Do It Today: Helios Jazz Orchestra at Nova 535 Lounge, Opus and Black on Black Rhyme

Lovely guest singer Sasha Tuck (pictured right) gets the crowd a-swingin'. Plus, Puff  'n' Stuff Catering provides free tastings.

If you're not familiar, the orchestra that's named after the Greek word for "sun" is led by esteemed St. Petersburg College professor and music department leader David Manson.

[image-1]The group changes lineups during the fall and spring semesters, and its members are all working musicians who have a love of good big band music. They also bear the distinction of being great soloists.

The Helios Orchestra performs a variety of genres including Latin, swing, bebop, ballads and pop arrangements.  Admission is $5. For directions, see or

See the winner of the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association.

Opus takes a candid glimpse of the personal-meets-professional challenges of classical music ensemble.

Directed by Dan Lombardo (Blithe Spirit), the play stars Steve Garland, Steven Flaa, Ricky Wayne, Dan Matisa and Tracie Thomason. 7:30 p.m. Students rush tickets are $10, 30 minutes prior to curtain. Through Dec. 5.  American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-823-7529. Read Mark E. Leib's review here.

Want a soul-satisfying experience with a few choice words? Black on Black Rhyme spoken word-poetry night at the Blue Shark offers a featured performer each week, drink specials and food. The event has been described by participants as a lively night. (What else would you expect from a host named Life?) Doors open at 8 p.m.; performances begin at 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m.; $7 after 10 p.m. 1502 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. 813-248-3499.

Spend the evening on a high note at Nova 535 tonight. The Helios Jazz Orchestra returns to the Nova 535 event space for a performance of big band jazz at 7:30 p.m.

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