)

Fri-Sat, Nov. 5-6 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested

2009———————

Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, October 3 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Thursday, July 30 – Duo with pianist Ron Delp, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectable’s (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.

Sunday, May 31 – Trio Vibe (with Sam Koppelman and drummer Dave Hamar) at First WMNF Jazz Jam, Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, 4 p.m. (Kevin Mahogany heads this mini-festival. For more info, click here)

Thursday, May 28 – Trio Vibe (with Sam Koppelman and drummer Dave Hamar) + singer Edgar Wilcox, Side Door Jazz Series at Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; $20, general admission; $15 for members of jazz associations, Palladium members, seniors, and students with ID. (727) 822-3590. More info.

Friday, May 8 – Ghetto Love Sugar REUNION SHOW (guitarist Joel Lisi, keyboardist Raulton Reichel and drummer Jonathan Priest), with Infinite Groove Orchestra and Rocksteady@8 and special guests, 9 p.m.; $5 at the door. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, April 29 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and trumpeter Ron Wilder), Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 2 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Ryan Marsh), private event, Lake Wales

Wednesday, April 1 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Pat Close), Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.

Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 – Trio Vibe (with Sam Koppelman and drummer Don Capone), Della’s, Brandon

Band links:

Trio Vibe

Ghetto Love Sugar

Tampa Jazz Notes 2.11.09

Valentine’s Day goes with jazz like Christmas goes with brass choirs, and I’m not just saying that because “My Funny Valentine” was the song I asked the band to play for the first dance at my wedding.

That was way back in 1993, and my friend and sometime bandmate Joe Teston, on tenor sax, sat in with the trio that I hired for the occasion — guitarist Ted Shumate, bassist Michael Ross and percussionist extraordinaire Gumbi Ortiz.

The wedding must have “worked,” as I’m still married. The guys in the wedding party, or in attendance, were among my bandmates of that period or shortly later — I played with Joe in Greenwich Blue, with Joe and guitarist Domenick Ginex in Bop City, and with Dom and guitarist Bryan Zink in Liz Back on Booze.

But I digress. Several special shows, jazz and jazzy, are slated for Saturday night, Valentine’s Day, in the Tampa Bay area.

Among those are:

  • The Blind Boys of Alabama, the great long-running gospel group, whose Down in New Orleans CD was one of last year’s finest. Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, 8 p.m. The Gary Brown Band opens this show, presented by WMNF, 88.5 FM, and tickets are $25.

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“God’s Trombones,” a celebration of the work of major African American writer James Weldon Johnson, a Florida native, is slated for Monday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg.

Admission is free, but donations of canned goods, to support area food banks, are accepted.

Ex-Ellington trombonist Buster Cooper will participate in the program, which honors Black History Month and is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP (Johnson was exec secretary from 1920 to 1930).

Here’s what’s on tap for the event, according to the venue’s web site:

  • Individual readings of the volume’s poems by local actors, poets, and ministers: Bob Devin Jones, Studio@620; Leroy Mitchell, actor, Johnson performer; Louis Murphy, minister; John Conlon, actor; Aleshea Harris, actor, poet; Sharon Scott, actor; Vikki Gaskin-Butler, professor, minister.
  • Trombone/musical interludes by Buster Cooper.
  • Visual renderings along the walls of the Aaron Douglas images that accompany the first (1927) edition of Johnson’s text .
  • Discussion period/question-and-answer session following the performance with Humanities scholar Dr. Julie Buckner Armstrong, USFSP.

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Also just ahead on the Tampa Bay area jazz calendar:

  • Guitarist Nate Najar’s Trio (with ex-Ellington bassist John Lamb) will be   joined by singer and banjo player Cynthia Sayer (of Woody Allen’s band), at the Palladium Theater, Thursday, Feb. 19, in the venue’s Side Door Jazz series. Show is at 7:30 p.m., and admission is $20. 
  • Kenny Walker, the busy area bassist (Helios Jazz Orchestra, Gumbi Ortiz) and monthly jazz host on WMNF, 88.5 FM, on Saturday, Feb. 21 will give a lecture on jazz history at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. His talk will be part of the museum’s fourth annual African American Author lecture series, from 2 to 4 p.m.



Tampa Jazz Notes 1.21.09: Jon Metzger, Ira Sullivan, Jazz at Lenny’s, Gumbi Ortiz

metzgerThe Monday Night Jazz Series at USF (Tampa) kicks off this Monday, Jan. 26, with a performance by vibraphonist, composer and educator Jon Metzger. Also coming soon:

  • The Mindy Simmons Trio’s tribute to Peggy Lee, Friday at the Palladium (Side Door Jazz)
  • The USF Magic Marimba Festival/Conference, this Friday and Saturday on the Tampa campus
  • Big Sam’s Funky Nation, from NOLA, Friday at the Crowbar
  • Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Tuesday at the Van Wezel.

