Tampa Jazz Notes 4.18.09: Valerie Gillespie at Tampa Jazz Club Concert; Tom Mullinix at Gratzzi’s; Al Downing Scholarship Competition

Tampa Jazz Club concerts return in a big way with a special performance Sunday, April 26 by saxophonist Valerie Gillespie’s valeriegroup, with special guest Jose Valentino. The late-afternoon concert benefits the organization’s education/scholarship program.

Below are the details, courtesy of the official press release:

Under the Stars on the shore of Lake Pretty, in Odessa

An evening of great jazz, for a great cause, is in store on Sunday, April 26 when the Tampa Jazz Club presents a Bay Area favorite, the Valerie Gillespie Ensemble, and featured guest flutist, Jose Valentino.  The concert will be held outdoors at the home of Dr. Hugo and Alicia Keim will benefit needy music and arts students in Hillsborough County schools.

A renowned saxophone and flute player as well as a fine vocalist, Valerie Gillespie and her band have been in demand at Florida venues for  many years, and have several recordings to their credit.  She also teaches at USF, and this special evening will feature one of her former students, Tampa’s own Jose Valentino.  Jose, a recipient of Tampa Jazz Club and Molly Brown Foundation Scholarships, is a rising star whose concerts include a mix of straight-ahead, smooth, and Latin Jazz.

Dr. Hugo and Alicia Keim are founders of the Chair Scholar program that has benefitted hundreds of Hillsborough County students with serious physical disabilities, and have generously made their beautiful lakeside property available for this delightful evening.  Proceeds will benefit Alicia’s “Unsinkable Molly Brown Foundation,” which contributes to arts programs in the schools, and the scholarship fund of the Tampa Jazz Club.

Where: 16101 Carencia Lane, Odessa

(just east of Gunn Highway on Copeland Road)

When: Sunday, April 26, 6pm (doors-open 4:45pm)

Cost: $10 jazz club members, $20 non-members, $5 students (cash or check only)

Food: $15 (Provided by Outback Steakhouse, Inc.)

Directions or reservations: (813)334-9750 or e-mail aliciakeim@tampabay.rr.com


mullinixA jazz brunch sounds like another great way to celebrate a beautiful Sunday in spring.

Gratzzi’s Restaurant at Baywalk is continuing its jazz brunch series with a performance April 19 by the Tom Mulllinix Quartet, with the trumpeter joined by bassist Billy Pillucere, keyboardist Stretch Bruyn and drummer Ron Gregg.

Music runs from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Gratzzi’s, 199 Second Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. Admission is $20, and $10 for children 12 and under. More information: (727) 822-7769


Taking place that afternoon, April 19, also in St. Petersburg, is The Al Downing Jazz Education Scholarship Competition.

Pinellas County high school seniors will compete for scholarships at the event, 2 p.m. at the Al Downing Theatre at the Perkins Elementary School, 2205 18th Ave. S.

Admission is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.