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Suncoast Jazz Festival 2018

at the 28th annual SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL

Friday November 16th, 2018,  6:15pm-12:15am,  at Sheraton Sand Key

The weekend before Thanksgiving, the Suncoast Jazz Festival happens at the Sheraton and Marriott on Sand Key (Clearwater Beach).  This year, the Suncoast Jazz Festival hosts its 9th annual Friday Night Swing Dance with an amazing lineup of bands and a big venue at the Sheraton Sand Key!  All dancers are encouraged to attend and spread the word.  Support your very own Tampa Bay jazz festival by bringing your dancing self and friends, and get ready to dance to some world-class live music!  Dance to FOUR superbly swinging bands from across the USA!  Each band performs one full hour's set of music for your dancing pleasure.  The evening's lineup is:

   6:15- 7:15pm - Swing Time Dance Lessons (Swing, Charleston, Balboa)
   7:30- 8:30pm - Hot Jazz Pie (Orlando, FL)
   8:45- 9:45pm - Tom Rigney & Flambeau (San Francisco, CA)
  10:00-11:00pm - Professor Cunningham & His Old School (New York, NY)
  11:15-12:15am - Dave Bennett Quartet (Detroit, MI)

Suncoast Jazz Festival 2018 Swing Dance Bands

Advance tickets are available online for just $22.50,
or in-person Wednesdays at the Gulfport Casino Swing Night

EXPERIENCE THE FESTIVALAttention Dancers!  Your ticket gets you into both the Swing Dance AND the other three music halls of the festival from 6pm onward.  If you'd like to check out different bands, or follow your favorite bands around, you're welcome to do so.  More than a dozen bands will play during the 6:15pm-12:15am time frame on Friday Night!  Complete Band Schedule

LARGE DANCE FLOOR — This dance takes place in one of two ballrooms (Haley's Hall, 1st Floor) of the beautiful Sheraton Sand Key resort.  For one night only, this ballroom will be set up dance-style, with chairs moved to the walls and the dance floor cleared for dancing!

TICKETSTickets are $22.50 in advance (deadline to purchase advance tickets is 11:59pm Thursday 11/15/2018) -or- $25 at the door.  Advance tickets are available online ( Buy Advance Tickets: $22.50/each ) or Wednesdays at the Gulfport Casino Swing Night.  This dance is presented by the Suncoast Jazz Festival.  100% of ticket proceeds go to support the Suncoast Jazz Festival, now in its 28th year as one of the USA's premier traditional jazz fests.

WANT TO STAY LONGER?  Consider getting a Friday All-Day Ticket or a Weekend Package instead of a Swing Dance Ticket.  Both of these alternatives include admission to Friday's Swing Dance.  Get Tickets/Passes here.  You can also get special Jazz Festival rates if you'd like to stay at the Sheraton or Marriott or other nearby hotels.


Professor Cunningham & His Old School are a popular band out of New York City, who are regulars on the NYC jazz and swing circuit, performing to packed houses at the city's swing venues including Swing 46 and The Cutting Room.  Formed in 2012 by reedman and vocalist, Adrian Cunningham, an Australian native based in NYC, the band consists of some of the most energetic and accomplished musicians on the New York scene.  The band has toured and played jazz festivals all over the USA and Europe, and were three-time winners at 2016's Swing Music Awards in Madrid.

Tom Rigney & Flambeau have been making some serious noise on the American Roots Music scene for over 15 years, recording 8 CDs, and tearing things up at festivals, dances, and concerts all over the globe.  Tom Rigney is one of the premier blues and roots music violinists in the world.  His bandmates are veterans of the great bands of Charles Brown, Queen Ida, Clifton Chenier, and many others, and together they generate enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor!  Tom Rigney & Flambeau specialize in fiery Cajun and Zydeco rhythms, funky New Orleans grooves, low-down blues, rockin' boogie woogie, and beautiful ballads and waltzes.  Most of their repertoire is composed by Rigney, but they also mix in classics from the Cajun/Zydeco/New Orleans songbook.  Their high-energy live show features tight ensemble playing, deeply infectious grooves, and spectacular soloing, all delivered with warmth, humor, and passionate intensity.  Hailing from San Francisco, the band is a major draw among dancers and music lovers wherever they play.  Take advantage of this rare opportunity to dance to Tom Rigney & Flambeau live!

The Dave Bennett Quartet stars Dave Bennett, a clarinet phenomenon who's made a living the past decade bringing the sound and music of Benny Goodman to life.  His Tribute to Benny Goodman, reminiscent of Benny Goodman's Quartet and other combos, has toured throughout the U.S.A. and Canada.  Dave Bennett has performed as guest soloist with over 30 classical "pops" orchestras, including our very own Florida Orchestra.  In fact, Dave recently played Carnegie Hall in a "Sing Sing Swing" tribute to Benny Goodman with the New York Pops!  Dave Bennett is a multi-instrumental musical prodigy (totally self-taught) whose repertoire includes jazz clarinet, boogie-woogie piano, rock'n'roll Gretsch guitar, and vocals too!  In Michigan, the Dave Bennet Quartet has a regular following of hundreds of swing dancers who show up to the band's events to dance.  Finally, who can forget Dave strolling through the Charleston Lines at a past year's swing dance playing Bennie Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing!

Hot Jazz Pie — Theresa Scavarda has been a dancer favorite for years, appearing as guest vocalist with past festival bands, where each time she'd sing, the floor would fill up with dancers.  Now she heads up her own band, an ensemble hailing from Orlando-way called Hot Jazz Pie!  Hot Jazz Pie is Theresa Scavarda on vocals, Paul Scavarda on every stringed instrument imaginable (guitar, ukulele, bass, banjo, mandolin, etc), Dave Tatrow on Trumpet, Pat Gullotta on Trombone, Jay Mueller on bass, and Eddie Metz on Drums.  Individually, these enormously talented musicians have professional resumes that would make your head spin, taking them from Disney to Cirque du Soleil to Carnegie Hall, from Branson to Atlantic City to Montreux to Tokyo.  But put them together and you get a recipe for fun, a recipe for dancing, a recipe for...Hot Jazz Pie!

Sheraton Sand Key Sheraton Sand Key
1160 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Friday night, three music halls will be going simultaneously on the ground floor of the Sheraton!  ...Haley's Hall (hotel ballroom hosting the Swing Dance), Zorch's Place for Jazz (another hotel ballroom) and Condon's Corner (hotel bar).  While that's happening, the Marriott across the street will host a 4th music hall.  Your swing-dance ticket gets you into all four music halls!  While you'll likely spend most of your time at the Swing Dance with its large dance floor, you're also welcome to wander and check out the rest of the festival.

Parking — The Sheraton parking lot is reserved for hotel guests.  Instead, park (it's free) at Sand Key Park ( 1060 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767 ), next door to the Sheraton.  You can walk through the sand path to/from the Sheraton.  Free shuttles also run to & from the Sheraton and Sand Key Park.  IMPORTANT: Remove your car before 12:30am on Friday night.  Sand Key Park's parking lot is locked (and any remaining cars will be locked in) between late-night and dawn.

Drinks — You can BYO bottled water and soft drinks to this venue (except to the bar), but no alcohol.  Free cups of water will be available in the ballrooms.  The resort also has bars and dining facilities open on the lobby level and poolside.

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