For more details on the above, check out my concert calendar.

The Wednesday night jazz jam session at Lenny’s Latin Cafe in Temple Terrace is alive and well, and continuing tonight. Drummer Don Capone and pianist Chuck Berlin preside. 7 to 10 p.m. Free admission.

Ira Sullivan turned in a typically artful, warmly engaging performance during his Tampa Jazz Club concert, Jan. 11 at the Springs Theater, a former movie theater converted into a recording studio/concert space.

The longtime South Florida jazz giant, 76, mixed and matched instruments — tenor and soprano saxophones, trumpet, cornet, flute — on two long sets, backed by a top-rank trio of Florida-based musicians: pianist Michael Royal, bassist Richard Drexler and drummer Danny Gottlieb.

The quartet turned in plenty of gems that could very well see the light of day, if a CD of the concert indeed is released, as Sullivan mentioned at several points during the show. Sullivan also made a point of instructing listeners in recording-session etiquette.

The first set included “The Way You Look Tonight,” Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes,” Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Mojave,” chestnut “Yesterday’s Gardenias,” Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father,” and Royal’s “Julie’s Lament.”

Set two: “The Toy Trumpet” (preceded by a piped-in tape of Shirley Temple singing that tune), “The Summer Knows,” Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser,” “Some Other Time,” “The Song is You,” and Sullivan’s traditional closing piece, “Amazing Grace.”

Sullivan, talkative and friendly, had lots to say on varied subjects, including:

  • His Christian faith: “I don’t know why Jesus led me to play jazz, but he certainly did.”
  • The meaning of jazz: “Jazz is America and freedom. That’s what it stands for.”
  • Why jazz is seemingly cherished more abroad than in its home nation: “A prophet is not without honor, even in his own country” (a New Testament quote)
  • The future for jazz: “Lo and behold, the world is going back to bebop.”
  • Hearing Charlie Parker play one of Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts.
  • Playing with the likes of regulars Tony Castellano (piano) and Steve Bagby (drummer) and many others, including Jaco Pastorius and Michel Legrand, during 14 years of performances at a Unitarian Universalist Church.

It’s great to see that my old friend Gumbi Ortiz, a superb conga player based in St. Petersburg, is on the road again with RTF guitarist Al Di Meola’s World Sinfonia. The group, touring in support of the just-released live album La Melodia, Live in Milano, recently played a New York show that was given a glowing review in Relix. The tour, with the sextet emphasizing the music of tango master Astor Piazzolla, continues in the U.S. through February, and then continues in Europe and Israel. Sadly, no Florida dates are on the itinerary.

Jazz in January: Ira Sullivan, Kenny Drew, Jr., Richard Drexler

Top-shelf jazz shows are often in short supply in the Tampa Bay area.

So it’s reassuring to report that the new year is kicking off with three impressive jazz shows.

Kenny Drew, Jr., still viewed by many as one of the greatest jazz pianists of his generation, plays tonight at 8 at the Springs Theatre in Sulphur Springs (Tampa).

Kenny, who makes his home in St. Petersburg, frequently tours the world, playing jazz and classical concerts. In recent years, he’s worked with the Mingus Big Band and other high-profile groups. For this concert, he’ll be joined by bassist Joe Porter and drummer John Jenkins.

The show is sponsored by WMNF, 88.5 FM. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door. For all the details, click here.

ira-sullivan1Next Sunday, Jan. 11, legendary saxophonist/trumpeter Ira Sullivan (above) returns to the Tampa Bay area for a 3 p.m. Tampa Jazz Club concert at the Springs Theatre.

Sullivan, a longtime South Florida musician, made his breakthrough on the Chicago scene in the ’50s, and he’s played with everyone from bebop trumpeter Red Rodney to drummer/bandleader Art Blakey to electric- bass great Jaco Pastorius (who played in Sullivan’s quartet).

For this performance, Sullivan will be joined by pianist Michael Royal, bassist Richard Drexler, and drummer Danny Gottlieb (formerly of the Pat Metheny Group). Admission is $23, $18 for jazz club members, and $5 for students.

The Springs Theatre, a former movie theater converted into a recording studio and performance space (my band, Trio Vibe, recently recorded our CD at the venue) is one block south of the Bird Street exit of northbound I-275. Parking is available at the adjacent Harbor Club. For more information on the theater, call (813) 915-0075 or visit the theatre’s web site.

Drew and Drexler, this time on piano, will play a “keyboard explosion,” with bassist John Lamb and drummer Don Capone, on Friday, Jan. 16 at the Mahaffey Theater’s Bayview Room in St. Petersburg.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.; Tickets are $20, and $15 for students. For more information, go to www.rickgeesjazzjamm.com