Jazz Club of Sarasota Presents March “Jazz at Two” Concerts

The Jazz Club of Sarasota's "Jazz at Two" 2014 concert series continues in March with the John DePaola Trio (March 7, 2014); saxophonist Henry Ashwood (March 14, 2014); pianist Johnny Varro (March 21, 2014); and the André Roy Trio, featuring Canadian guitarist, vocalist and composer André Roy (March 28, 2014). Founded in 2001, the Jazz at Two series showcases the region's top jazz performers on Fridays, 2-4 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $7 for Jazz Club members and $12 for non-members. A portion of ticket sales is directed to the Jazz Club's scholarship program.

A freelance trumpeter for over 20 years, John DePaola has performed with such greats as Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tony Bennett, Peabo Bryson, and the Temptations. He has also played with the touring companies of major Broadway musicals and with several symphony orchestras. For his Jazz at Two appearance (March 7, 2 p.m.), DePaola will be joined by Ian Goodman on drums and Jeff Phillips on piano and foot-pedal bass. The trio will perform a wide variety of favorites for jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as uncovered gems Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and others.

Next up is saxophonist Henry Ashwood (March 14, 2 p.m.). Ashwood's style has been likened to that of jazz legend Paul Desmond and he is in constant demand as a performer at venues throughout Florida. Ashwood and his group plan a concert that they guarantee will have audience members, "snapping their fingers and tapping their feet."

Pianist Johnny Varro (March 21, 2 p.m.), has been an accomplished international performer since he was 16. His first professional job was with Bobby Hackett. He then went on to perform at Eddie Condon's with such great jazz performers as Buck Clayton, Pee Wee Russell, Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Lou McGarity, and Peanuts Hucko. Varro has worked most of the jazz rooms around New York, including The Embers, Tavern on the Green, Hanratty's, The Metropole and Jimmy Ryan's. Varro currently resides in Palm Harbor, Florida, and continues to perform at clubs and jazz festivals all over the world.

Respected by his musical peers for his "easy-going personality and beautiful music making, " Canadian guitarist, vocalist and composer André Roy (March 28, 2 p.m.), has been performing professionally since age 15, when he began touring with popular artists from his native Quebec. Roy's distinctive jazz performances showcase his original compositions, favorite French tunes, and jazzed-up interpretations of folk melodies. Roy and his trio have been featured at the Montréal, Burlington and Brampton jazz festivals. Bassist Phil Magallanes, from New York, and drummer, James Varnado, from New Orleans, will join Roy. The trio closes out the March Jazz at Two, with one of Roy's signature eclectic mixes of jazz standards, original compositions, French and Spanish tunes, blues and more.

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