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Jazz Comes to Pinellas Park

Jazz | Suggs | Zain | Jazz Festival

The Bay Area Jazz Festival is a learning experience for middle and high school jazz ensembles as well as a listening experience for the audience.

PINELLAS PARK – Middle and high school jazz ensembles from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties will compete Saturday (Feb. 27) in an event that’s designed to also be a learning experience for the students.

After the day’s events, there will be a Showcase evening concert  with the James Suggs Jazz Quintet and New York City bassist Saadi Zain. Both Suggs and Zain will be acting as clinicians for the kids throughout the day.

Zain, a long-time student of the legendary bassist Ron Carter, has been a freelance bassist in New York City for more than 20 years on both double bass and electric bass. He has played for a multitude of artists across many musical genres, from jazz and classical music, to cabaret, Broadway, world and pop music.

Suggs is a professional trumpet player who now resides in St. Petersburg. He grew up in Pennsylvania, started playing at age 9 and playing professionally at 15 while living in Ohio. At age 16, Suggs toured the US, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland with the Continental Singers. He also was the featured soloist while on tour with the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as recording with them. Later, he would also have the honor of playing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He has performed with such jazz greats as Kenny Burrell, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Mintzer, Sean Jones, Kevin Mohagany and Chuck Mangione to name a few.

Suggs now performs with various groups around the Tampa Bay area. He has his own jazz combos including a tribute to the great Louis Armstrong. Suggs and his quintet featuring Dave Stryker were featured this year at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

This inaugural event is sponsored by the Bay Area Jazz Festival. The goal, according to the group, is to provide a judged event for middle and high school jazz ensembles with a  focus on jazz education and performance.  Students who participate will receive immediate feedback through post-performance clinics and additional jazz education through master classes conducted by professional artists throughout the day.

The competition runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. The evening’s concert starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, 4951 78th Ave. N. The event is open to the public. Free admission.

For information about the Bay Area Jazz Festival, go to

Pinellas Park | Bay Area Jazz Festival | James Suggs | Saadi Zain | TB Reporter

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Jazz Comes to Pinellas Park
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Jazz Comes to Pinellas Park
The Bay Area Jazz Festival is a learning experience for middle and high school jazz ensembles as well as a listening experience for the audience. Featured performers and clinicians are James Suggs and Saadi Zain.
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TB Reporter
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